Tuesday 29 May 2018

29th - 31st May 2018

Thursday, 31st MayDull and cloudy with a light-moderate NE breeze, but heavy rain setting in early on to bring a rather dismal end to the month......

Selsey Bill: A typically quiet end to the spring sea-watching season, though, as ever, there were a few bits of interest, including four Avocets that went east early, before returning west, dropping in briefly on the beach, six Sanderlings and 80+ Common Scoters east and a few terns feeding along the strandline. Full log below.....
0645-0915hrs: (C&ME/AH)
Gannet - 81E, 4W
Common Scoter - 86E
Sanderling - 6E
Avocet - 4E, then onto beach, then off W
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 17os

Little Terns (above), Sanderlings and Avocets at the Bill (AH)

C&ME braving the dismal conditions at the Bill (AH)

(1600-1700hrs) (JA)
Gannet - 5E, 3W
Sandwich Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 3os
Swallow - 1N
House Martin - 6p

Ferry Pool: There was not too much about this morning, though there were three Avocets and eight Black-tailed Godwits present, plus the Shelduck family and the families of Lapwings and Redshank. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A very quick look before the rain found 2 Grey Plovers (one in summer plumage), a Whimbrel, a Dunlin and half a dozen Ringed Plovers. There were also 20 or so Black-tailed Godwits around the harbour. (AW)

Grey Plover and Whimbrel in the gloom at Church Norton (AW)

A bit later on a Cuckoo was calling north of the churchyard and there were a few more waders in the harbour, including a dozen Grey Plovers, 20 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Ringed Plovers, c20 Dunlin and a Turnstone, plus a couple of Gadwall and the usual terns. (AH) 

Later still, scanning from the bench and then the hide we had a great time.......with the tide rapidly coming in, we continually scanned the wader flocks counting 12 Black-tailed and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 18 Dunlin, 22 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 11 Curlew, 2 Sanderling and a staggering 15 Little Stints. Initially we found 4 Little Stints in front of the hide as the tide rapidly covered the creeks forcing many of the waders close in. As we scanned the stints more birds joined the feeding flock, with 8, then 12 and finally 15 Little Stints together....the highest count that I have seen in late spring/summer. Also noted were 2 Gadwall and a single Brent Goose, whilst a Cuckoo flew past the hide, and a Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the Blackthorn. Ivan Lang (RSPB warden) confirmed 11 Little Tern pairs were nesting on the Tern island - although several of them were ignoring the sign to nest within the fenced off area! (BFF/DM)

Grey Plovers (above) & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Sidlesham: Early on,  a Yellowhammer was seen along the road through Highleigh. (AW)

Yellowhammer near Highleigh (AW)

North Wall: Really quiet along the Wall today. In the reeds Reed and Sedge Warblers were busy feeding young and Little Egrets were constantly in and out of Owl Copse. The Mute Swans are sitting at Owl Water but the pair on the Breech Pool seem to have given up. Also, the flimsy nest that the Great Crested Grebes built earlier on the Breech Pool has disintegrated, but they have tried again at a new site and this nest looks more sturdy than their previous effort. (JDW)

Great Crested Grebes with a new nest on Breech Pool (JDW)

Wednesday, 30th May: Another cool and murky morning with a light north-easterly breeze, but mostly dry after a damp night....

Selsey Bill: Very little was happening this morning beyond a few Little, Common and Sandwich Terns close in, a few Gannets further out and a few Sanderling and Turnstones along the beach. Full log below..... 
Gannet - 49E, 3W
Grey Heron - 1W
Little Tern - 5os
Common Tern - 9E
Sandwich Tern - 27os
Kittiwake - 2E
Sanderling - 5W
Turnstone - 4p
Swift - 6 p
House Martin - 12 p (local breeders)

Little Tern (above), Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Turnstones & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Northcommon Farm/Warner Lane: There were two Spotted Flycatchers in the hedges on the far side of the playing fields west of 'Flycatcher Corner' this morning. Also a newly-arrived Chiffchaff was singing, a Whitethroat was on territory, a pair of Red-legged Partridges was present in the fields and the Great Spotted Woodpecker nest-hole was active with the sound of young calling from within. The Warner Lane paddocks were quiet, bar a couple of Linnets, a Whitethroat, several Swallows around the stable sheds and  a single Red-legged Partridge. (OM)

Red-legged Partridge at Warner Lane paddocks (OM)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover was at the back, and there were still eight Avocets, four Black-tailed Godwits, the Shelduck family, the three juvenile Lapwings and a couple of pairs the latter and Redshanks with chicks along the edges. 

A Cuckoo was calling distantly from the Tramway, where there were a scattering of Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Linnets, and in the harbour there were a couple of Grey Plovers along with a dozen or so Ringed Plovers and Dunlin. (AH/T-GP)

Little Ringed Plover and Lapwing (above), Redshank and chick, Blackcap & Wren around the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The Cuckoo eventually flew over from the Tramway and was calling from further along the west side, and there were plenty of Reed and Sedge Warblers along the pool, plus a couple of Linnets, Reed Buntings and Whitethroats, whilst a mother Gadwall and ducklings were in the reeds. 

At least three pairs of Lapwings were in the cultivated fields to the west, as were a dozen Stock Doves. (AH)

Cuckoo (above), Sedge Warbler, Gadwall family & Stock Dove around Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Early this morning a group of 20 or so Swifts went over the churchyard, where a Kestrel has been hanging around for the last few days, though in the harbour there were no more than 30 Black-tailed Godwits and no other small waders to be seen. (AW)

Kestrel (above) & Swifts at Church Norton (AW)

Tuesday, 29th May: A fairly cool and grey morning with a fresh north-easterly breeze and intermittent heavy, thundery downpours....

Selsey Bill: Not too much was happening this morning, though a Black Tern and a few Manx Shearwaters passed through, with just a few Little, Common and Sandwich Terns feeding close in and some Gannets further out. Full log below.....
0730-1300hrs: (C&ME/DF/AH)
Fulmar - 1W
Manx Shearwater - 6E, 2W
Gannet - 152E, 14W
Barnacle Geese - 3E (presumably the same birds of unknown origin seen previously)
Common Scoter - 3E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 9E
Sanderling - 3W
Kestrel - 1E
LittleTern - 4os
Black Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 19E
Sandwich Tern - 28os
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1E
Razorbill - 1E, 2W
auk sp - 1W
Swift - 14 p
Swallow - 8N

Sandwich Tern (above), Little Tern, House Martin & Shelduck at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Avocets and c120 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with the Shelduck family and several pairs of Redshank and Lapwing with young apparently nearby, including the three well-grown chicks/juveniles of the latter, and a Stock Dove was in the EA yard. (AH/BFF/DM)

Juvenile Lapwing (above) & Stock Dove at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was not too much about this morning, though there were plenty of Little and Sandwich Terns, plus one or two Common Terns and Mediterranean Gulls, in the harbour, along with c50 Black-tailed and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, whilst most small birds were keeping low, though a couple of Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers sang sparingly, a few Linnets were along the beach and four Swifts went over. (AH/BFF/DM)

Swift (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday 26 May 2018

26th - 28th May 2018

Bank Holiday Monday, 28th MayA very warm and sunny morning, with a light and variable breeze and a bit of light cloud....becoming humid and thundery with the risk of heavy rain.

One of the 20 or so Sanderlings at Church Norton harbour on 26th May (photographed by AW) was ringed on both legs with white over blue bands and with a metal flag on its left leg, and it turns out it was not from Chichester Harbour, but as follows - 
The bird was ringed in or near Iwik village in the Parc Nationale du Banc d'Arguin in Mauretania (West Africa) by Job ten Horn on 31.1.2017, and seen there on on 3rd, 5th and 7th February 2017 by Benjamin Knep and has not been seen again until now. Presumably this bird was on its migration back to the Arctic when seen on our patch - a great record!(Thanks to Anne de Potier.)

Selsey BillThere was an Arctic Skua east, but not much more on the move beyond the local birds. Full log below. (JA/SH/C&ME/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 19E, 1W
Shelduck - 1p
Common Sandpiper - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 10os
Little Tern - 5os
Common Tern - 2os
Swift - 6p
Swallow - 1N
House Martin - 4p

Sandwich Tern & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

(1630-1730hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 1E
Eider - 6os
Common Scoter - 17E
Grey Plover - 5E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Sandwich Tern - 5os
Little Tern - 2os
House Martin - 1p

Eiders off the Bill (SH)

Park Farm Selsey: A Skylark was displaying over Asda and two Buzzards were about. (IP/S&SaH)

Medmerry: A pair of Stonechats were seen with a youngster this afternoon. (IP) This morning the west side produced four Stonechats, two Whitethroats and good numbers of Yellowhammers along the banks but the Stilt Pool was largely quiet, although the Avocets and their chicks seem to be doing well and the flock of Black-tailed Godwits were still in residence.  A Green Woodpecker was in the side of the ditches near Marsh Barn and there were three Buzzards soaring overhead. Only one species of butterfly seen with four Common Blues near Easton viewpoint. (BI)

Common Blue at Medmerry (BI)

Ferry Pool: There were just the now semi-resident species present, including 15 Avocets, c80 Black-tailed Godwits, the Shelduck family, the Lapwing family and a another pair of Lapwings and two of RTedshank that looked like they had chicks hiding in hte vegetation. (AH)

Avocets (above), Black-tailed Godwits & Redshank at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was a Lesser Whitethroat behind the hide this morning, while in the churchyard there were the usual Goldcrests,Chaffinches, Whitethroats and a passing Reed Warbler. There was a Cuckoo calling from Priory Woods, the pair of Canada Geese appeared with six Goslings and I was also entertained for a while by a Stoat bouncing around the churchyard. (AW)

Reed Warbler (above), Lesser Whitethroat, Canada Goose family & Stoat at Church Norton (AH)

In the harbour, later, there were a Whimbrel and four Grey Plovers (IP), two Common Sandpipers flew east along the beach (S&SaH), the Black-tailed Godwit flock was present before it flew off towards the Ferry, a few Little and Sandwich Terns were about, a Lapwing was over the horse fieldand the pair of Swallows were about the hide. (AH) Also visiting birders reported a possible Nightingale near the Mound, but there was no further sightings. 

Swallow (above) & Lapwing at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham East Side: A Cuckoo was along the east side hedges this morning as were two Whitethroats and a few Long-tailed Tits. Less waders out on the mud early on with just a single Greenshank and six Ringed Plovers to note whilst in one of the channels was a single Brent Goose. (BI)

Brent Goose at Pagham (BI)

Sunday, 27th MayRather humid and cloudy at first, following on from thundery showers overnight, becoming sunny and warm by late morning with just a light SW-SE breeze....

Selsey Bill: They think it's all over....well it (almost) is now! A Bonxie and an Arctic Skua saved an otherwise deadly-slow morning over the sea, whilst passerine migrants were non-existent....... Full log below:
Fulmar - 2E, 1W
Gannet - 17E, 7W
Common Scoter - 53E, 8W
Great Skua - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Little Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 5os
Kittiwake - 1W
Swift - 8 p
Swallow - 2N
House Martin - 10+ (local breeders)

Ferry Pool: There were 90 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Avocets, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Ringed Plovers and a summer-plumaged Knot on the pool this morning. The Shelduck family were also present, as were a pair of Lapwings with three well-grown young and 8 Redshanks, including a pair with small young. (OM) 

Church Norton: There were plenty of Ringed Plovers and Dunlin out in the channels this morning, along with a few distant Sanderling, three Bar-tailed Godwits and a couple of Curlews. The hedges and bushes were mainly quiet apart from a few Linnets, a Chiffchaff and two Whitethroats but there were a few more butterflies about at last including Small &  Large Whites, Red Admirals, at least three Holly Blues and a Speckled Wood. (BI)

Whitethroat, above, Linnet, Red Admiral & Speckled Wood at Church Norton (BI)

Pagham East Side: There were two Blackcaps and two Whitethroats along the Slipe Field and a Cuckoo calling nearby but otherwise it was fairly quiet. In the harbour there were c.65 Ringed Plovers, six summer plumage Grey Plovers, c.25 Dunlin and a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits. (BI)

Saturday, 26th May: A mainly bright and breezy day after a cloudy and murky start, with a brisk NE breeze, sunny spells and the risk of isolated thundery showers......

Selsey Bill: It's beginning to feel like it's all over - though it's always still worth a look(!) - but there was little to report today, other than a couple of flocks of Common Terns moving through and a lingering Great Northern Diver. Full log below...
0615-1030hrs: (JA/SH/C&ME/MJ)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 10W
Gannet - 195E, 23W 
Grey Heron - 1E
Common Scoter - 6E, 8os
Whimbrel - 1E
Common Sandpiper - 1E
Sanderling - 16E
Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 79E (one flock)
Sandwich Tern - 14E, 9os       
Swift - 7N,  2p                            
Swallow - 6N,  3p 

Meadow Pipit - 7N  
Linnet - 8N
(Grey Seal - 1os)

Church Norton: There was no sign of the Golden Oriole early this morning, and the only waders of note were 2 Sanderling and 3 Grey Plover. (SH)  In the afternoon there were five Bar-tailed Godwits (JPC) and 20 Sanderlings, including one coloured ringed bird (pink over blue bands on both legs and a metal flag on the left leg), with a mixed flock of Dunlin & Ringed Plovers and the Grey Plover was also still around the channels. (AW)

Mixed wader flock, ringed Sanderling & Grey Plover at Church Norton (AW)

Ferry Pool: A Little Stint was present at the back of the pool this morning, plus 2 Greenshank (KJ) and later on there were also five summer plumage Knot and a Dunlin. (MJ/KJ) This afternoon the five Knot & the Little Stint were still present as was a Ruff, an Avocet, 30+ Black-tailed Godwits, four Dunlin, nine Ringed Plover & a Redshank chick. (JPC) In the evening there was a Greenshank, 11 Redshanks, c.50 Black-tailed Godwits and two Little Ringed Plovers on the pool. (BI)


Knot in summer plumage & Black-tailed Godwit at the Ferry (JPC)

North Wall: There was a Starling creche in the Welbourne horse field with around 120 birds present, mainly juveniles, whilst on the Breech Pool were 3 pairs of Tufted Ducks, a couple of Cormorants and a Great Crested Grebe sitting on a very ramshackle and exposed nest. The flooded field near Homer reservoir has nearly dried up and the field itself has now been harrowed, so consequently there was little to be seen -  just 3 Shelduck, a few Black-headed Gulls and a Lapwing! Presumably the farming disturbance has now moved the Lapwing and Little Ringed Plovers on. On the reservoir itself was a pair of Tufted Duck, and a Cuckoo was calling nearby. Nothing else to report except a lot of Little Egret activity around Owl Copse. (JDW)

        Great Crested Grebe on a rather flimsy nest on the Breech Pool (JDW)

Earlier on the obliging Sedge Warbler was singing away from its bush and there seemed to be more Reed Warblers singing too with at least 10 counted along the wall. There were two Cuckoos present, with the additional bird at Halsey's Farm, and a Common Tern was fishing in a brook nearby. Two Buzzards were towards macrocarpa copse and a Kestrel was hunting here as well. (BI)

Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo & Little Egrets at North Wall (BI)

Medmerry-Earnley: There were up to 8 Spotted Flycatchers along the path and area from Earnley to Marsh Barn mid-morning, plus a Lesser Whitethroat and a number of Yellowhammers and Skylarks. Also, a Rock Pipit on the beach and a female Eider offshore. Also seen were an Emperor dragonfly and a male Beautiful Demoiselle (KJ)

Chichester GPs-Ivy Lake: The Black Swans' brood of cygnets stood at six today. (JPC)

Black Swan & progeny at Ivy Lake (JPC)