Thursday, 25 June 2020

25th - 27th June 2020

Saturday, 27th June: The fine weather well and truly broke this morning, with strong southerly winds bringing heavy cloud and spells of persistent drizzly rain......

Selsey BillThere was a reasonable mix this morning, including four Fulmars, two Kittiwakes and 99 Swifts west . Full log below. (SH/BI/AH/IP/SR/JA)
(0530-0900hrs) (SSW, F6)
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 30E, 22W
Common Scoter - 8E, 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 43os
Common Tern - 5os
Little Tern - 4os
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 13W
Swift - 99W
HouseMartin - 8
Pied Wagtail - 1

Razorbill (above), Fulmar, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull & Gannets at the BIll (AH)

(1500-1700hrs) (SW, F7) (SH/JA)
Gannet - 8E, 24W
Common Scoter - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 25os
CommonTern - 6os
Little Ten - 3os
Swift - 7W

Ferry Pool: Five Avocets, including four juveniles, were roosting on the pool at high tide, along with 16 Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank, eight Teal and 17 Shelducks, whilst six Swifts went over. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit at the Ferry (AH)

North Selsey: Two Sand Martins, 20+ Swallows and House Martins and 50+ Swifts were feeding low overhead this morning. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: The usual mix of terns were in the harbour this morning, along with a Grey Plover, whilst at least 200 Swifts went over south between the belts of rain. 
Also a Sparrowhawk and three Buzzards were up between the showers, a Reed Bunting and several Reed and Sedge Warblers were seen, but only two Tufted Duck -lings were seen on the second Several. (S&SaH)
This evening there was a big feeding flock of Sandwich and Common Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls inside the harbour on the high tide, with a few sitting out, too, but the only Little Terns were feeding offshore. Also, a dozen Swifts went over and the Swallows were busy around the hide. (AH)

Sandwich Tern (above), Little Tern, Common Tern & mixed feeding flock at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy LakeThere were three families of Pochard on the lake this morning - one lot of four and two lots of three ducklings, and there were also a couple of pairs of Great Crested Grebes with young, numerous Coot families and at least 50 Gadwall, most of which appeared to be juveniles.
Also, a Kingfisher shot through, half a dozen Common Terns were feeding, Reed Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were still singing, lots of Long-tailed Tits were about and c50 Sand Martins and a dozen or so Swifts and Swallows were overhead. (AH)

Pochard family (above), Great Crested Grebe and chick, Common Tern, Sand Martin & Swallow at Ivy Lake (AH)

Friday, 26th June: Another warm and sunny morning, with the breeze freshening from the south-west after an almost still start.....

Chichester GPsNews from the gravel pits steals the headlines today, although not actually involving anything rare......

Firstly, at Drayton & Drayton House pits a pair of Marsh Harriers has bred for the second year running and despite a number of problems this time, today they were to be seen together with a juvenile (the possibility of a second juvenile is not yet excluded).

These pic's are not great but were deliberately taken from distance and heavily cropped....the juvenile bird (above and below),  the presumed 2nd-summer male (lower) and adult with juvenile (bottom)  (OM)

Can I remind anyone thinking of visiting, this is a private site and these birds are a Schedule 1 species, so the welfare of this family must be the priority. However, it is possible to view them from several public places on the site perimeter. 
On the North pit the first breeding Pochard were located (with just one duckling) and a  breeding pair of Gadwall (five young). (OM)

Distant Pochard with single duckling (OM)

Secondly, we have just been made aware of another set of interesting breeding records. We are most grateful to Ken Smith for the following:-

'We checked out the roof nesting Common Terns yesterday evening. The roof is adjacent to Quarry Lake at SU876041 at 'Veecars'. Counting was a bit tricky but we estimated:
Black-headed Gull, 17 adults, 13 mid age chicks 
Common Tern, 9 adults, 14 chicks plus some of the adults could still be incubating/brooding.
This is believed to be a commercial /industrial building - so it is advised that anyone visiting would be best to do so out of hours, to avoid spooking the owners.'
This interesting Common Tern breeding record is of importance and certainly goes some way to explaining why we often see Common Terns fishing over the lakes yet never know where they are heading with their catch. To our shame we had no idea of this colony's existence! 
Now, some readers may query how the location of this particular pit falls within the Peninsula boundaries, given that it is just north of the A27, our northern boundary. In the strictest sense it is just outside; however we decided at the outset that we would be flexible and make an exception to include all the existing gravel pits and this is still the case. It seemed churlish not to include the whole group just because one or two were on the wrong side of the road, so that's the explanation! (Eds)

Selsey Bill: There was just a selection of the regular summer species again this morning. Full log below. (BI/AH/IP)
(0605-0805hrs) (ESE, F2, veering to SW, F3-4)
Gannet - 15E, 5W
Common Scoter - 2E
Oystercatcher - 3E
Mediterranean Gull - 5E, 4W
Sandwich Tern - c40os
Little Tern - 2E
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 1E
Swift - 5
Swallow - 2
House Martin - 10

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

Ferry Pool: A Common Tern was sat out this morning, whilst a Little Ringed Plover and a Redshank were the only waders on the pool, with five Teal and 19 Shelducks also present. (AH)

Common Tern (above) & Little Ringed Plover at the Ferry (AH)

Also, this morning two Crossbills flew over the Visitor Centre (IL) and this evening an Osprey was seen sat out in the harbour before it flew towards Church Norton (AW)

North Wall: It was quiet again this morning with the usual Mallards and Tufted Ducks in the Breech Pool and a a Common Tern above it, while out in the harbour there were three Curlew, two Redshank, scattered Oystercatchers and Shelduck, the lone Wigeon and a Great Black-backed Gull. (IH)
If you like Mallard and Reed Warblers then the North Wall is the place to be! Apart from that it was very quiet along the Wall. A Green Woodpecker in the horse field at Welbourne, but there were no waders on White's Creek though there was a Curlew at Owl Water. 

Also, a Sparrowhawk was seen carrying prey behind Owl Copse and Yellowhammers and Whitethroats were along Honer Lane, but there was nothing at all on the reservoir, though three Grey Herons feeding along Pagham Rife. (JDW)

Grey Herons at the North Wall (JDW)

Church Norton: There were still lots of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns bringing in fish, though at least 20 Little Terns were sat out on the mud, whilst half a dozen Ringed Plovers and c20 Turnstones were along the beach and four Curlews were in the harbour.
At least 100 Swifts, plus a few Swallows, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls were feeding over the oilseed rape fields at Greenlease Farm, but passerines were few in the breezy conditions, with just the odd Skylark and Linnet, plus a Reed Bunting, noted. (AH)

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Turnstone, Ringed Plover & Swifts at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pools: A family of Egyptian Geese was at Medmerry today, near the Poplars. Also seen were 6 Swallows, a single Swift and 2 male Yellowhammers. On the stilt pools were a single Avocet and a Little Ringed Plover. (CRJ/RJS).

Egyptian Geese at Medmerry (CRJ)

Thursday, 25th June: A very warm and sunny morning, with the fresh north-easterly breeze just keeping the heat bearable.....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit more variety this morning, including three Great Crested Grebes east together and a few Swallows through, whilst there was a constant procession of Sandwich Terns carrying fish towards the harbour. (SH/MO-W/SR)
Great Crested Grebe - 3E
Gannet - 16E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - c60os
Common Tern - 2os
Swift - 8
Swallow - 6E
House Martin - 5
Pied Wagtail - 4E

Sandwich Terns (above) & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

A search for House Martin nests this morning shows the Bill is supporting a minimum of 22 breeding birds this year, 10 occupied nests were found with another in the process of being built. This compares to 8 found on a similar date last year and 14 in 2018. (SR)

House Martin at the Bill (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were just eight Teal and nine Shelducks on the pool, with the only waders present being an Oystercatcher and a Redshank, both of which flew into the harbour. (AH/MO-W)

Teal on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There was no sign of the Little Owl this morning and indeed no sign of much else including the "no cycling" signs at the end of the Wall - although at least they lasted nearly a week which is some sort of record. 

A Spotted Redshank made a failed attempt to find a muddy margin at the Breach Pool, touched the water and flew off in the direction of the Ferry Pool. A previously agreed protocol states that the appropriate authorities should attempt to maintain muddy margins from 16th July of each year so we live in hope.
Last night Purple Hairstreak butterflies were very active in the evening sunshine in the stunted oaks along the path from Church Lane along the east side of the harbour and they were accompanied by pristine Red Admirals, Meadow Browns and at least one Comma. (IH/TH/SP)

Purple Hairstreaks at the North Wall (TH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was generally very quiet on the banks, though there were still a few Yellowhammers, Linnets, Skylarks and Whitethroats about, plus a couple of Reed Buntings and a handful of Swallows.

Two Egyptian Geese were on the Stilt Pool, with, later on, two more appearing to fly in to join them, but otherwise there were just a Little Ringed Plover, a pair of Ringed Plovers, a lone Avocet, six Lapwings, a pair of Oystercatchers and 15 Black-tailed Godwits present, along with a dozen Gadwall and the Canada Goose family. (AH)

Egyptian Geese (above), Little Ringed Plover, Swallow, Reed Bunting, Whitethroat & Linnet at Medmerry (AH)

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