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)

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