Sunday, 3rd July: A slightly less blustery morning, though with the breeze still from the south-west, and warm in the sunny interludes between the banks of heavy cloud.....
Selsey Bill: Another slow morning, with a Curlew west again being the only bird beyond the usual. Full log below. (SR/AH/IP)
(0645-0800hrs) (SW, F3-4)
Gannet - 2W
Oystercatcher - 3W
Curlew - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 50os
Common Tern - 3os
Little Tern - 13os
Swift - 6
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 6
Little Tern (above), Common Tern & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)
Later, at 1120hrs, a ring-tailed Hen Harrier went west offshore. (PB/SH/JA)
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Common Scoter - 6E
Hen Harrier - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 19os
Common Tern - 2os
Little Tern - 4os
Dell Quay: A Caspian Tern flew south at 1015hrs, seen from the costal path, about half way between Dell Quay and Chichester Marina, as it flew leisurely past, heading beyond the marina and lost to view in the distance as it kept going. (IMcK)
Presumably the same bird was seen at 1230hrs in Lymington, dashing the hopes of the locals. This is just the third record for the Peninsula, after one in 1971 and one in 1995. (Eds)
Ferry Pool: There were two Common Sandpipers and an Avocet on the pool this morning and a Kingfisher flew down the channel opposite, but otherwise it was the usual mix, including 19 Black-tailed Godwits, ten Lapwings, six Redshanks and the Shelduck family.
A look round the Tramway circuit produced at least five singing Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs and two Whitethroats, plus two Swifts over. (AH/PB)
Common Sandpiper (above), Avocet, Shelduck family, Blackcap & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)
North Wall: A Green Sandpiper flew out of the Breech Pool this morning and four juvenile Lapwings were on the pool, whilst eight Swifts, three Sand Martins and 20 Swallows went over.
There were lots of Cattle Egrets around the newly cut hay fields, including a flock of 28 that flew into Halsey's Farm. (S&SaH)
Park Farm, Selsey: Two returning Sand Martins were amongst the other hirundines at the farm early on, along with both young Kestrels sat on the Reservoir fence, a Sparrowhawk that flew over and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. (IP)
Church Norton: The harbour was very noisy and the numbers of juvenile Gulls and Sandwich Terns has increased again, though waders were very scarce, with just two Turnstones, a Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit and the regular Curlews and Oystercatchers seen.
A Green Woodpecker and Grey Heron were both in the First Several along with a single Cetti's Warbler, a Reed Bunting and a scattering of unseen Reed and Sedge Warblers whilst a flock of ten Gadwall flew out to sea from the harbour. (IP)
There were at least 40 young Sandwich Terns in the harbour this evening, and a constant stream of adults bringing in fish, but sadly there were a few dead ones around the concrete blocks.
Also, the Ringed Plovers still had two chicks and half a dozen Sand Martins went over west. (AH/SH)
Medmerry: Stilt Pool - One of the RSPB volunteers reported a roosting Spoonbill on the Stilt Pool this afternoon. (per TG-P)
Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There wasn't much around Porthole Farm beyond a juvenile Stonechat, a couple of Whitethroats, Yellowhammers and Linnets and about a dozen Swallows, plus a lone Pyramidal Orchid
At Ham there were probably three.Corn Buntings around the big barley field, with plenty of Linnets and Skylarks about, whilst a family of Stonechats, several singing Reed Warblers and one or two Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings were around the ponds and four Swifts went over. (AH)
Corn Bunting (above), juvenile Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Swallow, Pyramidal Orchid & Small Skipper and Field Scabious at Medmerry (AH)
Chichester GPs: Quarry Lane pits - I made a visit to these pits this morning, to check on the Common Tern and Black-headed Gull breeding colony that has become established in recent years, on a workshop corrugated roof (formerly Ree-car, now the Bosch service centre). These pits are beside the northern edge of the A27 and so ordinarily would fall just outside of the Peninsula recording area; however please note we do include all the GP's for the sake of completeness.
It was pleasing to see that the colony seemed to be thriving, although it is very hard to establish exactly how many pairs/nests are actually present, due to the surrounding vegetation and the angle of the roof itself. My best estimate was at least 10 pairs of Common Tern and 13 of Black-headed Gull, with young of all ages and some up to near-fledging. A nearby building held two Herring Gull nests with well-grown young and a nesting pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, whilst on the lakes were two pairs of Canada Geese each with three well-grown young and likewise a pair of Egyptian Geese. (OM)
Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls nesting on a corrugated roof at Quarry Lane Chi GPs (OM)
Drayton House pits: The South pit held a female Pochard with a brood of four tiny, newly-hatched young, this being the third confirmed brood on these pits this season, but it's not too late yet for another brood to appear! On the North pit the highlight was an eclipse drake Shoveler - an early date for the first returning bird. Combined totals for the pits included 41 Canada Geese and singles of Greylag and Egyptian Goose, 25 Pochard, 20 Gadwall and two Common Terns, whilst Reed Warblers were still much in evidence. (OM)
West Wittering: There was nothing much of note today, but the common birds were showing well in the garden. (GM)
Saturday, 2nd July: Another warm and bright, but very blustery, morning in a fresh south-westerly..........
The end of an era! Older Peninsula observers may remember one of the originals - Dave Flumm - who as a teenager began birding at the Bill in the early days, staying at the old hut which then served as a base for the newly formed Bird Observatory (see the History of the Bill by clicking the link on the title bar). Dave was the last to visit in 1968, when the hut was finally demolished as operations ceased, but not before he removed and secured the original sign from the door, eventually taking it to Cornwall where he has lived for many years.
But now, it's all change as Dave is about to emigrate to Australia. I'm sure we all wish him good luck for the future, but there was however one outstanding issue that needed to be resolved...namely that original sign. In short, after a polite enquiry and request, Dave was happy to leave it with us, to keep it where it truly belongs in West Sussex! So it was that this morning the sign arrived with the postman. Many thanks Dave - you can be assured it will be looked after and doubtless it will figure again in these pages in the future. (OM/Eds)
Selsey Bill: A Curlew west was the only bird beyond the regulars, though a juvenile was among the Sandwich Terns and the Hummingbird Hawk-moth was present again, too. Full log below. (SR/AH/P&LH)
(0635-0805hrs) (SW, F5)
Gannet - 1E, 1W, 2os
Curlew - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 50os
Common Tern - 4os
Little Tern - 7os
Swift - 4
House Martin - 1
Hummingbird Hawk-moth - 1
Sandwich Terns (above) & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There was just the usual selection this morning, namely a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks, 22 Lapwings and the Shelduck family. (AH)
Black-tailed Godwit (above) & Shelduck family on the Ferry (AH)
Long Pool: There was just the odd bit of Reed Warbler song and a Reed Bunting and a couple of Linnets popped up, but it was otherwise quiet, though c30 Lapwings and c20 Redshanks, plus half a dozen Curlews, were along Ferry Channel, together with the pair of Shelducks and four juveniles.
Also, there were several Small Skippers and plenty of Gatekeepers on the wing. (AH)
Lapwings (above), Curlews & Small Skipper along the Long Pool (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were still a few birds along the banks, despite the breezy conditions, including a dozen Yellowhammers, two Reed Buntings,15 Whitethroats, five Reed Warblers, two Sedge Warblers and a Cetti's Warbler, with a Cattle egret on the reserve and a Buzzard and a Swallow over.
There were still four juvenile Avocets and three chicks, along with ten adults on the Stilt Pool, together with and adult and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, two Ringed Plovers and the adult and juvenile Egyptian Geese. (S&SaH)
Later on, a Barn Owl was out hunting the banks. (MT)
Barn Owl (above), Yellowhammer, Linnet & Carrion Crow at Medmerry (MT)
Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: Four Cattle Egrets flying over were the only ones seen, whilst the hedges were quiet in the wind, though a family of Chiffchaffs and the odd Whitethroat and Blackcap were seen/heard.
Also, a dozen Swallows, including a number of juveniles, were round Chalder Farm, a Mistle Thrush was in the churchyard and a pair of Stock Doves were along Church Farm Lane. (AH)
Chiffchaff (above), Swallow, Mistle Thrush, Stock Dove & Comma around Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)
North Wall: There were at least six Swallows around the stables this morning and eight Greenfinches, six Goldfinches and a pair of Linnets were in the paddock, but the Shelduck family were the only birds on the Breech Pool .
At low tide there were just four Redshank and the Mute Swan family in White's Creek, with a few Curlew and Lapwing out on the mud and a selection of Grey Herons, Little Egrets and Cattle Egrets were out on their island by Owl Copse.
At Halsey’s Farm there was just thirty Black-headed Gulls by the Rife and a few Skylarks in the fields. Purple Hairstreaks were in the east side oaks and Small and Essex Skippers, Marbled Whites, Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns were along the paths. (LP/BI)
Swallow (above), Shelducks, Linnet & Grey Herons, Cattle and Little Egrets at he North Wall (LP)
Park Farm, Selsey: A female Pied Wagtail was seen carrying food into the building site and then leaving without the food, so presumably breeding on site, whilsthe two juvenile Kestrels have now fledged from the farm. (IP)
Church Norton: At least 60 Little Terns were in the Harbour along with the usual other terns and gulls, with harbour now full of juvenile black-headed Gulls. Waders were highlighted by a flock of 30 Turnstones in an array of plumages near to the metalwork, where there were also three Ringed Plovers, whilst two Black-tailed Godwits were in the water near to Tern Island, a single Dunlin was near the harbour mouth and there was also the usual Oystercatchers and Curlews.
Other birds included the lone Brent Goose in the harbour, a pair of Gadwall, a Grey Heron, two Reed Buntings and a Green Woodpecker around the Severals and Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were all seen or heard.
Also, there were Marbled Whites on the path from Norton to the beach and another near the Second Several, a Purple Hairstreak was around the entrance to Bluebell Wood and a Skipper sp was along the bungalows. (IP/P&LH/GM)
Little Egret (above) & Black-headed Gull at Church Norton (GM)
Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake Complex - The female Red-crested Pochard was still present on the small lake by the entrance to Lakeside Holiday Village, with the only other birds on the lake being a Great Crested Grebe and numerous Coots.
On Runcton Lake was a Tufted Duck with two small ducklings and a pair of Mute Swans with nine well grown cygnets, whilst at the farmhouse a pair of Greylag Geese were with five goslings and three Egyptian Geese.
Ivy lake had two Mallard families, one with two ducklings, the other with just one, whilst jut seven Common Pochard were seen, and there was sporadic bursts of song from Chiffchaffs, Sedge and Reed Warblers. (SR)
Red-crested Pochard (above) & Tufted Duck family at Chichester GPs (SR)
Friday, 1st July: A real 'four seasons in a day' sort of a morning, with warm sun early on, really quite cool as the fresh and blustery westerly pushed through banks of heavy cloud cloud and the odd squall of rain, before sunshine took hold later.....
Selsey Bill: Three Common Scoters went east and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was present again, but otherwise it was quiet. Full log below. (SR/AH/IP)
(0640-0800hrs) (W, F4)
Gannet - 2W
Common Scoter - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 60os
Swift - 2
Swallow - 2
House Martin - 4
Hummingbird Hawk-moth - 1
(1630-1730hrs) (WSW, F5) (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Gannet - 4E
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 65os
Common Tern - 3os
Little Tern - 1os
Sandwich Tern (above), House Martin & Hummingbird Hawk-moth at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were a few more birds on the pool this morning, but just the regular species, thus - 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 16 Redshank, 33 Lapwings and the Shelduck family. (AH)
Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks on the Ferry (AH)
North Wall: A Kingfisher flying over the sluice was the brief highlight of a quiet morning, with a dried up Breech Pool devoid of birds and just a pair of Wigeon and a few Lapwings and Redshank in the harbour.
The odd Reed Warbler, Blackcap Chiffchaff and Whitethroat, plus a Lesser Whitethroat, were briefly seen and/or heard, with a few Swallows at the stables and Halsey's Farm, where there was also a Common Tern feeding along the rife.That was about it, though, except for the comings and goings of Cattle and Little Egrets in Owl Copse, and a Gatekeeper butterfly at Halsey's Farm. (AH/OM)
Reed Warbler (above), Whitethroat, Common Tern, Cattle Egrets & Gatekeeper at the North Wall (AH)
Church Norton: There were still 60+ young Sandwich Terns in the harbour, and lots of adults still bringing in fish to the island, whilst a couple of Little Terns were feeding in the harbour.
The only waders seen were a couple of Ringed Plovers and Curlews, whilst six Gadwall did a big circuit round before heading off east. (AH)
Little Tern (above), Sandwich Terns & Gadwall at Church Norton (AH)