Saturday, 29 August 2015

29th - 31st August 2015

Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August: A typically wet Bank Holiday to end what has been a fairly dull, damp and cool August this year. Cloudy with periods of rain and a northerly wind today - even attracting a yellow weather warning from the Met Office due to the potential for heavy rainfall!

Selsey Bill (0630-0930) (SH/JA) Very little moving on the sea, but 40+ Yellow Wagtails and plenty of hirundines were moving through, plus an attendant Hobby. Full log below....
Gannet - 20E, 3W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Common Scoter - 5E
Wigeon - 8E, 3W
Dunlin - 12W

Hobby - 1
Commic Tern - 14W
Sandwich Tern - 8E, 1os
Kittiwake - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 8E, 1os
Yellow Wagtail - 41E (first seen on beach and Oval field)
Sand Martin - 3E
House Martin - 53E
Swallow - 16E
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens

(1500-1800) (SH)
Balearic Shearwater - 4E (together just beyond Mile Basket Line)
Gannet - 74E, 10W

Common Scoter - 9E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 4W, 3os
Common Tern - 11E

Swift - 2p
House Martin - 50p
Swallow - 7E

Ferry Pool: There was a Greenshank at the back this morning, in the company of six Green Sandpipers, and a Knot dropped in very briefly before flying off west. There were also three Avocets, at least a dozen Shoveler, though eight flew off, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, c100 Lapwing and c50 Teal. (AH) This afternoon there were still four Green Sandpipers and also four Common Sandpipers present. (IP)

Greenshank, Green Sandpipers and Shoveler (above) & Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: No sign (unsurprisingly, given the weather!) of the Wryneck up to late morning, but the two Redstarts, a Whinchat, two Wheatears and quite a few Whitethroats were about the area, and a Spotted Flycatcher, a Blackcap and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were in the churchyard. 
Also, a flock of eight Wigeon (seen earlier past the Bill) went east, offshore, and a group of 25 or so Knot dropped into the harbour, where there were also three Common and one Sandwich Terns. (AH/IP)

Wigeon (above) & Great Spotted Woodpecker at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon in better conditions there was a bit more about, including a Pied Flycatcher, at least half a dozen Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, several Blackcaps and Willow/Chiffs and a couple of young Green Woodpeckers around the hide/churchyard area. There were also several more Redstarts, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whinchat, at least three Wheatears and plenty of Whitethroats along the Severals/beach area, and 20+ House Martins went over. (IL/SR/IP/AH)

Pied Flycatcher, Redstart & Green Woodpecker (above) (IL), Whinchat, Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher & Whitethroat (below) (AH) all at Church Norton

Medmerry: Stilt Pool area - The Marsh Harrier was present again, along with two Bar Headed Geese, four Common Sandpipers, two Greenshank. and lots of Sand Martins and Yellow Wagtails. Also, a Black Tern went westwards into the Solent. (IL)

Bar-headed Geese among Canada Geese at Medmerry (IL)

Breach area - There was a party of nine Curlew Sandpipers (just one of which was a juvenile) on the mud by the breach this afternoon. (GH on his blog)

Sunday, 30th August: A very grey start, with a modest easterly breeze, but quite mild.....

Selsey Bill: (0630-1000hrs) Cloudy with hazy sun, wind light NE 2-3 (JA/PB/AGB/SR)
Gannet - 32E, 17W, 12os

Fulmar - 3W
Balearic Shearwater - 2E (0840) c. half-mile range, good views
Grey Heron - 1W (mobbed by gulls)
Common Scoter -18E
Tufted Duck - 1E
Wigeon - 1W
Dunlin - 4E
Golden Plover - 1E
Oystercatcher - 3 ob
Sandwich Tern - 8E (2 with food), 9W

Kittiwake - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 4E, 2W
Yellow Wagtail - 3 p (2 on beach)
Swallow - 41E, 122N from sea!
Sand Martin - 13N, 6E
House Martin - 8N, 28p

Willow Warbler - 5 gardens
Whitethroat - 3 gardens

There were up to eight Swifts feeding overhead just inland from the Bill this evening. (IP)

Selsey: Northcommon Farm area: Migrants included 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Redstarts and a small party of Goldcrests (at 'flycatcher corner') Also there was an adult and eight young Grey Partridges in the pea field at the end of Golf Links Lane. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There was no sign of the Red-backed Shrike this morning, though the Wryneck was still in the bushes at the edge of the horse field. There were three Redstarts (including a male) in the vicinity, along with a couple of Whinchats and Wheatears, plenty of Whitethroats and at least one Sedge Warbler. 
There were up to ten Spotted Flycatchers about, including at least six in the churchyard, and the odd Blackcap and Willow/Chiff present, too, plus a continuous flow of hirundines east, most of which were Swallows. A Pied Flycatcher was also located early morning (CG et al).
Around Park Farm/Greenlease Farm there were single Grey and Yellow Wagtails, plus another Spotted Flycatcher and a Blackcap.
There were still one or two Sandwich and Common Terns in the harbour, including one of the latter bringing in fish to Tern Island, and chasing off the gulls, suggesting it may still have a youngster there. Not much else of note out on the mud, though there was a juvenile Shelduck present. (AH/IP/SH/PB/AGB/A&YF/RJS et al)

Wryneck (above), Whinchat, Redstart & Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were 20+ Yellow Wagtails and two Reed Buntings around Park Farm, two Spotted Flycatchers at the rear of the first Severals, along the front there were four Whinchats, the Wryneck showing in what is becoming its usual bush, two Wheatears and a male Redstart, whilst there were a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher along the concrete spit. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: There were 2 Ruff early on but by 0900 one had disappeared, whilst seven Green Sandpipers were also present; numbers of the latter also soon reducing (CG). There were four Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers around the edges this morning, but only one of the Ruff. Shoveler numbers had risen to seven, whilst there were 40+ Teal, and a big roosting flock of c120 Lapwing and c40 Black-tailed Godwits. (AH/SHo/DM/DIS)

Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)
Common Sandpiper (above), Ruff (centre two) and Black-tailed Godwit at the Ferry Pool (DM) 

Selsey: Warner Lane paddocks/area -  A quick look here was much less productive than yesterday, with just a handful of Whitethroats present, plus several hundred Swallows overhead. (AH)

Swallow at Warner Lane paddocks (AH)

Medmerry:  Easton Lane to Stilt Pool      (C&ME/SH/BI/SR)
The Wryneck was still present near Marsh Barn, and other species logged were as follows....
Black Swan - 1
Ruff - 2
Avocet - 5
Common Sandpiper - 6   
Yellow Wagtail - 7
Yellowhammer - 5
Reed Bunting - 6
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Whitethroat - 12
Wheatear - 1

Redstart - 1
Skylark - 2
Willow Warbler - 6
Also small flocks of Meadow Pipit, Linnets & Goldfinch,
plus a constant stream of hirundines mostly Swallows.

Redstart (at top) and Wryneck (at bottom) & Black Swan at Medmerry (BI)

Eastons Lane - Ham Farm:  A Hobby was at Ham farm, whilst a female Marsh Harrier was hunting and was seen to catch a Starling. Also 10+ Wheatears and 3 Buzzards logged. (S&SaH)

 Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Wheatear at Medmerry (SH)

Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were at least half a dozen Wheatears on the harvested fields this evening - each with a big round straw bale to itself! Not much else was seen - just a Spotted Flycatcher by the houses, a Sedge Warbler in the ditches and the Marsh Harrier, which was sat out in the middle of the reserve from the viewpoint. (AH)

Wheatears at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 29th August: A lovely start to the Bank Holiday weekend, bright after a grey start and still, but with the inevitable threat of rain later in the day....

Church Norton: The juvenile Red-backed Shrike was still in the horse field from early on, and the Wryneck was also present around the same area, to the delight of the many observers this morning.
Also along the Severals were c20+ Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Sedge Warblers, c5 Reed Warblers, a Willow/Chiff, a male and a female Redstart and a Kingfisher. Interestingly the Whitethroats chased the shrike all over the place, and it was the Sedge Warblers that pushed the Wryneck out of its bush to sit out on the fence. There were also five Roe Deer in the field and lots of hirundines (mostly Swallows with a few Sand Martins) were moving overhead.
Offshore a pair of Common Scoter flew east, a couple Gannets were about and three Great Crested Grebes were on the sea, whilst on the beach there were up to three Wheatears, and in the harbour there were a dozen Sandwich Terns and a Sparrowhawk went over.
In the churchyard there was a Spotted Flycatcher and a juvenile-type Redstart and, unusually, three Coal Tits, whilst  behind the hide were another Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler and two Blackcaps, and in the car-park there was a singing Chiffchaff. 
There were also two more Spotted Flycatchers around Greenlease Farm. (AB/PB/SH/AH/IP et al)
This evening a walk along the Severals in the rain was brightened up by a juvenile Hobby chasing an unidentified passerine around the beach before retiring unsuccessful towards Priory Wood. (AH)

Red-backed Shrike (above) (AH) & Wryneck (AB) at Church Norton

Garden Warbler (above), Whitethroat & Sparrowhawk at Church Norton (AH)

Clouds over the sea (above) & sunrise over the harbour at Church Norton (AB)

Selsey Bill (0900-1030hrs): A leisurely visit this morning, where I met this year's Pom King JA to hand over the Pom Trophy; duty done, we then spent time checking the gardens whilst keeping an eye on the sea. There wasn't a great deal happening offshore, but a few migrant warblers were found in the gardens, before we called it a day....(OM)... log below:
Gannet - 2E
Fulmar - 1W
Common Tern - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 3W
House Martin - c.20 p
Sand Martin - c.20 p, some heading E
Blackcap - 1
Whitethroat - 3
Willow Warbler - 5

Pom King 2015 Justin Atkinson receives the trophy in a low-key ceremony at the Bill (OM).

Selsey: Warner Lane paddocks/area - A few migrants were present today....
including four Yellow Wagtails in and out of the horse compound, 10 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Whinchats and a Spotted Flycatcher, whilst overhead was a mixed hirundine flock of c.20 each of Sand and House Martin and 40 Swallows (OM).

 Yellow Wagtails and Whinchat at Warner Lane paddocks, Selsey (OM)

Ferry Pool: On the pool this morning there were the two juvenile Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, eight Avocets, three Shoveler, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Lapwing and c40 Teal. (AH/AB/PB)

Ruff on the Ferry (AH)

The highlights of our walk between the Visitor Centre and the sewage Works were -
20+ Yellow Wagtails ( among the cows )
2 Common Redstarts (one male )
Spotted Flycatcher
2 Lesser Whitethroat
3 Swift (C&CM/C&ME)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Highlight was the Wryneck, viewable occasionally in the hedge from the gate just north of Marsh Barn. Otherwise, migrants were relatively few, but included three Whinchats, 20+ Yellow Wagtails flying about, just a single Wheatear and a few Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats and Willow/Chiffs, plus many hundreds of Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows - the former being most numerous.
There were at least eight Common Sandpipers spread about the area on the big tide, plus a Green Sandpiper and up to four Greenshanks, though waders on the Stilt Pool were few - just two Ruff and a couple of Common Sandpipers.
On the pool there were at least 60 Teal and 350 Canada Geese, plus the Mute Swan pair and all seven well-grown cygnets and a family of well-grown Tufted Ducks. (AH)

Wryneck (above), Whinchat, Sedge Warbler, Common Sandpiper, Sand Martin & Sand and House Martins at Medmerry (AH)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

26th - 28th August 2015

Friday, 28th August: An unforecasted wet start to the day, with a succession of very heavy showers and black skies, before the freshening breeze finally brought some sun......

Selsey Bill (0700-1100hrs):  (Obs: C&ME/JA)
Balearic Shearwater - 2W (0923hrs)                    
Fulmar - 4W                                            
Gannet - 9E, 23W  
Red-throated Diver - 1E (1055hrs)                                        
Common Tern - 2W                               
Sandwich Tern - 9W                             
Kittiwake - 1W

Medmerry:Wryneck was present this morning near Marsh Barn, but unfortunately not in an area with any public access. Also four Wheatears on the beach and a few Yellow Wagtails flying over (PH)

Ferry Pool: The two Ruff were still present, and there were eight Avocets on the pool, along with a Common Sandpiper, 24 Black-tailed Godwits, 55 Lapwing, 12 Shelduck and 40 Teal. When the sun did pop out there was a Lesser Whitethroat and several Whitethroats, Willow/Chiffs and Blackcaps around the Discovery Area. (AH)

Ruff (above), Avocets, a rainbow, Teal in the rainbow, Lesser Whitethroat & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Wryneck was still present this morning, along with six Wheatears, a Whinchat and a Redstart, and there were plenty of Whitethroats still around. (BI)
Further update...The Wryneck showed well, four Redstarts on beach, Pied Flycatcher, three Spotted Flycatchers and two Redstarts behind the hide. Grey Plovers, Common Terns in the high tide roost. (BI) Late afternoon news of a Red-backed Shrike in the area of the horse's field (BI/ CM et al)

Red-backed Shrike at Church Norton (BI)

Church Norton selection: Two Redstarts, Wheatear, Wryneck and Sandwich Tern (BI)

Park Farm, Selsey: Early this evening around the farm there was a Grey Partridge, and overhead 20+ Swallows, two House Martins, one Sand Martin, a Swift and a Sparrowhawk. (S&SaH)

North Wall: Not a wader was to be seen on the Breech Pool, though there were quite a few Sedge and Reed Warblers and Whitethroats present, and a dozen Sand Martins were among the Swallows.
A Kingfisher and two juvenile Grey Wagtails were briefly in White's Creek, as was a Spotted Flycatcher, along with a couple of Spotted Redshank and Common Sandpipers and 100+ Black-tailed Godwits.
Out in the harbour there were half a dozen Greenshank and plenty of Dunlin and Grey Plovers, and there were a couple of Wigeon about, too. (AH/PC)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Grey Wagtail, Sedge Warbler & Spotted Redshank from North Wall (AH)

Thursday, 27th August: Less rain than yesterday, though not as dry as forecast, but still with a strong south-westerly wind and heavy cloud.....

Selsey Bill: Not much moving early on, bar a few Gannets and Common and Sandwich Terns, and a Wheatear dropped in briefly. though there was a good turn-out of hopeful watchers so something may yet appear.... And it did - at 11am three reasonably close Balearic Shearwaters went west, as persistence was rewarded; also a pale-phase Arctic Skua moved through.  Unfortunately though, many of the assembled watchers had got restless and had moved on by now to check the bushes elsewhere - perhaps a mistake today? (AH/OM/PC et al) Thereafter a good number of observers came and went, but although I thought about leaving several times myself, I decided to stick it out to 1400hrs, by which time another six Balearics had been added - much to the pleasure of a number of locals and also some visitors from further afield - when with tired eyes it was good to hand over the log to the late shift (OM).
Log 0730-1400hrs: Cloud, showers, wind SW 6-7 easing slowly. Many observers:
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Balearic Shearwater - 9W (3W 1100hrs 2/3 way to Mile basket, 3W 1157hrs just behind it, 3W 1233hrs just inside it)
Shearwater sp - 1W - distant (1355hrs)
Gannet - 3E, 20W
Common Scoter - 1E
Dunlin - 1W
Turnstone - 30 ob
Redshank - 1W
Whimbrel - 4W
Common Tern - 11W
Commic Tern - 15W
Sandwich Tern - 9W
Arctic Skua - 1W (l/p)
Mediterranean Gull - 1 ob
Wheatear - 1 ob

Wheatear (above) & a gathering of hopeful gentlemen of a certain age (with one youthful exception) at the Bill (AH)

At the Bill this morning: another view of the Wheatear, record shot of Balearic Shearwaters and juv Mediterranean Gull (DM)

Additional 1400-1615hrs:  (Obs: CN)
Shearwater sp - 2 distant W (1430) briefly seen
Gannet - 2E, 5W
Fulmar - 1W
Little Egret - 1W
Common Tern - 7W
Sandwich Tern - 12W
Wheatear - 1ob

Ferry Pool: The two Ruff were still present, along with a Common Sandpiper and four Black-tailed Godwits. There were also three Shoveler, around a dozen young Shelducks and 30+ Teal. (AH/OM)

Ruff on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Redstart was in the field by the mound, and there were still at least three Spotted Flycatchers in the vicinity, though not much else was evident. There were at least five Wheatears around the concrete slabs, along with 30-40 Linnets, and there were at least six, and up to eight, Common Sandpipers between there and the creek by the horse field.
The tide was very high in the harbour, but there were eight Sandwich Terns and a couple of Common Terns, plus a few Grey Plover and Teal, a single Whimbrel and 100+ Redshank. (AH/A&YF) The Wryneck was again reported, though it was being elusive popping in and out of the bushes in its usual area near the beach (per IL). Also 8 Knot and 30 Grey Plover later (BFF/DM).

Common Sandpiper (above), Wheatears, Grey Plover & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: An Osprey flew over and eventually drifted off south towards Pagham beach; also in the area a good count of 14 Greenshanks and 2 Spotted Redshanks (ARK)
There were also 10+ Wheatears along the wall. (ES)
Medmerry: Stilt pools, (09.30 - 10.00)
Very full of water! At least 1 Wood Sandpiper remains (on back of large flat island); also 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 1 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, c.60 Mallard, 20 Gadwall, 50 Teal and 30 Black-headed Gulls (PH)

Runcton:  After a recent occurrence of 3 Garden Warblers together in an Elder in my Runcton garden, this 1st year Reed Warbler appeared this afternoon by my shed less than 10 feet from my back door, obviously tired, it soon sloped off into the undergrowth around my pond. It just shows that migration is often visible away from the coast. (CRJ).

Reed Warbler in observer's Runcton garden (CRJ)

Wednesday, 26th August: Another truly awful morning's weather, with gale force winds and persistent drizzle interspersed with waves of heavy rain. This afternoon is meant to be better, but little evidence of it so far!

Selsey Bill: In forty-five minutes from 7.15am there were just 25 Gannets west and 4 east, and nothing else! (AH)
(1200-1430hrs): Southerly 7-8, rain, heavy at times (CRJ)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 15E, 20W
Sandwich Tern - 10W
Arctic Skua - 2W (d/p)
Kittiwake - 1W
(I also had a brief glimpse of a single Balearic Shearwater distant for about a second, but it didn’t seem to be going anywhere, and nothing I could write a description for... CRJ)

(1615-1730hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 2E,  2W
Common Tern 2E, 5W
Sandwich Tern 1E, 5W
And that was it! So despite yesterday's Balearic excitement and further records from elsewhere in the Channel today, it seems like they stayed too far out for Bill-watchers today!

Ferry Pool: The two Ruff were on the pool early on, but the high water level meant they were the only waders present, though there were three Shoveler, 13 young Shelducks and 25 Teal on the water, and half a dozen Sand Martins went over. (AH)

Ruff on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Three Spotted Flycatchers and a Blackcap were sheltering from the weather behind the hide, but they were the only passerines on show, bar a few Swallows.
In the harbour there were six Common Sandpipers in front of the bench, along with a Whimbrel and c100 Redshank, and there were also four Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns. (AH)

This evening there was a Spotted Flycatcher behind the hide, four Wheatears on the beach near the concrete slabs, two Common Terns and a Sandwich Tern in the harbour, and six Great Crested Grebes together offshore. (S&SaH)

Blackcap (above), Common Sandpipers, Whimbrel & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)