Monday, 28 June 2021

28th - 30th June 2021

Wednesday, 30th June: A very grey and fairly cool morning, with the odd glimpse of blue sky later on......

Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning! Full log below. (AH/SR/IP) 
(0640-0740hrs) (N, F2)
Gannet - 3W, 15os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 20os, 9E with fish
Common Tern - 2os
Little Tern - 4os
Swift -1
House Martin - 6

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

Ferry Pool: The Green Sandpiper was on the pool again this morning, along with 32 Avocets, c50 Lapwings, c20 Black-tailed Godwits, a dozen Redshank, six Gadwall and eight Shelducks, whilst a Cattle Egret was in the field and the Spotted Redshank was well along the channel opposite in the company of c20 Redshanks. (AH)
Later, a/the Wood Sandpiper was reported again (per RBA)

Green Sandpiper and Lapwing (above), Avocets & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A Common Sandpiper was along White's Creek early on, but was the only wader to be seen there.
The Great Crested Grebe family continue to do well on the Breech Pool, though all the Mallard appear to have forsaken the Breech Pool for the still flooded Honer 1 field, where there were 37 this morning. There were brief sightings of Marsh Harriers over the reed bed and there was a great deal of Egret activity over and in Owl Copse.
The path to Honer remains impassable unless wearing wellingtons. (JDW)

This evening both Marsh Harriers were out hunting, along with three Buzzards, whilst nine Sand Martins were over the Breech Pool and eight Cattle Egrets were in the fields. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - It was very quiet along the banks this morning, beyond the activity of the regular Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, Linnets, Skylarks, Whitethroats and Reed Warblers, whilst a Cuckoo and a pair of Jays were by the poplars and half a dozen Swifts and Swallows were overhead.
A Greenshank and a Curlew were by the poplars, with a Dunlin and three Lapwings on the very full Stilt Pool the only other waders seen, with c40 Canada Geese and a handful of Teal, Gadwall and Tufted Ducks the only other birds there. (AH)

Greenshank (above), Dunlin, Reed Warbler, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Stonechat & Jay at Medmerry (AH)

Birdham Pool: There were a drake Pochard, two Little Grebes, 14 Tufted Ducks, a Little Egret and families comprising a pair of Great Crested Grebe with two juveniles, Mute Swans with seven cygnets, one family of Coots with two more still sitting and three Mallard families. Some Reed Warblers were still singing, a House Martin passed overhead and a Yellow Shell moth was about. 

Along the canal a Cetti's Warbler was calling alongside a Chiffchaff, a Great Spotted Woodpecker passed overhead and the Swans that nested between the canal and the road seemed to have just the one cygnet, but well done to the local people who put a temporary barrier up to shield the nest. (SR)

The only cygnet of the Mute Swan pair nesting between the roadway and old canal near Chi Marina (SR)


Tuesday, 29th June: After yet another night of continuous heavy rain, a very grey, dank morning, with persistent drizzly rain in a moderate and variable breeze...

Selsey Bill: A flock of 15 Sand Martins appeared to come in off the sea before heading west, and a few Common Scoters went west, too, but otherwise it was the regular Gannets and terns. Full log below. (AH/SR)
(0640-0740hrs) (N, F3)
Gannet - 3E
Common Scoter - 14E
Sandwich Tern - 15os, 28E with fish
Common Ten - 4os
Little Tern - 4E, 5os
Swift - 4
Sand Martin - 15W
House Martin - 3

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

Ferry Pool: The Wood Sandpiper was present again early on, before flying off west at 0910hrs, whereupon the Spotted Redshank re-appeared in its stead.
Thee were also a Little Ringed Plover and exactly 30 Avocets on the pool, along with c50 Lapwings, a dozen or so Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits, ten Teal, eight Gadwall and 17 Shelducks. (AH/BFF/DIS/IH et al)
A Green Sandpiper was present late in the day. (IL)

Wood Sandpiper (above) & Avocets at the Ferry (AH)

East side: A near-adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the mudflats in the harbour from the East side this morning. Also present were 15 Curlews, 20+ Redshank, five Black-tailed Godwits and at least four Mediterranean Gulls, plus a brood of Shelduck young amongst the adults. (OM)

Cropped (phone-scoped) images of the Yellow-legged Gull on the East side (OM)

North Wall: Both the Marsh Harriers were out hunting at different times this morning, whilst a Cuckoo flew west over Owl Copse, where two or three Cattle Egrets and half a dozen Little Egrets could be seen.
A Common Tern went north over the Breech Pool, half a dozen Curlews were in Honer 1 field and a dozen or so Lapwings and Redshanks, along with 20+ Shelducks (including a family of youngsters) were in the harbour.
A few Reed Warblers were active along the reeds, with a couple of Cetti's Warblers calling, whilst the Swallows were still around the stables.,
Also, there was a nice flush of Pyramidal Orchids along the bottom of the wall. (AH/CT)

Marsh Harrier (above), Cuckoo, Cattle Egret, Reed Warbler & Pyramidal Orchids along the North Wall (AH)

Church Norton: A Roseate Tern was in the harbour again at lunchtime today (per Birdguides), whilst later on there were quite a few juvenile Sandwich Terns out and about and a constant stream of adults bringing in fish, along with a few Common and Little Tens (AH).

Sandwich Terns (above) & Common Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Monday, 28th June: After another night of prolonged heavy rain, a murky drizzly and humid morning, with barely a breath of breeze...

Selsey Bill: There were plenty of terns offshore, plus the odd Gannet, but not much else! Full log below. (SR/AH/IP)
(0715-0815hrs) (N, F1)
Gannet - 1E, 1W, 4os
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - c50os (also 32E carrying fish)
Common Tern - 3os
Little Tern - 8os
Swift - 2
House Martin 4

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

Ferry Pool: The summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank was still present on the pool this morning, along with 15 Avocets, c50 Lapwings, c20 Black-tailed Godwits, ten Redshanks, ten Gadwall, six Teal and eight Shelducks.
Also, a Cattle Egret was among the cows by the road, whilst a Blackcap was about the only thing singing around the Discovery Area. (AH/AW/TG-P et al)

Spotted Redshank (above), Cattle Egret & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)

This afternoon a Wood Sandpiper was among the birds on the pool and at least two Cattle Egrets were with the cows on the field. (AW et al)

Wood Sandpiper on the Ferry (AW)

Long Pool: There were probably two different Cuckoos along the pool this morning, along with the Yellowhammer and the odd Reed and Sedge Warbler. (AW)

Cuckoo (above), Yellowhammer & Sedge Warbler along the Long Pool (AW)

East Beach Pond: There was a family of Reed Warblers barely visible in the reedbed, two broods (seven and five) of Mallard, one brood of Coot and one of Moorhen and both Moorhen and Mallard were being bullied by a Coot.
Also present was a pair of Mute Swans and the Muscovy Duck while a steady stream of fish-carrying Sandwich Terns flew overhead toward the colony at Church Norton. (SR)

Church Norton: At least three freshly fledged juvenile Sandwich Terns were on the mud among the multitude of young Black-headed Gulls, whilst a steady flow of Little and Sandwich terns were still bringing in fish, but otherwise the harbour just held a dozen Curlews and a couple of Ringed Plovers.
The odd Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Linnet and Reed Bunting popped up along the Severals, along with an unseasonal Tree Pipit, whilst a Blackcap was still singing near the car-park and the Swallows were still around the hide. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Black-headed Gulls & Tree Pipit at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A flat calm and muggy morning along the Wall and apart from a few Mallard and a Little Egret there were no birds along White's Creek, but there were dozens of Mullet close to the sluice gates. Breech Pool was very quiet and except for the Great Crested Grebe family there were just Mallards and two pairs of Tufted Ducks; however both Marsh Harriers were seen at different times in the area behind and also Reed and Sedge Warblers seemed to be particularly busy. 
At Owl Water the Mute Swan family were still present along with a pair of Little Grebes. Much activity was going on within the egret colony, where 12 birds - six each of Little and Cattle Egret - could be observed and some Cattle Egrets were also returning to the colony carrying nesting material. (JDW)

Little Grebe at the North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - A Barn Owl was out this evening, seen carrying a large rat, whilst a Greenshank, an Avocet and a Common Tern were around the tidal area by the poplars and two Stonechats and a Swallow were along the banks.
The Stilt Pool remains quiet, though, with just the Brent Goose, a Ringed Plover and three Avocets of note. (S&SaH)

Friday, 25 June 2021

25th - 27th June 2021

Sunday, 27th June: After overnight rain, a blustery, humid and unsettled morning, with a fresh north-westerly, some sun, a lot of cloud and the threat of rain never far away....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of a selection of species this morning, including three Fulmars and a Wigeon west, two Teal on the shingle bar and lots of terns offshore. Full log below. (SH/SR/AH/IP)
(0600-0830hrs) (NE, F4-5)
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 21E, 6W
Little Egret - 1W, 2 on beach
Wigeon - 1W
Teal - 2os
Common Scoter - 5E
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 70os, 30E carrying fish
Common Tern - 6os
Little Tern - 14os
Swift - 3
House Martin - 1

(1530-1630hrs) (E, F4)  (SH)
Gannet - 1E, 3W
Common Scoter - 3
Sandwich Tern - 33os
Little Tern - 5os
Swift - 2
Common Seal - 1os

Fulmar (above), Little Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern & Little Egret at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was on the pool early this morning, along with five Avocets, 17 Black-tailed Godwits, a dozen or so Lapwings and Redshank 11 Teal and four Shelducks. (AH)

Spotted Redshank & Spotted Redshank, Avocets and Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

This evening a Green Sandpiper was on the pool, along with the Spotted Redshank, six Avocets, including a juvenile with its parent, c20 Black-tailed Godwits and ten Teal. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above) & Spotted Redshank with Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A pair of Sand Martins low over the second Several were actually heading north, whilst there were also four Gadwall in full moult and a new family of nine Mallard ducklings, though the Mute Swans have failed again and now seem to have departed.
Two male Reed Buntings were calling from the first Several, but little else was about, with the only raptors being the Sparrowhawk on her nest in Bluebell Wood.
Apart from the usual breeding waders and terns the harbour held two flocks of Turnstone totalling 16 and again a dozen Curlew, plus a few Little Egrets and a Grey Heron. (IP)

North Wall: Both Marsh Harriers were out hunting this morning, whilst there were also a couple of Cattle Egrets, a Shoveler, two Common Terns and two Buzzards in the area. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Spoonbill was in the tidal creek opposite the Stilt Pool early this morning and a Barn Owl was out hunting again. (G Prescott per Twitter)
Neither were about later, though three Cuckoos were again present, along with a Stonechat and the usual mix of Skylarks, Linnets, Whitethroats, Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings, plus a couple of Stock Doves, Swallows and a Swift.
A Common Tern was feeding by Marsh Barn, whilst a Lapwing and the pair of Oystercatchers were on the Stilt Pool, along with two Teal, a dozen Gadwall, the lone Brent Goose and 40 Canada Geese, but that was about it. (AH)

Cuckoo (above), Stonechat, Stock Dove, Reed Bunting & Whitethroat at Medmerry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: Domestic commitments and taxi duties meant I only had a few hours free later in the day, hence my afternoon visit here. It wasn’t great – people and dogs everywhere, rain threatening, anglers along the channel and the tide full – so unsurprisingly it was all very quiet bird-wise. I managed to count the Mute Swan flock (123) before a dog jumped in to spook them all, ditto about 3 Curlew along the margins, then 2 Common Terns and a Sandwich Tern were fishing along the creek, whilst a Lesser Black-backed Gull was also present, before it was time to go.(OM)

Chi Marina & Birdham Pool: It was even worse for dudes here! There was nothing on or around the pool and reedbed except a couple of Tufted Ducks, a Buzzard and a Kestrel. A visit to the Birdham Pool produced a pair of Mute Swans with 8 cygnets, a pair of Great Crested Grebes with young, c.12 Tufted Ducks and 24+ Mallards – before a heavy downpour convinced me I’d had enough for the day! (OM)

Chichester Gravel Pits: Ivy Lake Complex - I had a search for Pochard ducklings but had no success, the lake they're normally on, New Lake, defeated me as the surrounding bramble was too high and I couldn't get a good enough view.
On Vinnetrow Lake a Tufted Duck had three small ducklings, a pair of Great Crested Grebes had two chicks and there were two Mallard families of two and four respectively. Also on Vinnetrow a Common Tern was hunting and there was a pair of Pochard.
Runcton Lake held ten pairs of Pochard, a Mallard with six ducklings, ten Tufted Ducks, thirty Swifts and twelve House Martins.
Near Copse Lake a pair of Mute Swans had three cygnets, a Great Crested Grebe had one chick, there was a single Black Swan and in the garden of Peckham Farmhouse was a family of Egyptian Geese and Greylags with their two goslings. Unfortunately I couldn't see what was on Ivy Lake because a boat was being driven at speed around it. (SR)

Tufted Duck family (above) & Greylag and Egyptian Geese families around Ivy Lake (SR)

Saturday, 26th June: Back to sunshine again, with a warm and bright morning in a light south-easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There were lots of terns feeding close inshore on the low tide, and two Bottle-nosed Dolphins popped up briefly, but there was little else to report this morning. Full log below. (SR/AH)
(0710-0810hrs) (NE, F2)
Gannet - 1E, 2W
Common Scoter - 10E
Oystercatcher - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 50os
Common Tern - 6os
Little Tern - 12os
auk sp - 2E
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - 2E

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Little and Sandwich Tern & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

North Selsey: A Ring-necked Parakeet went south-west over our garden to the north of the village at 0830hrs this morning. (JA)

I carried out a survey of nesting House Martins to the north of Selsey this morning and found 6 occupied nests in the estate off Drift Road, this is exactly half the number recorded last year, and 1 in the estate by the Selsey Centre where there were 4 in 2020. 
Thanks to the specially designed eves of some of the houses in the latter estate, Swifts are doing well here and 5 definite nest sites were found although judging from the number of birds, there must be quite a few more. 
Well done to the council for leaving the adjoining meadow areas in Manor Green Park, they are rich in wild flowers and insect life that certainly contributes to the Swifts' success. (SR)

Swifts in Selsey (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were just three Avocets, five Black-tailed Godwits, a dozen or so Lapwings and Redshank and four Shelducks present this morning, whilst a distant Cuckoo called briefly. (AH)
At lunchtime the Spotted Redshank was on the pool, along with a Little Ringed Plover. (S&SaH)

Lapwings and Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The Yellowhammer popped up briefly, but otherwise there were plenty of Reed Warblers, one or two Sedge and Cetti's Warblers and several  Whitethroats and Linnets along the pool early on, but not much out of the ordinary. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Warbler & Whitethroat along the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: A Cattle Egret came in off the sea this morning and flew across the harbour, heading for the North Wall.
Also seen were a Cuckoo, a Jay, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Kestrel and a family of Long-tailed Tits along the Severals, whilst apart from the gulls and terns there were just a lone Turnstone and a dozen Curlews in the harbour. (IP)
This afternoon at high tide a Roseate Tern was on the old harbour mouth metalwork, but there only appeared to be two Tufted Duck-lings left on the second Several.  (S&SaH)

North Wall: There were three Cuckoos flying together over the Honer fields with a Marsh Harrier patrolling nearby. The egret roost was busy with a number of Little Egrets being fed and a few Cattle Egrets showing nicely.
Also, Kingfisher was seen briefly near the sluice to Halsey's Farm, a Common Tern was over the Breech Pool and around 30 Curlews were seen in the harbour. (AW)

Cuckoos (above), Marsh Harrier, Cattle Egret, Little Egrets, Common Tern & Curlew at the North Wall (AW)

Also, in nearby Pagham church, the family of four young Kestrels were nearly ready to fledge. (TH)

juvenile Kestrels at Pagham church (TH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were 16 Cattle Egrets and a couple of Buzzards around the fields this afternoon, but not much else. (CRJ)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Barn Owl was out hunting quite late into the morning, whilst a couple of Cuckoos, a Corn Bunting, a Swift, five Sand Martins, a Common Tern and the first Marbled White were also noteworthy.
Among the regular species there were at least a dozen Yellowhammers and Whitethroats, along with numerous Skylarks and Linnets, whilst a handful of Avocets were out on the tidal area, but the Stilt Pool just held the summering Brent Goose, 30 Canada Geese, a pair of Gadwall, a Lapwing and two Ringed Plovers. (AH/S&SaH/P&NB/A&YF)

Barn Owl (SH, top), Common Tern, Yellowhammer, Brent Goose, Gadwall & Marbled White (AH) at Medmerry

This afternoon there were three Cuckoos around the poplars, whilst a Whimbrel was in the tidal area thee and a Gannet went west offshore. (C Harrison et al)

Cuckoo at Medmerry (C Harrison)

Sidlesham: A Red Kite went over Lockgate Road this afternoon. (NH)

Runcton: The Emerald Damselfly was on the garden pond again today. (CRJ)

Chi GPs - Drayton pits: I had soon hoped to report some fledging success for a pair of Marsh Harriers at a particular site here, but instead regret to report some bad news. It appears that the female of the pair was doing all the feeding as the male has now been absent for some while (they are often polygamous)...but then recently the female also seemed to become absent. 
Sadly today I found out the reason why....she was trapped by fishing line and hanging from a tree, where I suspect she'd been for day or two. I'll spare you the full ghastly sequence of events, but suffice to say she was eventually cut down and taken to Brent Lodge, where I would suspect she is unlikely to survive. Worse still, the young are likely to perish too...gutted!

On a more positive note, the first two broods of Pochard were located today on North pit; they are late breeders and hopefully there will be more given the number of birds present. A Hobby once again showed all too briefly and 5+ Buzzards were also located, whilst a handful of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins were feeding above the pits.  (OM)

Distant record shot of a Pochard with two young and distressing images of the female Marsh Harrier entangled with fishing line in a tree at Drayton pits. (OM)

Friday, 25th June: A return to wet and murky weather this morning, with persistent drizzly rain in a moderate westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There were a couple of small but tight flocks of Sandwich Terns heading west, both with a couple of Little Terns among them, which may have been migrants, but beyond 14 Common Scoters east and seven Turnstones west it was business as usual. Full log below..... 
(0630-0930hrs)(W/SW4) (JA/AH/OM)
Gannet - 13E, 10W
Common Scoter - 14E
Turnstone - 7W
Little Tern - 10W, 8os
Common Tern - 4 os
Sandwich Tern - 22W, 10 os

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

Ferry Pool: There were a few more birds present this morning, including 16 Avocets, 12 Redshank, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Teal and ten Shelducks. (AH)

Avocets (above) & Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank was along Ferry Channel this evening. (AW)

Spotted Redshank along Ferry Channel (AW)

Church Norton: A Roseate Tern was briefly among the many Little and Sandwich Terns present, whilst there were dozens of freshly fledged juvenile Black-headed Gulls out on the mud.
A few waders were about, too, including two Whimbrel, a dozen Curlew and Black-tailed Godwits, five Turnstones and c20 Redshank, but there was little passerine activity beyond the pair of Swallows around the hide. (AH)

Roseate and Sandwich Terns (above), Curlew, Turnstone & Little Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Later this morning a Spoonbill was reported flying north-west over the harbour at 1120hrs, whilst two Roseate Terns were reported from the old breakwater at 1150hrs (both RBA, per IP)

The only addition this evening was the sub-adult Little Gull briefly among the many birds sat out on the mud. (AH)

Little Gull (above) & Little Tern at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: There was not much birdsong along the Wall this morning, although two Cetti's Warblers appeared undeterred by the rain, whilst Reed and Sedge Warblers, Reed Buntings and Common Whitethroats were all feeding young. 
On the Breech Pool were two Great Crested Grebes with their three quickly growing young, a pair of Little Grebes with two young and a third adult Little Grebe also present. There were also four pairs of Tufted Duck, one with ducklings, and two Common Terns were successfully fishing.
A male Marsh Harrier was in the willow trees at the back of the pool, whilst a Cuckoo continues to call at Halseys Farm. At least 14 Cattle Egrets were at various locations between Marsh and Bramber Farms, but on Honer reservoir there was just singles of Great Crested Grebe and Coot. (JDW)

Runcton: An Emerald Damselfly was on the garden pond this afternoon. (CRJ)

Emerald Damselfly in a Runcton garden (CRJ)