Friday, 17 July 2020

17th - 19th July 2020

Sunday, 19th July: A mainly cloudy day with light showers early on, some hazy brightness and just a light W/NW breeze.......then more cloud and rain later.

Selsey Bill: A tantalisingly small skua sp was just too far out for a positive ID, but otherwise it was fairly routine with a few Mediterranean Gulls and 60+ Sandwich Terns of note. Full log below......
0600-0830hrs:  (wind WNW 2)  (SH/BI/MO-W/SR/JA/IP)
Gannet - 12E, 8W
Common Scoter - 5E
Redshank - 1W
Common Tern - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 62 os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 31W
Skua sp - 1W (looked small)
Swift - 12
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 6

North Selsey: There were at least 50 Swifts and seven Sandwich Terns overhead. (SH)

Park Farm: An early Wheatear was perched on a watering device and other species logged included two juvenile Kestrels, a Green Woodpecker and 13 Mediterranean Gulls. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool/Channel: There were two Water Rail chicks on the main pool this morning along with a Common Sandpiper and six Black-tailed Godwits. In the channel opposite were two more Common Sandpipers and a eight more Black-tailed Godwits. (SH/BI et al)

Juvenile Water Rail at the Ferry Pool (SH)

Church Norton: A flock of nine Snipe over the beach flew off towards the Severals. In the latter area were a family party of at least 4 Lesser Whitethroats and a Chiffchaff, plus 50 Linnets over the fields. In the harbour Tern numbers were largely unchanged, with the exception of a reduction in Common Terns to only five, whilst out on the mud were c.100 Dunlin, a Whimbrel, five Curlews, a few Redshanks and the regular Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers. 
At Bluebell Wood, a Sparrowhawk was seen to fly in with prey and nearby a Shoveler and a pair of Gadwall were on the second several. Passerines were few and far between bar a Pied Wagtail or two and a singing Reed Bunting at the first several. The west side was again quiet with only the occasional Lesser Whitethroat & Whitethroat along the bushes. 
At the Long Pool end were two Yellowhammers, one with food items and also two Reed Buntings. (S&SaH/IP/BI)

Ringed Plover chick at Church Norton (SH)

Medmerry - Easton Lane to Stilt Pool: A Greenshank was the only notable bird at the first sluice and 4 Egyptian Geese were in the long grass, while 8 House Martins were over the reservoir. There were signs of a good breeding year for Yellowhammers with two families along the path and 13 adults noted, some still singing despite the drizzle, and as ever Skylarks were plentiful. A few Reed Warblers were also calling and 4 Reed Buntings were seen along with 15 Linnets. 
The Stilt Pool was full of birds skilfully avoiding the herd of cattle, the most interesting being 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Greenshank, 2 Dunlin, 3 Lapwing and a Black-tailed Godwit. A Mallard had 3 small ducklings, the Mute Swans still had their 4 cygnets and a Grey Heron fished alongside a juvenile. 
A flock of c30 Black-headed Gulls, many of them juveniles were also present alongside 18 Canada Geese and a Kestrel and a Buzzard were close by. (SR)

Egyptian Geese, Greenshank & Black-tailed Godwit and Yellowhammer at Medmerry (SR)

North Wall: It was generally quiet along the Wall today, although a group of some 40 Swifts were moving westwards early on. On Breech Pool were 19 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Lapwing, a Spotted Redshank and a Little Ringed Plover. Three Common Terns were also fishing there; interestingly one had an all red bill but otherwise resembled the other Common Terns. In the field behind were 33 Curlew, whilst along White's Creek were 24 Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank and a Whimbrel.  At Owl Copse juvenile Little Egrets were testing their flight feathers. (JDW/IH/PC)

Greenshank in White's Creek (JDW)

Saturday, 18th JulyDry and sunny with scattered cloud and still warm, though with a moderate W/SW breeze 3-4 making it feel a little fresher....

Selsey Bill: Plenty of gulls on the move westwards this morning whilst five returning Sanderling moved east. Full log below....
(0540-0800hrs)  (wind WSW 4)  (SH/BI/MO-W/SR/IP)
Gannet - 11E, 12W
Shag - 1E
Common Scoter - 15W, 1os
Curlew - 2W
Sanderling - 5E
Little Tern - 4W
Common Tern - 5 os
Sandwich Tern - 9W, 62 os
Black-headed Gull - 77W
Mediterranean Gull - 56W
Herring Gull - 1000+ W
Swift - 13
Sand Martin - 18W
House Martin - 8
Swallow - 6
Pied Wagtail - 3W
Linnet - 2E

Northcommon Farm: A Little Owl was showing on the roof of the stables at dusk (around 21.45hrs). (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were just a Common Sandpiper and 11 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, whilst around a fairly quiet Tramway circuit there were several young Blackcaps and a few Whitethroats about. (AH/SH)

 Common Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwits on Ferry Pool and Blackcap along the Tramway (AH)

Long Pool: A Whinchat was in the hedges at the far end of the pool this morning, whilst there were several singing Reed Warblers, with more fledged young about, a couple of Reed Buntings and Sedge Warblers and 20+ Linnets. 
A dozen juvenile Gadwall were on the pool, whilst a Greenshank flew through Ferry Channel, where there were also a Whimbrel and 20 Redshanks. (AH)

 Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Whinchat, Sedge Warbler and Gadwall at the Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: Early on, the Breech Pool held a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, 25 Black-tailed Godwits and two Teal, then a summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank flew up from somewhere unseen at the back of the pool and headed out into the harbour calling frequently. The usual activity from Reed and Sedge Warbler families was also apparent. 
In White's Creek another 40+ Black-tailed Godwits were present, one being colour-ringed. (OM/IH)

Colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit in White's Creek (OM)

East side: Two Yellow-legged Gulls (an adult and near-adult) were loafing/sleeping out on the mudflats amongst other gulls, whilst a juvenile bird roosting nearby was a good probable but the ID couldn't be clinched. At least 40 Mediterranean Gulls were also spread out across the mudflats, three of which were colour ringed (two white, one red, but annoyingly just too distant for the details to be read even with optics).
At least two Greenshank, three Whimbrel and a couple of Dunlin were amongst the regular parties of Redshank, Oystercatcher and Curlew and two Little Terns were fishing along the channel.

 Yellow-legged Gull on the East side mudflats (OM)

Church Norton: A Woodcock was reported at 05.45hrs (no other details) (reported on Twitter, per BI)

The harbour was full of Terns this morning including at least forty Little Terns around New Island; with the amount of activity suggesting that there may well be young present here. Eighty-five Dunlin were in a flock near the concrete with c.30 Turnstone, six Little Egrets, a few Redshank, 3 Curlew, a Whimbrel and the usual Ringed Plover and Oystercatchers.
Passerines were generally very quiet except for a mixed flock between the two Severals that were mainly long tailed tits, but included a single Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler. A Lesser Whitethroat was also nearby and a large flock of Linnet were around the Second Several with a few Whitethroat mixed in.
The highlight of the morning here was a Stoat running around on the shingle before returning to the bushes.
A Blackcap was singing in Bluebell Wood where the Sparrowhawk nest is now empty so presumably all five have now fledged. The west side was generally quiet bar a few Lesser Whitethroats and Linnets but the first Small Copper of the year was near Reedy Marsh. (IP/BI)

Friday, 17th July: 
After a grey start, a very warm and mostly sunny morning, with just a light north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A generally quiet morning, though with a few hirundines about and a flock of 22 Common Scoters west. Full log below. (BI/IP/AH/SR)
(0605-0750) (NW, F3)
Gannet - 8E, 4W
Common Scoter - 1E, 22W
Mediterranean Gull - 10W
Sandwich Tern - 77os
Common Tern - 5os
Little Tern - 2os
Swift - 22
Pied Wagtail - 4W
Swallow - 4W, 12 present
House Martin - 1W, 6 present
Sand Martin - 2E, 22W
Also, a Common Seal and a shoal of Mackerel were very close inshore

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: An adult Little Stint was present briefly, mid-morning, though otherwise there were just nine Black-tailed Godwits and a Teal on the pool, and later on it was birdless again. (AH)

Little Stint (above) & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Early on, there was a Green Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover on the Breech Pool, along with c30 Black-tailed Godwits and a few Lapwing and Teal, plus a feeding Common Tern, whilst later a Spotted Redshank dropped in.
A Yellow-legged Gull was one of the few gulls in the harbour, which was generally quiet, though a Little Tern appeared briefly and there were a few Redshank and Curlews present, with c40 of the latter also in the mowed fields.
Small birds were few, though a few Reed Warblers were still singing, a couple of Whitethroats popped up and a few Swallows went over, and a family of five Jays, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel were seen towards Halsey's Farm. (IH/NR/AH/BI/IP/PC et al)

Common Tern and Black-tailed Godwits (above), Yellow-legged Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Curlews & Reed Warbler at the North Wall (AH)

Church Norton: A quick look late this morning failed to find any Roseate Terns, though there were still many Sandwich Terns and a few Common Terns present, and at least 30 Little Terns took off when a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull dropped in on New Island. Fortunately, their persistent dive-bombing tactics did the trick and it soon moved on. 
Otherwise, there were still 30+ Mediterranean Gulls and c40 Dunlin in the harbour, but generally it was quiet in the heat. (AH et al)

Little Terns and Great Black-backed Gull (above) & Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were still 100+ Sandwich Terns and a dozen Little Terns on the mud, but numbers are starting to decline as birds start to move on. 
Also, there were still two Common Sandpipers, 100+ Dunlin, at least four Whimbrel and 20+ Redshanks and Curlews out on the mud, but sadly the Ringed Plover pair only seemed to have one chick with them. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

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