Wednesday, 1 June 2016

1st - 3rd June 2016

Friday, 3rd JuneThe strong northerly wind finally abated somewhat this morning, though it remained cool and very grey.....

Selsey Bill: Most surprising this morning were two different singing Reed Warblers - one in the gardens and one in the trees on the Oval Field, with the distinct possibility of another (third) bird nearby, though there were no other indications of migration. 
Offshore a single Brent Goose went east, five Whimbrel went west and a few Swifts came in over the sea, whilst 200 Gannets moved east and a few Little, Common and Sandwich Terns were feeding close in. Full log below.....
0700-1145hrs:  (Obs: C&ME/SR/OM/AH)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 201E, 23W
Brent Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - 4E, 8W
Whimbrel - 5W
Razorbill - 3W
auk sp - 3E, 6W
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 5os
Commic Tern - 6E
Sandwich Tern - 21os mostly drifted E
Swift - 23N
Swallow - 4p
House Martin - 12+ area, still collecting mud
Whitethroat - 1 gardens (on territory)
Reed Warbler - 2+ gardens

Whimbrels (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Gannet, House Martin & Whitethroat at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Avocets, four Redshank and six Shelduck were on the pool this morning. (AH)

Lapwing & Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A look along the west side at high tide produced 14 Black-tailed Godwits, six Grey Plover and a Whimbrel, but the smaller waders were roosting elsewhere!
There were still half a dozen or more Little and Common Terns busy around the island, but landbirds were few, though a couple of Skylarks, a Meadow Pipit and a few Linnets were along the west side, plus a couple of sparsely singing Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats, and a dozen Swifts went over northwards. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above), Grey Plovers, Whimbrel and Grey Plover, Meadow Pipit & Skylark at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: At least ten Yellowhammers were coming and going to the dungheap in the horse paddocks, and a couple of Blackcaps and up to three Chiffchaffs were singing from the hedgerows. The tide was still high on my visit with no muddy edges visible, so apart from a few Oystercatchers there were no waders; however, eleven Brent Geese  - presumably summering birds - were hunkered in roosting amongst a flock of Mute Swans in the far end channel (near Fishbourne). It was not possible to accurately count the swans, but c.120 is a fair estimate, whilst other species included 14 Canada Geese, 6 Little Egrets and a Lesser Black-backed Gull (OM).

Thursday, 2nd June: Still unseasonably cool with a stiff northerly and cloud, but dry with a hint of brighter conditions later.....

Selsey Bill: (0700-1000hrs) (C&ME/SR/PC)
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar - 2E, 3W
Gannet - 63E, 15W

Common Scoter - 5E
Common Tern - 6os
LittleTern - 4os

Sandhich Tern - 18os
Razorbill - 3E
auk sp - 11W

Swift - 9N

Gannets (above) & Common Tern at the Bill (CE)

Selsey: There were at least fifty Swifts heading northwards over the north of the town just after dawn this morning. (SH)

Church Norton: A quick look around midday found a group of birders waiting for the Kentish Plover that had not thus far appeared on the falling tide, though the Little Stint was present again, along with 50+ Ringed Plovers and 20+ Dunlin, half a dozen Little and Common Terns and two Great Crested Grebes, a Chiffchaff was singing by the Mound and thirty Swifts went over. (AH/C&ME)

Distant Little Stint and Dunlin (above), Chiffchaff, Ringed Plover & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Avocets and 24 Shelduck were on the pool early this morning, a Nightingale, three Blackcaps and a couple of Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats were singing around the Tramway circuit, though none wanted to show, and at least forty Swifts went over north. (AH)

Avocets and Shelducks on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Not much to be seen in the cold wind early on, though 22 Stock Doves were in the fields and three or four Redshanks were displaying around the edges, and a few Swifts were feeding overhead. (AH)

Swift (above) & Stock Doves from Long Pool (AH)


Wednesday, 1st June: Not exactly seasonal weather again today, with a cold and strong northerly still blowing, and heavy cloud cover, though at least it was dry......

Pom King 2016 - John Faithfull (left, with hat!)
With the last day of the spring sea-watching now over, this year's Pom King can now be declared.... and as anticipated it is John Faithfull (from Hants), with a winning score of 61 birds. John has been a stalwart of spring at the Bill for about the last thirty years, but despite coming moderately close a couple of times, has never really been anywhere near challenging for the title (not aided by his social activities at his local hostelry or his birthdate of 1st May!) What has changed this year is the fact he has now retired and so was able to put in some long shifts on good Pom days - though remarkably he missed the first ten birds on 21st April, including the splendid flock of nine. So, a worthy winner and long overdue - well done John.

(John becomes the 12th different title holder since the competition was founded in 1979).

Six of the flock of nine Pomarine Skuas passing the Bill on 21st April (photo D.Mason) - the Pom King managed to miss this lot but still went on to achieve a winning total.

Selsey Bill: Very similar to previous days, with three Manx Shearwaters and a few Fulmars west, a steady trickle of Gannets east and a few Little, Common and Sandwich Terns lingering offshore. Full log below..... (OM/C&ME/AH)
0700-1000hrs: (Obs: C&ME/OM/AH)
Fulmar - 6W
Gannet - 66E, 14W
Manx Shearwater - 3W
Mallard - 3 locals os/area
Razorbill - 1E, 7W
auk sp - 2W
Red-legged Partridge - 1 gardens
Little Tern - 5os
Common Tern - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 12os

Fulmars (above), Gannets, Sandwich Tern & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: The Kentish Plover was still present, right out in the harbour beyond Tern Island, along with a few Ringed Plovers, until a hunting Peregrine displaced them all, also putting up at least seven Little Terns from the island. There were a few Common and Sandwich Terns about, too, and a Cuckoo was calling from Priory Wood, but there was not much else to report. (AH/IL et al)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Hobby went over this evening. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Avocets and ten Shelduck present this morning. (AH)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)
Medmerry (east side): Breach viewpoint - There was just a single Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper on the mudflats, with 26 Oystercatchers for company (two noisy pairs and a roosting flock of 22). Otherwise, a singing Corn Bunting in the weedy long grass area was about the best, with a Meadow Pipit and a Skylark nearby (OM).

Corn Bunting singing at Medmerry breach (OM)

Chichester GPs: A quick look at Westhampnett Pit at lunchtime produced c100 Swifts, c200 House Martins and two Common Terns, whilst an early evening look at Ivy Lake produced 500+ Swifts and c300 House Martins, though just a few dozen Swallows, along with a Common Tern and a Cetti's Warbler calling right by the roadside. (AH)

Swift & House Martin over Ivy Lake (AH)

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