Thursday, 7 July 2016

7th - 9th July 2016

Saturday, 9th July: Quite a mild morning, but still with a strong south-westerly breeze and generally heavy cloud cover....though dry with a few sunny spells too.

Selsey Bill: (0615-0715hrs) (SH/JA)
Gannet - 8E, 12W
Common Scoter - 1E
Common Tern - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 2W
auk sp - 1W

0735-1035hrs: (OM)  cloud, SW5-6
Gannet - 15E, 26W
Oystercatcher - 3E
Whimbrel - 3W
Little Tern - 4W, 5os
Common Tern - 10os
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 5W
House Martin - 4 p (local breeders)

(1500-1715hrs): (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Gannet - 8E, 20W
Whimbrel - 2W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Common Tern - 1E, 9W, 3os
Sandwich Tern - 8W

Little Tern - 2E
Swift - 1W
Sand Martin - 5W

Grey Seal (female) - 1os

Panoramic view of the gardens at the Bill-tip today, looking west. The land in front of the bungalows (roughly centre) was formerly an open field used for grazing horses, but it has long since been developed, as has much of the surrounding area. Even so, these long beach-front vegetated gardens still form a valuable habitat for wildlife and are attractive to migrant birds. Most of the householders retain some bird-friendly areas and also make allowances for us birders peering into their private gardens - for which we are very grateful. (OM)

By way of comparison, part of the same view in 1983, taken from The Archives. Note the open field and the large detached house to the right.... this was demolished to make way for the bungalows and other dwellings in the modern view above. Some parts of the view look similar, but the old field was usually good for migrants in its heyday, especially chats and pipits, though I recall it also pulled in a couple of shrikes and other goodies. (OM) 

Ferry Pool: Just five Teal and four Shelducks this morning! (AH/OM)

Long Pool: There were two Sedge Warblers and several Reed Warblers singing early on, and several families of Whitethroat about, whilst there were around eight young Gadwall and the two great Crested Grebe young on the pool. There were also about 80 Redshank and a dozen Curlew in Ferry Channel, plus a couple of Lapwings and a few Swifts over. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Warbler, Great Crested Grebes and Redshank around Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Continuing the run of recent 'chat records, a female Whinchat - a different bird to last week's one - was on the first Several this morning, along with a Whitethroat and a couple of Linnets, with two Buzzards over.
The juvenile Sandwich Tern was in the harbour along with half a dozen adults and plenty of Little and Common Terns going to and from Tern Island, and there were quite a few juvenile Black-headed Gulls out on the mud. There were also two Common Sandpipers, 42 Dunlin, four Whimbrel and 10+ Curlew and Ringed Plover in the harbour, and two Mediterranean Gulls offshore.
There were up to ten House Martins around the hide area, five Sand Martins went over south and a few Swifts and Swallows were also present.
The five Mute Swan cygnets were still thriving on the second Several, as were at least four Little Grebe chicks.
There was also a Magpie moth along the path to the harbour. (AH/S&SaH)

Whinchat (above), Sandwich Tern, juvenile Little Grebe, juvenile Blackbird, Dunlin & Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey: At Park Farm there were two Sparrowhawks and eight Pied Wagtails, with numerous juvenile Starlings eating the cherries by the Selsey Centre in the north of the village. Also our log-keeper, JA, had some interesting moths in his trap last night in the village. (S&SaH)

Starling (above), Elephant Hawk-moth, Poplar Hawk-moth & Buff-tip at Selsey (AH)

North Wall: Early this morning (0530-0600!) there were 19 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper and 2 Greenshank, plus 2 Stock Doves  (CG/N.Mustard)

 Greenshank and Common Sandpiper, North Wall (CG)

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: A fairly brief visit to make a check on the breeding wildfowl met with some success when at last a breeding Pochard was located - a female with three young. There were also four (possibly five) broods of Tufted Duck and another brood of Gadwall was located when a female appeared with ten small young. Three Black-tailed Godwits flew over looking to settle, but with no muddy edges anywhere they moved on westwards. Otherwise it was much the same with a few Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps giving the odd burst of song, an agitated pair of Green Woodpeckers was also present and a few Swifts, Sand and House Martins. (OM)

Female Pochard with young on Drayton pits (OM)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the stilt Pool - This evening there were a Greenshank, two Green Sandpipers, three Redshank and five Grey Herons around the second sluice, whilst around the Stilt Pool there were two Little Ringed Plovers, two Common Sandpipers, three juvenile Avocets and two roosting Common Terns. (IP)

Sidlesham: Around 40 Swifts and 60 Swallows, with about half a dozen Sand Martins among them, over our garden this evening. (AH)

Swift (above) & Sand Martin over Sidlesham (AH)

Friday, 8th July: Another very grey and cool morning, with heavy cloud and a blustery westerly wind, though with the promise of a little more sunshine later....

Selsey Bill: (0655-0805hrs) (AH/SR)
Gannet - c25os
Common Scoter - 28E
Common Tern - 12os
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 5W
Little Tern - 2W
Swift - 5p (os)

Sandwich Tern being chased by Herring Gulls (above), Little Tern & Little Terns and Black-headed Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just four Black-tailed Godwits, two Teal and four Shelduck on the pool this morning. (AH)
A Green Sandpiper was on the pool this evening. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Predictably quiet, though the trusty Chiffchaff and Blackcap were still singing by the car-park, and at least ten Swifts went over. In the harbour there were three Whimbrel and a few Curlews and Ringed Plovers, plus a scattering of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns, whilst along the beach on the very low tide there were at least a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and similar of Little Egret and Curlew. (AH)

Whimbrel (above) & Mediterranean Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Itchenor/Birdham: A look in less than ideal conditions around the Itchenor Village Pond failed to find the Tree-creepers, though there were Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Goldcrests, Jay and a Green Woodpecker present in quite a promising-looking bit of woodland.
A quick look at Birdham Pool produced two Common Terns, a Kingfisher flying across the water, ten Swifts, a Little Egret, four Little Grebes and 20+ juvenile Mallards. (AH)

Common Tern (above) & Kingfisher at Birdham Pool (AH)

Thursday, 7th July: A pleasant enough, if not exactly summery, day, with a modest westerly breeze and generally heavy cloud cover keeping the temperature down......with frequent (but irritating) light showers, contrary to the forecast!

Selsey Bill: (0800-1000hrs) (C&ME)
Gannet - 14E, 7W
Common Scoter - 4E, 11W
Oystercatcher - 5W
Dunlin - 25W
Common Tern - 18os
Sandwich Tern - 21os
Little Tern - 16os
Swift - 4p

Ferry Pool: There were six Avocets (one adult and five juveniles) on the pool this morning, along with five Black-tailed Godwits, four Teal and two Shelduck (AH/OM/BFF)
Also, two Common Sandpipers were in the channel opposite the Ferry late this morning. (S. Harrington)

Avocets (above) & Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Northcommon Farm to Chainbridge and the Breach - Fairly quiet along the hedges and banks, with a scattering of Whitethroats, Skylarks, Linnets and Reed Buntings being about the sum, plus a juvenile Green Woodpecker, a singing Reed Warbler and a couple of Meadow Pipits by the Chainbridge.
Around the breach there were a couple of Little Terns in the channel and a couple of Sandwich Terns offshore, along with a single Mediterranean Gull and a few Great Black-backed Gulls among 4-500 Herring Gulls around the fishing boats, whilst the only waders seen were three ringed Plovers, two Curlews and four Oystercatchers. (AH)
Also, later in the morning a Corn Bunting was singing between Chainbridge and Ham. (S. Harrington)

Ringed Plover (above), Curlew, Little Tern, Green Woodpecker, Skylark & Herring Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: There were a dozen or so Sandwich Terns (including two juveniles) out on the mud, with similar of Little and Common Tern around the island, and also five Mediterranean Gulls. Waders included a couple of Whimbrel, 20+ Curlews, 12 Dunlin and a handful of Ringed Plovers.
It was very quiet on the landside, with just the occasional Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Reed Bunting venturing into song, and most things, save the odd Reed Bunting and Linnet remaining unseen. (AH/OM/BFF)

Whimbrels (above), Sandwich Terns, Common Tern and Mediterranean Gulls & Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: On the Breech Pool there were 21 Black-tailed Godwits and five Lapwings amongst the roosting Mallards and Tufted Ducks, with a fishing Common Tern nearby. The regular Sedge and Reed Warblers were present, plus singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff in the background. Out in the harbour were a few waders which included 30 Curlew, 14+ Grey Plovers, a Greenshank, up to 4 Whimbrel and several Dunlin. Twenty Little Egrets were roosting in the usual spot on the saltmarsh, whilst just two Sand Martins flew through, and a Common Sandpiper and a lone juvenile Black-headed Gull were at the sluice in White's creek. (OM/BFF)

 Juvenile Black-headed Gull and roost of Little Egrets on the North Wall (OM)

Fishbourne Creek: Not too much on offer this morning. Four Mediterranean Gulls were present amongst the many roosting Black-headed and Herring Gulls, whilst a Greenshank and 35 Curlew were feeding in the channel and saltmarsh. Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaff were still singing occasionally as were several Yellowhammers. (OM/BFF)

Itchenor: Village Pond (LNR):  One species we often struggle to see in other parts of the Peninsula seemed reasonably plentiful in the Alder carr behind the pond; there were easily 3+ Treecreepers flitting about.  Also a family of Blackcaps with 2 others singing, 4 Chiffchaffs, a Whitethroat, Song Thrush, a Buzzard, 3 House Martins and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  On the pond itself just 3 Mallards and a family of newly hatched Moorhens.  

I checked out the House Martin nests at the Quay and found 8 occupied and a further 5 artificial nests not being used.  This compares to 9 active nests in 2015.  One natural nest at Haines Boatyard was unusual, having an entrance at the side and a slot-shaped exit at the front; the bird was flying in through the side then exiting via the front. (SR)

Long Pool: This evening there were four Swifts feeding  over the pool, a Sparrowhawk was in the maize field, eight Lapwings went over, there were c80 Redshank around Ferry Channel and several hundred immature Starlings along the hedges. (AH)

Lapwings (above), Redshanks & Starlings from the Long Pool (AH)

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