Sunday 16 June 2024

16th - 18th June 2024

Tuesday, 18th June: A cool and mostly overcast morning, in a moderate north-easterly breeze......

Just to remind everyone, JA's Spring Summary 2024 for the Bill is available on the title bar above. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: There wasn't much going on this morning, though 28 Common Scoters went east and ten went west, as did three Little Terns. Full log below. (AH/IP)
(0635-0750hrs) (NE, F3)
Gannet - 1E
Common Scoter - 28E, 10W
Curlew - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - c40os
Sandwich Tern - 16os
Common Tern - 1os
Little Tern - 3W
Swift - 2
House Martin -15

This evening, a first-summer Little Gull offshore was the highlight. Full log below. (MRe)
Gannet - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - c100os
Little Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 17os
Common Tern - 2W
Guillemot - 1E
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - 2os

Common Scoters (above), Sandwich Tern & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover was on the pool again this morning, along with 12 Avocets, two Lapwings, 16 Redshanks and a dozen adult Shelducks and 11 growing chicks. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above) & Avocet at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Hobby went over today, as did a sparrowhawk and four Buzzards, whilst Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and a Cetti's Warbler were present, too.
A pair of Oystercatcher with two chicks were on Tern Island, but the harbour was quiet, with just a handful of Sandwich Terns and Mediterranean Gulls and a Curlew noted. (MRe)

It was very quiet this evening, with just two Whimbrel, four Curlews and two Ringed Plovers in the harbour, a Reed Warbler singing from the bushes by the hide and two Mistle Thrushes along Rectory Lane. (AH)

Whimbrel (above) & Mistle Thrush at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey: There were two Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the roof St Peter's church this morning. (AW)

Lesser Black-backed Gulls on Selsey church (AW)

North Wall: There were at least 30 Cattle Egrets and similar of Little Egrets around Owl Copse and adjacent fields this morning, whilst two Cuckoos were at Halsey's Farm and another behind the Breech Pool, but there were no Marsh Harriers about.
About 20 Grey Plovers, a dozen Dunlin and half a dozen Curlews were in the harbour, but the wall was quiet in the wind, with just a few Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings about, plus a Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat and a newly fledged family of Swallows. (AH)

Cuckoo (above), Cattle Egrets, Swallow & Chiffchaff at the North Wall (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were just two Little Ringed Plover chicks on the Stilt Pool this morning, together with three adults and a Ringed Plover, with four chicks and four brooding birds among 16 Avocets, the pair of Oystercatchers with just two chicks and six Lapwings.
Also, a third-year Yellow-legged Gull, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and 25 Mediterranean Gulls were on the reserve, along with a Cattle Egret and a Cuckoo, with a Peregrine, three Swifts and four Swallows over, whilst along the banks there were two Stonechats, a Lesser Whitethroat, three Chiffchaffs, seven Reed Buntings, a few Reed, sedge and Cetti's Warblers and plenty of Whitethroats and Yellowhammers. (MRe)

Chichester GPs: A quick look late this morning produced two Common Terns on Ivy Lake, along with two drake Pochard, eight Egyptian Geese and c75 Greylag Geese, with several singing Chiffchaffs and Reed Warblers, plus a Reed Bunting and several families of Long-tailed Tits along the path and half a dozen Norfolk Hawkers on Nunnery Lake. (AH)

Common Terns (above), Egyptian Geese & Long-tailed Tit at Chichester GPs (AH)

Monday, 17th June: A much less breezy morning, in just a light to moderate westerly, and warm in the sun . ......

Just to remind everyone, JA's Spring Summary 2024 for the Bill is available on the title bar above. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: The Great Northern Diver went west again this morning, and four Arctic Skuas went east, with a couple of Guillemots going west too. Full log below. (MRe/AH/SR/IP)
(0520-0800hrs) (WSW, F2-3)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 1E, 11W
Common Scoter - 9W
Oystercatcher - 1W
Curlew - 1W
Arctic Skua - 4E
Mediterranean Gull - 6W, 20os
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 13E, 20W, 10os
Common Tern - 1E
Little Tern - 2W
Guillemot - 2W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1E
Swift - 4
House Martin - 8

Fulmar (above), Sandwich Tern & Swift at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Little Ringed Plovers, eight Avocets, 14 Redshanks, three Lapwings and 15 adult Shelducks, plus what appeared to be all the ducklings. (AH)

Avocet (above) & Shelduck family at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Nine Cattle Egrets and 46 Little egrets were seen from the wall today, though just one Marsh Harrier, with five Swallows, 16 Reed warblers, six Sedge warblers, three Cetti's warblers,nine Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcaps, four Lesser Whitethroats, ten Whitethroats and six Meadow Pipis seen along the wall and around Halsey's Farm. (MRe)
This evening there were three female Marsh Harriers and just two juveniles seen, along with a Buzzard and three Swallows, with c20 Cattle Egrets and c30 Little Egrets around Owl Copse.
There wasn't too much along the wall beyond three Reed Buntings, three Reed Warblers, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap. (S&SaH)

East side and Pagham Lagoon: There was a good selection of waders along the side of the harbour today, including three Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Dunlin, 24 Grey Plovers, 18 Ringed Plovers and 14 Lapwing, with six Mediterranean Gulls about, too, whilst on Pagham Lagoon there were ten Great Crested Grebes, including two chicks. (MRe)

West Itchenor: Signs indicate that five natural House Martin nests at the Harbour Office have been washed out by recent rain, but thankfully ten of the 13 artificial nests are in use, some having young.
There wasn't much to see on the high tide but two Blackcaps, a Whitethroat and six Swifts were close by. (SR)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were three Little Ringed Plover chicks with their parents on the Stilt Pool his morning, with at least five Avocet chicks and a dozen adults present, along with a pair of Oystercatchers and three chicks, a Mediterranean Gull and five Lapwings. The Little Ringed Plover parents were getting very agitated when one of the Avocets came too close, doing their 'broken-wing' display to lure it away.
The banks held at least 20 Yellowhammers and Whitethroats, along with a Chiffchaff, two or three Reed Buntings, half a dozen Reed Warblers and Skylarks and c20 Linnets, with half a dozen Swallows, a Buzzard and two Kestrels over. (AH/EB)

Little Ringed Plovers (above), Little Ringed Plovers and Avocet, Avocet family, Oystercatcher family, Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Common Darter & Black-tailed Skimmer at Medmerry (AH)

Reed Warbler (above), Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting & Wren at Medmerry (EB)

Chichester GPs: Birds seen today included Common Tern, Cetti's Warbler and Blackcap, whilst a good list of dragonflies seen included Brown Hawker, Norfolk Hawker, Four-spotted Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer. (AW)

Common Tern (above), Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Brown Hawker, Norfolk Hawker & Four-spotted Chaser at Chichester GPs (AW)

Sunday, 16th June: Another very windy morning, though slightly less so than yesterday, and quite warm in the prolonged sunny spells. ......

Our esteemed Bill Log-keeper JA has now completed his annual summary. So, what was the spring like at Selsey Bill this year? How many Pom's were seen? Was it as quiet as I thought? These and other queries can now be answered by clicking on the Spring Summary 2024 in the title bar above. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: A very unseasonal Great Northern Diver went west this morning, as did three Arctic Skuas together, but it was generally quite slow. Full log below. (JA/SH/BI/AH/IP/P&LH/SR)
(0525-0840hrs) (SW, F5)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 9E, 20W
Common Scoter - 10E, 13os
Oystercatcher - 2W
Arctic Skua - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 8W
Kittiwake - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 7W
Common Tern - 4W
Little Tern - 1W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1E, 2W
Swallow - 2
House Martin - 6

(1515-1615hrs) (SH)
Fulmar - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 3E, 11W
Sandwich Tern - 3os
House Martin - 2

Great Northern Diver (above), Arctic Skuas, Sandwich Tern, Common Scoters & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 16 Avocets on the pool this morning, along with a Little Ringed Plover, 14 Redshanks, four Lapwings, the drake Teal and 22 shelducks, including all 12 ducklings. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above) & Shelduck-lings at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Sparrowhawk flew east with prey, low over the barn, whilst the Pied Wagtail was again on the roof. 
There were also two Buzzards here about, whilst a Reed Warbler was again singing in the rife and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was also present on the seaward side. (IP)

North Wall: The female Marsh Harrier and three juveniles were around his morning, along with a Buzzard and a Kestrel, with five Reed Warblers, four Cetti's Warblers and four Reed Buntings, plus two Swallows, along the wall, whilst totals of 44 Cattle Egrets and 40 Little Egrets, including good numbers of juveniles, were around the Owl Copse area. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There were at least 11 Little Terns in the harbour this morning, along with the first/second summer Arctic Tern and up to 20 Sandwich Terns, plus at least three Mediterranean Gulls, though waders comprised just two Whimbrel, two Curlews and a handful of Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers.
A Hobby over the Severals was unexpected, with two Sparrowhawks also there, but otherwise the landside was quiet, with just the odd Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff  and Whitethroat, plus a few Linnets seen or heard, along with a couple of Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Jay (IP/AH/P&LH)

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Whimbrels & Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there was a big flock of Ringed Plovers and Dunlin - c75 of each - on the mud, presumably staying for the summer now if they haven't moved off north.
There wasn't much else, though, beyond the two Whimbrel and a dozen Sandwich Terns. (AH)

Sandwich Tern (above) & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - I visited these two pits mainly to check on the situation regarding breeding Pochards - a rare breeding bird nationally. In recent years these pits have held up to six or so breeding pairs - a significant number. It was a bit of an ordeal today, but eventually I located one female with a brood of four small young on North pit, very wary, and staying close to the reeds in a shaded area. A second female was also located at a different part of this pit - also wary and staying by the reeds in a secluded spot - but although I suspect she might have had young nearby, it was not confirmed.
I don't know if Pochards always breed late elsewhere, but they certainly do here, with broods up to early July not unusual. It is likely therefore there could be further broods. There were an additional 28 adult Pochard around today, mostly males but with several females amongst them, so I'd bet on a further brood or two yet!
These apart, there were two Egyptian Geese, three Greylags, 65 Canada Geese, a dozen Gadwall, eight Tufted Ducks, six pairs of Great Crested Grebe (some with young) and the other expected species. Mute Swan pairs are on both pits, each now having cygnets. A Lesser Whitethroat was still singing occasionally from a hedgerow, whilst Reed Warblers and Cetti's Warblers were still singing also. The colony of Southern Marsh Orchids is now well in bloom.(OM)

Female Pochard with young at Drayton House North pit, and colony of Southern Marsh Orchids on South pit. (OM)

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