Saturday, 1 August 2015

1st - 3rd August 2015

Monday, 3rd August: A grey and blustery start to the week, with the wind in the west, though quite mild.....

Selsey Bill: (0700-0750) (AH)
Gannet - 4E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 16W (close in), 30os (distant)
Common Tern - 20os (distant)
Sand Martin - 4W
House Martin - 8p

(0810-0905) There was a very low rising tide, with large numbers of terns and gulls feeding offshore, and it was all quite dull until a dark phase Arctic Skua appeared at 8.55, close in around the wall and headed out to the mile basket (now a double triangle). It spent a good 15 minutes offshore, working the mile basket rocks, sending up hundreds of roosting gulls and terns, chasing then resting on the water before heading off east. (SR)

Gannet - 27E, 10W
Common Scoter - 3E
Oystercatcher - 2W
Turnstone: - 37
Arctic Skua (d/p) - 1 offshore then E
Sandwich Tern - c300 os
Commic Tern -  c200 os
House Martin - 3p

Sandwich Tern (above) and Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

The new, rather small (to say the least!) double-triangles replacing the Mile Basket (AH)

Selsey: I was hoping to report the return of House Martins to my bungalow but it isn’t to be. After spending a day re-building an old nest they were chased off by our resident Sparrows even though the Sparrows have completed their breeding for this year. Such a shame, this is how we originally lost our Martins a few years ago. (SR)

Church Norton: Very quiet - there were five Grey Plovers, c20 Curlews and c100 Dunlin on the mud and a couple of Common Terns over the island, but almost no passerines bar a few Green and Goldfinches and a couple of Chiffchaffs, though eight Swifts, 20 Sand Martins and 30 Swallows went over. (AH)
This evening there were at least 6 Green Woodpeckers, a Willow Warbler and two Whitethroats at Park Farm and a handful of hirundines and Swifts overhead.
There were 60+ Sandwich Terns roosting on beach and feeding offshore, with a few Common Terns among them. (S&SaH)
At the same time there were c30 Sandwich Terns on the mud in the harbour, along with half a dozen Common Terns, and four Little Terns (including a juvenile) joined them for a brief stop. (AH)

Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were nine Avocerts this morning, including three new juveniles, along with c30 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Redshank, a single Dunlin, five Teal and four juvenile Shelduck, plus a Swift and a few Sand Martins and Swallows went over and a Whitethroat was along the hedge.
There were three Common Sandpipers in the channel, along with another 30 or so Redshank, whilst there were a couple of Blackcaps and Willow/Chiffs, plus a few Goldfinches around the pond in the discovery area. (AH/IL/TG-P)

Juvenile Avocets (above), Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Shelduck, Common Sandpiper, Blackcap & Goldfinch around Ferry area (AH)

Sunday, 2nd August: Another very pleasant day, though with the inevitably increasing breeze as it warms up....

Medmerry: Breach Viewpoint - Birds seen this morning included around 50 Sandwich Terns, including some juveniles, 8 Common Terns, 37 Dunlin, 34 Ringed Plover, 18 Grey Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Linnets, c100 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag Goose and 7 Oystercatchers, including 2 juveniles. There were also three calling Corn Buntings at Ham. (SR)

Chainbridge/Golf Links Lane area - Less warblers than yesterday and less variety with the vast majority of birds being Whitehroats - at least 100 along the favoured hedge, though there were still up to five Lesser Whitethroats, a Garden Wartbler,  a few Sedge and the odd Reed Warbler, plus plenty of Willow/Chiffs. Also a Raven went over early on, and there were 30+ Swifts, plus 200 Sand Martins and 50+ Swallows overhead, and there were also a couple of Corn Buntings and up to ten and Reed Buntings, plus a few Meadow Pipits around the pea field. There was not much on the reserve, just a couple of Common Gulls and a dozen Mediterranean Gulls in the roosting flock, and four ringed Plovers on the mud. (AH/S&SaH)

Lesser Whitethroat (above), Whitethroat, Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff at Medmerry (AH)

Easton Lane to the poplars - Early on there were a few Willow/Chiffs and Whitethroats in the hedges, a couple of Yellowhammers were about, and there were also three Green Sandpipers and a Common Sandpiper present, plus an unseen Greenshank heard calling in flight somewhere nearby. There were two Grey Partridges and a Red-legged Partridge in the cultivated field by the farm, and at least 200 Swifts, and 100+ Sand Martins and Swallows were high overhead. (AH)

Grey Partridge (above) & with Red-legged Partridge at Medmerry (AH)

Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were 10+ Willow Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroats and a Blackcap around the flint barn, this morning, and two green Sandpipers nearby.
At the stilt pool at there were at least five Kestrels, a Hobby, 24 Avocet, of which at least half were juveniles, five Redshank, including two well grown juveniles, and the Oystercatcher pair feeding a well grown youngster, whilst the young Tufted Ducks were flying around.
Other birds around the pools included six Common Sandpipers, three Black-tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover, but there was just a handful of Sand Martins and Swallows about, and not a single Swift! (S&SaH)

Church Norton: Most unusual sighting of the day was on the 2nd Several, where a juvenile Water Rail swam across the back of the pool. Warblers were at a premium with just Whitethroats showing in any numbers. In the harbour, there were 11 Sandwich Terns and 2 Common Terns sat on the mud viewable from the spit. (IP)

Park Farm, Selsey: The pea field by the farm held just a few Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows (no more than ten of any species), plus four Swifts making their way south.

There were two Pied Wagtails around the stables, but one had a beak full of food, so no real migration there, however 2 Meadow Pipits as I walked across the fields probably qualify! (IP)

Selsey Bill: A quick look from Hillfield Road produced eight Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern sat on the groynes, plus probably 20 of each feeding well out to sea, and a quarrelsome group of a dozen Turnstone, arguing over who was going to sit where till, just as they settled down, a couple of children came running along the beach and scared them off! (AH)
This afternnon a Little Ringed Plover flew east along the beach, and shortly afterwards a Spitfire put on a show for the Lifeboat Day visitors. (PJ)

Sandwich Terns (above), Common Tern & Turnstones at the Bill (AH)

Spitfire over Selsey (PJ)

Ferry Pool: Conditions look perfect, but just three Avocets, three Black-tailed Godwits and seven Teal this morning, plus a Stock Dove, whilst the two Common Sandpipers were still in Ferry Channel. (AH)

Avocets (above), Teal & Stock Dove at the Ferry (AH)

Saturday, 1st August: A fine summer's day after a cool start, with the first real indication of passerine migration....

Selsey Bill: Unsurpringly quiet, given the conditions - there were two Gannets offshore early on (PB/AGB), and between 8am and 9.30am there were just a few Sandwich Terns and a couple of Common Terns offshore, though there was a Sparrowhawk over and four Willow Warblers and a couple of Whitethroats in the gardens. (JA/GH/SR)

The 'Mile Basket' in the process of being dismantled, ready to be replaced with a double-triangle (SR)

Medmerry: Golf Links to Chainbridge - Early this morning there were two Yellow Wagtails (an adult and a juvenile) in the pea field by the Chainbridge. The adjacent hedgerow back towards Golf Links Lane was thick with warblers all the way along, with approximate counts as follows - there were four Lesser Whitethroats, 50+ Whitethroats, 20+ Willow Warblers, two Chiffchaffs, 20+ Sedge Warblers, 30+ Reed Warblers and a Cettis's Warbler. There were also a couple of Reed Buntings and up to six Corn Buntings in the area. (SH)
A bit later on there was a Wheatear on the bank nearby, (PB/AGB) and still similar numbers of warblers, but also many hundreds of Sand Martins feeding over the pea fields. (AH/IP)

Corn Bunting (above), Sedge Warbler & Lesser Whitethroat at Medmerry (SH)

Lesser Whitethroat (above) & Whitethroat at Medmerry (AH)

Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were plenty of Sand Martins, plus at least a dozen Swifts over this area, too, though many fewer warblers - mainly being Whitethroats and Willow/Chiffs. There were two or three Yellowhammers along the lane, and plenty of Corn Buntings and Skylarks around the barley field south of the bank. There was not much to be seen out on the reserve, though there were a few Grey Plovers towards the breach, and the big flock of c50 Canada Geese with a couple of Greylags among them. (AH/IP)

Skylark (above), Corn Bunting, Willow Warbler Greylag Goose at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall: The first Wheatear of the autumn was along the Wall this morning. Get the levels right and waders flock back to the Breech Pool! At one stage there were six Spotted Redshank present, though they were flighty, along with two Common Sandpipers, 60 Black-tailed Godwits, 23 Lapwing, 12 Redshank and 18 Canada Geese. 
There were 60 House Sparrows dust bathing on the track between the stables and the Salt House, a pair of Green and a single Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Welbourne, whilst a Yellow-legged Gull was in the harbour. It was very quiet through the back fields, though a pair of Roe Deer were at Honer. (JDW) 

Redshank (above) & Roe Deer from North Wall (JDW)

Ferry Pool: There were two Common Sandpipers first thing, before they flew into Ferry Channel, but otherwise just six Black-tailed Godwits, three Teal and two juvenile Shelduck on the pool, whilst there was also a juvenile Little Grebe and 20 Redshank in the channel and at least six Blackcaps and similar of Willow/Chiff around the pond in the Discovery area.  (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The poor relation this morning, with just the odd Willow/Chiff around the churchyard/hide area, though a Kingfisher flew through the harbour, eleven Sandwich Terns flew in over the spit, and there were several Whimbrel and Common Terns present, too. (PB/AGB/AH/IP)

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