Tuesday, 13 June 2017

13th - 15th June 2017

Thursday, 15th June: The fine spell continues, with more or less unbroken blue skies, though the westerly breeze was fresher than yesterday....

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern showed quite well out on the mud to visiting birders at 7am, and was then not seen again till 10.30 (and again 20 minutes later) (per JDW). 
Settling down on the Inner Beach  we enjoyed watching the Elegant Tern flying around the island for well over an hour. It was frequently dropping down out of sight into the Sandwich Tern colony for short periods before setting of on one of its flying sorties. At around 1150hrs it flew out towards Selsey Bill. We stayed on until 1510hrs, having no further sightings.(BFF)
It finally re-appeared at around 6.15pm and was then on more or less on continuous show around the island for the next hour, regularly, if unsuccessfully, chasing Sandwich Terns carrying fish. (AH)

Distant views of the Elegant Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Otherwise there were plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns along with 50+ Mediterranean Gulls, and also three Curlews were seen.

Not much was seen in the bushes beyond a couple of Whitethroats, a Reed Bunting and a few Linnets,  half a dozen Swifts went over the first Several, and a Tawny Owl called from Priory Wood.

Also a Comma and a Holly Blue were on the wing, along with plenty of Speckled Woods.(AH et al)

Mediterranean Gull (above), Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Curlew & Comma at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning, with just a few Sandwich and Common Terns going west and a few Gannets further offshore, plus the usual ten or so House Martins gathering mud. Log below.......
0715-0830hrs: (AH/OM)
Gannet - 10E, 6W
Common Scoter - 4E
Common Tern - 8W / os
Sandwich Tern - 24W / os (none with orange bills!!)
House Martin - 10+ local birds

Sandwich Terns (above) & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

AH in action, topping up dried-up puddles in the Grafton Rd car park - so that the local House Martins can continue to nest-build. (OM)

Ferry Pool: There were still two pairs of attendant parent Redshanks and one of Lapwing at the front, though no young were seen, whilst another half a dozen Lapwings, plus the Shelduck were loafing at the back. (AH)

Shelduck-lings (above) & Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Wednesday, 14th June: Another fine summery day, with prolonged periods of sunshine and blue skies, but feeling perhaps a tad cooler on the coast with the wind having turned to the E/SE.......

Just to let you know that the trip to Tern Island went very smoothly, with lots of young Gulls and Terns observed. The fence was untangled and now has a reasonable electrical current running through it. Unfortunately, the cameras seemed to have stopped working on the night of the storm so probably no footage of the Elegant Tern is available, but I will look through what there is. The Elegant Tern lifted off the island when we arrived and settled on the mud and promptly returned to the island after we left. Thanks to everyone for your patience. (IL, Warden)

Sandwich Tern with young on Tern island (IL)

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern was still present early this morning, but flew out to sea, presumably to go fishing, at 06.50....
It was present again late morning (per BirdGuides)

 (above) Elegant Tern and (below) Sandwich Tern, ink-stained by squid (both pic's 12th June, Baz Scampion)

The Elegant Tern returned after the RSPB visit and showed well in flight from c1445-1505 and then landed on the edge of the Peregrine's island for about ten minutes before returning and disappearing into its usual spot on the island. Also a Brent Goose flew around the island. (AB)

The mass of terns and gulls over Tern Island as the RSPB land (AB)

Amazingly, at 6.15pm there was no-one looking for the Elegant Tern, though a small number of people did arrive subsequently, but the bird refused to show by 7.30pm. (AH et al)

Calm restored at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey Bill: Not too much was going on this morning, but a selection of the regular species were still about. (C&ME)
Fulmar - 2E, 2W
Gannet - 63E, 2W
Common Scoter - 56E
Black-headed Gull - 48os
Kittiwake - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 42os
Common Tern - 9os
auk sp - 3E
Swift - 2p
Swallow - 1p
House Martin - 7p
Pied Wagtail - 1p

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: At least one Redshank chick, plus four adults were present on the pool this morning, plus the Shelduck family, four Lapwings and 24 Black-tailed Godwits.
Along the Long Pool there were several singing Whitethroats, Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus a couple of Reed Buntings and half a dozen Linnets, but not much else of note. (AH)

Redshank chick (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above) & Linnet along Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm to Chainbridge - There were still at least three singing Corn Buntings around the banks at Ham Farm this morning, along with 20+ Skylarks, a few Linnets and at least four Whitethroats, plus a couple of Reed Warblers in the reeds of the ponds, and another in the ditches near Chainbridge, where a Lesser Whitethroat also called.
There were also four Stock Doves and half a dozen Yellowhammers along Ham Road. (AH)

Corn Buntings (above), Yellowhammer, Stock Dove, Skylark & Whitethroat at Medmerry (AH)

Tuesday, 13th June: A lovely summer's day, with almost unbroken sunshine and a light south-westerly breeze....

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern was still on the island, but only showing occasionally to the 100+ observers present again today.
Also of note, our open secret can finally be printed - namely that the pair of Peregrines that wintered in the harbour liked it so much that they have stayed on to breed, with two well-grown chicks seemingly doing well.
Otherwise, the Little, Common and Sandwich Terns continue to be busy, and at least 50 Mediterranean Gulls were around the island again, and a Cuckoo was sat out along the west side. (AH/CRJ/JF) 
A Little Stint was also present on the mud mid-afternoon today. (PH)

Peregrine (above), Sandwich and Little Terns & this morning's gathering at Church Norton (AH)

This evening the Elegant Tern was still present, but mostly keeping low on the island, and at least 50 Mediterranean Gulls left the island heading west. (AH/CRJ)
Earlier it couldn't be found, though a Peregrine was seen taking food to its young, two Gannets were offshore and a huge flock of 38 Long-tailed Tits, with a single juvenile Chiffchaff among them, were moving about the trees. (S&SaH)
The Elegant Tern did finally fly around the harbour for five minutes at 8.30pm! (CRJ)

Sandwich Tern (above), Mediterranean Gulls & loafing terns and gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey Bill: A couple of surprises this morning - a flock of four Arctic Skuas - three dark-phase and one light-phase - went by, and a Reed Warbler was singing in the Bill House garden. Full log below......
0700-1200hrs:  (C&ME/DF et al)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 5E, 2W
Little Egret - 1E
Eider  - 1os                       
Common Scoter - 17E
Turnstone - 1ob
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 2os
Sandwich Tern - 22os
Arctic Skua - 4E (1025hrs)
Great Skua - 1W (1105hrs)
auk sp - 1W
Reed Warbler - 1 singing, Bill House garden             
Swallow - 3 area                      
House Martin  - 6 area (local nests)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two Jays and a Lapwing around the farm this evening. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: At least one Redshank chick was at the front, plus four adults and a couple of Lapwings looking equally anxious, plus 14 of the latter loafing at the back, along with the Shelduck family. Also a Reed Warbler was in the reeds at the front. (AH)

Reed Warbler (above), Redshank chick & Shelduck family at the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was pretty much 'all the usual suspects' this morning, with plenty of Yellowhammers, Skylarks, Whitethroats and Linnets along the banks, plus a few Reed Warblers in the ditches, Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings in the bushes, a few Stock Doves on the buildings and a couple of pairs of Lapwings in the path-side pools.
Around the Stilt Pool there were an adult Little Ringed Plover and two young, an adult with one young, plus another adult on the islands, at least five Avocet families and the Oystercatcher pair with three well-grown young, along with a pair of Ringed Plovers, a Redshank and eight Gadwall. 
There were also plenty of Meadow Browns, Common Blues and Six-spot Burnet moths on the wing. (AH)
Also, a Turtle Dove was reported from wires on the road to Bracklesham Bay (presumably Ham or Easton Lane) (A. Colyer per SOS)

Little Ringed Plover chick, Avocet chick, Oystercatcher family, Avocet and Oystercatcher border dispute, Lapwing, Reed Warbler, Yellowhammer, skylark & eadow Brown at Medmerry (AH)

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