Current birding news from Selsey Bill and other important Peninsula sites including Pagham Harbour and Medmerry nature reserves. Visiting birders are always welcome and submissions for the blog should be sent to BOTH co-editors as follows:- firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com (if absent Deputy Editor firstname.lastname@example.org)
Saturday, 12th June: After a grey start, a very warm and sunny day, with the moderate westerly breeze pushing through white cloud and keeping it pleasant......
Selsey Bill: Ten Common Scoters went east, a Kittiwake went west and another east, whilst at least eight Little Terns were offshore this morning. Full log below. (SR/AH/MO-W/JA)
(0700-0800hrs) (NW, F4)
Common Scoter - 10E
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 30os
Little Tern - 8os
Swift - 2
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 12
Little Terns (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Scoters & House Martins at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: A Greenshank at the back was possibly a migrant, but otherwise it was the regulars only, including six Avocets, 17 Black-tailed Godwits, a pair of Gadwall and 45 Shelducks, with a Cuckoo calling from the back of Ferry Field. (AH)
Greenshank (above) & Avocet at the Ferry (AH)
West Wittering: A Red Kite went over the north of the village this morning. (GM)
Chichester Canal: There were two male Norfolk Hawkers along the canal this morning, with a Downy Emerald and several other species present, too. (DSa/AB/BI et al)
Norfolk Hawker at Chichester Canal (BI)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were plenty of birds along the banks this morning, including a Cuckoo, a Stonechat, two Green Woodpeckers, five Reed Warblers, 11 Reed Buntings, at least 15 Yellowhammers and 20 Whitethroats, whilst a Red Kite, two Kestrels and five Buzzards went over.
There were just seven Avocets on the Stilt Pool, though including a juvenile and two still sitting on eggs, and three Ringed Plovers, including a juvenile. (S&SaH)
Red Kite at Medmerry (SH)
Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: At least four Cattle Egrets were among the cows in front of Chalder Farm, whilst the hedges and fields held the usual selection, including two or three Yellowhammers, up to a dozen Linnets and Skylarks, a couple of Chiffchaffs, a distantly calling Cuckoo, up to a dozen pairs of Whitethroats and the odd Swallow and Stock Dove. (AH)
North Wall: The male Marsh Harrier was perched in its favourite tree at the back of the reed beds tis evening, whilst there were also three Buzzards around, a Little Tern coming up the harbour to feed, a dozen Cattle Egrets and 20+ Little Egrets around Owl Copse and a large flock of Long-tailed Tits were at Halsey's Farm. (S&SaH)
Friday, 11th June: Another very grey morning with early mist and dampness, cool then humid, despite the freshening westerly breeze, and becoming warmer and sunnier later.
Selsey Bill: There were plenty of terns offshore, but not much else early this morning, though a Kittiwake went west a bit later on. Full log below. (SR/AH/IP/OM)
(0650-0800hrs) and (0900-1000hrs) (W, F3) Gannet - 3W Oystercatcher -1W
Kittiwake - 1W Sandwich Tern - c50os Common Tern - 5os Little Tern - 6os House Martin - 10 Common Seal - 1os
Little Tern at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There was just the usual mix around the pool this morning, including 23 Black-tailed Godwits, six Avocets, two Redshank, a pair of Gadwall and c30 Shelducks, whilst a look round the Tramway just produced a couple of Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and a Cetti's Warbler.
At the Visitor Centre the Tawny Owl family in their box were also giving occasional views through the morning - though patience was often required! (AH/OM)
Black-tailed Godwits (above), Gadwall, Chiffchaff & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)
This evening, c20 Swifts were feeding over the Discovery area, whilst the mother Shelduck and her nine youngsters were still in the channel. (AH)
Swift (above) & Shelduck family at the Ferry (AH)
Long Pool: A dozen Lapwing and a few Redshank were at the far end of Ferry Channel, whilst two Avocets flew along it towards the Ferry and a Little Tern briefly appeared before retreating back into the harbour.
The pool and hedges were quiet, though, beyond the odd Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warbler making themselves known, along with a few Linnets and Whitethroats. (AH)
Avocets (above), Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat around the Long Pool (AH)
Park Farm, Selsey: This evening a total of 17 Sandwich Terns went low over the fields, cutting the corner between the Bill and Church Norton whilst there were also 25 House Martins and five Swallows over the reservoir.
also, of note, a pair of Kestrels are nesting in one of the old grain stores. (S&SaH)
Donnington: A Red Kite was circling over the road just south of the canal early this afternoon. (JA)
North Wall: A Barn Owl was hunting over Halsey's Farm early this morning, and was seen to catch a small mammal before heading off east, whilst a Marsh Harrier was engaged in a dogfight with two crows over the Breech Pool a little later. (AT)
At least two pairs of Swallows in the Welbourne stables, but apart from a lone Lapwing there were no waders along White's Creek.
A pair of Great Crested Grebes with two chicks were on the Breech Pool along with up to ten flighty Tufted Ducks, whilst Reed and Sedge Warblers were busy feeding young.
The cows were in Honer 3 which made it easy for the nearby nesting Cattle Egrets, with nine amongst the herd at one point, whilst a Cuckoo was calling at Honer.
Also, both Pagham and Bremere Rifes remain backed up and unusually full of water for the time of year. (JDW)
Church Norton: There were plenty of Little and Sandwich Terns in the harbour, along with a few more Common Tens than of late, including a group of eight flying around together, but waders were restricted to two Curlews and a few Oystercatchers.
A Lesser Whitethroat was vocal by the hide, where the pair of Swallows were busy, and also of note, a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was on the flowers in the car-park by the Lychgate. (AH)
Sandwich Tern (above), Common Tern, Lesser Whitethroat, Swallow & Hummingbird Hawk-moth at Church Norton (AH)
Chi GPs: Drayton - A very brief visit this morning was rewarded with another fleeting view of a Hobby, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, a pair of Buzzards and a female Marsh Harrier. Pochards are still present, another pair of Swans now has cygnets and Reed and Cetti's Warblers are much in evidence. (OM)
Female Marsh Harrier at Drayton GPs (OM)
Chichester Canal: The Norfolk Hawker appeared for a few sightings early afternoon but then vanished to perch somewhere. (CRJ)
Also, two families of Little Grebe were along the canal this afternoon, along with a family of Moorhens, four of Coot and two of Long-tailed Tit. Reed Warblers were still being vocal and two Small China-mark Moths were in the reeds. (SR)
Little Grebe on Chichester Canal (SR)
Thursday, 10th June: A fairly humid and grey day, with odd sunny spells, in a moderate south-westerly breeze.....
Selsey Bill: Two Kittiwakes went west and there were plenty of Sandwich Terns, plus a few Little Terns, offshore this morning. Full log below. (AH/SR)
Gannet - 4E
Kittiwake - 2W Sandwich Tern - 50os Common Tern - 2os Little Tern - 5os House Martin - 12
Kittiwake (above), Sandwich Tern (AH) & nesting Herring Gull (SR) at the Bill
Ferry Pool: There were five Avocets, nine Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank, two Gadwall and c40 Shelduck on the pool, with a mother and nine young of the latter in the channel opposite. (AH)
Shelduck-lings (above) & Black-tailed Godwit around the Ferry (AH)
Tawny Owlets were showing from their box this afternoon (CB), and this evening an adult and three young Tawny Owls were still in their box. (S&SaH)
Tawny Owls at the Visitor Centre (top two SH, lower CB)
Church Norton: There were a freshly fledged family of Chiffchaffs, a vocal Lesser Whitethroat and a Whitethroat busy carrying food near the concrete wall, with a Cuckoo, a Reed Bunting, a Cetti's Warbler and the odd Reed and Sedge Warbler calling/singing around the first Several, and half a dozen Linnets were along the beach.
A couple of pairs of Ringed Plovers had chicks along the spit, where there were also a couple of pairs of Skylarks, but a lone Curlew was the only wader in the harbour, whilst there was a constant stream of Sandwich Terns and plenty of Little Terns, bringing fish back towards their respective colonies. (AH)
Lesser Whitethroat (above), Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Skylark, Ringed Plover chick, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern & Viper's Bugloss at Church Norton (AH)
Chichester Canal: The Norfolk Hawker was present for its third day along the western end of the canal. (CRJ)
Norfolk Hawker at Chichester Canal (CRJ)
Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - Not a lot of activity on the pits this morning, though a total of 23 Pochard were still present (17 males, 6 females), with no sign of any broods as yet. A few Tufted were also around, plus a pair of Mallard with a well grown brood of six, a pair of Mute Swans with a similar brood and a pair of Canada Geese with two.
The highlight was a Hobby which briefly appeared over the North pit before moving on, whilst a Kestrel and a pair of Buzzards also featured and at least a dozen Swifts were feeding above.
Non-avian delights included a selection of commoner dragonflies, a buck Roe Deer and a colony of c.70 Southern Marsh orchids...but then my plans to check other areas of the pits were scuppered when the railway crossing gates jammed shut, closing the roadway! (OM)
Pochards and colonies of Southern Marsh orchids at Drayton House south pit (OM)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This evening there were a Cuckoo, an adult and two juvenile Stonechats, six Yellowhammers, three Reed Buntings, four Reed Warblers, at least 20 Whitethroats and three Green Woodpeckers, including a juvenile, seen along the banks.
The Stilt Pool held a lone Brent Goose, along with 13 Avocets, with just one apparently brooding and no youngsters were seen. (S&SaH)
Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were c25 Swifts, 100 House Martins and 200 Swallows (including good numbers of freshly fledged juveniles of the latter) over the fields and the settling tanks this evening, along with a Buzzard and a handful of Mediterranean Gulls were among the many Black-headed Gulls. (AH)
Swallows (above), Swift, House Martin & Mediterranean Gull at Medmerry (AH)