Tuesday, 26 July 2016

26th - 28th July 2016

Thursday, 28th July: A fine, bright and sunny start with a light-moderate W/SW breeze.... but conditions seem set to go downhill later with the promise of increasing cloud and showers and a freshening wind.

One of the interesting aspects of editing this little blog is the ability to track the number of page hits and their country of origin. There seems to have been an notable upsurge of interest lately - despite this being one of the quieter times of the year bird-wise - with a surprising list of countries involved in visiting our site. Analysis shows a great deal of interest from Russia in particular, plus several other European countries to a much lesser degree, so whether this is as a result of a sudden interest in the birds of south-west Sussex - or perhaps a remote machine with a more sinister objective - I cannot be sure, but either way the spam filters seem to be holding out! For the record, apart from the major UK and Russian site visitors, the other countries mainly involved (to a much lesser degree) are the USA, Germany, South Korea, France, Ukraine, Bulgaria, China and Canada. The cynic in me strongly suspects not all site visitors from these countries are genuinely interested in the birds of the Selsey Peninsula - but to those that are, we extend a warm welcome! (OM)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: This morning there was a Green Sandpiper and six Common Sandpipers on the pool, along with three Avocets, four Lapwings, nine Teal and now 25 juvenile Shelduck with their solitary adult attendant.
There two more Common Sandpipers in Ferry Channel, plus around 30 Redshank. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above), Common Sandpiper & Shelducks on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: The Breech Pool was the most interesting it has been for a long time, now that the water has dropped a bit, with a good selection of waders present, including three Ruff (or Reeves!), three Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers, three Spotted Redshank, seven Greenshank, nine Dunlin, 18 Lapwing, 25 Redshank and 44 Black-tailed Godwits.
Also a Water Rail appeared at the back, four Common Terns dropped in, there was plenty of juvenile Reed Warbler activity and a Sparrowhawk, four Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows went over. (AH)
Also there were three Whinchats in the fields behind the Breech Pool later on. (ARK per SOS)

Ruffs (above), Spotted Redshank, Spotted Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits, Water Rail, Dunlin, Greenshank, Common Tern & Reed Warbler along North Wall (AH)

East Side: By contrast White's Creek and the harbour were quiet, with just a Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and c80 Redshank in the former, and six Whimbrel, c50 Curlew and a few scattered Dunlin being the only birds of note in the latter. Also, there was a family party of Jays in Church Lane. (AH)

Common Sandpiper in White's Creek (above) & jay in Church Lane (AH)

Selsey Bill: (1700-1900hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 10E, 61W
Dunlin - 40W (in one flock)
Mediterranean Gull - 245W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 28W
Common Tern - 52W

Church Norton: A Black Tern was dip-feeding in the harbour this evening (presumably the one reported a couple of days ago), and there were still at least 50 Little Terns about, though numbers of Common and Sandwich Terns seemed a bit lower - say 150 and 50 respectively, and there were only a dozen or so Mediterranean Gulls present.
Otherwise there were three Common Sandpipers, a few Whimbrel and c200 Dunlin, that were disturbed from the far side of the harbour, and a Common Gull and three Great Crested Grebes offshore. (AH)

Black Tern (above), Little Terns, Common Terns, Mediterranean Gull & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 27th July: A grey, damp and blustery start with a brisk WSW wind and light drizzly rain....due to brighten later to give sunny spells, cloud and then some showers; in short a typically varied English summer day!

A short note here to welcome Bart Ives who has agreed to give things a go and join the editorial team, hopefully to maintain continuous blog cover when AH and/or OM are absent. There will of course be a settling in period during which time BI will be working on his own submissions before dealing with postings from the regular contributors, but we are pleased to have him aboard. There may perhaps be value in recruiting a fourth person in due course - male or female - so we are still talent spotting! Meanwhile, all submissions please to OM/AH jointly, in the usual way. Many thanks. (OM)

Selsey Bill: (0710-0840hrs) (AH) There was a big westerly movement of Gannets in every conceivable plumage, all close in, along with an assortment of gulls and terns feeding close inshore before all moving off west.
Gannet - 12E, 350W
Mediterranean Gull - 135W
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 6W (ad + 5 juvs)
Common Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 22W
Common Tern - 45W (inc at least 5 juvs)

Gannets past the Bill (AH)

Selsey Village: This evening there were 25 Swifts over the northern edge of Selsey, along with 100 House Martins, 20+ Swallows and 20+ Sand Martins.
Also there were 300 to 350 Mediterranean Gulls moving west in a long strung out flock over Park Farm. (S&SaH)

Ferry  Pool/Ferry Channel: There were 21 Shelduck on the pool, all bar one were juveniles, and 12 Teal, but the only waders were the three Avocets, though there were two Common Sandpipers on the channel opposite. (AH)

Shelduck on Ferry Pool (above) & Common Sandpiper in Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: There were still masses of terns this morning, gradually heading out to sea as the tide dropped. There appeared to be even more Little Terns than of late - the best estimate was a minimum of 65, with 40 or more going up in the same flock a couple of times, and there were at least 300 Common and 150 Sandwich Terns present as well.
In the harbour there were at least six Whimbrel and c30 Dunlin, whilst along the beach there were c20 Turnstone and a few more Dunlin, plus at least 100 Mediterranean Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. (AH)

Sandwich, Little & Common Terns (above), juvenile Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Whimbrel & Turnstone at Church Norton (AH)

This evening all the terns were still about, plus a Common Sandpiper in the harbour, a dozen Gannets offshore and c200 Mediterranean Gulls on the spit at the far western end of the reserve. (AH)

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

Tuesday, 26th July: Another pleasant day, if a little cooler in the westerly breeze with a mix of sunshine and cloud.....

Selsey Bill: (0730-0900hrs) (OM/DF et al)  There was little or nothing passing through over the sea bar a few Gannets, but the main feature was an offshore gathering of Mediterranean Gulls amongst other gull species and smaller numbers of Sandwich Terns. Log below......
Gannet - 4E, 3W, 10 os
Turnstone - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 20 os
Mediterranean Gulls - c.60 os
Swift - 6p
House Martin - 4p  (local breeders)
Sand Martin - a flock of c.20 moved quickly through E

Mediterranean Gull with Black-headed Gull along the shore at the Bill (OM)

Ferry Pool: This morning there was a Yellow-legged Gull on the pool, along with three Common Sandpipers, three Avocets, five Black-tailed Godwits, 16 Shelduck, seven Teal and a family of Pied Wagtails. (AH/OM/DF)
This evening there were four Green Sandpipers together before they flew off. (AH)

Yellow-legged Gull (above), Avocets & juvenile Pied Wagtail on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were still two families (with one and two chicks respectively) of Little Grebes on the pool, and the odd juvenile Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat popped up and a Skylark was singing, but otherwise it is was pretty quiet. 
In Ferry Channel there were a Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers, four Dunlin, six Whimbrel, 25 Curlew and c80 Redshank. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting & juvenile Little Grebe along Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: The big number of terns continues, with at least 300 Common Terns, 150 Sandwich Terns and 40 Little Terns, mainly in the harbour, but with a constant toing and froing over the spit, though Mediterranean Gull numbers barely reached 50 this morning.
Along the beach there were 24 Turnstones, c60 Curlew, c100 Oystercatchers and eight Little Egrets, but the only passerines noted were a few Linnets and a snippet of Blackcap and Chiffchaff song. (AH)

Little Tern (above), Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, mixed terns, Turnstone, Linnet & Grey Herons at Church Norton (AH)

A juvenile Black Tern was reported this afternoon on Birdguides, though I could find no sign of it this evening among the 100+ Common Terns, 40+ Sandwich Terns and 20+ Little Terns that were fishing in the harbour, though there were many more offshore, where there were 40-50 Gannets present again, too. (AH)

Common Tern (above), Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gannet & Gannets viewable over the spit at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Breach viewpoint - There were a few waders present on the mudflats, consisting of 10 Dunlin, six Ringed Plover, 21 Grey Plover, a Whimbrel and six Curlew. Mediterranean Gulls dominated the breach area with a count of 130, whilst amongst the mixed gulls roosting out on the developing saltmarsh there were two Yellow-legged Gulls (an adult and a juvenile). Non-avian highlights included a smart Painted Lady butterfly and a fly-past of three Spitfires. (OM)

At Medmerry east/breach area this morning: distant roosting juvenile and adult Yellow-legged Gulls, Painted Lady and trio of passing Spitfires (OM)


MedmerryEaston Lane to stilt pool - A walk down the west side produced six Green Sandpipers, five Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, four Dunlin, five Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, a Barn Owl, a Buzzard, 30+ Swallows and 14 Sand Martins. There were also three Yellow-legged Gulls but, surprisingly, no Mediterranean Gulls!)  (S&SaH)

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