Thursday, 13 August 2015

13th - 15th August 2015

Saturday, 15th August: Dry and cloudy, bright at times though overall not as sunny as forecast; wind moderate NW 3-4.

Selsey Bill (0725-0940hrs): Sunshine and cloud, NW 3-4. (Obs: SR/OM). Both observers arrived at the same time; I opted to check the beach gardens first, leaving SR to cover the sea.... she made the better choice, as her watch produced a short-staying Green Sandpiper on the beach - this species being somewhat of a rarity at the Bill-tip. Log:
Gannet - 22E, 25W
Green Sandpiper - 1 ob
Turnstone - 35 ob
Sanderling - 3 ob
Curlew - 2W
Common Tern - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 15W
Wheatear - 2 ob
Pied Wagtail - 1 ob
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 10 gardens

Turnstones and Sanderlings on the beach at the Bill and (below) one of the Sanderlings, looking almost stint-like at times! (OM)

Ferry Pool: early this morning there were 85 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Avocets, a Common Sandpiper, 25 Lapwings, 5 Shelduck and 5 Teal (OM).
There was also a Spotted Flycatcher and half a dozen Blackcaps around the pond in the discovery area early this morning. (AH)

Spotted Flycatcher near Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Early this morning there were two Kingfishers in White's Creek, whilst out in the harbour there were c20 Yellow-legged Gulls, two Common Sandpipers flying around, a Snipe flying over, four Bar-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks and a Spotted Redshank.
There were two immature Whinchats perched in the reeds of the Breech Pool, with Reed & Sedge Warblers around too, and a Cetti's Warbler called. Quite a few Swallows were around including a confiding couple of immatures by the sluice. (AB/PB)
I addition to the above there were a total of six Spotted Redshanks in White's Creek on the rising tide, plus at least four Greenshank and several Whimbrel in the harbour. Also there was a Grey Wagtail along White's Creek. (AH)

Kingfisher (above), Greenshank with Redshank and Black-headed Gull and juvenile Swallows from North Wall (AB)

Grey Wagtail (above) Reed Warbler and Spotted Redshanks with Redshank from North Wall (AH)

Church Norton: The Pied Flycatcher was again present in the hedge behind the hide; also in the area were 1-2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Garden Warbler, a Redstart, 5 Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Wheatears (SH/AH). There were also 30+ Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 20+ Whitethroats, 2 Sparrowhawks, a Grey Partridge and 11 separate Green Woodpeckers (mostly juveniles) (S&SaH).
In the Harbour there were five Whimbrel, another Common Sandpiper and the usual suspects. No sign of Pied Flycatcher, but there was a nice Garden Warbler behind the hide and a female Redstart and a couple of immature Green Woodpeckers in the churchyard.
On the beach we had another fem Redstart by the horse field and a Wheatear along the beach fenceline. (AB/PB)
In the churchyard his afternoon, the Pied Flycatcher showing well just inside the gate, also possibly 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warblers and a Redstart in the field behind the hide (SR).

Redstart (AB) (above), Pied Flycatcher (SR & AH), Spotted Flycatcher, Blackcap (AH) & Green Woodpecker (AB) at Church Norton

Medmerry: Breach viewpoint: A total of c.40 Grey Plover (two flocks) mainly in splendid summer plumage were flying around but settled in a channel mainly out of view. There were also 25 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin roosting on the edge of the mud near the beach as the tide was high, whilst a Whimbrel and some distant Curlew were more active. Three Wheatears and c.20 Linnets were also present and a small movement of 15+ Sand Martins and a few Swallows moved W, whilst half a dozen Swifts were more distant (PH/OM).

Easton Lane to Stilt Pools: The 'usual suspects' were on the pools, plus c.100 Sand Martins, 2-3 Wheatears, and 4 Sandwich Terns in with c.60 Black-headed Gulls (PH).

Chichester GPs: Drayton Pits: Fairly similar to my previous visit with good numbers of eclipse Tufted Ducks and some Pochard sitting it out, and a dozen Gadwall doing likewise. A brood of Tufted Ducks appeared to be fairly small and are probably a late addition to the totals, whilst 4 Shoveler were new in. A few Reed Warblers were still calling and perhaps 8 or so Willow Warblers were present. There seemed to be good numbers of butterflies on the wing including 4 Painted Ladies, and some blues which I assume are Commons (OM).

Tufted Duck with young at Drayton GP - apparently a very recent brood, and below, excuse my uncertainty, but I presume these butterflies are female and male Common Blue? (OM)

Friday, 14th August: Cloudy and quite muggy with a moderate SW breeze, but with the increasing probability of thundery rain as the day progresses....

Selsey Bill: (0625-1015) (JA/C&ME)
Gannet - 101E, 8W
Common Scoter - 7E
Sparrowhawk - 1p
Turnstone - 10p
Whimbrel - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 5E, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 3W 5os
Common Tern - 4os
Swallow - 2E
House Martin - 10p
Sand Martin - 2E
Willow Warbler - 9p

Selsey: Northcommon Farm: Quiet until the hedges at the end of Golf Links Lane, where there were half a dozen Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and at least three Lesser Whitethroats (BI).
Church Norton: A Pied Flycatcher was along the hedge behind the hide, but it was very elusive, only showing a couple of times and then disappearing completely. There was definitely one - and possibly two - Spotted Flycatchers in the same area, but they weren't being much more co-operative. There was a Lesser Whitethroat and quite a few Willow Warblers and Whitethroats in the hedges and churchyard, plus four Wheatears on the concrete blocks, but that was about it for migrants.
A Greenshank dropped in briefly in front of the hide and there were at least half a dozen Whimbrel among the commoner waders, whilst there were around 30 Sandwich Terns and half a dozen Common Terns commuting between the harbour and the bay.(AH/BI).
A female Redstart was behind the hide briefly mid-morning as were the two Spotted Flycatchers, half a dozen Chiffchaffs and a few Long-tailed Tits. No further sign of the Pied Flycatcher. A Sparrowhawk flew up from the churchyard into the conifers and it all went quiet after that not surprisingly (BI).
George Kinnard refound the Pied Flycatcher at 1130, by the angel statue in the churchyard but it remained elusive. (BI)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Willow Warbler, Wheatear, Greenshank, & with Redshank & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Common Sandpipers were present this morning, and there were two Avocets, c80 Black-tailed Godwits and c40 Lapwing roosting at the back, along with five young Shelducks and four Teal. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Thursday, 13th August: What a dismal day! After overnight storms it was dry briefly, early on, before the forecast rain set in with a vengeance.....with thunder, lightning and a downpour. However, later in the day the rain eased and clearly produced the first proper dump of autumn migrants, albeit in small numbers.
Just a warning for anyone planning to visit Church Norton car park in the near future... the recent re-surfacing seems to have been a bit of a disaster judging by today... the reddish mud/clay based surface is very mucky and readily sticks to your boots and car tyres alike when wet... puddles are forming and it doesn't look great right now. Doubtless it will settle down in the future...but be prepared for now.

Selsey Bill: 0815-1015hrs: Dry at first, soon turning into a full thunderstorm! Wind NE 4-5.
The lure of a bright interlude early on caused me to take a gamble on the weather...which didn't pay off! Half a dozen Willow Warblers in and around Bill House garden looked promising and one even appeared on the beach; however there was a lot less activity than yesterday - Gannets on the move being the main feature (OM). 
Gannet - 85E, 7W
Common Tern - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 22E, 4W
House Martin - 15p
Willow Warbler - 6 gardens

Sometimes you've just got to laugh.... a selfie taken at the Bill this morning, showing me questioning my sanity whilst sitting under an umbrella with rain hammering down during a thunderstorm, all alone on the Wall, with little birding activity.... ah joy! (OM)

Church Norton: Like the Bill, there was no activity at all offshore after yesterday's excitement, and not a whole lot to see around the churchyard and hide, bar a young Green Woodpecker and a couple of Willow Warblers. There was a Wheatear on the concrete blocks, though, and in the harbour there were four or five Whimbrel, similar of Sandwich Terns, 20+ Grey Plovers and 200+ Dunlin.
There was another Wheatear along Rectory Lane, and a Common Gull was in with 80 Black-headed Gulls. (AH)
Later this afternoon:  Rectory Lane had 4 Wheatears in the fields, the churchyard had a Spotted Flycatcher, a female-type Redstart and a Green Woodpecker plus Small Copper and Common Blue butterflies, whilst in the harbour were 2 Greenshank, c30 Ringed Plover, 22 Grey Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 6 Curlew + Milky the leucistic bird, 24 Sandwich Terns (two youngsters begging for food), a Common Tern and a couple of Turnstones (SR). At Park farm early evening there were 100 + hirundines, mostly Swallows with a handful of Sand and House Martins with 2 Swifts. At Norton a Chiffchaff and 20+ Willow Warblers, 6. Whitethroats and 4 Wheatear at least on the beach near the concrete spit  (S&SaH).

Green Woodpecker (above), Whimbrel, Dunlin, Wheatear & Common Gull at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 16 Black-tailed Godwits this morning, along with 25 Lapwing, six young Shelducks and five Teal. (AH)

Teal on the Ferry (AH)

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