Wednesday, 4 July 2018

4th - 6th July 2018

Friday, 6th July: A very warm morning, with more or less unbroken sunshine and only a light westerly breeze.....

Ferry Pool: There were two Common Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover on the pool this morning, along with five Avocets, plus the chick and half a dozen or so Lapwings, Black-tailed Godwits and Teal. (AH) (One of the parent Avocets - I think - has an orange ring on each leg, possibly with faded letters/numbers thereon....despite zooming up the scope I couldn't discern the details, so if anyone can do better or get a close photo, please advise) (OM)

Avocets (above), Little Ringed Plover & Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: It was decidedly quieter than of late, with less Reed and Sedge Warbler song, though a couple of Linnets and Reed Buntings were singing and a Skylark was seen carrying food. 
An adult and young Little Grebe were on the pool, but there were just c50 Redshank, plus a few Lapwings and Curlews along Ferry Channel. (AH)

Lapwing (above) & Skylark from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: The seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese were out in the harbour again this morning before they dropped into one of the channels out of sight as the tide fell. (TB) There was the usual tern and Black-headed Gull activity late morning, and at one time 24+ Little Terns all took to the air at once in a 'dread' for no obvious reason. Two Whimbrel and 20+ Curlew were out on the mudflats but there was little else of note.
UPDATE: I spoke to the warden (IL) this morning, who informed me that a very recent count on and around the island produced 568 fledged juvenile Black-headed and eight juvenile Mediterranean Gulls. There were eight fledged Little Terns (though a couple of pairs of late nesters are still present) and just a single Common Tern juvenile, whilst Sandwich Terns currently have about eight fledged juveniles. There is the possibility of some predation when the young leave the safety of the compound to join their parents and be fed on the sandbanks. These will not be the final figures, but at least it gives an indication. (OM, per IL)

North Wall: The two Spotted Redshanks and a Greenshank were on the Breech Pool early on, but flew off before 0800hrs. (TG)  There wasn't much to report thereafter - just a few Black-tailed Godwits, several Lapwings, half a dozen Teal, a Common Tern feeding and two Sand Martins with a few Swallows over the fields. Along White's creek two Greenshank were feeding and calling quite often amongst 20 Black-tailed Godwits, plus a Whimbrel nearby. The usual Swallows were present and a few Reed Warblers and a couple of Whitethroats still gave occasional bursts of song, but it was all rather subdued in the warm weather. (OM)

East side: On the low tide, there were 86 Curlew, two Whimbrels, 20 Redshank,and an adult-type Yellow-legged Gull in the harbour, with a Red Kite being bombed by an Oystercatcher, and a Whitethroat was still in song along the side. (ARK per SOS).

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - Along the banks and ditches there were a couple of families of Whitethroats, several singing Reed Warblers and the usual scattering of Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Linnets, plus a few Sand Martins over, whilst there were three Green Sandpipers on one of the outlying pools.
Around the Stilt Pool there were a pair of Avocets with two large chicks and another half a dozen loafing juveniles, along with four Little Ringed Plovers, including one juvenile, four Common Sandpipers, four Dunlin, ten Lapwing and c50 Black-tailed Godwits, plus a Common Tern, with another and two Sandwich Terns offshore. Also, c25 Sand Martins and a few Swallows dropped in to feed, with a couple of Swifts over the beach and a flock of c20 Swallows headed so far out to sea that they were lost to view.
Two Brown Hares were in the fenced area around the Stilt Pool, whilst along the banks there were a lot of dragonflies, including Emperors, Broad-bodied Chasers and Black-tailed Skimmers and lots of Gatekeepers, Meadow Brown and Small Skippers. (AH/BO'D)

Whitethroats (above), Yellowhammer, Linnet, Sand Martin, Common Tern, Common Sandpiper, Brown Hare & Broad-bodied Chaser at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 5th July: After a cooler and very murky start, a warm and mostly sunny morning beneath some white cloud with a moderate westerly breeze....

The Selsey Peninsula Bird Checklist has been updated - not before time some might say - and shows the current full species total now standing at 340 (subject to acceptance of the Elegant and Royal Terns). The updated list can be found by clicking the link on the title bar. (OM)

Selsey Bill: (1645-1800hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 10E, 10W
Sandwich Tern - 25 os
Common Tern - 2os

Ferry Pool: It was fairly quiet early on, though a Common Sandpiper was on the pool again, along with four Avocets, plus the very young chick, along with a couple of Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings and around a dozen Teal. (AH/AW/MO-W)

Avocet and chick (above AH, below AW) & Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were still several noisy Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers about this morning, along with the odd Linnet, Reed Bunting and Whitethroat, whilst in Ferry Channel there were c40 Redshanks, a few Teal and the mother Shelduck with now seven ducklings, with a Whimbrel and ten Curlews at the far end. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Shelduck-ling & Redshank from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Early on, the seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese were out in the harbour together (AW), but could not be re-found as the tide dropped. Otherwise there were plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns (including c75 of the latter), plus a few Mediterranean Gulls, and waders included a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and 30+ Curlews, though beyond the Swallows around the hide and a Swift over, small birds were more or less absent. (AW/AH/MO-W)

Pale-bellied Brents in the murky conditions this morning (AW)
Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Whimbrel & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were two Knot in the harbour, whilst a juvenile Sandwich Tern and the 1st-summer Common Tern were also out on the mud with the adult terns. (AW)

Knot and Mediterranean Gulls at Church Norton (AW)

North Wall: An evening visit...where the water level on the Breech Pool has now dropped massively -  presumably due to extraction from the rife to water the fields - and of note there were 2 Spotted Redshanks, 24 Black-tailed Godwits and a dozen Teal, whilst a flock of 70 Sand Martins passed through. Two Greenshank were in White's Creek and the harbour, whilst the near-adult Yellow-legged Gull was in is usual position for loafing, but it did wander about for a short while on the salt-marsh. Best for me was the Barn Owl (actually a year tick!) which appeared just before 8.45pm, hunting the fields to the north of the pool in the last of the evening sunlight. (OM)

above - phone-scoped record shot of the Yellow-legged Gull (centre) and below - sunset over the Breech Pool (OM)

Wednesday, 4th July: A slightly cooler and much greyer start to the day, with a lighter easterly breeze....though the cloud soon breaking and warm sunshine coming through.

This will be of interest to most of us and was sent by Jeroen Reneerkens, who organises the Sanderling ringing programme......I think we may now expect an early return wader passage! (Eds)
"It is early July, and most Arctic shorebirds are on their breeding grounds now. I have just returned from Zackenberg in northeast Greenland, and it appeared to be a non-breeding season, which I have never experienced before. It looks like hardly any shorebirds will breed this year along the entire east coast of Greenland, so I would already like to ask for your help to document the (extent of the) effects of this odd Arctic summer by counting the number of juvenile and adult Sanderlings when they have returned from the Arctic. Here you can read more about what I witnessed in the last half of June in Greenland, and please feel free to share this link within your networks."

Ferry Pool: A Spotted Redshank and a Common Sandpiper were on the pool this morning, along with four Avocets, five Black-tailed Godwits, 35 Lapwing, six Redshank and 15 Teal. (AH)
This lunchtime the Ruddy Shelduck was on the Ferry Pool along with 50 Redshank, 40 Lapwing and 35 Black-tailed Godwits. Also an Avocet pair were guarding a chick, indicating that the adult brooding for the last few weeks has had at least one. Unfortunately a herd of cows broke into the pool disturbing many of the birds including the Ruddy Shelduck.(AW) 

Spotted Redshank (above) & Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

 On the Ferry pool: Avocet with chick, Ruddy Shelduck, and the latter with Avocets and Lapwings. (AW)

Long Pool: There was still a bit of Reed and Sedge Warbler song, plus the odd Whitethroat and Reed Bunting along the pool, whilst in Ferry Channel there was a mother Shelduck and eight ducklings, a mother Mute Swan and three cygnets, ten Teal and about 50 Redshank, with two Whimbrel and c30 Curlews at the far end. Also, a Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank flew over. (AH)
This afternoon there was an adult Spoonbill roosting at the far end of Ferry Channel. (AB)

Whitethroat (above), Shelduck-lings & Whimbrel, Redshank and Curlews from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Early this morning there were four Pale-bellied Brent Geese in the harbour - presumably part of the group seen a couple of days ago.
Also out in the channel there were at least 100 Curlew, many of whom gradually moved off, along with a Greenshank, a couple of Black-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel. (AW)

Pale-bellied Brent Geese (above), Greenshank & Curlews at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon all seven Pale-bellied Brent geese were feeding in the harbour near Tern Island, (AB), and later on there were a Knot, a Whimbrel and three Turnstones present (S&SaH).

North Wall/East Side: The Ruddy Shelduck popped up out of the creeks in the harbour briefly this morning, but was mostly out of view, and what was probably an adult Yellow-legged Gull (though it never showed its legs!) nearby. Also, an Avocet was in White's Creek, c30 Black-tailed Godwits were out on the mud, a family of Canada Geese were in the channel, a Stock Dove was feeding on the sea-weed and about a dozen young Swallows were around the trees along the East side.
A Spotted Redshank dropped into the back of the Breech Pool, where there were also half a dozen Godwits, whilst overhead a few Swifts, a couple of Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows were feeding. (AH/PC/JDW/IH et al)
Later on this afternoon there were three Spotted Redshank and two Snipe with the Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool and two Avocets in the harbour, but no sign of the Ruddy Shelduck on the high tide. (AB)

Ruddy Shelduck (above), Stock Dove, Swallow, Black-headed Gull & Canada Geese around the North Wall (AH)

Pagham Beach: A Common Sandpiper was along Pagham Beach this afternoon, heard on a botanical walk, and there were still a few Childling Pinks in flower out along the shingle. (CRJ)

Park Farm, Selsey: This evening there was a Yellow Wagtail among 20+ Pied Wagtails on the lettuce fields, along with at least ten Mediterranean Gulls, with a Buzzard over. 

This morning in the moth-trap, nearby on the north of the village there were three Elephant Hawk-moths and a Peppered Moth.(S&SaH)

Elephant Hawk-moths (above) & Peppered Moth in a Selsey moth-trap (SH)

Chi GPs - Drayton House pits: A visit this morning to check on the breeding situation found the two female Pochards with young and a female Tufted with a brood - no increase from my previous visit. However, two calling Kingfishers chasing each other along the north pit were a real surprise - the second sighting of this species here this year, although exactly where they might actually be breeding remains a mystery. The only other noteworthy observation was of Little Grebes; with no less than 11 pairs with young, spread around both pits. (OM)

Female Pochard with well-grown young, and a panoramic view of the north pit, taken from the north end. (OM)

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