Sunday, 17 July 2016

17th - 19th July 2016

Tuesday, 19th July: Still very hot, but for once the breeze was welcome under bright blue skies....

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Ferry was devoid of waders this morning, with just two Teal and six juvenile Shelduck present.
In Ferry Channel there were at least seven Common Sandpipers, two Avocets, two Whimbrel and c40 Redshank, but it was quiet along the Long Pool, with just a couple of young Little Grebe chicks of note. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Avocets in Ferry Channel, Little Grebe chicks on Long Pool, juvenile Shelducks on the Ferry & an idea of how little water remains within it (AH)

This evening there were three Green Sandpipers on the pool. (AH)

Green Sandpipers on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Nothing much to report beyond a lot of Little, Common and Sandwich Tern activity, a few Skylarks and Linnets along the path to the spit, with two Swifts and a few Swallows over, and two or three Whimbrel and 10+ Curlews on the mud. (AH)

Skylarks (above) & Common Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey:  There were 100+ Sand Martins with a few Swallows and House Martins mixed in over park farm this evening, and a dozen Mediterranean Gulls over the north of the village. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Fifteen members of the SOS for the walk down the west side of Medmerry, with a very nice SE cooling breeze coming in off the sea, though temperatures were 28C. We found plenty of singing Yellowhammer coming from gorse bushes with a few Linnets and pair of Greenfinches. 
On the mudflats plenty of roosting gulls were found although identifying many of them was made tricky as we were looking into the bright sunshine. Several Mediterranean Gulls were coming in from the west passing close by to join the roosting flocks. Out over the farmland we noted several Stock Doves, a Kestrel and a distant Common Buzzard. A nice gathering of mainly Sand Martins were hawing insects with some resting on fence lines, estimating perhaps 100 birds with a smaller number of Swallows. On the Stilt Pools a pair of Little Ringed Plover were still active plus two Common Sandpipers. All the breeding Avocets had moved off leaving moulting Mallard , Tufted Duck & Canada Geese. 
Opposite the Still pools a juvenile Yellow Wagtail dropped in briefly with a few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. (BFF & the SOS)

North Wall: Much like the last few days, very little about. From the end of Church Lane to the Salthouse there were 70 House Sparrows, and on the Breech Pool there were 29 Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, 30+ Mallard and a solitary Teal. 
The Mute Swan family and their five cygnets are still doing well on Pagham Rife, and the field edges along the Rife are full of thistles and sow thistles which attracted dozens of Goldfinches and butterflies, notably Meadow Browns, Skippers, Commas and Red Admirals. A Kestrel swooped and caught a small rodent alongside Honer reservoir where there was a Tufted Duck with a single duckling and a Little Grebe, whilst there were15 Little Grebes and three Grey Herons  roosting on the small island in front of Owl Copse. (JDW)

Mute Swan family (above), Kestrel, wild flowers & Comma around North Wall (JDW)

East side: Nothing much in the harbour this morning, with half a dozen Whimbrel, Curlew and Dunlin, plus 80 or so Redshank being the only waders on show, and not much of anything else either beyond half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and Swifts over. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Redshanks & Mediterranean Gull from the East side (AH)

Monday, 18th July: Another very warm and humid day with only a slight breeze and plenty of hazy sunshine.....

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: There were six Little Ringed Plovers, four Black-tailed Godwits, a juvenile Avocet, six Lapwings, four juvenile Shelduck and seven Teal this morning.
There were three Common Sandpipers and c20 Redshanks in the channel opposite the pool this morning, plus a family of Long-tailed Tits in the bushes nearby. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above), juvenile Sheduck & Long-tailed Tit at the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: A Little Owl was again visible from the B2145 early this morning - this time by 'Littleton Barn', south of the garage. (SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It would seem as if yesterday evening's huge gathering of Sand Martins went overnight - it was a still night with a full moon - because this morning there were barely 100, plus similar of Swallows around the area.

There was a juvenile Stonechat (and possibly another nearby) by the car-park, along the banks and hedges there were plenty of Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler and several juvenile Willow Warblers, with several Reed Warblers still singing in the ditches.

The Little Owl showed briefly before retreating at Marsh Farm, a Green Sandpiper was by hte first sluice and there were plenty of Stock Doves about. 

On the Stilt Pool there were three Common Sandpipers, at least five Little Ringed Plovers, two adults and a juvenile Avocet, a Common Tern, an adult and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and six Sandwich Terns, including a juvenile, and out on the reserve two Peregrines put everything up, including a Greenshank and a dozen Dunlin. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Stock Doves, juvenile Sandwich Tern, Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls, Common Tern & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

This evening one of the Barn Owls was out hunting at 8.15, a Green Sandpiper flew out from the first sluice, where there was also a Common Tern. The Stilt Pool held three Green Sandpipers, four Common Sandpipers, seven Dunlin and three Little Ringed Plovers, and there was plenty of Yellowhammer and Skylark song throughout. (SR) 

Church Norton: A quick look mid-morning produced 30+ Sandwich Terns and probably similar of Little and Common Terns, at least eight Whimbrel, c20 Curlew and c70 Redshank. (AH)

Whimbrel (above) & Redshanks at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey: There was a big gathering of several hundred each of Mediterranean, Black-headed and Herring Gulls over the north of Selsey this afternoon feeding on flying ants, with a few Swifts up above them. (S&SaH)

Sunday, 17th July: A very warm, muggy day with heavy cloud and a light breeze.....

Selsey Bill: A dark-phase Arctic Skua went east quite close in, and then it, or another, was chasing terns well offshore. Otherwise there were a few Common and Sandwich Terns and Gannets offshore and a few hirundines moving west. Full log below. (SH/SR/AH)
Gannet - 12E (inc one carrying a fish), 5W
Common Scoter - 9W
Arctic Skua - 2E (both d/p)
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 9W (inc a juvenile bird)
Common Tern - 8E, 7E, 26os
Little tern - 3W, 4os
Swift - 14S, 28p
House Martin - 19p 

Swallow - 63W, 3p
Sand Martin - 20W
Pied Wagtail - 2p

Arctic Skua (above), Sandwich Tern & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were six Little Ringed Plovers, an Avocet and a Common Sandpiper early on. (SH) Later on there were eight Little Ringed Plovers, four Avocets, a Green Sandpiper and seven Teal present, two Greenshank flew over west and a Whitethroat was in the hedge. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Teal & Whitethroat at the Ferry (AH)

This evening there were four Green Sandpipers on the pool and c40 Black-tailed Godwits flew out from the harbour and back again, save two that settled on the pool. (AH)

Green Sandpipers (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Ferry Channel/Long Pool: There were a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank at the road end this morning, along with four Common Sandpipers, c30 Redshank and two juvenile Gadwall. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank, juvenile Gadwalls & squabbling Common Sandpipers along Ferry Channel (AH)

This evening the Spotted Redshank was again present in the channel, along with at least five Common Sandpipers, five Avocets, 12 Little Egrets, two Whimbrel, a dozen Curlews and c30 Redshank.
Eight Sand Martins went over the Long Pool and there were a dozen juvenile Long-tailed Tits and a few Whitethroats in the bushes and the regular juvenile Gadwalls, Little and Great Crested Grebes on the water. (AH)

Long-tailed Tit (above) & Linnet along Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Possibly as many as 200 terns came up from Tern Island and surrounding area twice while we were there, with at least 100 Common Terns among them, though there were plenty of Little and Sandwich Terns among them, including five juveniles of the latter. 

There were also two Buzzards, two Jays, a flock of 20 Long-tailed Tits and a calling Water Rail around the first Several, and there were still five Mute Swan cygnets growing well and one or two juvenile Little Grebes on the second Several. (S&SaH) 
There were also three Whimbrel in the harbour and two Grey Partridges between Park Farm and Greenlease Farm. (IP)

Miixed terns and gulls (above), Little Grebes & Mute Swans at Church Norton (SH)

Medmerry: Northcommon Farm - Chainbridge - Breach - Ham - A long walk for not too much this morning! It was very quiet all the way to the Breach, with just the odd Linnet, Whitethroat and Skylark to show, and the Breach itself was very empty - the only waders present being a Curlew and three Ringed Plovers, plus two Sandwich Terns and a Mediterranean Gull east along the beach.
There were juvenile Meadow Pipits at the Breach and also Ham Farm, but Corn Buntings were few and hard to find at the latter - with just the odd snippet of song and flight views, though several Reed Warblers were singing and a few Sand Martins and Swallows went over westwards. (AH)

Juvenile & adult Meadow Pipits (above) & Skylark at Medmerry (AH)

Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Highlights of a walk down this morning included 300+ Mediterranean Gulls on the fields, a Whinchat, juvenile Common and Sandwich Terns, five Little Ringed Plovers and three Common Sandpipers on the Stilt Pool and a Marbled White along the banks. (RJS/A&YF)

Mid afternoon I wandered into a gathering of 250 + Sand Martins near the Stilt Pool, with c100 sitting in the dust of the gravel path, another 50-100 on the fence wires, and at least 100 gathered very closely together on a small clump of reeds at the waters edge, and I was able to get surprisingly close before they scattered then re-grouped. (GT)

This evening numbers had increased to 1000+ Sand Martins around the Stilt pool. Almost like a swarm of bees they were so tightly packed. (T. Roe)

Sand Martins at Medmerry (T. Roe)

This evening there were still at least 1000 Sand Martins around the Stilt Pool, along with three Common Sandpipers, an Avocet, a Ringed Plover with a chick, two adults and a juvenile Sandwich Tern, a Green Sandpiper by the first sluice, and c50 Mediterranean Gulls about the area. (S&SaH)

Sand Martins at Medmerry (SH)

Itchenor Village Pond: No Tree-creepers today, though there was a Blackcap feeding two young, four Chiffchaffs, a Song Thrush, a few Goldcrests and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. In the field beyond were 14 Swallows, a Whitethroat, a singing Skylark, a Buzzard, at least 12 Yellowhammers plus a Marbled White butterfly. (SR)

Birdham Pool: Again very little on offer, just two Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe, a Little Egret, two Grey Herons, two Swallows and five recently-hatched Mallard ducklings. (SR)

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