Thursday, 22 June 2017

22nd - 24th June 2017

Saturday, 24th June: A complete contrast to just a few days ago, with a blustery westerly, intermittent heavy drizzle and cool under the heavy cloud.....

Selsey Bill: (0630-0830hrs) (SH/PB/AH/SR)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 6E, 22W
Common Scoter - 24E, 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 9os
Common Tern - 13os 
Little Tern - 1os
(1330-1500hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 3E, 11W
Shag - 1W
Common Scoter - 2E
Common Tern - 7os
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Kittiwake - 1W

Fulmar (above), Gannet & Common Tern past the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: The two immature drake Eiders were offshore from the Bluebell Wood this morning. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: There were ten Black-tailed Godwits at the back with the Shelduck family and the ever-anxious Lapwings and Redshanks were at the front, though the chicks weren't visible. (AH)

Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: there was a Greenshank, a Redshank, 44 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Lapwing, two Curlews, seven Teal, a Gadwall and four Tufted Ducks on the Breech Pool, a couple of Common Terns drifted over and there was still Reed and Sedge Warbler song from the reeds despite the conditions.
There were a Shelduck family with seven ducklings, and another half a dozen Curlew and Lapwing in White's Creek, plus a lone Black-tailed Godwit, but that was about it. 
Also, a Pyramidal Orchid was along the lower path of the North Wall. (AH)

Greenshank (above), Shelduck family, Curlew, Teal and Black-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwits & Pyramidal Orchid along North Wall (AH)

Ivy Lake: A quick look this morning produced ten Common Terns and at least 15 Great Crested Grebes, but no hirundines, whilst a drake Pochard was on Nunnery Lake and a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and a Reed Warbler all sang sporadically. (AH)

Common Tern (above) & Pochard at Ivy Lake (AH)

A look at Ivy Lake a little later, in the heavy rain, produced the Black Swan family of parents and three cygnets, 24 Great Crested Grebes, three Common Terns, seven Gadwall,  two families of Coot,  c40 Canada Geese including one odd hybrid and 9 Swallows, a few House Martins and Swifts. 
Copse Lake had singing Sedge Warblers, a Cetti's Warbler, two juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 17 Greylag Geese, the Bar-headed Goose, two  Great Crested Grebes, 22 Canada Geese and 20 feeding Swallows. (SR)

Black Swan family on Ivy Lake (SR)

Selsey: There were a Pine Hawk-moth and another Eyed Hawk-moth in the trap this morning. (SH)

Pine Hawk-moth (above) & Eyed Hawk-moth in a Selsey garden (SH)

Friday, 23d June: A more typically English summer's day, with a brisk westerly wind, plenty of cloud and the odd sunny spell.....

Ferry Pool: The Redshank and Lapwing chicks were still at the front, along with their parents, but there was not much else beyond the fast-growing Shelduck family, a family of Mallards and a pair of Avocets. (AH)

Church Norton: Both a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were singing, but passerine activity was hard to detect in the windy conditions, though a couple of Skylarks were on the spit. There was still plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Tern activity, along with 20+ Mediterranean Gulls and numerous young Black-headed Gulls, but the only waders noted were a dozen widely spread Curlews. (AH)

Common Terns (above), Sandwich Terns & Holly Blue at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon a Whimbrel flew out of Ferry Channel, calling as it went, and the Little and Common Terns were showing well. (J-PC)

Little Terns (above) & Common Tern at Church Norton (J-PC)

Medmerry, Easton Lane area: A very blustery wind this morning was keeping the birds down but there were still three Reed Warblers singing occasionally from the ditches, a Reed Bunting by the sluice and a few Yellowhammers along the paths. The Essex Skipper butterfly colony near the car park seems to be doing well and elsewhere along the banks were a few Small Skippers and plenty of flighty Meadow Browns. (BI) 

Thursday, 22nd June: A cool and grey start was followed by a glimpse of the sun before a thunder storm rolled through.....

Selsey Bill: (1630-1730hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 5E, 2W
Arctic Skua - 1os (l/p)
Bonxie - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 9os
Common Tern - 19os
Little Tern - 4os

Ferry Pool: A Greenshank was on the pool early on, before flying into the harbour, and there were also two Avocets, three Black-tailed Godwits, the Shelduck family and the parent Redshanks and Lapwing. (AH)

Greenshank (above)& Avocet of the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: No sign of the Spotted Redshank this morning, though the Snipe, half a dozen Teal and the Black-tailed Godwit flock were all still on the Breech Pool. (OM)

Church Norton and west side: There was still plenty of activity around Tern Island and at least 30 Mediterranean Gulls were in the harbour, along with a dozen or more Curlews and a couple of Ringed Plovers.
It was fairly quiet along the west side, though two or three Reed Buntings, Whitethroats and Linnets were about, a Reed Warbler still singing in Reedy Marsh, and a Greenshank (presumably the one from the Ferry) was with about 20 Redshank at the end of Ferry Channel. (AH)

Little Tern (above), Reed Bunting, Linnet & Meadow Brown at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - This evening there were 40 Mediterranean Gulls of all ages on the fields, a Pied Wagtail carrying food and a singing Yellowhammer nearby and c30 Swifts, c50 Swallows and c100 House Martins over the settling tanks. (AH)

Mediterranean Gulls (above), Yellowhammer & Pied Wagtail at Porthole Farm (AH)

Monday, 19 June 2017

19th - 21st June 2017

Wednesday, 21st June: Another scorcher - warm and sunny, little or no cloud and a welcome moderate easterly breeze -  on 'midsummer day' with its longest hours of daylight......

Church Norton: There was no sign of the Elegant Tern (0600-0815) although there was much activity in the colony on Tern island, with at least ten Little Tern chicks seen. Nearby, the Peregrine family of two adults and two young were present on their island. There were also a few Ringed Plovers displaying and several Curlews. (PB).
There were still no reports of 'ET' by 1300hrs.

Elegant Tern UPDATE: An ad. male Elegant Tern has now been found at Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, Dorset, as from news on colour-rings yet, but it surely has to be the Pagham bird.....(per RBA)

North Wall/Breech Pool: Mid-summer day it may be, but there were clear signs this morning that return wader passage is already underway......on the Breech Pool there was a newly-arrived and splendidly summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank roosting amongst 82 Black-tailed Godwits, with a Snipe close by, whilst a party of four Whimbrel were on the saltmarsh together with 10+ Curlews. The pool also held eight Teal (all but one drakes) in varying stages of moult, a couple of Cetti's Warblers and at least two family groups of Reed Warbler, plus snatches of song from Sedge Warbler.
When the area was quiet, a doe Roe Deer with two small fawns appeared for a drink, before melting back into the reeds at the first sign of a dog-walker. (OM)

 Breech Pool this morning: (top) sleeping Spotted Redshank with Black-tailed Godwits, (above) Greenshank, (lower) Snipe and (bottom) Roe Deer and fawns (OM)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: At the Ferry there were just 2 Lapwings, 6 Redshank and a few Shelduck, whilst on the Long Pool a Mute Swan was on its nest with 4 fluffy cygnets and an egg; also c3 Whitethroats and a Reed Bunting present. (PB)
Also, hte Lapwing and Redshank were at the front of the Ferry early on, and the Gadwall family of seven ducklings were on the Long Pool. (AH)

Lapwing and Redshank chicks & Redshank parent on the Ferry (above), Gadwall ducklings & Whitethroat along Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: It was predictably quiet as might be expected on a hot, sultry day, with just a male Cuckoo, c.5 Yellowhammers and a few Stock Doves of note. (PB) 

Itchenor/West Itchenor: Around the pond were 5 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Treecreepers, a Yellowhammer, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Swallow, 2 Mallards with 2 ducklings and yes - the first blackberry of the autumn!
At the Harbour Master's Office I found 6 active House Martin nests, compared to 8 this time last year and 9 in 2015.... all are using artificial nests.(SR)

Surely of note on such a date..... the first Blackberry(!) at Itchenor  (SR)

Tuesday, 20th June........And more of the same as the mini-heatwave goes and sunny, cloudless blue skies and a very light south-easterly breeze.

Church Norton: We spent five hrs watching from the Inner Beach & then the hide at Church Norton today without any signs of the Elegant Tern. Don't think any one else is claiming they had seen it, up to when we left at 1330 hrs. There was an identification crisis when a group of birders claimed they had found a Roseate Tern sitting on the mudflats on the falling tide.....which in fact was a 1st summer Common Tern with a black bill.....!
Plenty of young Black-headed Gulls were all around the island with baby Little Terns visible at the southern end, whilst stacks of Common and Sandwich Terns were also feeding on and around the island. The  Peregrine adults with two young were mobile around the harbour; also 6 Curlew present with 15 Knot that flew around the island and then departed north, high. (BFF/DIS)
LATE NEWS: Info from the Visitor centre that the Elegant Tern was again present on the mudflats and was photographed at 15.50hrs by John Palmer/Steve Roby  (per BO'D)....

Elegant Tern at Church Norton late afternoon, below, (AW) 

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper was with eight Redshanks at the back this early morning, along with an Avocet and the Shelduck family, whilst the attentive Redshank and Lapwing parents were still at the front. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above) & young Shelducks on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Another Green Sandpiper shot out of the ditches opposite the second sluice early this morning, whilst there were several families of Whitethroats along the banks, plus the usual Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Yellowhammers ,and a dozen Lapwings.
There were two families of Little Ringed Plovers and at least five of Avocets on the Stilt Pool, along with pairs of Ringed Plover and Redshank behaving as though chicks were nearby. There were also a family of Shelducks (10 ducklings!), five Gadwall, three pairs of Tufted Ducks and four Little Egrets, whilst a pair of Common Terns dropped in briefly. (AH)

Little Ringed Plovers (above), Ringed Plover, Common Tern, Whitethroat, Skylark, Avocet chick & Avocets seeing off a Little Egret at Medmerry (AH)

Monday, 19th June: Another sweltering hot summer's day, though with just a hint more breeze than yesterday.....

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern was reported as flying out to sea early this morning, and though it was reported on Birdguides/RBA as present during the morning, neither it, nor the Roseate Tern, were seen by those gathered in the usual viewing spot by midday.
There was still no sign of either the Elegant or Roseate Terns by 1645hrs.....(RBA)
Beyond the activity on Tern Island and the Peregrines nearby, though, there was little to report beyond a Common Sandpiper and a couple of Curlews and Ringed Plovers in the harbour and a few Swallows over, with the bushes all but silent. (AH/OM/CRJ et al)

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

There was still no sign of either 'rare' tern this evening, though a first-summer Little Gull was in the harbour (with quite a full black head, so presumably not the one present ten days ago), along with 100+ Mediterranean Gulls, five Turnstones and similar of Ringed Plovers. (AH/AW et al)

Little Gull (above), with Black-headed Gull, mating Sandwich Terns, Shelduck, Sandwich Terns and Mediterranean Gulls & Turnstones at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: The two pairs of Redshank and pair of Lapwing with chicks were still present, along with the Shelduck family and two Avocets this morning. (AH/IL)

Redshanks (above), Lapwing & Avocet at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall area: On an ebbing tide, White's Creek held nine Mute Swans and two Little Egrets, whilst, with water levels  much down on Breech Pool, there were 74 Black-tailed Godwits, nine Lapwing, 55 Mallard, four Tufted Duck, four Teal, a Shelduck and two Cormorants present. Along the Wall and Pagham Rife Reed Warblers were busily and quietly feeding young, and also, Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies were together along Pagham Rife. 
A Cuckoo calling at Honer reservoir, with a Common Sandpiper, a pair of Shelduck with five young and three Tufted Duck also present,  Common Whitethroats and Linnets were feeding young along Honer Lane, a steady procession of Little Egrets to and fro Owl Copse and there were three Stock Doves in Pagham churchyard this morning. (JDW)

Common Sandpiper (above), Shelduck family, Little Egret & Black-tailed Skimmer around North Wall (JDW)

Selsey: An Elephant hawk-moth was present in a local trap this morning.
Three immature male Eiders were off the eastern edge of the town (Park Lane) this evening. (SH)

Elephant hawk-moth, Selsey (SH)