Wednesday, 6th July: A quite grey and muggy morning, after a bright start, warm despite the brisk north-westerly breeze.....
Selsey Bill: It was just a few of the regulars this morning. Full log below. (AH/IP)
(0700-0800hrs) (NW, F3)
Oystercatcher - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 25os
Little Tern - 6os
Swift - 6
House Martin - 4
Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: A Common Sandpiper was at the back this morning, along with an Avocet and two Teal, with, otherwise, 34 Black-tailed Godwits, 23 Lapwings, 16 Redshanks and the Shelduck family still present. (AH)
Common Sandpiper & Lapwing (above), Lapwing & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)
North Wall: It was very quiet this morning, with just a family of Whitethroats by the sluice and the odd Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Reed Warbler singing occasionally, whilst another of the latter was in the hedge near Owl Point.
There was no sign, again, of the Marsh Harriers, though a dozen or so Cattle and Little Egrets were about, along with a few Swallows.
The harbour was quiet, too, with just the summering pair of Wigeon of note, whilst a Whimbrel and two Dunlin were the only waders beyond the regular Curlews, Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Lapwings, with six of the latter and the Shelduck family the only things on a promising looking, but empty of birds, Breech Pool. (AH/OM)
There was a small movement west of hirundines, mainly over Halsey's Farm this evening, made up of c250 Swallows c50 Sand Martins, and there were two adult and one juvenile Cattle Egret at Halsey's Farm, with 20 more in the area, with 23 Little Egrets and four Grey Herons on their island.
A Common Tern was at the Breech Pool, but an hour scanning the area produced no Marsh Harriers, and it is starting to look like they have failed and moved on, sadly. (S&SaH)
The summering pair of Wigeon in White's Creek this morning (OM)
Reed Warbler (above), Whitethroat, Cattle Egret & young Shelducks at the North Wall (AH)
Church Norton: There were still three or four Little Terns feeding in the harbour on the high tide and Sandwich Terns bringing in fish, but there were a lot less birds on and around Tern Island this evening.
The only other thing of note was a group of nine Grey Herons roosting among the Cormorants. (AH)
Tuesday, 5th July: Another bright and breezy morning, warm after a cool start in the moderate westerly.....
Just an item of interest on a fairly slow day, concerning Selsey Bill....have a look at the two photos below, and spot the difference, ignoring all the people (and their equipment) present and the different amounts of shingle on the beach.....
On the Wall, May 2001 (above) and May 2008 (below) (OM)
Any idea? Well the answer may not be immediately apparent, but it actually lies at the top ....yes, the row of boulders (and glass) that was embedded and used as capping for the Wall since the early days. Sometime in the early 2000's it became loose and was eventually discarded, with lumps of this capping laying loose on the beach for a couple of years. So what you may ask....well I couldn't let this heritage of the Bill slip by without some effort to save a bit for posterity, so guess what ? Selsey came to my garden......and now the old Bird Observatory sign has arrived too it's like home from home. (OM/Eds)
Some of the capping stones from the Wall at the Bill, now in my garden. I recall the Desert Wheatear sitting on the stones way back in 1989 ! (OM)
Selsey Bill: Up to 16 Swifts were over the houses together, but very little was moving offshore again. Full log below. (SR/IP/AH)
(0645-0745hrs) (NNW, F3)
Gannet - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 30os
Little Tern - 4os
Swift - 26
House Martin - 6
Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern & Swift at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There was a Common Sandpiper in the near corner of the pool this morning, and three more were together, briefly in the channel opposite before flying off along it.
Otherwise, there were c25 Black-tailed Godwits, an Avocet, around a dozen Lapwings ad Redshanks and the Shelduck family, which seems to be to six young, though they are now well-grown. (AH)
Common Sandpiper (above) & Avocet & Lawing on the Ferry (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There wasn't much out of the ordinary this morning, but there were plenty of birds along the banks, including a dozen Yellowhammers and Whitethroats, many Skylarks and Linnets, a couple of Reed Buntings, a Blackcap and several Reed Warblers, with a Stonechat family on the reserve and a Sedge Warbler singing from the Stilt Pool. There were also c10 Sand Martins, c20 House Martins and c40 Swallows around the pool and Marsh Farm buildings.
Three Avocet chicks and three juveniles were with ten or so adults, whilst there were also two adult Little Ringed Plovers and a juvenile, a Ringed Plover, eight Lapwings and six Oystercatchers about, but no young were seen.
Also, the adult and juvenile Egyptian Geese and c40 Canada Geese were on the pool, a Kestrel, a Buzzard and a Green woodpecker were about and two Cinnabar moths were along the path. (AH/SR)
Little Ringed Plovers (SR) (above), Sedge Warbler, Sand Martin, Swallow, Stonechat, Linnet, Skylark & juvenile Avocet (AH) at Medmerry
North Wall: There were 32 Redshank along White's Creek this morning, together with a few Curlews and Oystercatchers, a Common Tern was fishing and the Mute Swan family were on the water, whilst five Lapwing, a Little Ringed Plover and the Shelduck family were on the Breech Pool.
There were 30 Cattle Egrets spread around the newly mown fields and a dozen Little Egrets were at Owl Copse, with a few more out on their island along with five Grey Herons. Also, a Kingfisher was in the rife at Halsey’s Farm and a couple of Skylarks were along the fence line, whilst overhead there were a few Swallows and Sand Martins along with a pair of Kestrels and a Buzzard.
Along the wall there were Reed, and Sedge Warblers, a Whitethroat and a few Reed Buntings whilst at the stables there were plenty of Greenfinches and Goldfinches as well as a few Linnets, a pair of House Sparrows, a Green Woodpecker and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. (LP)
Common Tern (above), Little Ringed Plover, Whitethroat, Cattle Egret & Shelduck-lings at the North Wall (LP)
Church Norton: There were still plenty of Sandwich Terns and a few Little Terns bringing in food in, but the only waders seen were eight Dunlin, four Ringed Plovers and three Turnstones. (AH)
Monday, 4th July: After a cool start, and warm and mostly sunny morning in a moderate westerly breeze.....
A quick update on the gull and tern colony: Around 325 Sandwich Terns nested on the main island, and though there are some dead birds there, it looks like plenty of youngsters have fledged, whilst at least 20 pairs of Little Terns were around the other islands, with at least six young fledged and another dozen or so on the point of fledging. Also, though none have appeared in the harbour yet, there are good numbers of Mediterranean Gull chicks on the point of fledging (Eds, thanks Wez Smith at the RSPB)
Selsey Bill: Very little was moving, though two Pied Wagtails went east and two Foxes were sat out in the sun on the roof of the outbuilding in Bill House garden. Full log below. (SR/IP/AH)
(0645-0800hrs) (NW, F3)
Oystercatcher - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 35os
Common Tern - 1os
Little Tern - 3os
Swift - 2
House Martin - 7
Pied Wagtail - 2E
Fox - 2
Little Tern (above), Common Tern & Fox at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were four Little Ringed Plovers on the pool this morning (TG-P), though later only one could be located. Otherwise it was just the usual mix, though the Black-tailed Godwit numbers had risen to 39, together with a dozen or so Lapwings and Redshanks, along with the Shelduck family and two Teal. (AH/OM/BFF)
Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)
Long Pool: There were just the odd Sedge and Reed Warblers singing sporadically along the pool this morning, along with a Reed Bunting and a pair of Linnets, but that was about it. (AH)
Church Norton: We gave it a while at the benches, overlooking the tern and gull breeding colony, where the activity was as ever entertaining . It was pleasing to see a number of nearly-fledged Sandwich Tern young as their parents brought in food, with Little Terns looking good too, but any hopes we held of yesterday’s Caspian Tern making a visit to the colony were dashed. Waders were few; just a dozen Redshanks, a few Curlews and a single Ringed Plover were all we could find. (OM/BFF)
There were at least 50 young Sandwich Terns in the harbour this evening, and the pair of Ringed Plovers still had two chicks by the concrete blocks.
Also, two Swifts went over west and ten Gadwall (flocks of four and six) were flying around the harbour. (AH)
Sandwich Terns (above), Ringed Plover and chick & Gadwall at Church Norton (AH)
North Wall: On arrival, the oddly-calling Greenfinch near the Salthouse was going strong, with its persistent and disconcerting Trumpeter Finch-like tones, whilst the Breech Pool was looking better with more water present than of late, though there were only the Shelduck family and a single Little Ringed Plover present.
A couple of Cattle Egrets were roosting nearby and a Common Tern was fishing, whilst a flock of seven Sand Martins passed through and a couple of Reed Warblers were seen and heard, but overall it proved to be extremely quiet. There were just the regular Redshanks, Curlews and Oystercatchers in White’s Creek, with little else of any note. (OM/BFF)
Pagham Spit: There was still lots of activity on the Little Tern's island, with a constant stream of birds bringing in fish, whilst a pair of Ringed Plovers also seem to be using it as home.
Otherwise, thee was little to report, with just the odd Sandwich Tern straying to the east of the harbour, just a few curlews and Oystercatchers out on the mud and a couple of Linnets along the spit. (AH)
Little Terns (above) & Curlew from Pagham Spit (AH)
West Itchenor & East Wittering: Three House Martin nests at Itchenor Harbour Office had well grown young and, whilst I only found only three active nests around East Wittering village, 12 birds were overhead so there must be other nests tucked away somewhere. (SR)