Sunday, 10 July 2016

10th - 12th July 2016

Tuesday, 12th July: Cloudy again, with sunny periods and a moderate to fresh westerly breeze, but with the risk of some heavy and thundery showers this afternoon...
Just to round off the views of the times when Selsey was far less developed, I thought readers might like to see an old postcard view of the Selsey East beach area dating from about 1959. This was the year that birding observations really commenced in the area....things must have been so very different then! (OM)

Old postcard view of Selsey Fishing beach (East beach) c.1959 (photo; anon.)

Selsey Bill: (0650-0850hrs) (SR/DF)
Gannet - 9E, 12W
Sanderling - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 13W
Common Tern - 1E, 1W
Commic Tern - 7W
Auk sp - 1W
House Martin - 2p
Chiffchaff - 1p

Church Norton: An update this morning from Tim Calloway (Reserve manager) on the status of our breeding terns was quite encouraging, with up to four pairs of Sandwich Terns nesting in the harbour, and at least one youngster has now fledged. This is probably the first time (certainly in recent years) that the species has bred in Pagham Harbour. 
Also, there are between thirteen and fifteen pairs of Little Terns, with the first three young known to have fledged, and at least that many Common Terns breeding as well. (AH)
This evening there were six Common Sandpipers by the concrete slabs, along with eight Sandwich Terns, including the juvenile, and c30 Redshanks, but not much else on the high tide. (AH)

Common Sandpipers at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: This evening from the Easton Lane end, both of the Barn Owls were out hunting, and also seen were two Green Sandpipers by the second sluice, a Common Sandpiper on the Stilt Pool, 70+ Swifts, 50+ Sand Martins, 30+ Swallows, two House Martins, ten Whitethroats, three Reed Warblers and two Buzzards. (S&SaH)

Barn Owl at Medmerry (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were seven juvenile Little Ringed Plovers - of various ages, but all together - on the pool this morning, along with two juvenile Lapwings, an adult and two juvenile Shelducks, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Teal. (AH)

Little Ringed Plovers (above) & Shelducks on the Ferry (AH)

This evening there were a remarkable ten juvenile Little Ringed Plovers on the pool, plus a Green Sandpiper by the road. (AH)

Green Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There were 37 Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool this morning, along with two Lapwings and a Redshank, and, though all song had ceased, there was still plenty of Reed and Sedge Warbler activity in the reeds. (AH)

Lapwing (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Breach Pool (AH)

East side: There was quite a bit more wader activity this morning along the side of the harbour, including half a dozen Knot (including one in summer-plumage), 35 Grey Plover, three Golden Plover (per TC), at least 300 Dunlin, two Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper and at least 50 Curlews, whilst a couple of Little and Common Terns were feeding along the channel, a couple of Sand Martins went over and a Sparrowhawk shot through. (AH)

Knot (above), with Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Little Terns, Curlew & Sparrowhawk along East side (AH)

Pagham Spit/Lagoon: There were up to ten Little Terns feeding along the channel to the new harbour mouth and several Sandwich Terns were feeding just beyond it, though there was not much else to report save half a dozen Ringed Plovers, a Skylark, a handful of Linnets and 100+ juvenile Starlings.
There was very little of note on the Lagoon - just a few Little Grebes and 50+ Coots. (AH)

Sandwich Tern (above), Little Tern & Starlings from Pagham Spit (AH)

Monday, 11th July: A largely cloudy and dry day but with unseasonably strong W/SW winds gusting to force 6-7, though due to abate somewhat by afternoon.....

Meanwhile, I thought it might be of interest to complete the nostalgic beachfront view of the Bill-tip (see blog for 9th July) with another pre-development pic taken from the Archives. This shot from 1979 shows the open area just west of Bill House garden where a pair of Stonechats used to breed and where migrants were regular; it is very different now having been replaced with a modern housing estate, an all-too-familiar Selsey theme. (OM) (photo: CRJ)

Looking NE from the beach towards Bill House, April 1979. This view shows development just starting on what was a lovely open area (note the bushes and gorse at the back of the field where Stonechats bred). The view is very different today.  (CRJ)

Selsey Bill: (0715-0800hrs(AH)
Gannet - 6W
Common Scoter - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 1W
Common Tern - 1E, 5W

Common Tern past the Bill (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: This evening there were a Kestrel, a Green Woodpecker, eight Pied Wagtails, 12 Swallows, a House Martin and a Sand Martin around/over the farm. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: There were just four Teal and two Shelduck on the Ferry this morning, whilst the Long Pool was also quiet in the strong wind, though there were eight juvenile Gadwall, two very young Little Grebe chicks and the two adult and two juvenile Great Crested Grebes on the water, a couple of Swifts over and c30 Redshank in Ferry Channel. (AH)

Teal on the Ferry (above), juvenile Gadwall & Little Grebe chicks on the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Just one singing Chiffchaff and one singing Reed Warbler this morning, and four House Martins and six Swifts over, whilst in the harbour there was a juvenile Ringed Plover, plus up to ten adults, c30 Dunlin, three Whimbrel, c20 Redshank and Curlew, four Sandwich Terns and still plenty of Common and Little Tern activity around the island. (AH)

Juvenile Ringed Plover (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were ten Little Terns offshore and at least another ten in harbour, along with 20+ Common Terns and six Sandwich Terns. Also there were two Common Sandpipers along concrete spit and a Whimbrel nearby, plus a Sparrowhawk over the Severals. (S&SaH)

Sunday, 10th July: The poor summer continues with cool, damp and windy conditions! A grey and cloudy morning with persistent drizzle and a strong SW wind force 5-6, giving things a very autumnal feel, though with the prospect of brighter conditions later......

Selsey Bill: (0615-0915hrs) (SH/SR/AH/IP)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 19E, 16W
Common Scoter - 22W
Sandwich Tern - 29E, 4W
Little tern - 1E, 5W
Common Tern - 3E
auk sp - 1W
Swift - 2p
Grey seal - 1os

Sandwich Tern (above) & Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)

(1515-1715hrs): (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 2W (1610hrs)
Gannet - 7E, 12W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 12W
Little Tern - 1os
Common Tern - 4W
Guillemot - 1os

Arctic Skua past the Bill (SH)

Park Farm, Selsey: This morning there was a Grey Partridge present, along with a Sparrowhawk, eight Swifts, 20+ Swallows and seven Pied Wagtails. (S&SaH)

Pagham village: There were 63 Swifts moving westwards over the village at 0810 this morning. (JDW)

Ferry Pool: There were two juvenile Lapwing, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Redshank, five Teal and two Shelduck around the fast-diminishing pool this morning. (AH)

Juvenile Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: In the harbour there were six Whimbrels, 20+ Curlews, a Common Sandpiper, 10+ Dunlin and Ringed Plover, a Mediterranean Gull, five Sandwich Terns and the usual Little and Common Tern activity around the island, with a briefly singing Chiffchaff on the Mound being about the only passerine revealing its presence. (AH)
Along Rectory Lane, a pair of Red-legged Partridges were present with their young (IL) 

Common Sandpiper (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

 (below) juvenile Red-legged Partridges at Rectory Lane, Church Norton (IL)

Later in the harbour there was a Grey Plover and six Sandwich Terns, with a single Gannet offshore and a Sparrowhawk and 20 Swifts went over. (S&SaH)
This evening there were eight Sandwich Terns, including the juvenile, 15 Common Terns and c30 Dunlin roosting by the concrete blocks, with a Mediterranean Gull. c30 Redshank, , two Whimbrel and half a dozen Little Terns around the harbour. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Little Tern, Common Terns & Redshanks at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - Fairly quiet in the westerly wind but there were a few Linnets, Yellowhammers & Skylarks about along the path and on the fence lines. There were five Grey Herons and nine Little Egrets from the first viewpoint along with two Avocets and a mix of commoner gulls. 
Four separate Reed Warblers were calling on the way down, along with a Reed Bunting and at the pools a family of Mute Swans, a family of Canada Geese, plenty of Black-headed Gulls, two Avocets and a Little Ringed Plover were about. Also, there were three Stock Doves and thirteen Great Black-backed Gulls on the marsh opposite. A number of butterflies were about, too, including Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper & Essex Skipper, plus plenty of Six-spotted Burnet Moths, too. (BI)

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