Thursday, 4 June 2020

4th - 6th June 2020

Saturday, 6th June: A mostly grey, decidedly cool and very blowy morning, with the wind close to gale force and westerly.....

Selsey Bill: Flocks of six and 12 Manx Shearwaters went east this morning, albeit distantly, along with 12 Common Scoters, and the first-summer bird was among the 13 Common Terns offshore, along with three Little Terns and 50 Sandwich Terns,  (SH/BI/IP/AH/SR)
(0530-0830hrs) (W, F6-7)
Manx Shearwater - 18E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 9E, 22W
Common Scoter - 12E
Turnstone - 21W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W, 2os
Sandwich Tern - 50os
Common Tern - 13os
Little Tern - 3os
Swift - 4os

Mediterranean Gulls (above) & Turnstones at the Bill (AH)

This afternoon 188 Manx Shearwaters went east - taking the day's total to an impressive 206 (plus one west). They were mostly quite distant, but many were in small flocks, with the biggest being 23 and 18, but there wasn't too much else on the move beyond a few Gannets. Full log below. (SH/JA/BI/AH)
Manx Shearwater - 188E, 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 23E, 11W, 6os
Grey Plover - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 10os
Common Tern - 1os
Razorbill - 3E
auk sp - 4E
Swift - 14os

Gannet (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Cuckoos flew over and then along the rife early on, whilst the Avocet count had risen to 21 this morning, along with 18 Black-tailed Godwits and a lone Lapwing. (AH)

Avocet (above), Black-tailed Godwits & Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Around Yeomans Field I came across my first family of Chiffchaffs with at least two being fed by parents in the bushes alongside families of Long-tailed Tits and Great Tits. Two Swifts flew overhead, a Blackcap was seen, five Whitethroats were about and Sedge Warblers were singing in the windswept reeds along Red Barn Ditch. (SR)

Chiffchaff in Yeoman's Field (SR)

North Wall: Two Swallows and a Kestrel at the stables, a Common Tern at the Breech Pool, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff at Owl Copse and three Swifts overhead were the standouts in two hours in the wind this morning.  (IH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Whitethroat and a Green Woodpecker were around the farm, with a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk over. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: At least 50 Sandwich Terns were feeding offshore this morning, whilst two Sanderlings went west along the beach, but beyond the usual mix of terns and a couple of Curlews and a Lapwing, the harbour was very quiet.
The odd Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat were about the hedges, whilst the Swallows were around the hide, 26 Swifts went over and Jay, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers were also seen. (AH/S&SaH)

Swallow (above), Sandwich Tern, Blackcap & Green Woodpecker at Church Norton (AH)

Friday, 5th June: A much brighter morning, but with a fresh and blustery north-westerly keeping the temperature down.............

A couple of messages to start:
Pom King 2020: Despite the Lockdown, those local observers able to attend the Bill continued the competition this spring, whilst maintaining social distancing rules. It was a decidedly average spring for Pomarine Skuas and lots of other species too, but we can announce that this year's Pom King is Justin Atkinson, with a winning total of 31 Poms seen from the overall spring total of 34 birds. Congratulations Justin on another title and also to the runner-up, namely Ian Pitts on 20 birds. However, quite a number of challengers who were unable to visit this year will doubtless be ready for the fray next year - assuming Lockdown is over by then - so you'll need to battle hard to keep those titles in 2021!!  (Eds)

Blogger changes: The editorial dinosaurs who have been running this blog for a few years have adopted a certain style and format for the blog which works well for us and which we and our readership have become accustomed to. It was with a certain amount of anguish then when we noted the Blogger system advising of a 'new and brighter interface with additional features.' Knowing what such updates normally do, we anticipated it might make things a bit more complicated and less user-friendly to our level of expertise. Sadly, having tried it, it seems our fears may be justified.

The new interface is being adopted by Blogger as from now on a voluntary basis, eventually becoming the mandatory default by late July. To cut to the chase, we therefore give advance notice that you may notice a number of unavoidable changes in our future blog presentation as the dinosaurs try to adapt! (Eds)

Selsey Bill: Seven Common Scoters east, a Little Egret and a Fulmar west and four Little Terns offshore were the highlights this morning. (BI/AH/IP)
(0615-0815hrs) (WNW, F4)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 19E, 11W
Little Egret - 1W
Common Scoter - 7E
Turnstone - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - c30os
Little tern - 4os
Razorbill - 1E, 1W
auk sp - 9E, 4W
House Martin - 2

Little Tern (above) & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

(1650-1750hrs) (SH)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 41os
Common Tern - 4os

Ferry Pool: There were 100+ Swifts over the sewage works, to the west of the pool, and a Red Kite went over, though otherwise there were just 16 Avocets, 18 Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank and a dozen Shelducks on the pool, whilst a confiding Lesser Black-backed Gull was in the channel opposite. (PB/AH/AW)

Avocet (AH) (above) & Lesser Black-backed Gull (AW) around the Ferry 

A Cattle Egret was on the Ferry Pool again this afternoon before flying off in the direction of Medmerry. Also there was a pair of Mute Swans and six cygnets in the channel, presumably the pair from Long Pool.

Cattle Egret (above) & Mute Swan family around the Ferry (AW)

North WallA Barn Owl was hunting to the north of the Wall early this morning, a Common Tern was active at the Breach Pool and two Cuckoos were calling.  
The Blue Tits were still feeding young at the Salt House and a Lesser Whitethroat was still rattling to the east of Whites Creek while also seen were two Swifts, a Kestrel and, of course, Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers.  (IH)
This evening the Barn Owl was out again and 50+ Swifts were feeding overhead. (IH)

East Head: The Quail was still calling from the barley field by the beach access road this morning. (PC)

Church Norton: Early on this morning a flock of 13 Crossbills went over westward, whilst a Spotted Flycatcher was also present and 24 Southern Marsh Orchids were seen. (MRE)
Later, at 8.15am, a possible Honey-buzzard flew up through the harbour, initially being mobbed by a Peregrine and then a selection of gulls before it was lost to view in the Owl Copse area. (This bird has caused a lot of discussion as to whether it might actually be a Common Buzzard - sometimes pictures are not as helpful as they might be! Eds)
(Note: the later consensus was that this bird was actually a Common Buzzard - albeit a tricky one!)
Otherwise, there were plenty of terns in the harbour, but the only waders were a couple of Curlews and Oystercatchers, whilst a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a couple of Chiffchaffs and a few Whitethroats and Linnets were seen and heard, five Swifts and a couple of Swallows went over and the Sparrowhawk was still sat on her nest. (AH/BI/PB)

Possible Honey-buzzard (above), Swift, Sparrowhawk, Mediterranean Gull, Whitethroat & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 4th June: Another cool and grey morning, with a blustery northerly breeze, though dry.............

Selsey Bill: A tight flock of 15 Common Terns went east this morning, along with six Common Scoter, whilst a flock of c30 Turnstones went west. There was also a very late migrant Reed Warbler singing from the vegetation by the bench. Full log below...... 
0650-1000hrs: (wind N/NW3-4) (AH/IP/SR/IH/OM/PC)
Gannet - 26E, 3W
Common Scoter - 6E
Turnstone - 30W
Razorbill - 1W
Common Tern - 15E
Sandwich Tern - c.30 os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Reed Warbler - 1 singing Bill House garden

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

Ferry Pool: The female Ruff was still present and showing well till mid-morning, when it couldn't be relocated. 
Also, a Cattle Egret was present on the field early on, a Red Kite went over north, a Buzzard was mobbed by crows, a Sedge Warbler was in the road-side reeds and a Little Ringed Plover, 17 Avocets, c25 Black-tailed Godwits and half a dozen Shelduck were on the pool. (AH/SR/IL/RP/OM/IH/AW et al)

Later, an Osprey was seen heading over Sidlesham. (IL)

Cattle Egret (above), Ruff and Avocets (RP), Ruff & Little Ringed Plover (AH) at the Ferry

The Ruff flew back onto the Ferry from the adjacent channel early this evening. (S&SaH)

Ruff on the Ferry (SH)

East Head: The Quail was still calling from the barley field immediately east of the beach access road from early on, and was seen in flight briefly mid-morning when the tractor and sprayer disturbed it. Also a flock of 4 Mediterranean Gulls flew over heading east. 
(OM/AH et al)

North Selsey: There were 55 Swifts feeding over our garden to the north of the village this evening. (JA) There were also lots over Park Farm, East Beach and Albion Road this evening. (SH/SR)

Long Pool: There wasn't much to report from here this morning, though one or two Reed and Sedge Warblers were still singing, a Whitethroat and a few Linnets were along the remnant hedges and a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel went over, whilst Ferry Channel just held a Gadwall, a few Redshank and a couple of Curlews. (AH)

Whitethroat (above), Linnet, Sparrowhawk & Kestrel along the Long Pool (AH)

Chi GP's - Ivy Lake complex - On Ivy Lake were there 2 Common Terns and at least 30 Swifts, whilst 7 Egyptian Geese were spread between the East & West Lakes. At New Lake another 30 Swifts and c.20 House Martins were present. (OM)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were c50 Swifts over the fields this evening along with c200 Swallows and c300 House Martins. (AH)

Swift (above), Swallow and House Martin & Swallows at Medmerry (AH)

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