Friday, 29 May 2020

29th - 31st May 2020

Sunday, 31st May: Another very warm morning, despite the brisk north-easterly breeze....

Selsey BillA Tree Sparrow was heard in flight over the Bill this morning, whilst a tantalising glimpse of a distant petrel was one that got away. Otherwise 44 Common Scoter, 19 purposeful Commic Terns and eight Sanderling went east and a few Fulmars were about, too.  Full log below.(SH/BI/IP/AH/SR/JA)
(0530-0830hrs) (NE, F3)
Fulmar - 2E, 6W
Gannet - 23E, 6W
Common Scoter - 44E
Sanderling - 8E
Turnstone - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 17os
Common Tern - 1E
'Commic' Tern - 19E
Razorbill - 5E
auk sp - 8E, 2W
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 1N
Tree Sparrow - 1N

Sanderlings at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Teal was on the pool this morning, but just five Avocets were left (possibly with the rest having decamped to Medmerry - see below), along with 17 Black-tailed Godwits, three Lapwing, four Redshank and 11 Shelducks. (AH)

Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were plenty of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins around this morning, plus a lone Pied Wagtail. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There were up to 40 Little Terns around the harbour this morning, along with a few Common and many Sandwich Terns, whilst waders included eight Sanderling, three Dunlin, four Turnstones, a Lapwing and 50+ Ringed Plovers..
Also, a Red-throated Diver went west, close inshore and there were three Gadwall and 16 (of which 14 were drakes) Tufted Ducks at the Severals, whilst two Mistle Thrushes, two Buzzards and plenty of Whitethroats were around Greenlease Farm. (IP/S&SaH)

East Head: There was high drama on Snowhill Creek this morning.  We have quite a few juvenile Avocets - all at different ages - and two Shelducks got too close to one adult pair with three small youngsters, resulting in a good dust up, with the Shelducks thwarted and retreating after lots of scuffles. (MR)

Avocet chicks (above) & Avocets and Shelducks at East Head (MR)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool -- There were at least three calling Cuckoos about - two towards the poplars and one west of Marsh Farm, whilst several Yellowhammers were along the lane and the banks held lots of Linnets, Skylarks and Whitethroats, plus a few Swallows.
Four Sanderling were on the Stilt Pool, along with a Redshank, two Lapwings, two Little Ringed and four Ringed Plovers, whilst Avocet numbers had increased to a count of 27, many of which were in pairs but none seemed to have eggs or young.
Also two adult and four juvenile Egyptian Geese were on the Stilt Pool before departing and three families of Canada Geese and one of Mute Swans were all also present. (AW/AH)

Cuckoos (AW) (above), Sanderlings, Little Ringed Plover, Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Skylark & Canada Goose family (AH) at Medmerry

Chi GPs: Drayton pits - On arrival I was surprised to see all the grassy margins had been mowed, a couple of anglers were present and a guy in a small boat was on the North pit with permission! This disturbance (on the North pit) meant that the wildfowl there had largely dispersed, though a family of both Canada Geese and Mute Swans remained, plus a recently-arrived Bar-headed Goose, whilst a single Common Tern was fishing. 
On the South pit another family of Canada Geese with a single gosling was present, together with another 20 non-breeding adults. My first Marbled White butterfly of the season was also seen here together with a delightful colony of up to 100 Southern Marsh orchids.
Later, a female Marsh Harrier appeared from over the trees and flew high over the fields opposite, whilst 26 Pochard and 20 Gadwall were located – having clearly been displaced due to the disturbance. A Buzzard also appeared, then a distant Hobby was noted, hunting high up before drifting over the North pit and then away. (OM)

Marbled White (above), Southern Marsh Orchids, Canada Goose with gosling and Marsh Harrier at Drayton House pits. (OM)

Chichester Canal: A look between Hunston and Birdham this afternoon produced 15 Reed Warblers, six Blackcaps, and four Chiffchaffs, with six Swallows and a Sand Martin over, and there were loads of Coot families and a few Moorhen and Little Grebe families, too (S&SaH)

Grey Heron (above), Mute Swans, Emperor dragonfly & Blue-tailed Damselfly along Chichester Canal (SH)

Selsey: A Small Elephant Hawk-moth was in the trap this morning. (SH)

Small Elephant Hawk-moth in a Selsey garden (SH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were as many as 100 Swifts over the settling tanks and fields this evening, along with similar of House Martins and just a dozen Swallows. (AH)

Swifts (above) & House Martin at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 30th May: A very similar morning to the last few, with lots of warm sun and a fresh and cooling north-easterly breeze....

Selsey BillThere was a bit of a late selection this morning, as the spring draws to a close, including a Wheatear dropping in, 33 Common Scoter and eight Turnstone east and two Sanderling west. Full log below. (SH/BI/SR/AH)
(0530-0800hrs) (NNE, F3)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 2E
Gannet - 17E, 6W
Common Scoter - 33E
Sanderling - 2W
Turnstone - 8E
Sandwich Tern - 32os
Common Tern - 1os
Little Tern - 1os
Razorbill - 1os
auk sp - 1E, 2W
Swift - 1
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 1
Wheatear - 1

Fulmar (SR) (above), Turnstones, Little Tern & Sandwich Tern (AH) at the Bill

Ferry Pool: A Cuckoo went over, but the birds on the pool were less than recently, including eight Avocets, four Redshank, two Lapwing, 17 Black-tailed Godwits and ten Shelducks. (AH)

Cuckoo (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

This evening a White Wagtail was in Ferry Channel, a Sedge Warbler was at the start of the Long Pool and a Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat and a Blackcap were all singing in the Discovery Area. (AH)

White Wagtail (above), Sedge Warbler & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

This evening a Tawny Owlet was showing in the box in the Discovery Area. (SR)

Tawny Owlet in the Discovery Area (SR)

Church Norton: There were still plenty of terns about, whilst waders included a Grey Plover, a Dunlin, four Turnstones and a few Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers..
A newly fledged Blackcap was between the Severals and there were a Lesser Whitethroat and a few Whitethroats about, too. (IP)
Also, two Avocets were in the harbour, three Swallows were flying around the hide (instead of the usual two), a Jay was along Rectory Lane and in the churchyard there was a Green Woodpecker along with a singing Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. (SR)

Swallow at Church Norton (SR)

North Wall/East side: Three different Cuckoos were calling to the north of the wall this morning, whilst the usual mix of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Reed Buntings were seen along the hedges and reed-beds. 
Also a pair of Avocets were on the Breech Pool briefly and a drake Teal was among the Mallards at the back, whilst a couple of Cattle Egrets flew out of Owl Cope and one was with the cows beyond Halsey's Farm..
There was a little selection of waders out in the harbour from the east side, too, including a Bar-tailed Godwit, two Curlews, two Knot, up to eight Grey Plovers, around a dozen Ringed Plovers and c20 Dunlin. (AH/IH/PC et al)

Cuckoo (above), Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Avocet, Teal, Cattle Egret & Grey Plover from the North Wall (AH)

This evening four Cattle Egrets flew out of Owl Copse (although this one did pose nicely first!), with three heading northeastwards and one went over towards Marsh Farm. Also  a Cuckoo and a Water Rail were calling. (AB)

Cattle Egret & Little Egret at the North Wall (AB)


Chi GPs - Ivy Lake complex: A look around the Ivy Lake group of pits produced several Great Crested Grebes, including a pair with a nest on Deep Lake, whilst just off the main path between the pits were a couple of Hornets. The Cormorant colony on New Lake was also in full swing, with plenty of noise and smell emanating from that direction. (CB)

 Nesting Great Crested Grebe, nesting Cormorants and a Hornet at Chi GPs (CB)

Medmerry: Not many birds about this afternoon, though a Kestrel was seen with a House Martin as prey, though there were several dragonfly species, including an Emperor laying, eggs, a Black-tailed Skimmer and Azure Damselflies. (S&SaH)

Kestrel (above), Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer & Azure Damselfly at Medmerry (SH)

Friday, 29th May: Another pleasant and sunny morning, despite the fresh easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A Tree Pipit dropped in briefly early on, though otherwise movement was limited to a few Fulmars and Gannets offshore, a Great Northern Diver east and a flock of nine Gadwall going west. Full log below.(BI/AH/SR/IP)
(0545-0800hrs) (NE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 4E, 2W
Gannet - 26E, 2W
Gadwall - 9W
Sandwich Tern - c30os
auk sp - 1W
Swift - 1
Tree Pipit - 1N
Swallow - 4
House Martin - 1

Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

West Wittering: A Quail was calling this morning from the cereal field immediately east of the Wittering Beach access road, but be warned - it is very busy and there is no parking! (PH/BI)

Ferry Pool: There were just the usual dozen Avocets, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and eight Redshank on the pool, along with six Lapwings, c20 Shelducks and an adult and juvenile Pied Wagtail, whilst a Buzzard went over. (AH)

Lapwing (above) & Buzzard at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: It was generally quiet in the breeze this morning, though a Barn Owl was out flying and a Cuckoo still called to the north of the wall.  (IH)

Church Norton: Terns still dominated the harbour, with at least 20 Little present, along with a dozen Common and 100+ Sandwich, though waders just consisted of eight Turnstones that flew out of the harbour and a handful of Ringed Plovers.
Land-birds were few, too, though a Green Woodpecker and the odd Skylark and Swallow were about. (AH)

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