Tuesday, 28 June 2016

28th - 30th June 2016

Thursday, 30th June: Generally cloudy and changeable with some occasional hints of brightness, a moderate W/SW breeze, below average temperatures and the chance of the odd shower. And as the month draws to a close, the poor summer looks set to continue well into next week......

Chichester GP's - Drayton Pits: Another check for breeding wildfowl produced disappointing results; no sign of any Pochards at all this morning and only one Tufted Duck with a single duckling (and 30 loafing adults) and a female Gadwall with five. This is in stark contrast to last year, so I can only conclude that it is a poor year, unless other late broods suddenly appear in the near future. A Hobby was hunting over the lakes for a short while, four Buzzards were soaring overhead and 25 Swifts were present, but otherwise it was very samey.... a couple of Jays, a Green Woodpecker, three Whitethroats, four Blackcaps, a couple of Chiffchaffs, several families of Reed Warblers and three Reed Buntings. There were however at least 10 Marbled Whites on the wing, several Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies likewise and a couple of orchids which I assume are Pyramidal (OM).

Female Black-tailed Skimmer, loafing Tufted Ducks assuming eclipse plumage and Pyramidal orchid, Drayton GPs (OM)

Selsey Bill (17.15-18.45hrs):  (SH)
Gannet - 15E, 18W    
Common Scoter - 2W
Guillemot - 1W
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 1E, 11W   
Sandwich Tern - 5W

Church Norton: The dynamic duo of BFF/DM were again working on improvements to the site today. Having completed the enlarged steps at the back of the churchyard, they have moved on to improving the steps/handrail to the hide and the boardwalk area, with one or two more small projects yet to come....well done guys. They also found time for a bit of birding, seeing a couple of Whimbrel in the harbour and about 4 Mediterranean Gulls around the Tern island area, plus the usual small numbers of Common and Little Terns (OM).

Ferry Pool: There were eight Redshank and six Shelducks on the pool early this morning, a Whitethroat was singing by the road and a Blackcap singing by the Visitor Centre. (AH)

Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The two juvenile Gadwall were still on the pool along with the Great Crested Grebe family and a juvenile Little Grebe, whilst just the odd Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Linnet were still singing. There were also a Whimbrel and a dozen or so Redshank along Ferry Channel. (AH)

Reed Warbler (above), Linnets, Reed Bunting, Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebe & Whimbrel from Long Pool (AH)

Wednesday, 29th June: Yet another cool, grey, blustery day with the prospect of more heavy rain.....

Selsey Bill: (0715-0815hrs) (AH)
Gannet - 19E, 16W
Common Scoter - 11W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os, then E
Sandwich Tern - 4W
Little Tern - 1W
Common Tern - 1E, 27W

Mediterranean Gull (above), Gannet, Little Tern & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just two Shelducks on the pool and a couple of dozen Swallows over the cows. (AH)

Church Norton: A very unusual sight this morning, in the form of an adult Gannet that came into the harbour over the spit, upsetting everything on Tern Island, and continued the length of the main channel, even disappearing off round the corner towards the Ferry, before returning and departing as it arrived.
Otherwise, there were at least 20 Little Terns, including up to ten feeding in the main channel, similar of Common Tern, and a dozen Sandwich Terns before they drifted off westwards, along with 20+ Curlew and a handful of Turnstones and Ringed Plovers. 
A House Martin feeding around the hide was unusual, but small birds were few, though the Blackcap by the car-park and a Whitethroat and a couple of Linnets along the west side were still singing. (AH)

Unusual views of a Gannet (above), Sandwich Terns & Little Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 28th June: A better start to the day, with lighter winds and a bit of sunshine, but as ever with a westerly airflow, rain is forecast for later....

Ferry Pool: A Curlew dropped in briefly, and there were four Shelduck present, but that was it. (AH/DF)

Shelduck over the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There were a few newly-fledged Swallows on the fence by the barn and four Sand Martins went over west, but the Breech Pool was very quiet, with just a couple of bursts of Sedge and Reed Warbler song and nothing on the pool beyond a Grey Heron, half a dozen Tufted Ducks and a few Mallard. (AH)

Swallows (above) & Grey Heron from North Wall (AH)

There was not much about on White's Creek later on - just a pair of Mute Swans with one cygnet, a Little Egret and three Black Headed Gulls. The Breech Pool held just four Tufted Ducks, a Teal, 20 plus Mallard and 2 Black-tailed Godwits, though Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers were all feeding young along the Wall. 
A Cuckoo was calling long and loud along Pagham Rife, the Mute Swan family were still altogether with their five cygnets on the Rife and there were several Broad-bodied Chasers and dozens of Blue Damselflies about. On Honer reservoir there were three Tufted Ducks, two Little Grebe and a pair of Pied Wagtails. (JDW)

Sedge Warbler (above), Pied Wagtail & Mute Swan family around North Wall (JDW)

East side to Pagham Spit: The harbour was devoid of waders save a couple of Redshank, c20 Curlews and c80 Oystercatchers, plus half a dozen Black-tailed Godwits over., whilst on Pagham Lagoon there were just eight Great Crested Grebes, five Little Grebes and 25 Tufted Duck.
The spit, too, was very quiet except for the odd Skylark, Linnet and Goldfinch, plus a couple of Ringed Plovers, whilst four or five Little Terns were feeding along the channel by their old breeding site, though they were carrying food back towards Tern Island. (AH)

Little Tern (above) & Skylark from Pagham Spit, Curlew & Goldfinch along East side & Great Crested Grebe on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

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