Wednesday, 7 July 2021

7th - 9th July 2021

Friday, 9th July: A pleasantly sunny morning in a moderate westerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: A dozen Sand Martins went west along the shoreline and there were plenty of Little and Sandwich Terns feeding offshore this morning. Full log below. (AH/SR/IP)
(0630-0745hrs) (WNW, F3)
Gannet - 2W, 3os
Oystercatcher - 5W
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 40os
Common Tern - 4os
Little Tern - 17os
Sand Martin - 12W
House Martin - 3

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

Ferry Pool: There wasn't too much going on this morning, with just 22 Avocets, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings, five Teal and a Shelduck present. (AH)

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

North Wall: An adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Greenshank and two Whimbrel were at the far end of White's Creek this morning, along with c40 Black-tailed Godwits and c75 Redshank, plus a Cormorant successfully fishing, whilst at least half a dozen Cattle Egrets and a dozen Little Egrets were around Owl Copse. Also, the female Marsh Harrier showed briefly behind the Breech Pool, a Peregrine flew north over the harbour and a Common Tern fed over Owl Water. .
There were still a number of Reed Warblers, plus a couple of Cetti's Warblers singing, but the wall was generally quiet, whilst a big mixed flock of young Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits was at Halsey's Farm.
There were also a few Purple Hairstreaks in the oaks along the east side along with 11 other species of butterfly in the meadows including the first Gatekeepers of the year, Large & Essex Skippers and c.6 Marbled Whites; at least two more Marbled Whites were along the wall. (AH/BI/LP/GHi et al)

Cattle Egrets (above), Yellow-legged Gull, Greenshank, Whimbrel, Common Tern & Long-tailed Tit around the North Wall (AH)

Cattle and Little Egrets (above), Little Egrets and Cormorant around the North Wall (GHi)

Later, on the rising tide there were nine Curlew and a Whimbrel along White's Creek, but the Breech Pool remains full to over-brimming and there was a lone Wigeon amongst 40+ moulting Mallards and two pairs of Tufted Ducks and a pair of Little Grebes, whilst the Great Crested Grebes appear to have lost one of their chicks and are down to two.
Common and Little Terns were fishing here, too, whilst a male Marsh Harrier was very quick to see off a passing Sparrowhawk, and there were much comings and goings in the Egret colony at Owl Copse and there 14 Cattle Egrets amongst the cows behind the Copse.
Also, a Marbled White Butterfly was in the Slipe field. J(DW)

Church Norton: A juvenile Common Tern was out on the mud with its parents this evening, as was a juvenile Ringed Plover, whilst there were dozens of young Sandwich Terns about, too.
A Whimbrel and a few Curlews were the only other waders of note, whilst the Swallows were busy around the hide and a Chiffchaff sang from the Mound. (AH)

Common Terns (above), Ringed Plover, Whimbrel & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 8th July: After a very cool and grey start, with more drizzly rain, the morning slowly improved to leave it quite sunny in the brisk south-westerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: It remains very slow! (AH/SR)
(0645-0745hrs) (SSW, F4)
Gannet - 2E, 2W
Common Scoter - 5os
Kestrel - 1
Sandwich Tern - 40os
Little Tern - 4os

Little Terns (above) & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was roosting on the pool again late this morning, along with a Common Sandpiper (after two had flown west along the channel opposite), 22 Avocets, c50 Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits, ten Teal and six Shelducks, whilst at least three Cattle Egrets were coming and going from the field. (AH/PC)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Cattle Egret at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The Spotted Redshank was earlier at the far end of Ferry Channel, in the company of c40 Redshanks and a few Black-tailed Godwits, whilst the hedges and pool contained several singing Reed and Sedge Warblers, a couple of Whitethroats, a Reed Bunting and half a dozen Linnets, along with a Marbled White and a Small Skipper.. (AH)

Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting & Linnet along the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: There was a steady flow of Little and Sandwich Terns west along the foreshore, with a few returning with fish, and some juveniles of the latter joining their parents, whist the harbour was still full of young Black-headed Gulls.
There were also plenty of Mediterranean Gulls about, but waders comprised two Whimbrel, five Redshank and c20 Curlews in the harbour and eight Turnstones on the beach.
A few warblers were still singing, including a couple of Whitethroats and Blackcaps and the odd Reed and Cetti's Warblers, whilst a Skylark and a few Linnets were at the start of the spit. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Sandwich Terns, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Whitethroat & Yellow Horned Poppy at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - A brief visit this morning, mainly to check on the situation with breeding Pochards at this site. I eventually found a female with a very recent brood of three small ducklings (the third breeding pair here this season). However, I then separately located a tiny duckling which I realised was also a Pochard; this little bird was calling constantly but as it made its way towards the brood previously mentioned, the female immediately drove it away several times. It then tried to cosy up to a female Tufted, which ignored it, so I deduced it was most likely a bird from another (fourth) brood here, that had become separated from its parents and siblings.
Otherwise the regular species were still present, including a few Greylags, one of which was reluctant to move, but the highlight was an elusive Hobby, briefly hunting insects over the South pit. (OM)

Female Pochard with brood of three, tiny solo Pochard and lazy Greylag at Drayton House pits (OM)

West Itchenor: A flock of 12 Whimbrel were in the harbour today - the first back here. (PH)

North Wall:  The female Marsh Harrier was out this evening, whilst 50+ Sand Martins and two Common Terns were feeding over the Breech Pool, with a Common Sandpiper nearby, whilst four Cattle Egrets and eight Little Egrets were around Owl Copse. (S&SaH)
Interestingly, a second male Marsh Harrier was present yesterday - possibly the one from Drayton Pits? Also, up to three Little Terns have bee feeding on the Breech Pol in recent days. (JDW)

Runcton. A Jay has been around our garden for several weeks and successfully visits our seed feeders - I suspect it has nested nearby, (CRJ)

Jay in a Runcton garden (CRJ)

Wednesday, 7th July: Another unseasonably cool and grey day, with a bit of drizzle in the blustery south-westerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: It was just the regular species in small numbers this morning. (AH/SR)
(0645-0745hrs) (SW, F4-5)
Gannet - 1E, 12W
Common Scoter - 5E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 51os
Common Tern - 3os
Little Tern - 6os

(1645-1745hrs) (SSW, F4) (SH)
Gannet - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 70os
Common Tern - 3os
Little Tern - 3os

Gannets (above) & Sandwich and Common Terns at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was again on the pool this morning, along with 30 Avocets, c60 Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwits, 16 Teal and six Shelducks, whilst two Common Sandpipers were in the channel opposite. (AH/TG-P/NR)

Common Sandpiper (above), Spotted Redshank, Avocet & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: At least 400 young Black-headed Gulls and as many again adults dominated the harbour this morning, with the 50+ young Sandwich Terns tucked away in the long vegetation and Mediterranean Gulls, Little and Common Terns seen in flight only.
Waders were again few, beyond a couple of Whimbrel and 20 or so Curlews, along with a handful of Shelducks, whilst passerine activity was restricted to the Swallows at the hide and the odd snatch of Blackcap and Whitethroat song. (AH)

Common Tern (above), Mediterranean Gull, Swallow, Whimbrel & Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Hunston Church to North Mundham: Five active House Martin nests were found at Fletcher Place, North Mundham which isn't a bad total for this year. 

Apart from that, birds were in short supply, with two Swallows, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Yellowhammers, a Blackcap, two Whitethroats, a Kestrel and a Buzzard the nest.

A pair of frisky Brown Hares were the highlight, whilst one meadow held hundreds of Meadow Brown butterflies and a Silver-Y moth. (SR)

Brown Hares at Hunston (SR)

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