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)

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