Thursday, 7 August 2014

7th - 9th August 2014

Saturday, 9th August: After a fair bit of rain overnight the morning began fine and mainly sunny, with scattered cloud but a stiff coastal breeze, WSW5. At the Bill the first real departure of terns was apparent today and things are also set to get interesting on the sea-watching front over the next couple of days, with the predicted arrival of an expired Hurricane ('Bertha') from the Atlantic, bringing with it strong winds and heavy rain.... the Bill may be the place to be then!

Medmerry: The Long-tailed Skua re-appeared this afternoon, refound by Jim Langiewicz along the beach from the breach. In the pictures it looks rather darker underneath and possibly longer-tailed than the bird of last week, but surely it is the same bird?
A Black Tern was also seen nearby (per IL).

upper two: IL,  lower two: James Langiewicz, bottom: SH


Full list of birds seen in the breach area - Long-tailed Skua (which flew off westwards), 100+ Common Tern, 20+ Little Tern (inc 6 juv), 10 Sandwich Tern, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Sandpiper, 50 Black-tailed, 2 Avocet, 20 Grey Plover, 6 Wheatear, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whitethroat, 15 Sand Martin and a Clouded Yellow. (S&SaH)
Selsey Bill 0615 - 1000hrs: Sunny, WSW5.  (Obs: CW/SH/JA/AH)
Gannet - 13E, 92W
Eider - 9 os
Common Scoter - 7E, 3 os
Teal - 3W
Dunlin - 1E, 3W
Sanderling - 1W
Turnstone - 5 ob
Common Sandpiper - 1W
Ringed Plover - 1E
Whimbrel - 2W
Little Tern - 3W
Commic Tern - 388W
Common Tern - 148W
Sandwich Tern - 87W
Little Tern - 3W
Med Gull - 1W
Swallow - 14W
Pied Wagtail - 1W
Additional watch 1610 to 1815hrs: (Obs: JA/SH)
Gannet - 4E

Curlew - 1E
Turnstone - 10W
Commic Tern - 250W, 50 os
Sandwich Tern - 50W, 12 os
Kittiwake - 1os
Swift  - 6
Sandwich Tern (above) & Eiders at Selsey Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: At 0650hrs the limping Avocet was still present: also 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlin, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Curlew, 9 juvenile Shelduck, 6 Teal, 11 Canada Geese and c80 Lapwing, disturbed by an overflying Kestrel (SR).At 0730hrs there was also a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper present. (AH)
Lapwing (above) & Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: Not too many passerines this morning, though there were a Garden Warbler and two Lesser Whitethroats in with a few Whitethroats on the sheltered side of the hedge near the hide. Also there were 50+ Swallows along with a couple each of Sand and House Martins feeding low down.
Tern numbers were much higher (see the passage at the Bill above) in the harbour than in recent days, with minimums of 60 Common Tern, 30 Sandwich Tern and 4 Little Tern. Not many waders on show with the tide high, though there were at least five Whimbrel and 40 Redshank. (AH)
Garden Warbler (above), Lesser Whitethroat and Common Terns at Church Norton (AH)
Friday, 8th August: Dry with light cloud, a bit of hazy sunshine and a light SE breeze.  Several enquiries were received this morning concerning a report (from person unknown via Birdguides!) of a Pectoral Sandpiper at the Ferry Pool yesterday .... sorry, but can't really assist..... as far as we are aware this has never been substantiated, and the Ferry was checked a good many times through the day by competent birders from early morning to evening, with not a sniff of a Pec but just a slightly streaky Dunlin. Nor was there any hint of a Pec today. Draw your own conclusions - we certainly have! (OM/AH).
Ferry Pool: Quiet again - just one Common Sandpiper, one Dunlin, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 48 Lapwing and 16 Teal on there this morning. (AH)

Female Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - there were at least 4 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Wheatears and 80 Linnets around the rough ground/rubble piles this morning, and around the breach on the rising tide, at least 16 Little Terns (including 10 juveniles), 30 Sandwich Terns, 20 Common Terns, a Common Sandpiper, 40 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin and 200+ Sand Martins over west. (AH/SR)
Ham areaAvocet family of 2 adults and 4 juveniles, Little Egret 24, Grey Plover 8, Lapwing 11, Stock Dove 2,  Kestrel 2 adults with 1 juvenile, Buzzard 2, Chiffchaff 1, Whitethroat 5, Swallow c50, and 1 Brown Hare (SR).
Yellow Wagtail (above), Linnet & Little and Common Terns at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: A quick look round the churchyard/hide area produced 5 Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Willow Warblers, whilst in the harbour there were 15 Common Terns and 12 Sandwich Terns. (AH)  A late afternoon walk to Norton (from Selsey at 1630hrs) produced just 3 Sparrowhawks, 6 Wheatears on the concrete spit, 2 Sandwich Terns, 3 Willow Warblers and 10+ Swifts (SH)
Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)
Thursday, 7th August: Another fine summer's day, but no sign of the Long-tailed Skua or the Cattle Egret so far, though the latter is the more likely of the two to make a re-appearance.....

Selsey Bill 0620-0820hrs light SW, sunny, calm later.  (Obs: CRJ). 
Mute Swan - 1 pair, swimming E
Common Scoter - 96 os
Eider - 1 os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 1W 
Oystercatcher - 5W
Sandwich Tern - 10 os
Commic Tern - 18W
Little Tern - 1E, 6W
Med Gull - 3W (juvs)
House Martin  - flock 21 p
Willow Warbler - 2 gardens
Blackcap - 1 gardens.
Ferry Pool: A few bits on here this morning, including a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, an Avocet, 8 Black-tailed Godwits and 85 Lapwing. Also a Kingfisher dropped in briefly, a Sparrowhawk buzzed over and a Blackcap had a little go at song by the hide. (SR/AH) By early afternoon there was no sign of the Avocet or either the Green or Common Sandpipers; the Little Ringed Plover and a single Dunlin were still present but the Black-tailed Godwits had increased to 24 with 4 Redshanks amongst them (OM/BFF).

Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper and Lapwings (above), juvenile Little Ringed Plover & Blackcap at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was definitely an influx of passerines overnight, with nothing rare but a nice selection. Totals from the hide to the Severals included 12 Wheatears, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 20+ Whitethroats, 12+ Willow Warblers, 5+ Blackcaps, 5+ Sedge Warblers and at least 4 Reed Warblers.
Also 3 juvenile Peregrines went chasing each other low over the churchyard, 2 Common Sandpipers and 3 Whimbrel were in the harbour and 5 Little Terns were feeding off the east end of the spit, but there were only half a dozen each of Common and Sandwich Terns. (AH/OM/BFF)
Wheatear & Willow Warbler (above) & Lesser Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)
This evening there were 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 4 Sandwich Terns, 3 Common Terns and 2 Little Terns in the harbour, and along the Severals/beach area there were 3 juvenile Green Woodpeckers, 30+ Willow Warblers ( 20 of which were in the orchard behind the Severals with Long-tailed Tits), 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap and 3 Wheatears. Also there were 100+ Swallows, 100+ House Martins, 50+ Sand Martins and 30+ Swifts feeding overhead. (S&SaH)
North Wall: 22 Mute Swans on White's Creek including a pair with 6 cygnets.I do not know where these came from as the Pagham Rife pair with 5 cygnets are still on the Rife. On the Breach Pool were 97 Black-tailed Godwits and around 40 Canada Geese who have now been joined by 2 Greylag Geese. Another 60 plus Canadas in the back field. 2 Wheatears on fence posts at back of Pool. Walked all the fields around Marsh Farm but was unable to locate the Cattle Egret. A Common Sandpiper on Honer Reservoir. Reed and Sedge Warblers busy along the Wall. There appears to have been a small influx of Willow Warblers. (JW).    
Black-tailed Godwits on the Breach pool (JW)
Medmerry: East side - breach: Warm conditions with heat haze on our visit this morning, where we admired the viewpoint now it has three very welcome new benches! The most numerous birds here were undoubtedly the Sand Martins flocking and gathering over the fields - we estimated a conservative 300 present - with 2 Kestrels and a couple of distant Buzzards in the area. Waders were represented by 58 Dunlin, 47 Grey Plover, a few Lapwings and 2 Ringed Plovers on the saltwater lagoons, where there were also 2 Little Terns, 1 Sandwich and 3 Common Terns. On the rough undeveloped ground near the caravans were 3 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Wheatears and c. 25 Linnets (OM/BFF).
 Medmerry (east) today: flock of Sand Martins gathering on bush, Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear (BFF).


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