Sunday, 28th May: Yet another bright and very breezy day, quite warm despite the fresh and blustery north-easterly........
Another little milestone for the Blog was passed this morning - we have now had more than 2,000,000 page hits since we started! (Eds)
Selsey Bill: A group of five Black Terns were among the distant feeding flock early on, before heading off east, and there were also 59 Common Scoters, a flock of four Common Terns and a flock of 18 Sanderlings going east, along with a pod of c10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Full log below. (SH/AH/IP/JA)
(0530-0815hrs) (NE, F4)
Gannet - 23E, 5W
Common Scoter - 57E
Oystercatcher - 6E
Sanderling - 18E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 2os
Sandwich Tern - 16os
Common Tern - 4E, 2os
Black Tern - 5os, then E
Swift - 1
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 12
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - 10E
Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were two Common Sandpipers at the back this morning, though otherwise it was five Avocets, c120 Black-tailed Godwits, ten Mallards and c30 Shelducks, with at least two Cattle Egret among the cows. (AH)
Common Sandpipers (above) & Avocets, Shelducks and Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)
Park Farm: The three Whitethroats were in the same locations as yesterday and the Red-legged Partridge was again in the North East field, plus out of place, a Little Egret flew north across the fields and a Sparrowhawk flew north over the new building site with prey in its talons.
Also, House Martin and Swallow numbers continue to increase around the farm. (IP)
Church Norton: Seven Sanderlings, five Grey Plovers, four Turnstones and three Dunlin were all together on the mud this morning, with a single Whimbrel and Curlew along with the usual Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers also about. A drake Gadwall was close to Tern Island, where there were also two Sandwich Terns were flying around, whilst the Little Terns were again around their Island and two were feeding close inshore.
The Cuckoo was calling incessantly from the back of Bluebell Wood, whilst the wood itself was full of activity from the usual suspects, but did include a flock of circa 30 Long-tailed Tits. The usual mix of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers were all present around the Several, along with a few Reed Buntings, whilst a mobile Cattle Egret was seen twice over the first Several and also in the horse field. (IP)
North Wall: It was very quiet in the windy conditions this morning, with a distant Cuckoo heard, just a few Reed and Sedge Warblers singing, with a couple of Cetti's Warblers, Blackcaps and Whitethroats also just heard, whilst a couple of pairs of Swallows were by the stables and at Halsey's Farm.
There were no waders about and just the regular few wildfowl on the Breech Pool, though there were plenty of Cattle and Little Egrets coming and going from Owl Copse, with the two young Grey Herons also in evidence. (AH et al)
Swallow (above), Cattle Egret & Cattle Egret and Grey Heron at the North Wall (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Whinchat was on the fence near the viewpoint opposite the Stilt Pool this morning, with the banks also holding six Stonechats, c20 Whitethroats, c15 Yellowhammers,, a Reed Bunting, a Sedge Warbler, at least four Reed and Cetti's Warblers, with around 20 Swallows and a Buzzard over.
A Cuckoo and a Greenshank were near the poplars, and a Cattle Egret was on the reserve, whilst on the stilt Pools there were two Little Ringed Plovers, three Ringed Plovers, 37 Avocets, seven Dunlin, a Redshank, a Little Tern and two adult and two juvenile Pied Wagtails. (S&SaH/PB)
Whinchat at Medmerry (SH)
Later in the morning, there were two Curlew Sandpipers, a Knot and three Dunlin on the Stilt Pool. (CRJ/RJS)
This afternoon there were actually three Curlew Sandpipers, with a summer-plumaged Knot and three Dunlin together on the Stilt Pool, with another Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover and a Sanderling nearby and four Ringed Plovers flew over.
Also, half a dozen Avocets were in a big bust up with the pair of Oystercatchers on the main island and visiting birders reported c40 Sanderlings on the beach towards the breach.. (AH/SR/AB et al)
Curlew Sandpipers (above), Knot, Curlew Sandpipers, Knot and Dunlin, Sanderling, Ringed Plovers & Avocet and Oystercatcher at Medmerry (AH)
Saturday, 27th May: Another bright and very breezy day, cool early on and warm later, with the wind direction remaining resolutely north-easterly.....
Selsey Bill: There was a slight easterly movement of Kittiwakes and Gannets early, and a couple of Sanderlings came in, but that was about it. Full log below. (SH/SR/AH)
(0530-0800hrs) (ENE, F4)
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 43E, 6W
Common Scoter - 9E
Sanderling - 2
Mediterranean Gull - 3E, 1os
Black-headed Gull - 27E
Common Gull - 2E
Kittiwake - 31E
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Common Tern - 1os
Little Tern - 1os
Swift - 2
Swallow - 2
House Martin - 4
Sandwich Tern (above) & Sanderling at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: Four Avocets, c120 Black-tailed Godwits, six Mallards and 24 Shelducks present this morning. (AH)
This evening the Tawny Owl was showing again in the box in the Discovery Area. (IP)
Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)
Long Pool: A Cuckoo was about, before flying to towards the Tramway, whilst the bushes and reeds held the usual mix of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, all keeping low, along with a couple of Whitethroats, Linnets and Reed Buntings, whilst two or three pairs of Redshanks and Lapwings were around the fields. (AH et al)
Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Bunting, Linnets & Lapwing along the Long Pool (AH)
Park Farm, Selsey: Three Whitethroats were holding territories along Park Lane, but a Red-legged Partridge, a Buzzard and a Kestrel were the only other birds noted. (IP)
Church Norton: A Cattle Egret flew over Priory Wood, a Cuckoo was heard and a Great-Spotted Woodpecker and two Reed Buntings, but virtually no warblers, were around the Severals area, with just a few Reed and Sedge Warblers heard, plus the usual Cetti's Warblers, and two Whitethroat and a single Lesser Whitethroat.
The second Several held a family of seven small Coots and a Mallard mother with two ducklings, plus the resident pair of Mute Swans who may well have live cygnets in their nest, though I could not be certain.
The Harbour remains pretty empty, although there was a Shelduck sat on the mud below the concrete blocks surrounded by 11 ducklings and the Little Terns remain around their island, with c50 Black-headed Gulls around Tern Island. Waders amounted to a small mixed flock of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, which also included two Sanderlings, plus a Curlew and a few Oystercatchers. (IP)
North Wall: Along White’s Creek this morning there was just a couple of Shelduck and a Little Egret, with a Stock Dove on the mud and couple of Collared Doves overhead, whilst on the Breech Pool, the male Mute Swan was on the water, closely followed by a single cygnet, with the female still sitting on the nest, and a second pair of Mute Swans appeared with five cygnets and were quickly chased away by the resident male.
There was also a Mallard with five ducklings, a Great Crested Grebe and pairs of Tufted Ducks and Gadwall present.
Also, a Cuckoo was moving along the wall all morning and there were a few Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings and a Linnet about, and the female Marsh Harrier was seen briefly over the reeds. (LP)
Cuckoo (above), Linnet, Mute Swan and cygnet & Mallard family at the North Wall (LP)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was a bit of a selection on the Stilt Pool this morning, including a Little Stint, a Common Sandpiper, four Dunlin, three Ringed Plovers, two Redshanks and 30 Avocets, along with two Pied Wagtails.
There were a few birds along the banks, too, including two family groups of Stonechats, totalling seven birds, 15 Whitethroats, a sedge Warbler, four Reed Warblers, six Cetti's Warblers, seven Reed Buntings and 11 Yellowhammers, whilst c20 Swallows went over.
Also, a Cuckoo was near the poplars, a Common Tern flew over Marsh Barn and two Cattle Egrets were on the reserve, with a Buzzard and a Kestrel also about. (S&SaH)
Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were Whitethroats spread out along all the hedges this morning, but not much else was about, with just a family of Long-tailed Tits and a couple of Yellowhammerl at Porthole Farm and a couple more of the latter at Ham, where there were also a couple of Reed Buntings, a pair of Stonechats, four Swallows, a couple of Reed Warblers, half a dozen Linnets and a dozen Skylarks, plus a Cattle Egret. (AH)
Whitethroat (above), Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Long-tailed Tit & Cattle Egret at Medmerry (AH)
Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - With a fine Bank Holiday predicted I opted to avoid the beaches this morning and started at the GPs. The most notable thing was Kingfisher activity, with what was presumably a pair seen several times on North pit then at South pit. Both pairs of Mute Swans now have young, whilst Pochard (joint) totals were 28 birds, of which all but four were drakes, with a dozen or so Tufted Ducks and the non-breeding pair of Egyptian Geese still present.
Six pairs of Great Crested Grebe also have young and the single pair of nesting Grey Herons still have two well-grown young that must be fast approaching fledging.
It was also nice to see some 30+ Southern Marsh Orchids appearing.(OM)
Well-grown young Grey Herons in their nest and the first Southern Marsh Orchids at Drayton House pits. (OM)
Friday, 26th May: The breeze was distinctly brisk and back round to the north-east again this morning, cool early on, but warming up in the mix of sun and white cloud.....
Selsey Bill: A very quiet morning, with 18 Common Scoters the only thing going east. Full log below. (SR/AH/IP)
(0650-0820hrs) (ENE, F4-5)
Gannet - 2E, 3W
Common Scoter - 18E
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Little Tern - 1os
House Martin - 10
Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were just two Avocets on the pool, though Black-tailed Godwit numbers had risen to c150, but that was it beyond a handful of Mallards and 32 Shelducks.
The drake Wigeon was in the channel opposite again, but the Tramway circuit was very quiet beyond a couple of singing Blackcaps and Whitethroats and a Reed Warbler in Red Barn Ditch, all keeping low in the wind. (AH)
Avocets (above), Wigeon & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)
North Wall: A Cuckoo was calling continuously behind the Breech Pool and the female Marsh Harrier appeared briefly, whilst at least a dozen Cattle Egrets were around the fields.
Otherwise, though, birds were few in the wind, with just a couple of Swifts and Swallows over, and the odd Whitethroat, Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warbler, plus a couple of Reed Buntings, more heard than seen along the wall, whilst there was also a Fox in the paddocks. (AH/LP/CT et al)
Marsh Harrier (above), Whitethroat & Fox t the North Wall (AH)
Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were at least 50 Swifts, 50 House Martins and 100 Swallows over the settling tanks and fields this evening, though nothing else was about. (AH)
Swifts at Medmerry (AH)