Monday, 26 July 2021

26th July 2021

Monday, 26th July: A return to summer after a misty and murky start, with the warm sun burning off the mist to leave a warm day in a light north-westerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: A flock of 15 Common Scoter were offshore, whilst two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the shingle bar. Full log below. (AH/SR/MO-W/IP)
(0650-0805hrs) (NW, F1-2)
Common Scoter - 15os
Turnstone - 5
Mediterranean Gull - 11os
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 2os
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Common Tern - 2os
Swift - 12
Swallow - 6
House Martin - 3
Whitethroat - 1 (in gardens)
Common seal - 1os

Turnstones (above), Common Scoter, Common Tern & Mediterranean Gulls at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Seven Cattle Egrets were on and around the pool this morning, in the southern hedge early on and then actually dropping onto the island after something disturbed them from the fields.
There were also two Spotted Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover, two Avocets,  c120 Lapwings, c50 Black-tailed Godwits, c25 Teal and eight Shelducks on the pool, with the Greenshank again in the channel opposite. (AH)

Cattle Egrets (above), Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshanks, Greenshank & Avocet round the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The first returning Wheatear was along the beach opposite the first Several this morning, whilst at least ten Little Tens went up in the melee after a Peregrine shot through the harbour..
Waders were few, though including a Whimbrel, two Turnstones and half a dozen Curlews, whilst the Little Grebe and two youngsters, plus a pair of Gadwall were on the second Several and a Reed Bunting was on the first several. (IP)

North Wall: Two juvenile Marsh Harriers and the adult male were seen early on, whilst Swallows and Sand Martins were moving through in a westerly direction and two Green Sandpipers passed through the Breech Pool and were later located along Pagham Rife.
In the field behind the Pool there were 81 Curlew, three Lapwing and three Black-tailed Godwits, with a further 21 of the latter, six Redshank and a Whimbrel were in White's Creek, where four Egyptian Geese flew in from the north at 1100hrs and landed at the southern end.
There was a lot of activity at the egret colony which made counting difficult, but at one point there were six Cattle Egrets in the Copse and a further ten amongst the cattle in the field behind. (JDW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was pretty quiet along the banks, though there were several Whitethroat families, half a dozen young Stonechats, a dozen Yellowhammers and 100+ Linnets and Goldfinches, with c30 Swallows over.
A Greenshank and a Whimbrel were by the poplars, whilst a Green Sandpiper and three Common Sandpipers were on the Stilt Pool, along with four Lapwings, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and a dozen Gadwall. (AH)

Common Sandpipers (above), Lesser Black-backed Gull, Stonechat, Yellowhammer & Goldfinches at Medmerry (AH)

Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - A slightly delayed WeBS count today definitely gave that end of July doldrums feeling, with low numbers of wildfowl and no additional broods to report. The broods of Great Crested Grebes and Little Grebes seem to be doing well however and likewise the many Coot families, but overall it was all rather quiet.
Bird of the morning was the regular Hobby, hunting over the South pool briefly, until it saw me and once again immediately melted is always surprisingly elusive but given its number of appearances must surely be breeding somewhere in the general area. Two  Common Terns were fishing for a while and two Buzzards and a Kestrel were also noted, whilst a good deal of Reed Warbler activity was going on, with family groups and adults carrying food, and several Cetti's Warblers giving brief bursts of song. (OM)

Friday, 23 July 2021

23rd - 25th July 2021

Sunday, 25th July: A thoroughly miserable morning, with drizzle persisting throughout, only interrupted by slow-moving spells of heavy rain in a light easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A Redshank sat on the shingle bar, a flock of 11 Common Scoter sat on the sea and a Little Egret east were the highlights of a slow morning. Full log below. (SH/SR/AH/IP)
(0600-0815hrs) (E, F3)
Gannet - 9E
Little Egret - 1E
Common Scoter - 5E, 7W, 11os
Redshank - 1
Turnstone - 13W
Mediterranean Gull - 6E, 4W, 8os
Sandwich Tern - 22os
Swift - 12
House Martin - 1

Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank were in the channel opposite and half a dozen Cattle Egrets were in the fields, whilst the pool held two Avocets, c30 Lapwing, c75 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Shelduck and c20 Teal and a bedraggled Blackcap was singing near the hide. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks (above), Greenshank, Avocet & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There were at least a dozen Cattle and Little Egrets around the Owl Copse area, whilst c40 Curlews and c20 Black-tailed Godwits, plus a couple of Whimbrel were in Honer 2 field, with at least two more of the latter in the harbour, along with a few Lapwings.
Also, a Grey Heron was tangling with an eel in the paddocks, a couple of Common Terns, c25 Sand Martins and c50 Swallows were in the Breech Pool area, and quite a few Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus the odd Whitethroat and a Blackcap were along the wall. (AH)

Reed Warbler (above), Sedge Warbler, Swallow, Sand Martins and Swallows, Common Tern, Cattle Egret, Curlews and Black-tailed Godwits & Grey Heron at the North Wall (AH)

This afternoon, three juveniles were seen with the pair of Marsh Harriers behind the Breech Pool, after the male brought in food.
Also of note, 26 Cattle Egrets were in and around Owl Copse, 150+ Curlews were in the fields and at least 100 Swallows and Sand Martins were feeding low overhead. (S&SaH)

juvenile Mash Harriers at the North Wall (SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Wood Sandpiper was on the Stilt Pool late this morning, before flying out onto the reserve, with a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and three Common Sandpipers also present. (HB)
Earlier, the stilt pool held four Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, three Ringed Plovers and two Avocets, whilst a Greenshank, three Whimbrel and two Egyptian Geese were on the tidal area by the poplars.
There wasn't much beyond small numbers of the regular species along the banks, though a Cattle Egret flew over, as did a Swift, two Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There were just a handful of Little Terns in the harbour this evening, though including two juveniles, with similar of Common Terns, whilst at least ten juveniles were among the 50+ Mediterranean Gulls present, in among the innumerable sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls.
Waders were few, beyond a Common Sandpiper, a handful of Curlews, a couple of Turnstones and Whimbrel and c30 Redshank. (AH)

juvenile Little Tern (above), juvenile Little and Sandwich Terns, Common Tern, Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean Gulls & Common Sandpiper at Church Norton (AH)

Visitor Centre and Tramway Circuit: A Common Sandpiper was in Red Barn Ditch this evening, with another two in the channel opposite, alongside a Curlew and a few Redshanks, with a Swallow overhead and nearby was a Blackcap.
A Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank and 20 Black-tailed Godwits were in Ferry Channel but were soon disturbed by a loud group of visitors climbing around the outfall pipe.
The feeders by the hide were proving popular with a family of Long-tailed Tits and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, with another of the latter and a Green Woodpecker near the visitor centre. (SR)

Common Sandpipers (above) & Great Spotted Woodpecker around the Tramway (SR)

Saturday, 24th July: After heavy overnight thunderstorms, the morning began with leaden skies and a fresh north-easterly, before slowly brightening up as the breeze eased and swung south-east....

Selsey Bill: A Yellow Wagtail and a Sand Martin over were the only indications of migration this morning. Full log below. (SH/SR/AH)
(0615-085hrs) (NE, F4)
Gannet - 5E, 4W
Common Scoter - 10E
Turnstone - 8
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 10os
Swift - 13
Swallow - 1
Sand Martin - 1E
House Martin - 2
Yellow Wagtail - 1E

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

Ferry Pool: There were a Spotted Redshank, two Avocets, ten Redshanks, c50 Lapwings and c80 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, along with half a dozen young Shelducks and c20 Teal, whilst up to ten Cattle Egrets were in the field and a Greenshank was in the channel opposite.
Earlier on, two Spotted Redshanks and two Whimbrel were also in the channel, whilst a Brown Hare was in the newly cut grass field south of the pool. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank, Cattle Egrets & Brown Hare around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There are definitely two juvenile Marsh Harriers behind the Breech Pool, with both adults and both young all in the air together this morning.
There were also five Whimbrel in the harbour, a Common Tern and ten swifts over the Beech Pool, 200+ Sand Martins and 50+ Swallows over the fields at Owl Point and five adult and three juvenile Cattle Egrets in Owl Copse. (S&SaH)

juvenile Marsh Harriers at the North Wall (SH)

This evening both juvenile Marsh Harriers were out briefly behind the Breech Pool, whilst two flighty Green Sandpipers, a Greenshank and half a dozen Whimbrel were in the harbour, half a dozen cattle Egrets were around Owl Copse and a Common Tern, c40 Swallows and a couple of Sand Martins were feeding over the Breech Pool. (AH)

Marsh Harrier (above), Cattle Egrets, Common Tern & Swallow at the North Wall (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least a dozen Little Terns, including three juveniles, in the harbour, but Sandwich Tern numbers appeared much reduced, although several were still taking food in to the island. At least a dozen Common Terns, including several juveniles were present, too, whilst a tight flock of 13 that flew out of the harbour were presumably passing through.
There were few waders, though, on the rising tide, beyond a single Dunlin, two or three Whimbrels, ten Turnstones, a handful of Curlews and c30 Redshank, whilst everything was put up by a Peregrine.
Otherwise, two nearly fledged  juvenile Sparrowhawks were the the nest, a Little Grebe had two youngsters on the second Several, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Reed Bunting and a few Linnets were around the first Several and a couple of Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a Green Woodpecker were also about. (AH/IP/S&SaH)

juvenile Little Tern, Common Terns, Common and Sandwich Terns, juvenile Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel, juvenile Black-headed Gull (AH) & juvenile Sparrowhawk (SH) at Church Norton

Friday, 23rd July: A slightly cloudier morning, though still mainly sunny, and a little cooler in the brisk north-easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A flock of 11 Common Scoters went east and there were still the odd Sandwich Terns carrying fish back to the harbour, but it was generally quiet, with no hirundines seen. Full log below. (IP/AH/SR)
(0650-0750hrs) (NE, F4)
Gannet - 1E
Common Scoter - 11E
Turnstone - 8
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 18os

Sandwich Tern (above) & Turnstones at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were still two Spotted Redshanks on the pool, with three or four Cattle Egrets in the fields either side, whilst a Greenshank and two Whimbrel were in the channel opposite.
Otherwise there were still two Avocets, a dozen Redshank, c50 Lapwing, c100 Black-tailed Godwits, four Shelducks and c30 Teal present. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank, Whimbrel & Cattle Egret at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: It gets better! At 1105 behind the Breech Pool there were four Marsh Harriers in the air together, a male, a female and a clear juvenile, with a forth that dropped into the reeds before I could confirm its age, but hopefully it was another juvenile.
On the Breech Pool itself there were four Tufted Ducks, the Great Crested Grebe chick, which can now dive and feed itself and five Common Terns fishing there, whilst Swallows busily in and out of Welbourne Stables. (JDW)

Other highlights this morning included the first returning Yellow Wagtail, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, seven Cattle Egrets, a Spotted Redshank and a juvenile Greenshank. (ESt)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - A couple of juvenile Little Ringed Plovers on the tidal mud this morning was unusual, but the only other wader present was a Common Sandpiper, whilst a Sandwich Tern and a Mediterranean Gull were among the loafing gull flock.
It was very quiet on the landside, too, with just a Meadow Pipit and a couple of Linnets at the windmill end and a Stonechat, a couple of Swallows and a few more Linnets in what little habitat remains at the breach end. (AH)

Little Ringed Plovers (above), Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Swallow and preparations for yet more caravans at Medmerry (AH)