Friday, 15 August 2014

15th - 17th August 2014

Sunday, 17th August: Cooler, rather cloudy and grey, with the prospect of heavy showers and some brightness through the day. Unfortunately the wind now seems to be set in an unfavourable W to NW direction for the next few days at least, which certainly won't help the sea-watching prospects or much else, but as has been proved so many times before you never quite know and it only takes one good bird to confound all the gloomy keep looking!

Selsey Bill: 06.00 to 08.30 (SH/PB/SR/AH)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 155W,  9E
Common Scoter - 12W, 1E, 5os
Turnstone - 7ob
Bonxie - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Common Tern - 3W, 3E
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Sand Martin - 1W

Fulmar past the Bill (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: 1 Wheatear, 1 Willow/Chiff and a dozen Swallows this morning and a Swift over Manor Road. (SH/PB)

Halsey's Farm/ North Wall: At Halsey's Farm there were two probable Tree Pipits - see pic, though they never called - briefly in the hedges, but virtually no other birds.
Along the North Wall there was a Kingfisher, a Wheatear, a dozen Linnets and a few Swallows. In the Breach Pool about 40 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Teal were the only birds of note, there were 75 Curlew in the fields behind and 25 Lapwing took to the air from further inland, whilst at White's Creek there were 40 Redshank and another 20+ Black-tailed Godwits. (AH)

Probable Tree Pipit at Halsey's Farm (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Breach Pool (AH)

This afternoon there were 3 Black Swans in White's Creek (MP)
Black Swans with a Mute Swan in White's Creek (MP)
Ferry Pool: A very brief look in the strong wind produced 9 Avocets this morning, plus 30 Lapwing. (AH)
Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Cattle Egret was present again this morning. (per Birdguides)
Chi GP's: Ivy Lake: A quick look here, too, this morning produced 4 Common Terns and at least 200 Sand Martins over the water, plus a Great Crested Grebe with its chick. (AH)
Great Crested Grebes on Ivy Lake (AH)
Church Norton: There were 3 Wheatears along the beach this evening, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Common Terns and 4 Little Terns in the harbour and a couple of Whitehtroats along the Severals. (S&SaH/AH)
Saturday, 16th August: Bright and breezy again, similar to yesterday though less windy, but still north-westerly - a less than favourable direction at this time of year. As these pages often highlight, most of the observers that feature are, shall we say, somewhat on the mature side (me included), with input from younger generations at a premium. So as I play host to the grandkids this week I am reminded of the need to involve and engage future generations with nature. Why do I tell you this? Well this blog is delighted to have the chance to show you in a small way how this can be done. One of our regulars (PB) took his grand-daughter Phoebe to see the Black-winged Stilt family some while ago and she was clearly inspired - producing a splendid and remarkably accurate picture that gladdens the heart. Well done to Paul - and Phoebe! (OM).
The Black-winged Stilt family by Phoebe Bowley, aged 7yrs. Wonderful.
Selsey Bill: 0700-0830 (SH/CRJ)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 2W, 1E
Redshank - 1E, 2W
Greenshank - 1W
Turnstone - 19 ob
Dunlin - 1W
Common Tern - 24W
Sandwich Ten - 4W
Little Tern - 5W, 1 os
Sand Martin - 11W
Swallow - 10W
Wheatear - 2 ob
Willow Warbler - 2 ob
Common Seal - 1 os
Also 7 Shelduck over west and a Clouded Yellow at East Beach (CRJ)
Greenshank west past Selsey Bill (above) & Clouded Yellow at Selsey East Beach CRJ)
Additional: 1700-1830 (SH)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 6W, 2E

Turnstone - 2ob
Mediterranean Gull - 1W, 2E
Sandwich Tern - 7W
Common Tern - 5W
Commic Tern - 3W

Sidlesham: Marsh Farm: The Cattle Egret was again present mid-morning at least, in the cattle fields near the main barn (SH/RK/BI).
Cattle Egret at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (BI)
Church Norton: The Long-tailed Skua was reported as present though distant at 0813hrs, on the beach near the bungalows again (JF et al), but had not reappeared by 1030hrs.
Around the bushes there was a Spotted Flycatcher (per CRJ/JF), a Garden Warbler, a couple of Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat and probably 20+ Whitethroats spread around. Quiet in the harbour - a single Whimbrel, 5+ Curlews and 30+ Ringed Plover and Dunlin, plus the Peregrine on its island. Also a few Swallows, Sand and House Martins over, and a couple of Sandwich Terns offshore. (AH et al) At 1642 I picked up a large raptor soaring high off shore and drifting east, it was clearly an all dark juv Marsh Harrier, it continued east and then north over the Harbour (K. Maycock).
Whilst out on a guided walk, a kite-like bird of prey was spotted sat on a post down the west side of Pagham Harbour. After closer inspection and as it flew low down the field margin it was confirmed as a Honey Buzzard. It was shortly later reported from over the Ferry Pool. (IL via SOS)

Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)
North Wall area: I awoke to find 3 Willow Warblers, 1 Common Whitethroat and a juvenile Redstart in my Pagham garden. Set off for the North Wall full of great expectations. Hopes were dashed, though - it was much the same as it has been all week. Swallows gathering on wires along Church Lane. On the Breech Pool were 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Spotted Redshank, lots of Mallard, 9 Teal and 2 Grey Heron. Canada Geese were coming and going all the time. Sand Martins passing through eastwards. Along the Wall were Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers. Migrant-wise there were 11 Willow Warblers, 4 Common Whitethroat, 2 Wheatears and 1 Garden Warbler. My two favoured migrant hop spots were far from hot. The Little Grebes at Owl Water have 2 well developed chicks, the first time I have seen the 4 together. 4 Green Woodpeckers seen on the circuit. (JDW)

Ferry Pool: The family of 6 Avocets were still present, along with 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Lapwing and 12 Teal, and 3 Grey Herons flew over. A Common Sandpiper was in Ferry Channel, and along the bushes by the hide a Garden Warbler, 4+ Blackcaps, 8+ Willow Warblers and 12+ Whitethroats. (AH)
 Juvenile Avocet on the Ferry, Common Sandpiper in the channel & Grey Herons over the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Visitor centre to Ham view point
3 Redstart
2 Spotted Flycatcher
2 Lesser Whitethroats
3 Wheatear
1 Whinchat

3 Yellowhammer
1 Peregrine

1 Green Sandpiper
+ good numbers of Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs and flocks of Linnets and Goldfinches

A cycle from Easton Lane to the Avocet pools at Medmerry this morning, the highlights of which were a couple of Clouded Yellows, plenty of Sand Martins and House Martins, at least a dozen Wheatears and five juvenile Avocets feeding in the Earnley channel. (BI)

Easton Lane westwards this afternoon
Green Sandpiper -  2
Sparrowhawk - 1
Buzzard - 1
Kestrel - 2

Mediterranean Gull - 27
Sand Martin - 100+
Wheatear - 11
Yellow Wagtail - 20+

Linnet 400+ around stilt pool (S&SaH)

Wheatear (above) & juvenile Avocet with its lunch at Medmerry (BI)
Friday, 15th August: Bright and breezy again but with a brisk and somewhat cooler NW wind force 4 or 5.  We start we a few images from yesterday.......


Long-tailed Skua and Cattle Egret, 14th August - with some informative notes (LGRE). The skua is now widely considered to be a sub-adult, and I'm pleased to say I actually did know the bit about the skua's nostrils! (OM).
Selsey Bill: The Long-tailed Skua was seen on the beach by a visiting Dorset birder at about 6.30am; it then flew east and had not been refound by 10.15am.
Log from 0650-0940 (JA/GH/SR)
Gannet - 5+ os
Common Scoter -12W, 40 os
Eider - 1 os
Sparrowhawk - 1 obs
Sanderling - 2obs
Green Sandpiper - 1 heard overhead but not seen
Common Tern - 60 os
Sandwich Tern -18 os
Little Tern - 6 os
Swallow - 20W
Sand Martin - 3W
Wheatear - 1 obs
Willow Warbler - 1 obs
Selsey's two pre-eminent lady bird-watchers - Sarah Russell and Beryl James - enjoying the sun while waiting for the skua to re-appear at the Bill! (AH)
Church Norton: The Long-tailed Skua was reported on the beach again in it usual mode at 0752hrs (per RBA) and then again later at East Beach, Selsey. Otherwise, not much change again - still plenty of Whitethroats about, including at least a dozen on the first Several, along with a few Willow Warblers and Blackcaps, and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats. A Yellow Wagtail flew high over the beach, 40 House Martins and a couple of Swallows and Sand Martins also went over, and a Sparrowhawk upset the rather few waders in the harbour, which included 2 Whimbrel, 20 Black-tailed Godwits and 40 Dunlin. (AH)

Juvenile Blackcap (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)

The Long-tailed Skua flew in from the sea at 3.15pm, landing on the beach just in front of us, at the usual spot opposite the bungalows near the Severals, preened and took a long look at the collected birders before flying off west along the beach 15 minutes later. (SR/BJ)

No sign of the Long-tailed Skua along the beach, though, this evening.
Lots of Willow Warblers between the two Severals, A Wheatear on the spit in the harbour and another on the shingle opposite the first Several.
A number of warblers feeding on the edge of Bluebell Wood, including a pair of Blackcaps and a Lesser Whitethroat.
 Other than that still a number of Sandwich Terns feeding offshore, and also three Common Terns. (IP)

Ferry Pool: Again, not much change. The family of 6 Avocets were still present, along with 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Lapwings, 7 Teal and 8 young Shelducks. There were also 2 Common Sandpipers in Ferry Channel and half a dozen Whitethroats, a couple of Willow Warblers and a singing Blackcap in the bushes by the hide. (AH)

Whitethroat by the Ferry (AH)

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