Saturday, 30 May 2015

30th - 31st May 2015

Sunday, 31st May: Grey and cloudy with rain at times and a strong W/SW wind gusting to gale force; more like late November than early summer!
There were no reported sightings from the Ferry by mid-morning of yesterday's Red-necked Phalarope, although the Black-winged Stilt remains.....whilst at the Bill nothing unusual was reported.... although a Selsey fisherman reported several Storm Petrels and a Black Tern well offshore recently at an unspecified distance (per SOS), so it could happen.....

Selsey Bill 0515 - 0900hrs: Cloud, rainy, windy SW6-7 (Obs: SH/JA/AH)
Fulmar - 4E, 2W

Gannet - 8E, 23W
Turnstone - 1W
Sanderling - 2W
Dunlin - 1W
Razorbill - 3W
Guillemot - 2W
Auk sp - 1E
Common Tern - 34os
Sandwich Tern - 25os

Kittiwake - 5W
Swallow - 3W
Also of interest: Grey Seal - 1os, and 2 Hedgehogs reported from the one observer's Selsey garden were the first seen in the area for several years. Later another observer reported one from an East beach garden.

Sandwich Tern struggling to hold onto a huge sandeel in the wind (above) & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

A miserable end to the spring sea-watching campaign at the Bill for SH and JA (AH)

(1420-1600) (SH/JA)
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Gannet - 23E, 15W
Dunlin - 8ob
Kittiwake - 1E, 3W
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 2os
Guillemot - 1W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1W

Ferry Pool: No sign of the Red-necked Phalarope by 1400, although the Black-winged Stilt was still present. There were a Little Ringed Plover, four Ringed Plovers, c25 Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits, five Avocets, and a Redshank on the pool, and a flock of ten Sanderling flew through west and settled briefly, but didn't stay long. (AH/SR/IL/DM/DIS)

Black-winged Stilt (above) & Avocet on the Ferry (DM)

Sanderlings (above) & Shelduck-lings on the march at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: This afternoon there was a rather sodden-looking family of young Long-tailed Tits, a dozen each of Swallows, Swifts and House Martins, 4 Reed Buntings, a Great Crested Grebe, a Little Grebe, 2 Tufted Ducks, a Gadwall, 3 Mallard families, 2 Linnets, 3 Whitethroats and numerous Reed and Sedge Warblers that continued to sing when the rain came. (SR)

Church Norton: A Spotted Flycatcher was in the churchyard and the Cuckoo was still around the Priory this morning, though the harbour was pretty bare - just a couple of Sandwich Terns, a dozen Ringed Plovers and Dunlin and a couple of Curlews on show. (AH/DM/DIS)

Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (DM)

This afternoon there were three Spotted Flycatchers around the Mound, plus a singing Blackcap and the regular Cuckoo, but not much in the harbour, though the Mute Swans on the second Several have about half a dozen cygnets. (AH)

Mute Swan family at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - Large numbers of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins were over the lake this morning, and a big flock - of maybe 30 - Long-tailed Tits were moving noisily through the trees. (AH)

Swift (above), Swallow, House Martin & Long-tailed Tit at Ivy Lake (AH)

Saturday, 30th MayBright and breezy this morning, with the star birds being a Red-necked Phalarope and the Black-winged Stilt on the Ferry Pool ...

Ferry Pool: A summer-plumaged (and probably female) Red-necked Phalarope was found on the pool early this morning by East Sussex birder John King and was still present and drawing a crowd at lunchtime alongside the Black-winged Stilt.
Other birds present included eight Avocets, a Little Ringed Plover, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and three Redshank. (AH et al)
Both the Red-necked Phalarope and the Black-winged Stilt were still present into the evening. (PC/IP)

 Red-necked Phalarope (above) & Black-winged Stilt on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A couple of Lesser Whitethroats singing, as were a good selection of the commoner warblers, including Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus a Cuckoo from the Tramway and several Linnets and Reed Buntings, plus a clutch of newly fledged Long-tailed Tits. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above), Whitethroat & Long-tailed Tit from Long Pool (AH)

Selsey Bill: (0600-0730hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 8E, 16W
Tufted Duck - 2W (pair)
Common Scoter 10E
Kittiwake - 2W
Common Tern - 15os
Sandwich Tern - 14os
auk sp - 1W

Swift - 1W
Swallow - 4W, 1N

House Martin - 2p
Grey Seal - 1os
Also,  around 7am what looked like a large raptor appeared over the horizon (possibly an Osprey), but almost straight away several gulls started mobbing it forcing it down, where it was lost from view not to be refound. 

(1715-1815) (SH)
Fulmar - 1E, 5W 
Gannet - 3E, 3W
Kittiwake - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Common Tern - 19os
Sandwich Tern - 9os
Swallow - 1N

North Wall: The Breech is now a Pool again - yesterday the Environment Agency came and adjusted the sluices and today we have a good covering of water and muddy margins, clearly appreciated by 11 Tufted Ducks and a Little Ringed Plover. Linnets were feeding young along the Wall and there were 8 Ringed Plovers on the mud in front of Owl Copse. There were 47 Mute Swans loafing around the sluice gates, 2 Roe Deer were well out in the harbour and were last seen swimming towards Pagham Spit, Stock Doves were calling at Bremere Bridge and there were 4 Buzzards above Halsey's Farm. (JDW) 

Little Ringed Plover (above) & Ringed Plovers from the North Wall (JDW)

Church Norton: There were 13 Sanderling on the beach this morning. (S&SaH) Also a Knot was in the harbour. (IL)
Late this afternoon there was still a Spotted Flycatcher in the sheep field, a Cuckoo calling nearby and another calling behind the Severals, a few Sandwich Terns offshore and in the harbour there were seven Sanderling with c25 Dunlin and c40 Ringed Plovers. (AH)

Spotted Flycatcher (above) & Sanderling at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

28th - 29th May 2015

Friday, 29th May: Cloudy with rain forecast for late morning to early afternoon, and a strong, mainly westerly wind yet again....

Selsey Bill: Nothing going on this morning - just a handful of Gannets east and Sandwich Terns west. (JA)
(1640-1800) (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 5W
Fulmar - 5W
Gannet - 16E, 10W
Dunlin - 7W
Common Tern - 22os
Little Tern - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 6os

Ferry Pool: A Black-winged Stilt was on the pool at 9am. It appeared to be a different one to the one present a few weeks ago - browner on the back and around the head and neck. Could it be one of last year's chicks or have the male and female missed each other?
Other birds present included c100 Black-tailed Godwits, nine Avocets, three Gadwall, six Shelduck chicks and two Redshank. (AH)

Black-winged Stilt (above) & with Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A couple of very late Spotted Flycatchers along the path to the harbour were the unexpected highlight, not that there was much competition! Otherwise, just the regular two Cuckoos, one of which went back over the harbour, a singing Blackcap and a couple of Curlews were about the sum. (AH) Later on the two Spotted Flycatchers were still present, plus another in the churchyard, and two Little Terns were fishing in the harbour. (BI)

 Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (BI)

This evening at least one Spotted Flycatcher was still present, and in the harbour there was a Grey Plover, at least 40 Ringed Plovers and 30 Dunlin. (AH)

Spotted Flycatcher (above) & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester GPs: Westhampnett Pit - At lunchtime today there were at least 500 House Martins and 200 Swallows over the pit in the bad weather. (AH)

Swallow at Chichester GPs (AH)

Ivy Lake - An adult Little Gull was reported on Birdguides this afternoon, but wasn't showing at 6pm. There were a couple of Common Terns, though and at least 400 Swifts over the water, plus at least 100 each of House Martin and Swallow. (AH)

Swift over Chichester GPs (AH)

Thursday, 28th May: Mainly sunny with some cloud, but with a fresh and fairly cool W/NW wind still dominating.... it's past a joke now and surely time for a warmer southerly airflow sometime, but it doesn't yet seem to be on the horizon.....
Meanwhile, the slow-going on our patch and the prospects of a tasty rarity just over the border in Hants (Greater Yellowlegs at Titchfield) proved too much of a lure for some Peninsula regulars, who obviously all had the same idea today!

Selsey goes to Titchfield! L-to-r are Chris Janman, Mich & Colin Eames, Dorian Mason and Bernie Forbes, all smiles after connecting with the target bird (OM).
Selsey Bill: Nothing really moving between 7.20 and 8.20am, but there were c30 Common Terns, c10 Sandwich Terns and a Little Tern going west and four Gannets east, plus up to ten House Martins over the beach. (AH/SR)

Gannet over the Mile Basket & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Little Ringed Plovers, five Avocets and 55 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were two Cuckoos again this morning, one of which headed (back?) over the harbour towards Pagham Spit. Otherwise it was slow-going, with a few Reed Buntings, Linnets, Whitethroats and Reed and Sedge Warblers along the Severals, a Little Tern and a few Common Terns about the harbour, and just 10 Ringed Plovers and two Curlews on the mud. (AH/PC)

Cuckoo (above), Linnet, displaying Oystercatchers & Little Egret at Church Norton (AH)

Monday, 25 May 2015

25th - 27th May 2015

Wednesday, 27th May: A dry, bright start with sunshine, scattered cloud and fairly light winds, albeit still basically westerly....

Ferry Pool: There were five Avocets this morning, plus 15 Black-tailed Godwits, four Gadwall and the drake Teal. (AH)

Medmerry: Breach - Very quiet this morning - just four Black-tailed Godwits on the pools and a single Corn Bunting and a handful of Linnets around the banks. (AH)

Corn Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

Pagham Spit: A Cuckoo was being very active around the gorse by the Spit Lagoon, but few other small birds bar a few Linnets, Greenfinches and House Sparrows.
It was good to see, though, that at least a dozen Little Terns were toing and froing along the new spit and the channel, with quite a bit of fish-passing and displaying going on, though there was plenty of human disturbance around.
Very little else to see in the harbour, with half a dozen Ringed Plovers, two Curlews, one or two Common Terns and c30 Mute Swans being about it. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Cuckoo, Ringed Plover & the scale of erosion on Pagham Spit (AH)

North Wall: The Breech Pool is the driest I have ever known it, with just a sleeping group of Tufted Ducks, Mallards and a couple of Shelducks on the mud, plus a few Reed and Sedge Warblers in the reeds. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above) & Reed Warbler from the North Wall (AH)

The holiday season at Pagham - a couple, plus small child, right out on the tidal mud (AH)

Tuesday, 26th May: A cool and grey morning, with a moderate westerly breeze....though dry and with sunny spells later.

Selsey Bill: 0710-0910hrs: There were at least 60 Gannets feeding offshore, a few Little, Sandwich and Common Terns were feeding along the strand-line and the House Martins were back gathering wet sand. The only birds moving, though, were a Great Northern Diver west and four Common Scoters east. Full log below.... (OM/AH/DF)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet  - 7E, 1W, 60 os fishing around trawlers
Common Scoter - 4E
Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 10 os
Sandwich Tern - 12 os
Swift - 6N
House Martin - 6 p

Little Terns (above), Great Northern Diver, Common Tern, House Martin & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

This Common Tern took exception to most of the gulls roosting on the triangles and groynes at the Bill this morning for some reason, and one by one drove them off as if defending a nest! Here it is shown swooping past a Herring Gull before the latter was forced to move (OM}.

Church Norton: The Little Stint was present again this morning in the harbour (DF) Also about were three Bar-tailed Godwits, a dozen Turnstones and c20 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, a couple of Little Terns and a few Common Terns. 
It was fairly quiet otherwise, though the Cuckoo was still calling away, a Blackcap was singing near the car-park and a pair of Gadwall were in the creek by the horse field. (AH/DF)
Early evening there was no sign of the Little Stint, though a Knot and a Sanderling were with the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers, whilst the three Bar-tailed Godwits were also present and the Cuickoo was still calling. (IP/AH)
Earlier, around 60 Sanderlings were on Church Norton Spit on the low tide this morning (IL)

Bar-tailed Godwits (above) & Shelduck at Church Norton (AH)

Sanderling on Church Norton Spit (IL)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover and a Redshank were present early on, along with five Avocets and six Gadwall. Later on, around 100 Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool. (AH/OM)

 Five roosting Gadwall with an Avocet on the Ferry Pool (OM}

Medmerry: Breach - In the pools there was a Sanderling in with half a dozen Dunlin and a couple of Turnstones, and there were up to 20 Grey Plovers, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and three Gadwall present, too. Around the bank there were three Corn Buntings and a couple of Meadow Pipits amongst 20 or more Linnets, and a couple of Sandwich Terns were offshore. (AH/OM)
This afternoon a winter-plumaged Curlew Sandpiper was among the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers near the breach. (ARK per SOS)

Corn Bunting and Linnet at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall area: No birds on White's Creek apart from 32 Mute Swans, whilst there were just seven Tufted Ducks on the Breech Puddle plus that well known wetland bird - a Pheasant - feeding on the mud. 
Reed Warblers were busy feeding young along the Wall and alongside Pagham Rife as far as the pumping station. Not a single bird was on Honer reservoir but at Bramber Farm Yellowhammers were feeding young and a Little Owl was sitting out. At Marsh Farm there was a mixed flock of some 300 plus corvids, mainly Rooks, and three Brown Hares were scampering around the same field. Stock Doves, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were all calling in Owl Copse and a Little Egret was fishing in Owl Water. (JDW) 

Yellowhammer & Little Egret (above) & Brown Hare from the North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Cetti's Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat were calling near the car park and a Fox was by the poplars, and 7 Black-tailed Godwits flew to the Stilt Pools from the marsh there, making a total of 29. A pair of Mute Swans with 7 cygnets, two Little Ringed Plovers and 16 Avocet were also on the pools. 
From the beach 4 Avocet chicks were being guarded by their parents,and further along towards the Breach was a single feeding Brent Goose with a severely damaged left wing.Near the old inlet were 6 summer-plumaged Dunlin and 4 Redshank, and 8 Grey Plover were on the beach, one in superb summer plumage. On the return journey there was a very vocal Cuckoo. (CRJ)

Bank Holiday Monday, 25th May: Dry and mainly cloudy with a few brighter interludes and a lighter breeze - however the wind is still stuck in the west to north quadrant with little prospect of any change in the immediate future...

Selsey Bill (0545-0830hrs): Nothing really moving bar a few Gannets offshore and a few Common and Sandwich Terns closer in, plus ten or so House Martins gathering damp sand from the beach now that their favoured puddle has dried up.  (SH/PB/SR/P&JW/AH)

Gannet - 52E,  10W, 30os (feeding flock left of mile basket)
Fulmar - 2E, 2W
Common Scoter - 25E
Oystercatcher - 2E
Turnstone - 11E
Kittiwake 4E
Sandwich Tern - 19E,  3W
Little Tern - 1E
Razorbill - 1E (landed on the sea)
auk sp - 2E,  2W
Swallow - 2E,  2W
House Martin - c10 gathering mud from beach
Additional - 1600 - 1730hrs: (Obs: SH/P&JW)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 7E, 10W
Guillemot - 1W, 1os
Auk sp -  5W

Little Tern - 2os
Sandwich Tern -  6os

Common Tern - 4os
Swallow - 5NW

House Martins at the Bill (AH)

In case anyone was wondering where Selsey Bill regulars Colin and Mich Eames have been for the last few weeks.... Here's a clue!

Ferry Pool: A surprisingly large flock of around 150 Black-tailed Godwits was on the pool this morning, along with  five Avocets. (PB)

Church Norton: The Cuckoo was still calling away, and there were a couple of Sanderling in with 30+ Dunlin and 20+ Ringed Plover in the harbour. There were a few Common and Little Terns about, too, plus a couple of Curlews. (AH)
Late this afternoon the summer plumaged Little Stint resurfaced on the rising tide in the harbour, along with three Sanderling and c50 each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Also the Cuckoo was vocal along the west side. (AH)

Little Stint (above) & Cuckoo at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Nothing much out of the ordinary this morning, but still plenty of activity from the Avocets and Little Ringed Plovers on the pools, and from the Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Linnets along the banks.
A pair of Little Grebes were feeding four youngsters on one of the pools, and there were Mute Swans and Canada Geese with young, too. There were a few Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings present, and a couple of Reed and Sedge Warblers, too, plus a single Black-tailed Godwit, and there were a few Sandwich Terns offshore, but that was about it. Also, a Common Blue butterfly was on the wing. (AH et al)

Avocet (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Reed Bunting with nest material, Linnet, Little Grebe with chick and Common Blue at Medmerry (AH)

Later on there were at least a dozen Common Blues along the banks. (BI)
I watched as 4 newly hatched Avocet chicks were led away from their island nest site on the Stilt Pool by very attentive parents this afternoon. From the beach I could see another family of 4 newly hatched and one couple with just one larger chick. Three hares close by, two of them boxing. (SR)

Little Ringed Plover (above) & Common Blue at Medmerry (BI)