Saturday, 17 June 2017

Pagham Harbour and Frensham Common - 13th June 2017

We decided with the Elegant Tern just over an hour away at Pagham Harbour we'd have a run down. It was a time of year we would not expect to see much else being mid June, but we have not been to Pagham for some time. After a visit for breakfast at Selsey, where we felt extremely young amongst the local residents, we headed off up towards Church Norton from Sidlesham Ferry. On the ferry pool was a group of around 25 Black-tailed Godwits, and a few Redshank including a fairly well grown young Redshank of the year.

Black-tailed Godwit

Redshank chick

The walk down to Church Norton was different to our last visit some years ago, the track side vegetation was a lot higher often with no views of anything and in quite a few sections not that easy to traverse through. It was in need of a little clearance. 

Black-headed Gull

The harbour, as expected, was very quiet, apart from the birds on the Tern island which held breeding Little and Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls, which had been joined by quite a few recently arrived non- breeding Mediterranean Gulls along with a few juveniles. Apart from the odd Oystercatcher and Redshank the only other bird in the harbour was an adult Peregrine and a chick on a nearby ridge. The Elegant Tern was sat hidden somewhere on the Island, where it remained for some considerable time out of sight. The Terns went up a couple of times, possibly due to the Peregrine, and eventually on one of the occasions when they all went it up, the Tern was picked up flying around amongst the Sandwich Terns. It flew around for several minutes, occasionally harrying other Terns, giving really good flight views, until plopping back down in to the colony out of sight. 

Quite a big twitch for a Tuesday

Rather worn Painted Lady on the way back to the car. 

On the way back we had planned on visiting Buster Hill for butterflies but time was getting on and later than planned so we just continued to Frensham Common. We bumped into a couple of recently fledged Dartford Warblers right next to the path, there were a couple of singing Wood Larks and several family parties of Stonechats. The Red-footed Falcon was absent, but as we started to walk down the ridge back to the car the small Falcon flew, high, over us, and that was it as it continued on towards the Little Pond. One brief view!

Frensham Common