Saturday, 10 June 2017

10th - 12th June 2017

Monday, 12th June: Another grey and breezy day, with a brisk westerly breeze, though with the odd glimpse of the sun.... 

More advanced warning! The car-park at Church Norton will be severely restricted tomorrow - Tuesday - morning, as there is a large funeral taking place in the chapel at lunchtime and access must be maintained. (Eds)

Due to the windy and chilly conditions we are delaying today's visit to Tern Island (to maintain the electric fencing) till later in the week as the weather is due to improve. (IL - warden)
Church Norton: The Elegant Tern was still around the island this morning and mostly being elusive, though it did come out for a preen on the mudflats at around 10.30am for a short while.
There was still lots of Little, Common and Sandwich Tern activity, too, with at least 50 and probably more Mediterranean Gulls about, and life continues elsewhere, with Whitethroats, Reed Bunting and Linnets carrying food and a large flock of juvenile Long-tailed and Blue Tits working their way along the trees on the way to the beach. (AH/C&ME et al). Also, a Roseate Tern was also reported as being present on the island early afternoon (per Birdguides)

Elegant Tern with Sandwich Terns (above), Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, mixed terns and gulls, Linnet, Whitethroat & the crowd already assembled by 7am at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Avocets, the Shelduck family, six loafing Lapwings and the Redshank and Lapwing parents on the pool, and 66 Black-tailed Godwits flew in to join them. (AH)

Avocets (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)


Sunday, 11th June: A rather grey start, with a modest south-westerly breeze.....

ADVANCED WARNING – On Monday 12th June the wardens will be carrying essential maintenance work on the electric fencing around the Little Tern Colony on Tern Island in order to ensure that the fence is operating properly and the colony is protected. We will attempt to carry out this work if the Elegant Tern disappears to sea to feed as it has done over the weekend. But we apologise in advance for the disturbance but it is essential that the little tern colony is as protected as we can make it. Thank you

Church Norton: The Elegant Tern was still present this morning around the island from first light, with the crowds gathering for another hectic day...... (AGB) The Elegant Tern flew strongly south-west, as it did yesterday, at c.8:15 am so hopefully it will repeat the pattern of yesterday and return later in the day (it did and was present on Tern Island at 10:21 am). Away from the assembled throng along the Severals were four Reed Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, two Cetti's Warblers and three Whitethroats and the Grey Heron was on the concrete wall. Three Gannets went west and another east viewed from the beach. Later on, back at the harbour, the Little Gull was present with the Common & Sandwich Terns. (BI)
The Elegant Tern was still present mid-afternoon.

NOTE that the car park in Rectory Lane is jam-packed as is the limited space along the lane the advice is to avoid the chaos and park at the Visitor Centre then walk along the West side to Norton.
ALSO please consider making a donation to the RSPB, whose efforts to maintain and electric-fence the Tern island have no doubt encouraged this mega to appear amongst the tern colony; and/or a small donation for parking would be appreciated if appropriate. Better still, buy a copy of the new Birdwatcher's Guide to Pagham Hbr, Medmerry and Selsey (£10 from Visitor Centre) where all profits from sales go to such RSPB projects. (Eds)

The crowd already assembled at Church Norton at 04.45am (AGB)
The biggest twitch for many years at Church Norton (AH)

The Elegant Tern was still showing, off and on till 7.45pm at least, but mostly staying low on the island and just flying about occasionally.
It was estimated that over 1000 people passed through during the day to appreciate the tern, and, thanks to the RSPB staff, the whole place just about coped, though the roads were a bit chaotic at times. Also over £200 was raised for the RSPB, so thanks to all those involved in an exciting day. (AH/BI/IL et al)

Distant shots of the Elegant Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey Bill: Two Arctic Skuas flew east this morning, whilst two Eiders were offshore; otherwise it was back to the typical pattern of a few terns fishing offshore and moving back and forth. Full log later......
0530-0830hrs: (SH/AGB/PB/AH et al)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 24E, 8W
Little Egret - 1W
Eider - 3E, 1os
Common Scoter - 8E
Curlew - 2W
Little Tern - 6os
Common Tern - 10os
Sandwich Tern - 75W
Kittiwake - 4W

Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Razorbill - 1W

auk sp - 3W
Swift - 6p

Arctic Skua (above), Sandwich Tern & Eider at the Bill (AH)

(1600-1700hrs) (SH)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 3E, 1W, 8os
Eider - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 21os
Common Tern - 3os
auk sp - 1W
Swift - 3p

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: At  least one Redshank chick was on show, plus the attendant parents and a couple of Lapwing, with another 14 - non or failed breeders sat at the back along with two Avocets, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and the Shelduck family. 
The usual Sedge and Reed Warblers, plus a couple of Reed Buntings were along the Long Pool, and the Gadwall family was still on the water, mostly hiding in the reeds. (AH)

Redshank chick (above) & Lapwings on the Ferry, Gadwalls, Sedge Warbler & Grey Heron along Long Pool (AH)

Selsey: A couple of striking moths in JA's trap on the north of the village this morning - namely Lime Hawk-moth and Eyed Hawk-moth. (JA/SH)

Lime Hawk-moth (above) & Eyed Hawk-moth in a Selsey garden (SH)

Saturday, 10th June: A bright and sunny day with a moderate, due southerly, breeze.....

Church Norton: A Peninsula and county first this morning! The ELEGANT TERN that has been giving Hampshire birders the run-around for the last three days, before being seen heading our way last night, finally gave itself up at Church Norton, found by Alan Kitson at around 11.30am.
This bird was already known to be a French colour-ringed male, whose identity had previously been fully established by DNA sampling (per RBA) thus removing any doubt.
It disappeared for over an hour before being refound and it remained mostly elusive, sat on Tern Island then popping up for a fly around every now and then, allowing the rapidly increasing assembled crowd some good views, before heading back out to sea with a Sandwich Tern at about 1.30pm. By 3.10pm it had returned to the harbour and was showing well along the ironwork & spit again near Tern Island.
Among other birds noted were the re-appearance of the first-summer Little Gull, two first-summer Common Terns, 30+ Mediterranean Gulls and a female Eider offshore. (AH/BI/OM et al)
[Very envious of your mega-find Alan, well done; at least three of us (CRJ/BFF/OM) were out this morning searching Chichester Harbour/West Wittering/Ellanore hoping to achieve the same result! And poor AH had been at Norton before deciding to leave just a couple of minutes before the bird's discovery. We've often speculated as to what might be the next new bird for the Peninsula - but this surely was not on anyone's list of probables! ](OM)

Elegant Tern (top ARK & IL), Little Terns and the gathering crowd at Church Norton (AH)

This evening the Elegant Tern was still showing well to a never-ending stream of admirers, doing repeated fly-pasts, but never coming too close! Also, an adult Black Tern popped up among the many terns in the harbour. (AH/AB et al)

Elegant Tern (J-PC above, AH below) & Black Tern (AH) at Church Norton

Elegant Tern & Sandwich Tern over Church Norton (P.Evans)

More Elegant Tern images (AB)

Selsey Bill: (With the Elegant Tern having been seen to head out to sea from Church Norton, and the bird's previous appearances just over the border at Hayling Island, it seems quite likely it will fly past the Bill sometime (or perhaps already has!) The more seasoned Bill watchers will already have this on their radar, and to add this mega to the Bill list will be some prize indeed! Eds).
Very little was moving this morning, though the first summer drake Eider was close offshore and there were up to ten House Martins gathering mud. Full log below..... (SH/JA/AH)
Fulmar - 1os
Gannet - 74E, 4W
Common Scoter - 48E, 1W
Eider - 1os
Grey Plover - 7E
Kittiwake - 6E
Little Tern - 7os
Common Tern - 14os
Sandwich Tern - 29os
auk sp - 1E
Swallow - 1 p
1650-1800hrs: (SH)
Gannet - 1W
Common Tern - 2os
Sandwich Tern - 33os
House Martin - 9 present, local birds

Eider (above) & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Selsey East Beach: There were two first-summer drakes and a duck Eider off East Beach this afternoon, plus a Little Tern. (J-PC)

Little Tern (above) & Eider at Selsey East Beach (J-PC)

Ferry Pool: The Lapwings and Redshanks were still watching over hidden chicks this morning, along with 25 Black-tailed Godwits and the Shelduck family, whilst a pair of Gadwall dropped into the rife. (AH)

Shelduck-lings (above) & Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

Chichester Harbour: There was a first-summer Little Gull, plus 2 Brent Geese and a few Sandwich and Little Terns between Itchenor and Ellanore this morning. (CRJ/OM/BFF)

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