Friday, 16 June 2017

16th - 18th June 2017

Sunday, 18th June: Another warm, or even hot, summery day in prospect, with unbroken blue skies, prolonged sunshine and a very light SE breeze......

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern was still present this morning, and the Roseate Tern was also re-located in the colony on Tern island but, though it did sit out a couple of times, it remained elusive.
The Elegant Tern showed out on the mud from around 7-7.30 and again from just before 11am, though it remained out of sight for long periods to frustrate the continuing pilgrimage of bird-watchers from far and wide.
Also there were several Curlews in the harbour, 30+ Mediterranean Gulls around the island and a singing Chiffchaff and Blackcap, but generally it was quiet on the landside.(AH/S&SaH/BI/A&YF/RJS et al)

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

Roseate Tern at Church Norton, below, (pic David Darrell Lambert)

Ferry Pool: Two Avocets flew off from the pool early on, leaving just a pair of Redshank and a lone Lapwing. (AH)

Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Selsey Bill: With what is usually the quietest time of the year bird-wise now upon us, and the prospect of a beach-full of week-end bathers and sun-worshippers heading to the Bill area, most if not all sensible birders might be expected to be absent today. This being the case, I include below the following item of interest which has just come my aerial photo of the Bill-tip. Taken several years ago (Chichester Observer) it graphically shows how little habitat and green space is now left at the Bill - and consequently how precious and valuable those spaces now are - with the Oval Field, Bill House and a few seafront gardens standing out as green oases amongst a sea of houses. (OM)

Aerial view of Selsey Bill in recent times (circa 2011?) showing how little green space now survives (OM: photo Chichester Observer)

Selsey/Park Farm: A pair of Pied Wagtails plus a juvenile were present around the farm area this morning, and the first family of Swallows had fledged from the stables. Also, to the north of the town, at least one family of rooftop-nesting Herring Gulls was doing well. Also, a Privet Hawk-moth was present this morning in my local moth-trap. (SH)

 Pied Wagtail at Park Farm, Herring Gull family on rooftops, and Privet Hawk-moth at Selsey (SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A good morning included twelve singing Reed Warblers, a couple of Sedge Warblers, two Yellowhammers, many Skylarks, a male Stonechat and a Barn Owl out hunting (there were two out last night), two Buzzards, a Kestrel, two Roe Deer, three Hares, two  Foxes and another lighter coloured buzzard on my way home. (TR)

Reed Warbler (above), Stonechat, Buzzards, Skylark, Brown Hares, Foxes & Roe Deer at Medmerry (TR)

Pagham Spit:  A Green Sandpiper flew over the spit this morning. (TG) 

North Wall: There were two Cuckoos behind the North Wall this evening. (IB)

Saturday, 17th June: Summer...clear blue skies, warm sunshine and just a light W/SW breeze......

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern is still present, showing through the morning on and off in what has now become its regular pattern.
It was still present early evening, though mostly on the island. (AH)

There was also an unconfirmed report (at present) of a Roseate Tern again, plus a possible pale Honey Buzzard over, mobbed by a crow (per IL)....
Also, at least one Yellowhammer was heard singing this morning from the Reedy Marsh area - a formerly traditional site where they have mostly disappeared in recent years. (MO-W)

There are still many birders attending to see 'ET' and it appears there were some difficulties early this morning when the Church Norton car-park became obstructed with inconsiderately-parked vehicles, preventing church volunteers getting access. Please park in the visitor centre car park and walk... many thanks. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: 0845-1015hrs: With a flat calm sea, the lightest of breezes and bright sunshine it was never likely to produce much bird-wise, and so it turned out. The main hope was that 'ET' might appear briefly on a fishing trip and so get added to my Bill list, but alas no joy. All I managed were: Gannet - 6E & 5os, Eider - 1os, Common Tern - 2os and Sandwich Tern - 15os, plus the usual group of c.10 House Martins (OM).

Ferry Pool: The attentive Redshank and Lapwing parents were still watching over their chicks at the front, and a Little Ringed Plover was at the back, plus the Shelduck family. 
Around the Tramway area there were a couple of Blackcaps, a couple of Chiffchaffs and plenty of Whitethroats singing quite well (with a family of fledged young of the latter out and about, too), plus a Reed Warbler in Red Barn Ditch. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Redshank and Lapwing parents, Chiffchaff & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There appeared to be only one duckling left from the first Gadwall brood, but there was another newly hatched family of seven ducklings nearby. There was plenty of Reed and Sedge Warbler song along the pool (plus a fledged family of the latter, too), along with several Linnets and a couple of Reed Buntings. (AH/MO-W)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Warbler & Gadwall family along Long Pool (AH)

Selsey: A splendid Eyed Hawk-moth was in the trap this morning. (SH)

Eyed Hawk-moth in a Selsey garden (SH)

Chichester GPs: An evening visit to Ivy Lake complex produced the following - 
Ivy Lake -  A pair of Black Swans have had breeding success,with at least three very small cygnets that they were keeping well in to the reeds near the chalets.  A pair of Coots had one small chick and there were three more small families.  Also present was a Common Tern, c30 Great Crested Grebes with two couples displaying, calling Cettis Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers. 
Nunnery Lake - A pair of Mute Swans with three cygnets.
Deep Lake -  Three Moorhen chicks
West Lake - Mute Swans with seven cygnets, Black-headed gulls nesting on the top of the electricity pylons and more around the base with at least four chicksand two juvenile Coots.
New Lake - A Pochard with four ducklings, two families of Tufted Ducks, one with five chicks, one with four, and a Mallard with six ducklings.  The raft that previously had nesting gulls now just seemed to have roosting Cormorants. (SR)

Friday, 16th June: Continuing fine and dry, with sunshine and a moderate to brisk westerly breeze, but more cloud today.....

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern was still present this morning. (per Birdguides).

Selsey Bill: (0715-0945hrs) (C&ME)
Manx Shearwater - 4E (together)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 3E, 18W
Common Scoter - 10E
Curlew - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Common Tern - 4os
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1E
swift - 2p

Ferry Pool: Both a Lapwing chick and a Redshank chick were down by the road, and there were also two Avocets, five Black-tailed Godwits, plus the Shelduck family on the pool. (AH/SR)

Lapwing chick (above), Avocets & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall and East Side: There were 74 Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool, plus four Tufted Ducks and a few Mallard, with a bit of Reed and Sedge Warbler singing audible in the strong breeze. Also a Cuckoo was heard from the trees beyond the stables, and a pair of Common Terns were fishing, briefly, in Whites Creek. 
Therre were very few waders in the harbour - just a dozen or so Curlews, 20+ Oystercatchers and a couple of Ringed Plovers, and the bushes were equally quiet beyond a couple of Whitethroats, though a Lesser Whitethroat was rattling away towards the Lagoon. (AH/PC)

Common Tern (above), Black-tailed Godwits & Curlew from North Wall (AH)

Pagham SpitOn the Lagoon there were just a family of Mute Swans, 20+ Coots, some with young, and half a dozen each of Tufted Duck and Great Crested Grebe.
Out in the harbour from the spit the two adult Peregrines could be seen, three Mediterranean Gulls went over and there was still plenty of activity over Tern Island, whilst on the spit there were two or three pairs of Skylarks and Linnets, but not much else beyond a handful of Little Terns busy feeding in the harbour mouth. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Sandwich Tern, Peregrines, Mediterranean Gulls, Skylark & Mute Swans around Pagham Spit

Chi GPs – Drayton Pits: Disappointingly there was no sign of any duck broods (excepting two lots of Mallard), despite the presence of several drake Pochard and small numbers of Tufted Duck – however it is still a bit early yet and I’m still quite hopeful there will be some success later. Otherwise not too much to report; a pair of Buzzards were very active, as were a pair of Jays, 10 Gadwall, 38 Canada Geese, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Cetti’s Warblers, 8 Reed Warblers giving bursts of song, several Reed Buntings, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and a pair of Bullfinches. Over the lakes there were a dozen House Martins and 20 Swifts. Non-avian highlights included at least 10 Marbled White butterflies on the wing and several Pyramidal orchids. (OM)

 Marbled White and Pyramidal orchid at Drayton GPs (OM)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - This evening there was an interesting selection of Gulls - namely, four Lesser- Black-backed, two Great Black-backed, c40 Black-headed, c25 Herring and, most numerous, c75 Mediterranean - on the new;y cropped fields, but no sign of any Lapwings, sadly.

Over the settling tanks were c50 Swifts, c100 Swallows, c200 House Martins and at least 100 juvenile Starlings. (AH)

Mediterranean Gulls (above), Mediterranean and Lesser Black-backed Gull & Starlings at Porthole Farm (AH)


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