Saturday, 22 June 2019

22nd - 24th June 2019

Monday, 24th June: Another very warm and muggy day, with a mix of lowering cloud, drizzle and the odd bit of sunshine and just a light south-westerly breeze

We are grateful to our hard-working statistician (IP) for his efforts and are pleased to announce that he has recently completed his latest task of adding the 2014 records to our data, which are now available to view, together with the up to date June 2019 sightings.....just click the Statistics link on the title bar. (Eds)
Also, a quiet word of thanks to those who have contributed in various ways towards my RSPB collection. I recently paid into the 'Give Nature £20.19' Appeal and have received a letter of thanks from the RSPB with the receipt. (OM)

North Wall: Water levels in the Breech Pool are again very low. Best bird this morning was a Wood Sandpiper that flew in with several Black-tailed Godwits before it disappeared behind the back reeds. 
Also on the Breech Pool were 46 Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank, an Oystercatcher, two pairs of Tufted Duck and four Grey Herons, one of which was battling with a foot long eel, whilst four Sand Martins passed through. At Owl Water juvenile Little Egrets were taking their first flights and crashing into nearby bushes, and a Roe Deer with two fawns was in Honer 3 field. (JDW)

Little Egret (above) & low water on the Breech Pool at the North Wall & Wood Sandpiper (JDW)

Ferry Pool: This morning there were just two Little Ringed Plovers, the juvenile Lapwing, two drake Teal and the Shelduck family on the pool, which doesn't look or smell very appealing at the moment with the water level high and a lot of lush green algae growing.
The Sedge Warbler was still singing around the Small Pool, whilst at least 25 Redshank and Lapwing were in the channel opposite. (AH)

Teal (above) & Sedge Warbler at the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was no sign of the Montagu's Harrier this morning, though the Quail was still calling, now back near where it was first sighted.
The Stilt Pool held just two Little Ringed Plovers, a Lapwing, two Teal and a dozen Gadwall, along with at least two families of Canada Geese, with a few Swallows going over, whilst the banks were still busy with Whitethroats, Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, Linnets and Skylarks. (OM/PM/IP/AH/IH/AM et al)
Later, a juvenile Stonechat was along the banks. (SR)
The Quail was still calling mid-afternoon, and the Spoonbill was back on the stilt Pool. (RJS)
An evening visit and there was no sign pf the Quail, but a male Sparrowhawk was being chased by a crow by the poplars and there was a Lapwing on the Stilt Pool with two young chicks. (AM)

Whitethroat (above), Skylark, Reed Bunting, Little Ringed Plover & Canada Goose family (AH) and Stonechat (SR) at Medmerry

Church Norton: There was  still a constant stream of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns bringing fish into the harbour, but beyond a couple of Ringed Plovers and Curlews, the harbour was quiet, as were the bushes. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Sandwich Tern & Common Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Runcton: An Elephant Hawk-moth and a Small Elephant Hawk-moth were in the moth trap this morning. (CRJ)

Elephant Hawk-moth and a Small Elephant Hawk-moth in a Runcton moth-trap (CRJ)

Sunday, 23rd June: A grey and muggy morning, with plenty of cloud, as the breeze remained from the south-east....

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This morning the Quail was in the same area as yesterday, opposite the Poplars, calling close to the path and glimpsed in flight. Also, the Spoonbill (see above) reappeared on the Stilt Pool this late morning, there were still three Cuckoos about and a Sparrowhawk went over. (S&SaH/PB/BI/NM et al)

This evening a first-summer female Montagu's Harrier was out on the reserve, hunting and sitting on posts until 9pm at least.
Also, the Quail was still calling near the Poplars, a Cuckoo called a few times and the Barn Owl was out along the banks, whilst a Green Sandpiper went over and the Spoonbill flew off east at 8.20pm. (MB/DB/DC/AB et al)

A brief video of the Montagu's Harrier (BI) is here

Montagu's Harrier (top two AB, next three AH, lower SH) & Barn Owl (top AH, lower SH) at Medmerry

SH recovering from the excitement of seeing the Montagu's Harrier (and maybe the effort of getting there!) (AH)

Birdham: We had a Portsmouth RSPB walk today and were pleasantly surprised to see a Turtle Dove in Birdham village. It was in Court Barn Lane (near the Pool) and flew from a willow tree in a garden (Rose Cottage, I seem to remember) and flew onto the roof of the house next door. (HR)

Ferry Pool: The adult and juvenile Lapwing were on the pool, along with a Little Ringed Plover, a handful of Redshank and the Shelduck family, whilst the Sedge Warbler continued singing from the Small Pool and a drake Teal and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits were in the channel opposite. (AH/IP)

Juvenile Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: The Spoonbill was again present early this morning, flying off once before returning and then (apparently) re-locating back to the Stilt Pool at Medmerry.
Also, the Spotted Redshank and a Green Sandpiper were in the channel at the back of the Breech Pool, along with eight Teal, and there were also two Little Ringed Plovers, c75 Black-tailed Godwits, two drake Wigeon, a Common Tern and at least three Grey Herons present.
At least two Cuckoos were still active in the bushes, though not calling much, and the usual Reed Buntings, Reed and Sedge Warblers were quite active, as were a couple of Chiffchaffs. (PB/SH/AH/IP/IH/AM/NM et al)

Spoonbill (above), Spotted Redshank & juvenile Little Egret (SH), Spoonbill, Cuckoo & Chiffchaff (AH) at the North Wall

Church Norton: Two female Goosanders going east close offshore was a most unseasonal sighting, though the harbour was otherwise dominated by terns, including an apparent increase in the number of Common Terns actively bringing in fish.
Two Dunlin and the odd Ringed Plover and Curlew were about the sum of wader interest, whilst a family of at least eight Whitethroats at Greenlease Farm was among the more conspicuous passerines, though one or two Sedge Warblers and a Reed Bunting were along the Severals and several Swifts and a couple of Swallows, plus a Sparrowhawk, went over. (AH/IP/RM/S&SaH)

Goosanders (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Whitethroat & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday, 22nd June: A lovely summer's morning, with lots of sun and some white cloud, with the breeze light and from the south-east....

Ferry Pool: There was just a single Redshank (before it flew off!) and the Shelduck family on the pool this morning, whilst the Sedge Warbler was still singing from the Small Pool opposite and the Reed Warbler family was in the hedge. (AH/IP)

Sedge Warbler (above) & Shelducks at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were two Lesser Whitethroats singing from the hedges this morning, with one or two Whitethroats, Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings also in voice, whilst c30 Redshank and c20 Lapwing were in Ferry Channel and a Painted Lady was along the path. (AH/IP)

North Wall: Best bird this morning was an adult Spoonbill in the Breech Pool, though it could not be located at 1100. Also on the Breech Pool were 60 plus Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Redshank, 5 Lapwing, 2 Grey Herons, a pair of Tufted Ducks and a lone male Wigeon, whilst there was lots of Reed Warbler activity in the surrounding reed areas. 
Along Pagham Rife there were 4 Cuckoos together in the willows -  it appeared to be 2 males and 2 females, with one male adding a 3 note introduction before singing cuckoo. On Honer reservoir the only birds to be seen were a pair of Shelduck with 4 ducklings. (JDW)

Spoonbill (above) & a busy Breech Pool at the North Wall (JDW)

This afternoon the Spoonbill was back on the Breech Pool, along with the Spotted Redshank, the drake Wigeon, eight Teal and c75 Black-tailed Godwits, with a Common Tern over and a surprising amount of Reed and Sedge Warbler song. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Spoonbill, Reed Warbler & Wigeon at the North Wall (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The Quail was still present and calling early this morning, but had relocated to the uncropped field west of the first sluice (by the Poplars), before it fell silent for the rest of the morning.
A Cuckoo was heard briefly and a Barn Owl was out very early on, but otherwise there were plenty of Whitethroats, Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, Skylarks and Linnets about, plus a Swift, a few Swallows, 20+ Mediterranean Gulls and a Buzzard and a Kestrel overhead.
The Stilt Pool was quiet again, with just two Avocets and two Ringed Plovers, plus lots of Canada Geese present. (BI/S&SaH/AH/IP)

Whitethroat (above), Yellowhammer & Mediterranean Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

Ivy Lake complex: A quick look this morning found a female Pochard and two ducklings on Triangle Lake, with another half a dozen scattered adults, 16 Great Crested Grebes, at least eight Common Terns and c40 Greylag Geese and c100 Canada Geese, including an apparent Barnacle x Canada hybrid.
The bushes were fairly quiet, though at least three Chiffchaffs and two Reed Warblers were still singing, a flock of 20+ Long-tailed Tits moved through and six Swifts went over, whilst there was also a Black-tailed Skimmer along the path. (AH)

Pochards (above), Common Terns, Greylag, Canada and hybrid Geese & Black-tailed Skimmer at Ivy Lake (AH)

Pagham Spit: There were a constant 20 or so Sandwich Terns feeding in the harbour mouth, with birds coming and going all the time, with a few Little and Common Terns joining in, but more of both inside the harbour.
There wasn't too much else about save a few Skylarks and Linnets. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Little Tern, Skylarks & Viper's Bugloss at Pagham Spit (AH)

West Itchenor: Whilst some may have already raised their first brood, the sight of broken and abandoned nests seems to suggest recent rainy weather has not been kind to the House Martins at West Itchenor. Those nesting in the artificial nests at the Harbour Office would have been safe and those that chose more sheltered spots high up under the roofline of local cottages have clearly fared better, but many of the nests I watched being built on my last visit three weeks ago are now sadly wrecked. 

 Hopefully they've had enough time to start again elsewhere and now know not to use the beach mud which isn't substantial enough. On a brighter note, I found six occupied nests with young and a fresh nest being built. Also a pair of Swallows are nesting in Haynes Boatyard's open store area. (SR)

House Martin nest at West Itchenor (SR)

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