Monday, 13 June 2016

13th - 15th June 2016

Wednesday, 15th June: A better day than yesterday, bright and blustery with a brisk WSW keeping the clouds moving.....
Selsey Bill (0730-0930hrs): WSW 3-4 (Obs: SR/DS/JD) A bit of gentle pruning to the vegetation in front of the bench was necessary to give a clearer view, but in the event there was little to see passing through this morning, although a single Black-tailed Godwit was unusual on a sea-watch..... Full log below:
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 20E, 23W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Black-tailed Godwit - 1W
Common Tern - 9 os
Sandwich Tern - 22os
House Martin - 7p
John Dodd doing a little necessary pruning to clear the view from the bench... (SR)

(1715-1830hrs) (SH)
Gannet  - 7E, 3W
Common Scoter - 8E, 20W
Common Tern  - 14os
Sandwich Tern - 16os
Little Tern - 2os
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 1W
Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover and a Lapwing were the only waders on the pool, along with 14 Shelduck. There were still a few Whitethroats and Blackcaps singing around the Tramway area, but not too much else save a Curlew and a couple of Redshanks in the harbour. (AH)

Whitethroat (above), Little Ringed Plover & Lapwing around Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A couple of Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers, plus Linnets and Reed Buntings were singing along the pool, the Great Crested Grebe and Gadwall families were still present , two Curlews and a Whimbrel flew over and a Skylark was in the fields nearby. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Bunting, Whimbrel and Curlew & great Crested Grebe family at the Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: Much the same as yesterday..... the Swan family and 5 cygnets were still all together, whilst the Breech Pool remains very quiet, with just 5 Lapwings, 3 Tufted Ducks, a Teal and up to 20 Mallard. A Cuckoo was calling along Pagham Rife, but Honer reservoir held no birds apart from a pair of Tufted Ducks, with two pairs of Skylarks feeding young in this vicinity. (JDW)

Tuesday, 14th June: Another fairly dire day, with a brisk north-westerly, heavy cloud cover and the odd squall, though not especially cold....

Selsey BillQuite an interesting morning despite the conditions, with a few Manx Shearwaters past at reasonable range and a selection of our other native sea-birds passing by, too. (AH/SR)
Manx Shearwater - 3E (0740), 4W (0845)
Fulmar - 5W
Gannet - 58E, 23W
Kittiwake - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 12os
Common Tern - 5os
Little Tern - 3os
Razorbill - 1W
Guillemot - 2W
auk sp -1E
House Martin - 10+p

(Very close!) Fulmar (above), Razorbill, Gannet, Sandwich Tern & Common Tern past the Bill (AH)

(1715-1830hrs) (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 4W
Fulmar - 1W
Kestrel - 1p
Common Tern - 12os
Sandwich Tern - 25os
Little Tern  - 1os
auk sp - 2W

Ferry Pool: There were six Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank and 12 Shelducks this morning. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were still 10+ Little and Common Terns in the harbour, plus a couple of Sandwich Terns offshore, but otherwise it was quiet, with just a few ringed Plovers on the mud and the odd Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Reed Warbler singing, a few Linnets flitting along the beach, a Green Woodpecker by the concrete wall and an adult and juvenile Grey Heron on it. (AH)

Green Woodpecker (above) & Grey Herons at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: It was windy along the Wall this morning. Lapwings are coming back and there were 18 along White's Creek this morning together with 14 Mute Swans. The Breech Pool has topped up after recent rain, and not a wader was to be seen, but there were 7 Tufted Ducks and 20 plus Mallard present, and best of all was a pair of Mute Swans with 5 cygnets, who I later encountered well up Pagham Rife. 
The local Buzzards are still feeding young, and this was a common happening all the way along the Rife where I saw Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Wrens, Whitethroats, Greenfinches, Yellowhammers and Chaffinches all feeding their families. Oxeye daisies and Dog roses dominate the hedgerows. (JDW)

Yellowhammer (above), Mute Swan, Dog-rose & Ox-eye Daisy from North Wall (AH)

Long Pool: This evening a dozen Swifts were feeding over the pool, along with similar of Swallows, whilst on the water were a pair of great Crested Grebes and their young, and the family of still at least seven young Gadwall. (AH) 

Swifts over (above), Gadwall ducklings & Great Crested Grebe carrying chick on Long Pool (AH)

Monday, 13th June: A fairly dismal start for a summer day - with rain and a brisk west-south-westerly making things somewhat unpleasant....but it brightened a bit later.

Selsey Bill: (Obs: OM) Predictably very quiet at sea given the date, but what was going on with the Swifts this morning? Whilst the local birds were still present around Grafton Road, ten were present offshore over the distant buoys before heading generally W/NW along the horizon, then a flock of at least 35 appeared over the Oval field before heading out to sea SE until lost from view.... perhaps early departing birds?  And suddenly the House Martins around Bill House seem to have reduced considerably.
Log below...
Gannet - 10E, 17W
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 4os
Sandwich Tern - 13os
Swift - 12p, 35 out SE, 10 W/NW (see above)
House Martin - max of 4 around Bill House/Solent Way

Two views from the Bill this morning: above - the south end of Grafton Road as it is rarely seen with no parked cars (and note the 'House Martin puddles'), whilst below - the bottom end of Bill House garden with its shrub cover and tamarisk hedges is now valuable habitat for wildlife. (OM)

Ferry Pool: There were two Little Ringed Plovers and four Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with four Avocets, 14 Shelduck (before they all flew of west) and six Redshank. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Black-tailed Godwits & Avocet and Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Bar-tailed Godwit was in the harbour, along with two Curlew, two Dunlin and a few Ringed Plovers, and there was plenty of Little and Common Tern activity around the island. There were also two Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour, ten Sandwich Terns flew out, heading west, and a lone Gannet came in from a long way out before heading off east.
The Blackcap by the car-park was singing well, and one or two Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus a Reed Bunting and a few Linnets were along the Several, and two Swifts went over. (AH)
Late morning, one of the Mediterranean Gulls was seen to fly into the Black-headed Gull nesting colony on Tern island, where it joined another Med Gull as if paired....then a third Med was the species breeding here this year? Otherwise, there were four Curlew in the harbour, plus four Little Terns, three Chiffchaffs, a Green Woodpecker and the Cuckoo calling for lengthy periods. (OM)

On a different note, I must mention the efforts of those two old workhorses Bernie Forbes and Dorian Mason, who have volunteered to make improvements to the steps at the back of Norton churchyard... this involves constructing additional steps each side of the wall to make access easier for all - especially those with dodgy knees - so well done guys. (OM) 

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Little Tern, Gannet, Linnet & Shelducks at Church Norton (AH)

 Dorian (left) and Bernie at work.... and taking time out for a short pose (OM)

They do of course need close supervision so I was on hand to ensure all was well (admin only, no physical labour of course)... but unfortunately my pencil broke! (OM)
 The new steps under construction.... not finished yet, but you get the idea (OM)

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