Friday, 10 July 2020

10th - 13th July 2020

Monday, 13th July: Another fine and warm morning, with just a light north-westerly breeze.......

Selsey Bill: It was a much quieter morning today, with just the regular species in modest numbers. (BI/MO-W/AH/IP)
(0625-0800hrs) (NW, F3)
Gannet - 2w, 3os
Common Scoter - 3E
Mediterranean Gull - 9os
Sandwich tern - 35os
Common Tern - 3E, 2W
Little Tern - 1os
Swift - 18
Swallow - 1E
House Martin - 3

Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just a Common Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit on the pool this morning, whilst one or two Whitethroats and Blackcaps were in the adjacent hedgerows. (AH)
This afternoon there were two summer-plumaged Spotted Redshanks roosting among the Black-tailed Godwits. (AB)

Common Sandpiper (above), Black-tailed Godwit & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was no sign of the Roseate Tern among the many terns present, though there was a very good count of at least 60 Little Terns, mostly sat out on the mud, along with c30 Common Terns, 100+ Sandwich Terns and c40 Mediterranean Gulls.
The Common Sandpiper was again present in the harbour, along with at least two Whimbrel, 45 Dunlin and a dozen Turnstones and the pair of Ringed Plovers with two small chicks, whilst passerines were restricted to a dozen Sand Martins and half a dozen Swallows over, a briefly singing Blackcap, a couple of Whitethroats and a few Linnets. (AH/IP/GJ/PJ/ARK/MH/KF)

Little Terns (above), Sandwich Terns, Little and Sandwich Terns, Whimbrel and Curlew & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton (AH)

Finally this afternoon, the Roseate Tern that has been giving everyone the runaround gave itself up, and for a while was joined by two more, before they departed/disappeared, leaving one still present in the evening.
There appeared to be only a handful of Little Terns present this evening, so perhaps it was a day for tern movement, though there were still 150+ Sandwich Terns and 20 Common Terns in the harbour, along with c50 Mediterranean Gulls, c40 Dunlin and c20 Turnstones. (GJ/PJ//IP/NM/AH et al)

Late this evening two Roseate Terns were sitting out among the other terns in the harbour. (AB)

Roseate Tern with other terns at Church Norton (top 3 GJ, lower 3 AH)

North Wall: A Spotted Redshank was on the Breech Pool early on, before being spooked by a Roe Deer. There were also just a handful of Black-tailed Godwits and a couple of Lapwings, two Swifts went over and a couple of flocks of Sand Martins passed through - totalling c.60 birds. (IH/OM)

East side: The first Yellow-legged Gull of the autumn here - an adult-type bird - was loafing somewhat distantly on the mudflats before preening and briefly showing itself well. It was otherwise good along the East side for the commoner waders, with 74 Black-tailed Godwits in White's Creek and five Spotted Redshanks roosting along the channel with 122 Common Redshanks and two Greenshanks, plus two Common Sandpipers chasing each other along the sides. In the centre of the harbour a single Avocet was present and out on the mudflats were three Whimbrel, 35 Curlew, 24 Oystercatchers and five Dunlin. (OM/IH/PC)
Later there were four Yellow-legged Gulls - the adult and three juveniles- on the mud, along with c80 Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper, whilst three Cattle Egrets dropped in among the roosting gulls. (GJ/PJ)

Another classic - despite my best efforts the only usable image of the Yellow-legged Gull I managed to obtain was this phone-scoped job - just as it started to preen!! (OM)
 Whimbrels along the East side (OM)

Fishbourne Creek - Dell Quay: A fairly quiet walk, the only notable birds being just two singing Yellowhammers in the bushes. In the harbour the birds were rather distant on the low tide; there was at least one Whimbrel in with the few Curlew, three Greenshank were my first here of the return passage and there were also 12 Redshank and four Oystercatchers, plus a few Mediterranean Gulls in with the commoner species. (RW)

Sunday, 12th July: Another pleasantly sunny morning, with a light breeze starting just west of north and veering right round to south by midday.......

Selsey Bill: A Balearic Shearwater went west fairly close in early this morning, whilst a Bonxie dropped in to harass the gulls and terns, a Brent Goose went west and then back east and 56 Sand Martins and 85 Common Scoter went east. Full log below. (SH/BI/IP/AH/MO-W/SR/P&LH)
(0530-0900hrs) (NNE, F2)
Balearic Shearwater - 1W (0542hrs)
Gannet - 64os
Brent Goose - 1W, then back E
Common Scoter - 85E, 36W
Bonxie - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 49os
Common Tern - 4os
Little Tern - 1os
Razorbill - 1os
Swift - 19
Green Woodpecker - 1
Sand Martin - 56E
House Martin - 2
Pied wagtail - 1E, 1W

Bonxie (above), Brent Goose, Sandwich Tern & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were a Common Sandpiper, two Little Ringed Plovers, four Dunlin and five Black-tailed Godwits, plus three Teal, on the pool this morning, though all the Shelducks seem to have moved on.
There was a bit more warbler activity around the Tramway circuit this morning, with a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and several Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Whitethroats seen, including juveniles of the latter three species. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above), Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwits, Blackcap & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

North Selsey: A slow walk around the new estate off Drift Road was surprisingly uplifting with 12 occupied House Martin nests found, the largest local colony I've come across so far, and the Selsey Centre area yielded a further three where 16 - 20 Swifts are benefiting from the Swift-friendly housing. (SR)
Also three Sand Martins were among the House Martins and Swallows at Park Farm. (S&SaH)

Swift in North Selsey (SR)

Sidlesham: Around 40 Swallows were sat out on the wires along Keynor Lane early this morning. (AH)
Also, at Highleigh stables there were a pair of Buzzards with a young one calling noisily. (CRJ)

Swallows in Sidlesham (AH)

Church Norton: The Roseate Tern appeared again today, seen sat out with the other terns and feeding in the harbour, where there was also a Common Sandpiper again. (P&LH)
Otherwise, there were just 13 Dunlin and two Turnstones in the harbour, the two Tufted Duck-lings, two young Little Grebes and a pair of Gadwall on the second Several and 50 Swifts, three Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard over Greenlease Farm. (IP/S&SaH)

Roseate Tern with Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (LH)

North Wall: The Little Owl was reported briefly hunting at the stables this morning while about 100 Sand Martins, a Common Tern and a few Swallows were feeding at the Breech Pool before the appearance of a Peregrine caused them all to vanish. 
The Breech Pool also contained about 20 Black-tailed Godwits, a Grey Heron, three Little Egrets and a few Lapwing. Whites Creek held a hundred or so Black-tailed Godwits and a few Curlew and Lapwing but was otherwise quiet. (IH)
Later, a pair of Common Terns were together over the Breech Pool and three Teal were also present, whilst White's Creek held one Spotted Redshank among c120 Common Redshank and c50 Black-tailed Godwits. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Common Terns at the North Wall (AH)

East Side: There were two Greenshanks and two Whimbrel out in the harbour, along with c40 Mediterranean Gulls roosting on the mud and two Little Terns were feeding in the channel. (AH)

Greenshank (above), Whimbrels & Mediterranean Gull from the east side (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This afternoon there were ten Swifts and 20 Sand Martins around the new reservoir, with five Buzzards in the distance from there and another 40 Sand Martins along the banks.
The Stilt Pool held a few waders today, namely two Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, two Little Ringed Plovers and 13 Black-tailed Godwits and there were also a pair of Mute Swans with four well-grown cygnets and a Little Egret present. (S&SaH/CRJ)

Information has been received on the colour ringed Black-tailed Godwit seen at the Breech pool on 1st July.... "Thanks for the sighting of one of our colour-marked Black-tailed Godwits. These birds are marked as part of long-term conservation efforts to improve the fortunes of the small breeding population (~50 pairs) in eastern England. As part of those conservation efforts, for the last 3 years, we have head-started young godwits (reared them in captivity and released them once fledged) and we monitor the fortunes of the godwits breeding in the wild.

I include the full re-sighting history for your interest in the table below. “Morgan” is one of the birds we head-started in 2018 as you will see he was seen multiple times this season".

 In short, this bird has been reported 31 times.....mostly at Welney and the Ouse washes area, once in Portugal and once at Titchfield Haven. Recently it was seen again at the Ouse washes in June, before appearing at the Breech Pool for the first time. (Eds)

Saturday, 11th July: A lovely sunny morning, with a light but freshening north-westerly building cloud banks as the day progressed.......

Selsey Bill: There were 100 Gannets (mostly) close offshore, with lots of gulls and terns, whilst a few hirundines were about, too including 36 Sand Martins and a Grey Wagtail went west. (SH/BI/AH/IP/MO-W)
(0545-0800hrs) (NW, F2)
Gannet - 100os
Common Scoter - 10E, 3W
Oystercatcher - 5W
Turnstone - 1E
Curlew - 1W
Herring Gull - 1500os
Mediterranean Gull - 20os
SandwichTern - 20os
common Tern - 2os
Swift - 21
Sand Martin - 36
House Martin - 7
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 1W

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

(1630-1730hrs) (SSW, F4) (SH)
Gannet - 26os
Herring Gull - 500os
Black-headed Gull - 100os
Mediterranean Gull - 14os/W
Sandwich Tern - 55os/W

Ferry Pool: The only birds on the pool this morning were a Common Sandpiper and 20 Lapwings at the back and five Black-tailed Godwits at the front, whilst half a dozen Sand Martins went over west.. (AH)

Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There was a Whimbrel with c50 Redshanks and a dozen Teal in Ferry Channel, whilst a mother Gadwall with five well-grown ducklings was on the pool.
A few Reed Warblers and a couple of Sedge Warblers were along the pool, with a few Whitethroats and Linnets along the bushes. (AH)

Whimbrel and Redshanks (above), Reed Warbler & Sedge Warbler at the Long Pool (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: At least 20 Mediterranean Gulls were in the fields this morning. (S&SaH)

North Wall: The water level of the Breech Pool is a little lower still, and so an impressive seven Spotted Redshanks and about 60 Black-tailed Godwits could be found at one time this morning, while about a dozen Swifts, a few Sand Martins and a Swallow flew above. 
There was relatively little in the harbour (not helped by two fishermen at the sluice gates) apart from a few Lapwing, Curlew and Little Egrets. (IH)

This afternoon there was just one Spotted Redshank on the Breech Pool, along with 73 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst two Kingfishers and two Sand Martins were also seen, with a single Cattle Egret and 20+ Little Egrets, including four juveniles, in the Owl Copse area. (S&SaH)

Towards sunset about 500 Sand Martins gathered over the Breech Pool though it was not clear whether they were roosting in the reeds.  A Barn Owl hunted in the fields behind the Breech Pool which contained a Spotted Redshank and at least one further Spotted Redshank was in Whites Creek.  (IH/SP/IB)

Spotted Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits from the North Wall (IH)

Church Norton: There were a few new waders in the harbour this morning, including two Greenshank, two Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper, along with four Dunlin, five Turnstones and a few Redshank and Curlews. There were also 20 Little Terns and at least 20 Common Terns and Mediterranean Gulls among the many Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls in the harbour.

At least 100 Swifts, along with 30+ House Martins, 20+ swallows and a few Sand Martins were over Greenlease Farm, along with a Sparrowhawk and two Buzzards, whilst the Tufted Duck and two ducklings, a juvenile Little Grebe and a Shoveler were on the second Several.

Also, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were heard, a few Whitethroats and Linnets were seen and the three Sparrowhawk chicks were still prospering. (AH/S&SaH/IP)

Greenshank (above), Whimbrel, Common Tern, Little, Common Sandwich Terns, Sparrowhawk chicks & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

This evening a juvenile Cuckoo was between the Severals and the Sparrowhawk family proved to comprise of a remarkable five youngsters of differing ages.
Also, a pair of Ringed Plovers with two chicks were on the concrete spit, along with a few Turnstones and Redshanks and vast numbers of terns. (AB/AH)

Cuckoo (above), Sparrowhawks (AB), Sandwich Tern (above) & Common and Sandwich Terns (AH) at Church Norton

Friday, 10th July: Finally a bit of sunshine this morning between the banks of white cloud being pushed through by a fresh north-westerly....

Selsey Bill: There was not much variety this morning, but quite a spectacle, with at least 300 Gannets, many very close in, and thousands of gulls spread right across the horizon.
Full log below. (AH/IP/SR/MH)
(0645-0800hrs) (NNW, F5)
Gannet - c300os
Common Scoter - 1E,
Turnstone - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 24W, 10os
Sandwich Tern - 40os
Common Tern - 4os
House Martin - 2

Gannets (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper, plus eight Black-tailed Godwits were the only birds present this morning, with the Common Sandpiper relocating to the channel opposite. Also, c50 Lapwings flew up from the adjacent harbour briefly.
The Tramway held several families of Whitethroats, a couple of Swallows and a vocal Blackcap and Song Thrush, whilst a couple of Swallows and a Buzzard went over. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above), Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwits & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were still dozens of Sandwich Terns and hundreds of Black-headed Gulls in the harbour this morning, along with at least 20 Little terns, ten Common Terns, c60 Mediterranean Gulls, four Dunlin and a Turnstone, with a pair of Ringed Plovers with a chick at the start of the spit.
A Blackcap, a few Linnets and Skylarks, plus the Swallows were about it for passerines, though two young Green Woodpeckers were near the concrete wall. (AH/IP/IL et al)

A thorough survey of the fledglings on the islands and in the harbour today by the RSPB produced the following encouraging counts - (IL)
Black-headed Gull - 754
Sandwich Tern - 152
Common Tern - 6
Mediterranean Gull - 3
Little Tern - 5
Ringed Plover - 2

This evening the Roseate Tern was again on the metalwork and a Greenshank was on the mud. (IL)

Sandwich Terns (above) & Green Woodpeckers at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A largely summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank was on the Breech Pool this morning together with 46 Black-tailed Godwits, a single Common Redshank, three Lapwings, two Teal, four Tufted Ducks and the usual Mallards. There was also plenty of reed-bed activity from the Reed Warbler families and a couple of Swifts over. (OM/IH)

 Spotted Redshank on the Breech Pool (OM)

East side: There was very little to report from here; Curlew numbers had increased to c.30 and there was similar of Redshank plus 20 Oystercatchers, but no small waders at all. A single Great Crested Grebe was in the channel and a small flock of about 10 Sand Martins passed over heading east. (OM)

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