Wednesday, 27 August 2014

27th - 29th August 2014

Friday, 29th August: Cloudy with a mainly dry forecast for the day with some sunny periods and the possibility of some heavy showers, but also with a persistent and fairly brisk W/SW wind force 4-5 perhaps gusting 6.
Selsey Bill: Not much moving early on - just the usual Gannets offshore, 5 Eider on the sea, a few Common Scoters, Common Terns and Sandwich Terns going back and forth. Also 3 Swifts and about 10 Sand Martins overhead and a Mediterranean Gull on the beach.  No reports of the Wryneck thus far. Full log later. (JA/AH/GH et al) An hour this evening produced just 4 Gannets west and 2 east, and 6 Common Terns west and 1 east (SH)
Common Terns (above) & Gannet off Selsey Bill (AH)
Warner Lane: There was a Whinchat in the horse paddocks this morning. (BI)
Whinchat at Warner Lane (BI)

North Wall: The Osprey was present again around midday, until the gulls pushed it off westwards. Also  a Kingfisher and 100+ Black-tailed Godwits on the breach pool, a Yellow Wagtail in the horse field and a Whimbrel in the harbour. (BI) Also the first 3 Wigeon of the autumn in White's Creek. (ARK per SOS)

Osprey from North Wall (BI)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: No sign of the Cattle Egret, but 4 Wheatears, plus plenty of Whitethroats and Swallows. (BI)
Church Norton: At least 5 Spotted Flycatchers along the sheltered hedges and still 3 Redstarts behind the hide. Also present were a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps and up to 10 Whitethroats, with a few House Martins and Sand Martins overhead.
In the harbour there was a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, a Mediterranean Gull, 5 Grey Plover and 100+ Dunlin. (AH et al)
Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AH)
This evening the Curlew Sandpiper was again amongst 100+ Dunlin. Also 12 Sandwich Terns were roosting in the harbour and there were at least 20 Grey Plovers present. (AH)
Sandwich Terns from Church Norton (AH)
Ferry Pool: Just a single Little Ringed Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 5 Avocets was the extent of wader activity, along with 22 Teal and 8 Shelducks. There were 2 Common Sandpipers in Ferry Channel. (AH)
Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry (above) & Common Sandpipers in Ferry Channel (AH)
Ivy Lake: there were three fly-around juv Ruff, 20 Pochard, 10 Common Terns and say 1000 Sand Martins. (ARK per SOS)

Thursday, 28th August: A grey gloomy start, brightening up somewhat as the day progressed. Bird of the day was a Wryneck at Selsey Bill....
Selsey Bill: OM's perseverance with a small plot of land on Seal Square paid off this morning with a Wryneck in the hedge. It was fairly elusive, but showed well several times from 10.30 till 11.30am. To see it, park in the car-park at the end of Hillfield Road and take the cut-through between the gardens opposite the tea-van. The plot is by the electricity sub-station on the left, but it is private and can be viewed over the fence. (AH) (It had not reappeared by 1430) (OM).

A sea-watch 0920-1020hrs (OM/PC) proved to be very quiet, producing just Gannet 2E and 4W, Common Scoter 1W, Sandwich Tern 4W, Commic Tern 3E and Sand Martin 30SW. Then OM became restless, deciding it was time to check the gardens.... it didn't look very promising, but a Swift and a few more Sand Martins flew over the Oval field before heading out SW, at least 4 Willow Warblers and a Whitethroat were logged, and then the Wryneck appeared!
Wryneck at Selsey Bill (AH)

Selsey: Northcommon Farm & Warner Lane: No obvious migrants in the hedgerows, but there were masses of hirundines hawking over the hay fields, which apart from a handful of Swallows were almost exclusively Sand Martins. It was difficult to accurately estimate the total, but there were at least 200 over each of five different fields, so there must have been 1000+ in the area (OM).

Church Norton: A fading summer-plumage Curlew Sandpiper was a new bird in the harbour. Otherwise there were a couple of Whimbrel, 10 Grey Plovers and 200+ Dunlin present. There were 2 Redstarts, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 5+ Blackcaps and similar of Whitethroat around the hide area, at least 10 Whitethroats along the Severals, 8 Gannets, 2 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern offshore, a steady westward stream of Swallows and Sand Martins and also 2 Yellow Wagtails flew over. (AH/OM et al) Later (mid-afternoon) an Osprey reported flying south over the harbour (IL).

Curlew Sandpiper (above) & Redstart at Church Norton (AH)

This evening a young Marsh Harrier was hunting over the harbour more or less continuously from 6.15 -7.15pm (AH/S&SaH) 
Marsh Harrier over Pagham Harbour (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were 4 Green Sandpipers at the back, along with 1 Dunlin, 5 Avocets, 14 Black-tailed Godwits, 22 Teal and 9 juvenile Shelducks. (AH/OM)

Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Highlights of the SOS walk from Easton Lane to the beach on the western side of Medmerry RSPB Reserve. Along the way a good flock of 25+ Yellow Wagtails were feeding in the fields, together with several Wheatears. Other birds seen were Yellowhammer, Whitethroat and many Sand Martins passing through.
In the buffeting wind there was a distinct lack of waders on the pools but a summer-plumaged Little Grebe was some compensation. Whilst lunching on the beach 2 Sandwich Terns flew west and a total of 6 Common Terns flew off towards the Isle of Wight. Out in the middle of the reserve were hundreds of Canada Geese, 2 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrels, at least 2 Greenshank and a very brief appearance of a Common Sandpiper.
I was desperate to find Whinchat for the party on the return journey and sharp-eyed Paul managed to find 2 birds on the barbed wire fences, and before we knew it 6 of these gorgeous birds were in view.
Also seen were 2 Roe Deer and a Clouded Yellow butterfly. (CRJ)
Wednesday, 27th August: Overcast but just about remaining dry, with a fresh ENE wind, perhaps hinting at more promising conditions for bird-finding. As from this Sunday, AH will be holding the fort for a week with blog duties during my absence... it will be business as usual but please be understanding as (apparently) he has to put in some time earning a living in between the rigours of family life, birding in the field and writing the blog! (OM).

Selsey Bill (0815-1105hrs):  Cloud but dry, ENE F4/5 (Obs: SR/C&ME/GH)
Gannet - 29E, 13W
Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Eider - 4 os drifting E
Common Scoter - 48W then settled os
Turnstone - 30E, 11W
Oystercatcher - 1 ob
Common Tern - 4E
Commic Tern  13W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 32W

Swallow - 28E, c25 overhead
House Martin - 18E
Sand Martin - 12E
Wheatear - 3 ob
Pied Wagtail - 1 ob
Yellow Wagtail - 8NE, 2ob   

Ferry Pool: There were 3 Green Sandpipers again this morning, along with 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Avocets, 16 juvenile Shelduck and 22 Teal. Also a flock of 12 Greenshank flew out of the harbour and south-west over the Ferry, there were 2 or 3 Yellow Wagtails in with the cattle, and there was a big flock of, mostly, Long-tailed Tits moving along the hedgerow.(AH)
Long-tailed Tit at the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: There was a Redstart in the churchyard (per R&GH), 2 Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide, along with a few Whitethroats and Blackcaps and a Sparrowhawk. In the harbour there were 2-3 Whimbrel and 50+ Dunlin, plus 20+ Sand Martins and Swallows over. (AH)
Spotted Flycatchers (above) & Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)

Quite an eventful walk this evening, with a hovercraft in the harbour, quad and motor bikes on the beach and a naked man lingering around the hide!
There were a few birds, too - 7 Sandwich Terns in the harbour, 2 Wheatears on the beach, a Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat and a Sparrowhawk along the Severals, and a Swift over the north of Selsey. (S&SaH)
North Wall: A Kingfisher along White's Creek along with 58 Redshank and 72 Black-tailed Godwits. The Breach Pool was full to overflowing and only contained Mallard and Teal. Common Whitethroats were at several locations and I counted over 30, plus plenty of other migrants including Lesser Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Spotted Flycatchers and Whinchats. There were 4 Whinchats together in the maize field just south of Bramber Farm. No sign of the Cattle Egret at Marsh Farm but there were 14 Pied Wagtails there. Around Honer reservoir there were well over 100 Sand Martins as well as one each of Common and Green Sandpiper. The Swan family along Pagham Rife still have 5 cygnets, they no longer bother to move when I walk by. On my walk round I also noted 5 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, 2 Jays and 1 Little Owl. A very pleasant morning (JDW).  

Kingfisher  White's Creek, Spotted Flycatcher North Fields and Mute Swan family Pagham Rife (JDW)

An Osprey was feeding in front of sluice gates (around 6pm) adjacent to North Wall about 50 metres out half way to channel. It was 'put up' by an Environment Agency hovercraft on at least two occasions but kept hold of its prey eventually landing on the Church Norton side of the channel where it was feeding on its quarry until we left at around 7pm. (D. Meagher per SOS)
Hunston: A Little Owl was sitting on a roadside telegraph post very early this morning. (SH)

Ivy Lake: A Swift over early this morning (SH). Two Common Terns and up to 40 Pochard present, as well. (JD)

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