Saturday, 1 June 2019

1st - 3rd June 2019

Monday, 3rd June: A bright and breezy morning, mild despite a fresh south-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: The rescue by the RNLI of a couple of fisherman from the spit on the fast-rising tide was probably the most interesting thing on a quiet morning! An Arctic Skua and three Kittiwakes went west, but otherwise it was just the regular terns and Gannets and a wandering Fulmar on show. Full log below...... 
0700-0930hrs:  (AH/OM/IP)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 8E, 1W
Little Tern - 4 os
Common Tern - c.10 os
Sandwich Tern - c.40 os
Kittiwake - 3W
Arctic Skua - 1W (d/p)
House Martin - c.15 visiting the muddy puddles
Whitethroat - 1 Bill House garden

Fulmar (above), Sandwich Terns & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Anglers stranded by the rising tide (above) & the RNLI coming to their rescue at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just two Avocets, two Lapwings, two Redshank and the Shelduck family on the pool early on, with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits in the channel opposite and a singing Lesser Whitethroat in the adjacent hedges. (AH)
Later, the long-staying pair of Wigeon were in Ferry Channel. (TG-P)

Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A female Cuckoo that flew into the bushes behind the Breech Pool and a Common Tern feeding over the pool were the highlights, whilst small birds were confined to the odd Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting in the reeds, and a family of Long-tailed Tits in the hedges of Halsey's Farm.
With the Breech Pool now at duck-pond levels again, the only waders noted were c30 Black-tailed Godwits and a Lapwing in White's Creek, where there were also three Wigeon, whilst seven Grey Herons (including five youngsters) were sat out on the little island.. (AH/IP)

Cuckoo (above), Common Tern, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit & Long-tailed Tit around the North Wall (AH)

Church Norton: In a word - uneventful! Plenty of activity as usual on Tern island; Sandwich, Common and Little Terns were all feeding in the channels, whilst Black-headed Gulls and a few Mediterranean Gulls were also prominent, but there was little else of note. 
A mixed flock of c.40 waders was rather restless as the mud was quickly covered on the rising tide; they remained distant but as far as I could see the flock consisted of about 20 each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, though a fleeting flash of reddish that disappeared could well have been a Knot. A single Black-tailed Godwit and several Oystercatchers also lingered, but other than a few Swallows and a couple of Blackcaps that was it! (OM)

Chichester Marina: A brief visit to the reedbed and pool was not very productive. A pair of Bullfinches along the hedgerows was about the only surprise, but otherwise it was standard fare. A couple of Cetti's Warblers were singing and about 10 pairs of Reed Warblers were singing/feeding/nest-building, whilst 4 singing male Reed Buntings were on territory and a family of Long-tailed Tits were active. Two pairs of Tufted Ducks were on the lake and a pair of Buzzards and a Kestrel were patrolling the airspace.

A quick look in at the adjacent Birdham Pool was a waste of time with nothing of note to report. (OM)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were c50 swifts and c200 House Martins over the settling tanks, but no Swallows, though a few were along Ham Road. (AH)

House Martin & Swift at Medmerry (AH)

Sunday, 2nd June: Another pleasant morning, with plenty of sunshine and white cloud, and warm despite the freshening south-westerly breeze....

Thanks a million! The sharper-eyed members of our readership will have noted that our little blog's page-hit marker quietly slipped past the million mark yesterday. The Editors would like to thank all who contribute to the success of the blog in various ways and to those who follow our daily bird-news output. We still haven't missed a single day's news since the blog commenced a little over six years ago - so keep the news coming and we'll do our best to keep it current well into the future. Your constructive criticism is always noted and your kind comments and feedback are always much appreciated. Best wishes to all. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: A probable, though distant, Long-tailed Skua was the most interesting bird of a fairly quiet morning being initially seen coming east and then moving further out, though 30+ Common Scoters also went east and a Great Northern Diver went west. Full log below: (BI/IP/SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 7E 3W 2os
Common Scoter - 37E 1W
Skua sp. - 1E (0727)
Sandwich Tern - 8os
Common Tern - 2os
Swift - 6p
Swallow - 1S 2p
House Martin - 12p
Whitethroat -1p (Bill House garden)

(1400-1500hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 7E

Sandwich Tern - 30os
Common Tern - 1os

Sandwich Tern (above), Fulmar & Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: It was similar to yesterday, with around the pool, with two Avocets, six Redshank, four Lapwings, the family of Shelducks and up to 20 Black-tailed Godwits, present, with another 20 of the latter, plus four Gadwall in the channel opposite.
Despite the good conditions, there was less singing around the Tramway circuit, though there were still a Cuckoo, a Cetti's Warbler, a couple of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Lesser Whitethroats and numerous Whitethroats making their presence known, along with a couple of Reed Warblers in Red Barn Ditch and a dozen Linnets. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit (above), Avocet, Shelducks, Blackcap, Chiffchaff & Linnets around the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Barn Owl was out hunting early this morning, whilst a Stonechat, at least seven Reed Warblers, eight Yellowhammers, four Reed Buntings and ten Whitethroats were along the path, and a Cuckoo was in the dead poplars.
A Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were also seen, but the Stilt Pool was dead, with just a single Avocet and a Little Ringed Plover seen. (SH)

Fishbourne Creek: A Hobby went over late this morning. (HB)

Church Norton: There were two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Curlew and around c50 Ringed Plovers and Dunlin in the harbour, whilst five Sanderling flew off from the beach, and there was still plenty of tern activity in the harbour and offshore, where a Gannet was also present.
A Sparrowhawk was seen to take prey at Greenlease Farm, several Buzzards and Swifts were overhead and several Gadwall were also about, whilst passerine interest included a Mistle Thrush near Bluebell Wood, a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff in the wood and the usual, Whitethroats, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Reed Buntings and Linnets along the Severals. (AH/IP/RM)

Sparrowhawk (above), Whitethroat & Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday, 1st JuneA very warm and sunny morning to greet the first day of summer (meteorologically speaking), with blue skies and a light SE breeze......

Well, that's it, spring is over, though we can still hope for some tasty overshoots, but it's time to prepare for summer birding now. Any Poms seen now don't count towards the annual Pom King challenge, and as announced yesterday we have a new name to add to the trophy this year - the 13th different winner - namely Paul Bowley (with commiserations to John Faithfull the runner-up and a number of others like me with hard-luck stories!)
As one of the joint founders of this now-traditional competition, I am often asked how long has it been going on, who has won it most, how many winners have there been and so on - so the editors hope to add a page to the Statistics section in the near future. Meanwhile, just a brief summary here.....
The competition dates back to 1979, the lowest winning total was 2 (M. Jones in 1983) and the highest winning total was 103 (J. Brame in 1997). There have now been 13 different winners and they are as follows: Chris Janman (9 wins), Mervyn Jones and Owen Mitchell 8 wins each), Justin Atkinson and T. Edwards (5 wins each), John Faithfull (2 wins), then single wins for the late Owen Laugharne, John Brame, Bob Marchant, Jim Weston, Sam Hill, George Heath and finally Paul Bowley. (Note that there have been several shared wins in which case a win is awarded to each person).

SR has found the handle to a tripod behind the bench at the Bill - if anyone is missing one, call or email us. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: It was fairly quiet this morning, though another 37 Common Scoters went east. (PB/SH/PM/IP/BI/AH)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 8E, 2W
Common Scoter - 37E
Kittiwake - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 12os
Common Tern - 5os
Swift - 1p
Swallow - 1N, 3p
House Martin - 12p
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - c10E 
Grey seal -1os

Later on, two Arctic Skuas were offshore, seen chasing the gulls. (P Robinson)

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

Ferry Pool: There were three Avocets, up to 50 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Redshank, four Lapwings and c20 Shelducks, plus the youngsters, present this morning, with a Cuckoo, a Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Goldcrest calling nearby. (AH/SH)

Blackcap (above), Avocet and Shelducks & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were at least ten Reed and five Sedge Warblers singing along the pool this morning, along with two Lesser Whitethroats, a Whitethroats, a Reed Bunting and a handful of Linnets, whilst a pair of Little Grebes and two drake Gadwall were on the water. (AH)

Lesser Whitethroat (above), Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler & Linnet along the Long Pool (AH)

West Itchenor: Encouraging signs around the Harbour Office and cottages at West Itchenor this morning, where I counted ten occupied House Martin nests with five in the process of being built and the foundations being laid for a terrace. Five of the nests were the artificial ones put there by harbour office staff; the birds were gathering mud from the foreshore and I estimate a good number of 30 - 40 birds in all. (SR)

House Martin at West Itchenor (SR)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There was quite a bit of activity around the hedgerows this morning, including, four Yellowhammers, two Chiffchaffs, two Reed Warblers, a Reed Bunting, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Lesser Whitethroat and at least ten Whitethroats, with a Brown Hare and a roe Deer in the fields. (SH)

Reed Bunting (above) & Brown Hare at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (SH)

Church Norton: There were at least 100 Sandwich Terns and 20 Little Terns in the harbour, along with a handful of Common Terns and Mediterranean Gulls, whilst the Peregrine was sat out in the middle.
Waders were few, though, with two Bar-tailed Godwits and three Curlews present, plus up to 20 distant small waders, which were probably a mix of Dunlin, Sanderling and Ringed Plovers.
Along the Severals there were a few Reed Warblers and Whitethroats, plus a singing Blackcap, a couple of singing Reed Buntings and a few Linnets, with two Buzzards up over the woods and the pair of Swallows around the hide. (AH/AW)

Whitethroat (above), Reed Warbler & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey: The first Elephant Hawk-moth of the year was in the moth-trap this morning. (SH)

Elephant Hawk-moth in a Selsey garden (SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool -  There were three Cuckoos present this morning, one at the poplars, one at Marsh Barn and one towards Ham whilst the three Kestrels were also in the Easton lane area. The Stilt Pools held 12 Sanderling, just four Avocets and the usual mix of wildfowl; there was no sign of yesterday's Common Pochard here. The banks were busier than they have been for a while with plenty of Whitethroats about as well as Reed Warblers along the pools, at least four Sedge Warblers, and Reed Buntings, Yellowhammers and many Linnets all showing. Six Buzzards were counted overhead but butterflies were few with just a single Common Blue seen although the first Meadow Browns were emerging today. (BI)

Cuckoo, above, and Meadow Brown at Medmerry (BI)

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