Tuesday, 16 June 2020

16th - 18th June 2020

Thursday, 18th June: A very grey and muggy morning, still early on, but freshening from the west as the day progressed. The Bill remained dry, but all points north of the Ferry got a heavy shower early on............

Selsey Bill: A Grey Heron north was noteworthy, but otherwise a similar mix to yesterday. Full log below. (AH/IP/DM/BFF)
(0640-0840hrs) (NW, F2-3)
Gannet - 5E, 16W
Common Scoter - 5os, then W
Oystercatcher - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - c30os
auk sp - 1W
Swift - 4
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 10

(1530-1630hrs) (SSW, F4) (SH)
Gannet - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 19os

Mediterranean Gull (above), Gannets & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Osprey (seen over the North Wall - see below), was seen shortly afterwards heading west over the Tramway and Visitor Centre.
Otherwise there were just the usual scattering of Whitethroats and a couple of Chiffchaffs around the circuit, plus a couple of Swallows over, whilst the pool itself held just 18 Shelducks. (AH)

Osprey (above) & Little Egret over the Tramway (AH)

North Wall: Highlight this morning was an Osprey that drifted in from the north-east with a shrieking escort of Black-headed Gulls, headingd south across the harbour towards Church Norton and en route putting up a flock of around 50 Shelducks. 
Otherwise it was very quiet and similar to yesterday, with a pair of Great Crested Grebes on White's Creek and another on Breech Pool, where there were also 40+ Mallard, four Tufted Ducks and two Shelducks. In the harbour were 15 Little Egrets and the first returning Lapwing, whilst at the Owl Copse heronry young Little Egrets could be seen exercising their wings. 
Also, a Little Owl was reported earlier this morning on fence poles close to the Welbourne stables. (JDW)

Medmerry Trail: Three Cattle Egrets were among the cows in the fields west of the Ferry before they flew off east (hopefully back to Owl Copse!), whilst there must have been up to 50 Whitethroats in a succession of family groups all along the path.
There were also several Reed Warblers and Chiffchaffs present, plus a Lesser Whitethroat, a Reed Bunting and a few Linnets, whilst at least 50 Swifts, with similar of House Martins and Swallows were over and around the back of the sewage works. (AH)

Cattle Egrets (above), Whitethroats, Swift, Reed Warbler & Chiffchaff from the Medmerry Trail (AH)

Wednesday, 17th June: A warm and muggy morning after a drizzly start, with just a light northerly breeze..........

So, what was the Selsey Bill spring passage really like this year? It certainly seemed a bit slow - but what do the stats say? Well, our Log-keeper JA  - to whom we are most grateful - has now compiled all the facts and figures for the Bill again, so do take a look and see if your thoughts are correct - click the link on the title bar in the usual way.
Whilst on the subject of stats - we also thank our statistician IP for his sterling efforts - there is a wealth of information on the Peninsula's birds now available at the touch of a button, so please do also visit our stats page, via the title bar. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: A White Wagtail dropped in on the Oval Field, but otherwise it was just the usual species about this morning, including seven Common Scoter going east and four Razorbills together going west. Full log below. (AH/IP/SR)
(0630-0810hrs) (N, F2)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 2E, 2W
Common Scoter - 7E
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - c20os
Razorbill - 1E, 4W
Swift - 2
House Martin - 8
White Wagtail - 1

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

Ferry Pool: There were just 12 Shelducks on the pool this morning. (AH)

Sidlesham Church: A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was feeding on Lavender in a garden near the church this afternoon. (SA).

North Wall: A pair of Stonechats and a Green Woodpecker were in the horse field at Welbourne, whilst on the Breech Pool were three Cormorants, a Great Crested Grebe, four Little Egrets and a Black-tailed Godwit, along with two fishing Common Terns but, apart from Mallards, there were no ducks. 
Very quiet along the Wall but good numbers of Reed Warblers were singing, and there was a lot of activity, including the Cattle Egrets, in and around the heronry at Owl Copse and at least 12 Little Egrets could be seen in the Harbour. 
Blackcaps were feeding young in Owl Copse, whilst in the gorse behind the copse were a pair of Linnets and a Lesser Whitethroat, and Cuckoos were calling at Macracarpa Copse and along Pagham Rife. (JDW)

Cattle and Little Egrets (above) & Black-tailed Godwit at the North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was very quiet this morning, though all the regular species were present along the banks, including half a dozen Yellowhammers, Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings and numerous Linnets, Skylarks and Whitethroats, plus two families of Swallows.
There were just six Avocets on the Stilt Pool, along with a Ringed Plover, five Redshank, six Lapwings, 17 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Gadwall and a family of Canada Geese. Also, there were at least half a dozen Marbled Whites and numerous Meadow Browns on the wing. (AH)

Yellowhammer (above), Skylark, Linnet, Swallow, Reed Bunting & Marbled White at Medmerry (AH)

This evening, a Green Sandpiper and a Teal were near the poplars, whilst a Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Mediterranean Gulls were among the flock loafing on the mud. (AH)
Later, a Barn Owl was out hunting this evening, plus a few Reed Buntings, Yellowhammers, and Reed Warblers, plus a Stonechat and a Jay. (S&SaH)

Green Sandpiper (above), Teal & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

East Head: A family of Shelducks, including five ducklings, were on Snowhill Creek this morning. (MR)

Shelducks at East Head (MR)

Tuesday, 16th June: A morning that started bright and still, before being enveloped in patchy sea-mist for a prolonged period until the sun burnt it off.....

Selsey Bill: It was quiet this morning, even before visibility dropped away to barely 50 metres. Full log below. (AH/MO-W/IP/SR)
(0630-0745hrs) (SE, F2)
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 3E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - c40os
House Martin - 5

Gannets at the Bill (AH)

North Wall: A Dotterel flew in over Owl Copse from the fields to the north, calling as it flew out over harbour, landing briefly before flying off towards Pagham.
Also about were three Cattle Egrets, three Chiffchaffs,and seceral Reed Buntings, Reed and Cetti's Warblers. (AB/S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: Early on there were three Cattle Egrets among the cows in the fields at the back, whilst the pool held four Redshanks, a Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Shelducks, but later there were just two of the latter and two Avocets present.

Avocets at the Ferry (AH)

East Head: The Quail was still present and calling in the field east of the beach access road this morning, two weeks after it was first heard. (PH/GM)
At least 16 adult Avocets and a minimum of 20 young  from eight or nine broods, all of which I consider fledged now. One of the adults is colour-ringed, and I’ll endeavour to find out it’s history.
Also present were a Cetti’s Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and a few Whitethroats, Reed Warblers, Linnets with recently fledged young, Oystercatchers, Redshanks, Lapwings, two pairs of Shelducks with ducklings (a pair with eight only a couple of days old and a pair with two  about a week old), a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel. (PH)

Church Norton: The Little, Common and Sandwich Terns all appear to be doing well, with numbers of all three feeding near the harbour mouth and carrying fish back to the colony this morning.
Half a dozen Ringed Plovers were on the beach, with half a dozen more, along with nine Turnstones, five Dunlin and two Grey Plovers in the harbour, whilst, unusually, a Snipe was in the first Several.
Also, two juvenile Stonechats were in the horse field and a Cuckoo was calling distantly from beyond the Priory, but otherwise land-birds were few, though a Jay and a couple of Reed Warblers were present, along with a few Linnets and Skylarks. (AH/IP)

Little Tern (above), Common Terns, Sandwich Terns, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstones & young Rabbit at Church Norton (AH)

Runcton: A Red Kite over the village at midday drifted off north. Late afternoon a Dark Green or Silver-washed Fritillary flew through the garden. (CRJ)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Tawny Owl was sat out behind the house in Park Lane this evening. (per IP)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This morning a female Cuckoo was about, a Marsh Harrier went over, along with two Buzzards, five House Martins and a few Swifts, whilst the Stilt Pool held a Little Ringed Plover, four Avocets, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and five Little Egrets. (PB/Mrs B/SaH)

Later, a Cuckoo was calling, distantly from around the poplars and a Stonechat carrying food dived into a gorse bush, with another Stonechat close by. Yellowhammers, Linnets, Skylarks and a few Reed Warblers were singing and a family of Swallows sat along the fenceline.  
Stilt Pools:Two Sandwich Terns were unusual for here and there was a Mediterranean Gull, both Black-headed and Herring Gulls carrying nesting material, 4 Egyptian Geese, 5 Avocets, 4 juvenile Gadwall, 6 Tufted Ducks, 2 Shelduck, the Mute Swan family with 4 cygnets, a Canada Geese family with 2, a Grey Heron and a Little Egret. 
 Also 2 Lapwings, 1 Redshank and 8 Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Ringed Plover with a Buzzard watching over. In the reeds was a Stonechat, 3 Reed Buntings and more Linnets. 
 Butterflies included Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper and there were some impressively large Emperor Dragonflies on the wing, one pair mating in midair.(SR)

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