Sunday, 23 August 2015

23rd - 25th August 2015

Tuesday, 25th AugustDry early on, but with a gathering southerly wind and more rain in the forecast.....which duly arrived before noon -  but there were plenty of birds about again.

Selsey Bill (0730-1230hrs): Cloud, rain later, wind strong southerly 6-7. Some movement this morning, with 31 Balearic Shearwaters west, including two nice flocks at medium range and one closer flock about 400 metres out. Also  two Black Terns, four Arctic Skuas and some Common Terns on the move. (C&ME/OM/DF/JD/AH/GH et al). Full log below....
Balearic Shearwater - 31W (1 distant 0745, 7W 0835, 3W 0845, 2W 0858, 7W close 0905,  1W 0917, 2W 0920, 4W 1003, 3W 1007 and 1W 1150)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 12E, 79W
Teal - 5W
Common Scoter - 2W
Arctic Skua - 4W
Black Tern - 2W
Common Tern - 45W
Sandwich Tern - 11W
Kittiwake - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Balearic Shearwaters past the Bill (AH)

Additional 1400-1730: (SH)
Balearic Shearwater - 2W both distant  (1 16.15, 1 16.20)
Gannet - 15E, 2W
Common Tern - 1E, 6W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 15W
Great Skua - 1E
Wheatear - 1 ob

Ferry Pool: There were four Ruff, four Common Sandpipers and three Green Sandpipers this morning, plus three Shoveler, three Avocets and the usual Teal and Shelduck. (AH/DF)
At 13.00hrs there were 2 juv Ruff, 6 Common Sandpipers, 4 Green Sandpipers, 2 juv Dunlin (one large and long-billed, one small and short-billed!), 3 Avocets, 3 Shoveler, 20 Teal and on the fence in the far back left of the field were probably 5 Whinchats and 1 Wheatear (PH).

Ruff on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Wryneck was seen again this morning at the start of the beach, with a Whinchat nearby, and there were up to eight Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, a Lesser Whitethroat, a couple of Green Woodpeckers, a party of Long-tailed Tits and a few Whitethroats and Willow Warblers around the hide and adjacent hedges. 
In the harbour there were still a couple of Common Terns and Sandwich Terns, along with 20+ Turnstone, 30+ Ringed Plover, 20+ Grey Plover and 200+ Dunlin. (PH/AH/DIS/DM/A&YF)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Green Woodpecker & Grey Plover at Church Norton (AH)

Below: ad Green Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher and Long-tailed Tit at Church Norton (DM)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - There were a couple of Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank on the reserve, but most of the action was on the Stilt Pool. The water had half-flooded the islands and birds were hard to see in the vegetation, but there were still at least three Wood Sandpipers, four Ruff, four juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, two Green Sandpipers and up to a dozen Common Sandpipers present, along with a dozen Gadwall and 20+ Teal.
There were also at least 50 Yellow Wagtails coming and going from the cow-field opposite, and several hundred Sand Martins with a few Swallow and the odd House Martin feeding low over the water. (AH/TR)

Wood Sandpiper (above), Ruff, Yellow Wagtails & Sand Martins at Medmerry (AH)

Monday, 24th August: Cloudy but dry early on, very soon giving way to heavy rain, predicted to last much of the day. Cool for the time of year with a fresh-strong NE to NW wind.... and an outlook of more rain over the next few days.
Sure enough heavy thundery rain deluged the area through the morning, before receding gradually... this window of opportunity was good for those few birders that were out and also good in dropping waders from the sky, producing early afternoon counts of at least 10 Ruff and 14 Wood Sandpipers, plus a supporting cast of more usual stuff....but the rain was never far away!

Selsey Bill: (0730-0845) There were six Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern feeding offshore, a single Gannet went east, a Great Black-backed Gull and a Cormorant took it in turns to sit on the triangle, and two Turnstones went west - and that was it! (AH)

(1700-1800) (SH)

Gannet - 22E, 4W

Common Scoter - 1W

Turnstone - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 10W
Common Tern - 9W, 10os
House Martin - 4p 
Swallow - 2p

Ferry Pool: The two Ruff didn't appear to be present in the dire conditions, but there were two Avocets, two Black-tailed Godwits, ten young Shelducks and 20+ Teal, along with a flighty flock of c70 Lapwings. (AH) Update 1230hrs... following the morning's deluge, a check of the pool revealed no less than 10 Ruff, 4 Green Sandpipers, 12 Common Sandpipers and 5 Whinchat (IL/AH).

Ruff (above), Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper & Lapwings on/over the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton There was a Pied Flycatcher and four Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide and another six of the latter in the churchyard. A Wheatear was on the concrete, and there were plenty of Whitethroats in the hedges. (BI)

This evening there were still five Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide and a flock of six Whimbrel flew noisily through the harbour. (AH/RHa)

Pied Flycatcher (above) & Spotted Flycatchers at Church Norton (BI)

North Wall: Unfortunately the heavy rain meant that there were no muddy edges on Breech Pool and thus no waders, the only birds present being an assortment of the commoner ducks including a dozen Teal and a Wigeon, plus 3-4 Whinchat in the fields behind the pool. Out on the mudflats three Yellow-legged Gulls were loafing with three Lesser Black-backs, and a couple of Yellow Wagtails flew over.
Along White's Creek my first returning Pintail was noted, then five Greenshank and about a dozen Grey Plover, before the rain stopped play again and I beat a hasty retreat (OM).

Ominously dark! View looking south along White's Creek from the sluice. My window of opportunity was short-lived and it wasn't too long before these heavy clouds emptied their load on me (OM).

Medmerry: Eastons Lane to Stilt Pools: Not entirely sure how many Wood Sandpipers but a minimum 7 on the pools, plus we  saw another 7 flying over which wheeled around a few times before heading east-ish, so 14 in total. Also present several Green and Common Sandpipers, 2 Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 or 5 Little Ringed Plovers. Feeding over the pools were 200 or more Swallows, with the odd Sand Martin and House Martin, and there were 10-15 Yellow Wagtails present, flying through or feeding around the pool edges. (PH/IL/TG-P)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - A Black Tern sat at the very back of the lake was the only tern present, and there were only 30-40 Swallows feeding over the water. There were also a group of eight Pochards with a few Tufted Ducks. (AH)

Very distant (!) Black Tern on Ivy Lake (AH)

Sunday, 23rd August: Changeable; a bright and breezy start to the morning with a fresh W/SW wind, followed by cloud and a band of heavy rain moving through. Conditions should improve by the afternoon however, with the potential for a few brighter spells.....

Selsey Bill (0630-0925hrs): There was a steady stream of Gannets moving east, with a few west, and the odd Sandwich Tern and Fulmar offshore, too. There were quite a few Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows mostly moving east, with a dozen or more Yellow Wagtails going east, too. Full log below.... (Obs: SH/AH/C&ME/SR)
Gannet - 177E, 16W
Fulmar - 4W
Teal - 1W
duck sp - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 8E, 9W
Kittiwake - 1E, 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Yellow Wagtail - 15E
Swallow - 75E, 48W
House Martin - 13 p

Sand Martin - 4E, 3W
Nearby, 2 Swifts over Selsey (SH)

Gannet past the Bill (AH)

North Wall/Pagham SpitA Common Sandpiper was in White's Creek with a few Redshank whilst on the Breech Pool there were 40 Black-tailed Godwits and six Spotted Redshanks; the water is still quite high here. On the fence at the back were four Whinchats and there were a few Reed Warblers round about. 
Four Spoonbills flew around the harbour for ten minutes or so before landing in the middle channel out of view. One of the birds was sporting an orange ring. Later they could be viewed from the hide on Pagham Spit but the spit itself was quiet. At least a dozen Grey Plover were around the harbour, along with a similar number of Yellow-legged Gulls and six Wigeon. (BI) 

Spoonbills (above), Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper & Grey Plover from North Wall (BI)

Ferry Pool: More or less the same as yesterday - two Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, c20 Teal and a handful of young Shelduck. The only different bird was a juvenile Grey Wagtail. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Grey Wagtail on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Wryneck was showing well again this afternoon around the edge of the horse field. (S&SaH)
Not much around in the dismal weather early on  - migrant highlights were a Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler and a few Whitethroats and Willow Warblers in the bushes and three Wheatears on the concrete slabs and adjacent spit. There was a solitary Sandwich Tern feeding offshore and a couple of Common Terns in the harbour, whilst on the mud there were a couple of hundred Dunlin and a few Grey Plover. (AH)
The usual walk to Norton (from east Selsey) by S&SaH/IP produced the following...
Swallow - 20+

Sand Martin - 20
House Martin - 2
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Whitethroat - 4
Willow Warbler - 1

Wryneck at Church Norton (SH)

Wheatear (above), Whitethroat & a view of the impending weather across the horse field at Church Norton (AH)

Sidlesham: The last of our Swallows have finally fledged - though they look some way off being ready to begin migration. (AH)

Swallows in Sidlesham (AH)

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