Tuesday, 7 July 2020

7th - 8th July 2020

Wednesday, 7th July: A pretty mediocre morning's weather, with a moderate north-westerly blowing through spells of persistent drizzly rain under leaden skies.........

Selsey Bill: The first returning Common Gull was the only bird other than the regular species, though there were a lot of birds about, including 150 Gannets (mostly sub-adults)  feeding together at one stage. Full log below. (AH/SR)
(0645-0830hrs) (NW, F3-4)
Gannet - c100W, c150os
Little Egret -1W, then E
Common Scoter - 1E
Curlew - 1W
Common Gull - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 7W, 3os
Sandwich Tern - c70os
Little Tern - 2os

Common Gull (above), Gannets, Mediterranean Gull, Little Egret & Curlew at the Bill (AH)

(1645-1745hrs) (SW, F4) (SH)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - flock of c75 feeding close inshore which drifted off west, then another flock formed to the east of 32 birds. Also, 2E, 7W
Common Scoter - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 20os
Swift - 1
House Martin - 2

East Head: A Roseate Tern (one of two seen off Hayling Island recently) was briefly sat on the sand this morning, before flying off (the Black Tern also in the area was not viewable from the Sussex side sadly). Also, the first Yellow-legged Gull of the year, which appeared to have an injured right leg, was in the car-park and a few Common Terns and Gannets were offshore. At Snowhill Creek some of the young Avocets were feeding and a Chiffchaff was along the hedges. (BI)

Ferry Pool: There were just three Teal, four Black-tailed Godwits and seven Shelducks on the pool this morning. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit (above) & Teal at the Ferry (AH)

East Beach: A second brood of Great Black-Backed Gulls was found today with three well-grown chicks. (SR)

Great Black-Backed Gull at East Beach (SR)

North Wall: The water in the Breech Pool this morning was just low enough for five Black-tailed Godwits to be feeding and there were a similar number feeding along Whites Creek. The harbour also contained one Whimbrel, about 30 Redshank, a few Lapwing and Curlew and a Common Tern. (IH)

Church Norton: There were dozens of young Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls in the harbour, along with c50 Mediterranean Gulls, plus just a few Common and Little Terns, though half a dozen of the latter were feeding close off the beach.
Other than that there wasn't much to report beyond a few Curlews and Redshank in the harbour, up to eight Swallows along the sheltered hedges, a brief snatch of Blackcap song and the odd Linnet and Skylark on the beach. (AH)

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

Tuesday, 7th July: Finally, a lovely sunny morning, with light breezes early, freshening up a little as the day progressed.....

Selsey Bill: A few hirundines were about this morning, including a dozen Sand Martins, with a few Gannets and Sandwich Terns lingering offshore and 20 Common Scoters went west. Full log below. (MO-W/AH/SR/IP)
(0645-0815hrs) (NW, F2)
Gannet - c30os
Common Scoter - 20W
Oystercatcher - 3W
Curlew - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 7E, 5W, 2os
Sandwich Tern - c40os
Common Tern - 2os
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Swift - 8
Swallow - 6
House Martin - 10
Sand Martin - 12

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

(1645-1745hrs) (SW, F4) (SH)
Gannet - 3E, 61W, 10os
Mediterranean Gull - 5W, 2os
Sandwich Tern - 17os
Common Tern - 1os
Guillemot - 1W
Swift - 10

Ferry Pool: This morning there were just four Black-tailed Godwits, five Teal and six Shelducks on the pool. (AH)

North Wall: There was no sign of the Little Owl this morning and apart from distant Redshanks, a few Dunlin and 20 Swifts, there was little to see out in the harbour. For a time the Breech Pool contained seven Mute Swans which were probably the seven previously seen at the Lagoon. The Swans flew off and were replaced by 20 Black-tailed Godwits while the surrounding reeds were full of Reed and Sedge Warblers and their young . There were also three young Little Grebes and a parent near the sluice at the far end of the Wall. (IH/TG)
Later, three Common Sandpipers and a Whimbrel were among c40 Redshanks and a dozen Black-tailed Godwits in White's Creek, the Common Tern was feeding over the Breech Pool, a Sand Martin went over south and the odd Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat sang sparingly. (AH/TG)

Reed Warbler (above), Whimbrel, Common Sandpipers and Redshank & Common Tern at the North Wall (AH)

Birdham Pool: A Common Sandpiper was the only real bird of interest today, resting on a log at the side of the pool. 
Further along, tucked into the reeds a Great Crested Grebe sat on her nest and adult adult Little Grebes were out feeding; two more Little Grebes sat in amongst the tree roots and six Tufted Ducks were tucked into the side along with the usual Coots and Mallards, whilst a Kestrel hovered overhead. (SR)

Common Sandpiper at Birdham Pool (SR)

A Red-legged Partridge was strutting around Birdham garden for a few minutes, before it ran rapidly to the side of the house and away ! (GT)

Church Norton: There were at least 50 Sandwich Tern fledglings and probably double that of Black-headed Gull fledglings, along with many adults of both in the harbour this evening, but only a handful of Little and Common Terns (including a juvenile) and 30+ Mediterranean Gulls, whilst 20 or so Redshanks and a couple of Curlews were the only waders seen.
Also, three or four Swallows were being very active around the hide. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Little Tern, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday, 4 July 2020

4th - 6th July, 2020

Monday, 6th July: The wind abated somewhat overnight, shifting just north of west, leaving a mostly bright and blustery morning....

Selsey Bill: A lot more terns and Gannets were back feeding offshore this morning, whilst three Black-tailed Godwits and two Curlews went west. Full log below. (IP/AH/SR/M-OW)
(0645-0830hrs) (WSW, F5-6)
Gannet - 6E, 30W, c50os
Black-tailed Godwit - 3W
Curlew - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 7W
Sandwich Tern - c75os
Common Tern - 6os
Little Tern - 8os
auk sp - 1W
House Martin - 4
Linnet - 2

Mediterranean Gull (above) & Common and Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Lapwing and two Teal on the pool, with a Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler at the front. (AH)

Teal (above) & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was a steady stream of Sandwich Terns bringing in fish this morning, though most of the fledglings had retreated back to the island, whilst there were a few Common Terns about and at one stage 40 Little Terns were sat out together on the mud.
There were just a few Curlews, Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers in the harbour, whilst along the front there were a couple of Whitethroat families and 20+ Linnets. Also of note, at least 20 Purple Hairstreaks were on the oaks in Bluebell Wood. (AH)

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Little and Sandwich Terns, Whitethroat, Linnets & Purple Hairstreaks at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: Only the usual suspects were about this morning. Out in the harbour there were about ten Curlew, at least 30 Redshank, a few scattered Oystercatchers, a Common Tern, five Black-tailed Godwit, a Great Crested Grebe and slowly increasing numbers of Lapwing. 
Along the Wall there was a mixed party of Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits, Reed and Sedge Warblers were vocal while the Breech Pool contained Mallard and one Cormorant. 
 In the footpath behind the stables there was a new hatching of Red Admirals together with one Comma butterfly. (IH)
This evening the Little Owl was by the stables again. (SP)

Chi GPs - Drayton pits: The three Pochard families of one, three and five young, were all to be found on the North pit this morning, but apart from these some good numbers of non-breeding Pochard (60+) and Gadwall (36) were spread between the three pits. The most obvious species on the South pit was Swift, with a gathering of at least 150, together with c.20 House Martins. 
A couple of pairs of Great Crested Grebes now have young, as do half a dozen pairs of Little Grebe and the reedbeds of all three pits are busy with the comings and goings of Reed Warbler families, with some birds still singing.
The Marsh Harrier family is still present, though less conspicuous today; I saw the adults with one juvenile for sure and it begins to look as if it may be the only one, but time will tell. (OM) 

(above) Pochard with young on the North pit, (centre) Swifts over the South pit and (lower two) young Reed Warblers (OM)

Fishbourne - Dell Quay: A blustery walk this morning was fairly quiet, with two singing Reed Buntings, three Yellowhammers (one carrying food) and several Swallows low over the marshes at Fishbourne. 
 In the harbour there were at least ten Curlew, seven Redshank and four Oystercatchers, whilst off Dell Quay there was a group of 13 Little Egrets on the far bank, with at least four more further up the channel. On the water there were four Great Crested Grebes and 108 Mute Swans, whilst a Common Tern flew down the channel carrying a small fish. (RW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The Knot and 24 Black-tailed Godwits were around the poplars again, with two Stonechats nearby, whilst the banks held the usual mix of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, Reed Warblers and Whitethroats, with 15 Sand Martins, a Buzzard and a Kestrel overhead.
The Stilt Pool was very quiet, though, with just six Black-tailed Godwits of note, whilst a female Common Darter was seen along the paths. (S&SaH)

Common Darter at Medmerry (SH)

Sunday, 5th July: A morning of two halves - early on it was drizzly and very grey, before finally some blues skies and white cloud, though the wind remained strong and from the west....

Selsey Bill: Given the conditions, a very dull morning! (SH/PB/BI/IP/AH/SR)
(0545-0900hrs) (SW, F7)
Gannet - 12E, 36W
Sandwich Tern - 45os
Common Tern - 3os
Swift - 2W

Ferry Pool: There were 14 Shelducks on the pool early this morning, whilst later on it was birdless.. (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Two Sparrowhawks were around the farm this morning. (SH)

Church Norton: There were still plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Tern activity in the harbour, along with at least 500 Black-headed and 20 Mediterranean Gulls, but waders comprised of just four Dunlin, two Turnstones and a few Curlews.
The two Tufted Ducklings reappeared on the second Severals and at least one young Little Grebe was present, whilst their were also two and possibly three Sparrowhawk chicks in their nest. (S&SaH/AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), juvenile Black-headed Gulls, Sparrowhawk chicks, Purple Hairstreak (SH), Little Tern, Common Tern & Sandwich Tern (AH) at Church Norton

Ivy Lake: Encouragingly, all ten Pochard ducklings seen last week were much grown and still going strong with their three mothers, whilst another mother had two much younger ducklings nearby. 
There were also a couple of Tufted Duck families, at least 100 Coots, including many juveniles, 140 Canada Geese and eight Great Crested Grebes, whilst half a dozen Common Terns were feeding over the water and at least five very young-looking Black-headed Gulls were with their respective parents.
A couple of Chiffchaffs and Reed Warblers were still singing sporadically, but only one Swift, one House Martin and a handful of Swallows were seen. (AH)

Pochard families (above), Tufted Duck family & Common Tern at Ivy Lake (AH)

This afternoon there were 50+ Swifts, 20+ House Martins and swallows and a lone Sand Martin, plus six Common terns feeding over the lake. Also seen this afternoon were a Kingfisher, an adult and three juvenile Egyptian Geese and a Great Crested Grebe carrying two youngsters on its back. (S&SaH)

Kingfisher (above), Tufted Duck family, Great Crested Grebes & juvenile Egyptian Geese at Ivy Lake (SH)

Drayton Pits: A Marsh Harrier was present again this afternoon, and there were two young families - a three and a five - of Pochards. (S&SaH)

Marsh Harrier at Drayton Pit (SH)

North Wall: Five Black-tailed Godwits, a Great Crested Grebe and the usual Mallards were on the Breech Pool this morning while along the Wall there were two Linnets, a flock of Goldfinches and an occasional Gatekeeper butterfly. 
 Nineteen Egrets (all Little, I think) were hunkered down out of the wind on Heron Island, six more sheltered in Owl Copse and a further two were elsewhere in the harbour. A Common Whitethroat, a Skylark, two Peacock butterflies and numerous Meadow Browns were present past Owl Copse. (IH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Marsh Barn - Around the poplars this afternoon there were three Common Sandpipers, a Knot, 44 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Lapwings, 12 Redshanks, c20 Mediterranean Gulls and c50 Shelducks.
There were also c40 Swifts putting on quite a display of aeronautics, along with a few Swallows. (AH)

Swifts (above), Swallow, Common Sandpipers & Knot and Black-tailed Godwits at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 4th July: Another pretty dismal day for the time of year, with a near gale-force westerly blowing through belts of drizzly rain under leaden skies....

Selsey Bill:Balearic Shearwater west along the Mile Basket line just before 9am, was the clear highlight of a slow morning, with a Kittiwake west and a few Common Scoters the only other birds of note. Full log below. (SH/JA/BI/AH/SR)
(0530-0930hrs) (SW, F7)
Balearic Shearwater - 1W (0859hrs)
Gannet - 5E, 5W
Common Scoter - 13E, 20W
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1 (on Oval Field)
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 30os
Common Tern - 3os

Kittiwake (above), Common Scoters, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Terns & Grey Seal at the Bill (AH)

(1400-1530hrs) (SH/JA)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 25W
Common Scoter - 24E (in one flock)
Sandwich Tern - 23os

Ferry Pool: There were just a lone Teal and ten Shelducks on the pool this morning. (AH)

Long Pool: A Shoveler was on the pool this afternoon. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There were still lots of Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls, including many fledglings, in the harbour, along with a few Little Terns, Common Terns and Mediterranean Gulls.
Waders included a single Black-tailed Godwit, c20 Dunlin, c30 Turnstones and half a dozen Redshanks, Curlews and Ringed Plovers, but passerines were restricted to the Swallows around the hide, the odd Linnet and Skylark, a singing Blackcap, a couple of Song Thrushes and a Jay. (AH)

Also, later, a Common Sandpiper was on the concrete spit and a Sparrowhawk and c20 Swifts were over the Severals. 
This afternoon there were 20+ juvenile Sandwich Terns sat out on the mud, several Little Terns were seen taking food to New Island and there were also six Common Terns, two Black-tailed Godwits in the harbour. (S&SaH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Little Terns, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)