Bank Holiday, 31st May: A morning of uninterrupted sunshine, very warm later on, despite the north-easterly breeze........
Selsey Bill: The spring season ended with a typically quiet morning, with just a few of the regular species noted. Full log below. (IP/AH/SR)
(0700-0800hrs) (NE, F3)
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 6E, 3W
Common Scoter - 27os
Sandwich Tern - 20os
Pied Wagtail - 1W
House Martin - 4
Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)
Also, later on there were nine Swifts, two Swallows and three definitely occupied House Martin nests with two being built and many House Martins still investigating potential nest sites. There were 16 more House Martins flying over the Broadreeds Estate which was more than I expected. (SR)
House Martin at the Bill (SR)
Ferry Pool: Pretty much a replay of yesterday, with just four Avocets, two Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank, a Lapwing, five Gadwall and 38 Shelducks on and around the pool and a couple of Blackcaps and Whitethroats in the adjacent hedges. (AH)
Gadwall on the Ferry (AH)
Park Farm, Selsey: Highlight was a Shelduck leading her ten ducklings out of the crop and along a path, whilst her partner flew around in a very agitated state. Also a Green Woodpecker was on the reservoir fence and a Buzzard was being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. (IP)
Church Norton: Waders in the harbour were six Ringed Plover, plenty of Oystercatchers, a Curlew and a summer plumaged Knot, along with plenty of Little and Sandwich Ternswhilst a Red-legged Partridge on the Spit again.
The Cuckoo briefly showed at the back of the first Several in the dead trees and all of the regular warblers were present, including three Chiffchaff chicks just fledging, and three Reed Bunting were also about. (IP/AW)
Little Tern (above), Chiffchaff & Red-legged Partridge at Church Norton (AW)
East Beach: There was a Lime Hawk-moth in the trap this morning. (SR)
Lime Hawk-moth in an East Beach garden (SR)
Chalder and Marsh Farms, Sidlesham: There were three Buzzards, a Red Kite, a Cattle Egret, a Lesser Whitethroat, three Roe Deer and a Brown Hare around Chalder Farm this morning, with two more Cattle Egrets and five Buzzards around Marsh Farm. (CRJ)
North Wall: The Breech Pool is still full to the brim and contained three pairs of Tufted Ducks and two male Shovelers, whilst the Mute Swans have hatched cygnets, the pair at Owl Water are still sitting and the pair close to Bremere sluice have at least five cygnets.
It was very predictable along the Wall with Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers backed by Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Goldfinch and Linnet. A lot of Egret noise coming from Owl Copse with at least 12 Little Egrets feeding in the near harbour, but very little was in the fields apart from 11 Black-tailed Godwits in Honer 2.
Common Whitethroats feeding young along Honer Lane and a Cuckoo was at Honer Farm, but Honer Reservoir was extra quiet with five Shelducks, two Coots, a Tufted Duck and, suprisingly, a Great Crested Grebe. (JDW)
Mute Swan family at the North Wall (JDW)
Medmerry: Stilt Pool - There were 15 Avocets on nests this morning, whilst a Hairy Dragonfly was also seen and lots of Marsh Frogs were heard. (CRJ)
Medmerry: Medmerry Trail, Porthole Farm and Ham Farm - There wasn't too much out of the ordinary, but Whitethroats were all along the route, with several Reed Warblers, a couple of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Lesser Whitethroats also about, and Yellowhammers, Linnets and Skylarks numerous around both farms, too.
A single Corn Bunting in the big barley field at Ham was the only one seen, with a distantly calling Cuckoo, a Green Woodpecker, a couple of Reed Buntings and a handful of Swallows in the vicinity, too. (AH)
There was also a singing Reed Bunting at Chainbridge. (EB)
Corn Bunting (above), Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Green Woodpecker, Skylark, Swallow, Linnet (AH) & Reed Bunting (EB) at Medmerry
Sunday, 30th May: A bright and sunny day, cool early on, with a moderate north-easterly breeze........
Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning, with 11 Common Scoter and four Kittiwakes east the only birds on the move. (PB/JA/SR/AH/MO-W/IP)
(0630-0800hrs) (NE, F3)
Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Gannet - 12E, 3W
Common Scoter - 11E
Kittiwake - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 6
Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were just four Avocets, two Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank, a Lapwing, five Gadwall and 32 Shelducks on and around the pool this morning, with not much beyond the odd Blackcap and Whitethroat in evidence around the Tramway circuit. (AH)
Shelducks (above), Lapwing, Gadwall and Shelducks, Whitethroat & Blackcap at the Ferry (AH)
Park Farm, Selsey: There were a singing Lesser Whitethroat, a Green Woodpecker, 20 House Martins over the reservoir, a Red legged Partridge and a Sparrowhawk around the farm this morning. (IP).
Church Norton: There were at least 50 Little Terns and many Sandwich Terns in the harbour this morning, though wader species were unchanged from yesterday with three Ringed Plover, two Turnstone and plenty of Oystercatchers.
Otherwise there was just the usual mix of Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers noted. (IP)
Halsey's Farm & North Wall: A Marsh Harrier over the reedbed was the highlight. Apart from that there were three Buzzards, a Blackcap, calling Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers, a Cuckoo calling from Marsh Farm, half a dozen Swallows, four House Martins, two Chiffchaffs, plenty of Whitethroats, two Reed Buntings, and a single Common Tern at the inlet.
There was plenty of noise coming from the heronry but in the wind birds were keeping a low profile with just two Little Egrets showing and a single Cattle Egret feeding in the meadow. (SR)
Cattle Egret (above) & Sedge Warbler at the North Wall (SR)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was very quiet this morning, with just a distant Cuckoo of note, with the birds keeping low along the banks in the breeze, including a few Yellowhammers, Linnets, Skylarks and Whitethroats, with half a dozen Swallows over.
The Stilt Pool held c25 Avocets, though no young were seen, and the only other waders were a single Ringed Plover and pair of Oystercatchers, whilst whilst wildfowl included half a dozen Gadwall and Tufted Ducks and three families of Canada Geese and another 25 adult birds. (AH)
Ringed Plover (above), Avocet, Stock Dove, Yellowhammer, Skylark & Linnet at Medmerry (AH)
Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - A Hobby was hunting over the South pit this morning, where a male Marsh Harrier also appeared, whilst a pair of Buzzards were calling and displaying and a Cuckoo called for a short while..
On the water there were still a few Pochard and Tufted Ducks, three pairs of Gadwall, two Egyptian Geese, a recent brood of Canada Geese and the first brood of Mute Swans (on North pit). A Common Tern also appeared briefly before drifting off.
Reed Warblers seemed to be everywhere and a mini-survey revealed at least 28 singing males/pairs on North pit and at least 10 pairs on the South, with at least seven pairs of Reed Bunting between both pits. Also of interest were a total of at least 10 Cetti's Warblers, five Chiffchaffs and a Lesser Whitethroat. (OM)
Gadwall, Mute Swan with young, Canada Geese with young, Egyptian Geese and Buzzard at Drayton House pits (OM)
Saturday, 29th May: After a grey start, a warm and sunny day, with the moderate breeze swinging round from north-east to south-east........
Selsey Bill: It was fairly slow, though a Great Northern Diver was on the sea before heading off east and two Arctic Skuas together and a few Common Scoters went east. Full log below. (SH/BI/IP/MO-W/AH)
(0600-0800hrs) (NE, F3)
Great Northern Diver - 1os, then W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 15E, 2W
Common Scoter - 16E, 11os
Dunlin - 13E
Arctic Skua - 2E (1l/p, 1 d/p)
Sandwich Tern - c20os
Common Tern - 7os
Swallow - 1N
House Martin - 1
Ferry Pool: There were 14 Black-tailed Godwits, four Avocets, a Lapwing, two Redshanks, six Gadwall and 22 Shelducks on/around the pool, with a couple of Blackcaps and a Whitethroat in the adjacent hedges. (AH)
Blackcap (above) & Wren around the Ferry (AH)
Long Pool: There wasn't much to report from here besides the regular Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers, plus the odd Whitethroat, Reed Bunting and Linnet, whilst four Mediterranean Gulls went over. (AH)
Whitethroat (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Long Pool (AH)
Park Farm, Selsey: There were just eight House Martins gathering mud and a Pied Wagtail this morning. (IP)
Church Norton: Five Turnstones and four Ringed Plovers were the only waders seen in the harbour, along with lots of terns, whilst around the Severals there were Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus a couple of Reed Buntings and a Lesser Whitethroat, and a Buzzard and a Great Spotted Woodpecker went over.
The most unusual sighting of the morning was of a pair of Red-legged Partridges along the spit. (IP)
This afternoon the Roseate Tern was seen briefly and two Kittiwakes were among the roosting terns. (IL)
Red-legged Partridge at Church Norton (IP)
Birdham Pool: There was a Cuckoo this morning at the Pool and the Great Crested Grebes now have two offspring. (MR)
Cuckoo (above) & Great Crested Grebes at Birdham Pool (MR)
Medmerry: Stilt Pool - A first-summer White-fronted Goose was with the Canada Geese on the Stilt Pool this morning.
A Cuckoo was around the poplars, four young Avocet chicks were on the Stilt Pools, along with a Little Ringed Plover and a few Ringed Plovers, and there were the usual lots of Skylarks, Whitethroats, Yellowhammers and Linnets.
Also, four Adders were found during a reptile survey, whilst there were a few Four-spotted Chasers around the banks, and a single Clouded Yellow, with loads of Marsh Frogs too!(HB/LP)
White-fronted Goose (above), with Canada Goose & Adder at Medmerry (HB)
There were no owls showing this evening, though a Grey Partridge was in the field by the car-park, two Cuckoos were being very vocal, a late Whimbrel was by the poplars, the first-summer White-fronted Goose was with the Canada Geese and several linnets and Yellowhammers were along the banks, along with a Jay and several Stock Doves. (AB/AW/AH/IP/CN et al)
North Wall: A female Wheatear was along the wall this morning, whilst there were two Cuckoos in the vicinity, three Cattle Egrets in Owl Copse and the male Marsh Harrier popped up briefly.
An Avocet was on a flooded Honer 2 field early on, but beyond a Lapwing on Honer 1 field there were no waders at all, though four Gadwall were flying about and there were plenty of Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus a few Whitethroats along the wall. (NR/AH)
Wheatear (above), Sedge Warbler & Gadwall along the North Wall (AH)
Pagham Spit: There were at least a dozen Little Terns and half a dozen Sandwich Terns feeding along the channel to the harbour entrance, whilst a pair of Ringed Plovers appeared briefly, but there wasn't much else to report from here beyond a Common Blue butterfly in one of the gardens and the scale of change as the Little Lagoon continues to erode away. (AH)
Little Terrn (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Blue and the Little Lagoon at Pagham Spit (AH)