Thursday, 21 August 2014

21st - 23rd August 2014

Saturday, 23rd August: A bright, clear sunny morning with a moderate WNW breeze, although cloud is due to develop by afternoon. These less than favourable conditions for observing  migration on the Peninsula are set to continue as we enter the Bank Holiday weekend and will probably continue into the days beyond, so we'll just have to see what it brings. We start today's log with a late entry from yesterday......
At Medmerry an unusual record of a Fulmar observed from the new watchpoint circling the pools late morning before heading off NE; the bird was watched until out of sight heading inland over Sidlesham towards the direction of Chichester! (RJS).....
Today's news....
Selsey Bill (0630 - 0730hrs):  Sunny, bright, WNW3. (Obs: SH).
Gannet - 17E, 7W
Common Scoter - 15W
Sanderling - 1W
Common Tern - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 14W
Sand Martin - 2W
Yellow Wagtail - 16W
Wheatear - 1 ob
Willow Warbler - 12 gardens
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Sidlesham: Marsh Farm: The Cattle Egret still present this morning (per Birdguides).
Church Norton: A ringtail Hen Harrier was seen heading westwards over the west side of the harbour this morning (A&YF)
There was quite a bit of activity today, despite the westerly airflow. Passerine highlights were 2 Redstarts, a Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a few Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers behind the hide, 2 Spotted Flycatchers by the concrete wall, a Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Willow Warblers and at least 30 Whitethroats along the Severals, 2 Wheatears on the beach (with another 4 in the fields towards Park Farm) and 50+ Sand Martins going generally westward overhead.
There were also 5 Sandwich Terns, 7 Common Terns and 4 Gannets offshore, but not much wader interest on the high tide.
Also 2 Clouded Yellow butterflies seen. (AH/S&SaH)

Redstarts (above), Lesser Whitethroat & Whinchat at Church Norton (AH)
Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper present this morning, along with a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, an adult and 3 juvenile Avocets, 32 Black-tailed Godwits and 14 Lapwing.
In the bushes around the hide there were 4 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, 20+ Willow Warblers, 10+ Whitethroats and 20+ Long-tailed Tits. (AH)
 Green Sandpiper on the Ferry (above), Blackcap & Long-tailed Tit nearby (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane car park to beach this afternoon -
1 Gannet offshore
4 Buzzards
2 Sparrowhawks
1 Kestrel
2 Green Sandpiper
1 Avocet (juv)
1 Swallow
12 Wheatear
11 Yellow Wagtails
2 Whinchat
1 Yellowhammer (S&SaH)

Friday, 22nd August: A grey, blustery and cool start to the day, with a few spots of rain and a strong westerly breeze which finally gave way to some sunshine. It was however just one of those days, being decidedly quiet despite a good bit of searching for migrants.  The Bill came up with the only action, limited as it was, with a few bits and pieces over the sea..... an Arctic Skua and a Bonxie being the highlights. The Cattle Egret was re-found at Marsh farm in the afternoon.

Selsey Bill (0630-0930hrs): Cloudy, cool, early showers, wind WSW to W5.
(Obs: JA/GH/OM/AH et al).
Gannet - 18E, 104W
Fulmar - 4W
Eider - 7 os
Common Scoter - 27 os
Gadwall - 1W
Whimbrel - 2W
Dunlin - 2W
Turnstone - 44 ob
Arctic Skua - 1 os
Great Skua - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 20W
Common Tern - 15W
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1 os
Sand Martin - 23 S/W
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens

This evening there were 2 Swifts hawking for insects over the southern end of the town, and another further north. (IP/SH)

Northcommon farm, Selsey failed to produce anything noteworthy this morning other than a distant Buzzard and a small flock of mixed hirundines (OM).

Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - The main interest this morning was terns - there were still about 6 Little Terns, including an adult bringing food for its youngster, 12+ Sandwich Terns and 2 Common Terns feeding and roosting around the pools. There were also 8 of the latter seen moving west, and about a dozen Gannets were also offshore. There was a Whimbrel, a Knot and 40 each of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers on the mud, and an adult and 7 juvenile Shelduck flew into the salt-marsh, but there was not a passerine to be seen. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Little Tern & Little Tern with Sandwich Terns at Medmerry (AH)

Sidlesham: Marsh Farm: A look around the farm area found the Cattle Egret still present in the rear field. A dozen Yellow Wagtails also around the cattle, a Hobby in with the many Swallows & House Martins and two or three Willow Warblers in the hedges (BI).
Cattle Egret at Marsh Farm (BI)

Church Norton: Very quiet - just a few Whitethroats and Willow Warblers around, and nothing of note seen in the harbour on the high tide other than 2 Common Terns and a Buzzard. (AH/BI/OM)   
This afternoon there were 6 Common and 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Willow Warblers and a Reed Warbler; in the harbour 13 Little Egret and 14 Dunlin and along the beach a large long-legged upright Northern Wheatear.(CRJ)
In addition to the above, this evening, there were 6 Gannets and 6 Common Terns offshore, 2 Wheatears and 100+ Swallows along the beach and 2 Buzzards over. (S&SaH)
Ferry Pool: Three Avocets this morning, plus 14 Black-tailed Godwits, 25 Lapwings, 4 Teal and a low-flying Buzzard (AH/OM)   
North Wall: After the mid week rush of Willow Warblers it was very quiet along the Wall, 5 Common Whitethroats being the only recorded passage migrants. There are still a few Reed and Sedge Warblers around. On the Breach Pool were 27 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Common Snipe and 2 Spotted Redshank. Mallards have moved in and there were over 50 of them along with 7 Teal; a Kingfisher was also present. Behind the Pool were 48 Curlew and there were 7 Yellow Wagtails amongst the cattle. The Swallows have left the stables, clearly a successful breeding season as some pairs have raised 3 broods (JDW).  

Chi GP's - Drayton Pits: As usual the high water levels ensured there were very few margins suitable for waders, a single Common Sandpiper and 20 Lapwing being their sole representatives. Wildfowl numbers included 30+ Gadwall and at least a dozen Shoveler, the latter still in eclipse, whilst c.7 pairs of Little Grebe were also seen, most with at least one young. The most numerous species present was Sand Martin with at least 200 swirling around the pits, and around 10 Willow Warblers were contact-calling from the bushes (OM).

Thursday, 21st August: Another bright summer's morning, with the breeze inevitably strengthening through the day......

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Cattle Egret was present again today between Marsh Farm and Chalder Farm, but mobile.  (When found it was sitting atop a small tree at map reference   OS197, SZ868989...although in a blink of an eye it dropped out of view!)(BFF/DM/DIS)

Ferry Pool: Still not much on there despite the high tide - this morning just one Dunlin, two juvenile Avocets and six Black-tailed Godwits. (AH)
Church Norton: An Osprey was over the harbour at around 11am this morning; it spent 15 minutes hovering and flapping around before gaining height and moving off east.  Also a small number of Common and single Lesser Whitethroats with a Garden Warbler in the bushes near the hide. No large gathering of common waders just usual suspects with a single Knot and Sanderling noted. (BFF/DM/DIS)
Osprey at Pagham Hbr (DM).

Easton Lane - The hedges around the maize fields were absolutely full of Willow Warblers this morning, mostly juveniles but there was even some singing going on, and 50 birds would be a conservative estimate. There were also at least 2 - and probably 4 - Tree Pipits, at least 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Reed Buntings and 10+ Whitethroats along the bushes, and 2 Wheatears on the track.

Willow Warblers (above), Tree Pipit & Yellow Wagtails at Medmerry (AH)


Easton Lane Car Park -The Breach (07:30 - 11:30hrs) (PLS)
6 Yellow Wagtails on the Stilt Pool
Large build up of Sand Martins
A Charm of 50+ Goldfinches
Wheatears all along the shingle bank to the Breach
Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrowhawk and Hobby
Tufted Duck with 2 chicks
3 Clouded Yellows
Migrant Hawker
Chinese Character moth (pic below)     
Chinese Character moth, Medmerry.......the blog editors don't know too much about moths and insects so when we feature the occasional one we have to take things in good faith.... apparently this species resembles the appearance of a bird dropping to avoid predation! (PLS). 

Migrant Hawker, Medmerry (PLS)
Ham Farm: Not much other than Linnets this morning - but there were many hundreds of them along the bank and adjoining fields. Given the numbers here, around the Stilts pools and elsewhere the population on the reserve must number several thousand. There were also at least 3 Wheatears along Ham Lane. (AH)
West sands from Viewpoint: 8 Little Terns fishing with small number of Dunlin & Ringed Plover roosting; 10 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat and 6 Yellow Wagtails in the area plus a juvenile Peregrine being mobbed by the crows and 60 Linnets feeding around the rough ground near the car park (BFF/DM/DIS).

above: Little Egret, Whinchat (right) and Wheatear (lower) - Medmerry (DM)

Chi GP's - Ivy Lake: A Common Swift over as we passed in the car (BFF/DM/DIS)
Fishbourne Creek: 4 Greenshank, a single Spotted Redshank and 240 Med Gulls, plus 2 Sparrowhawks (BFF/DM/DIS).

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