Friday, 7 August 2015

7th - 9th August 2015

Sunday, 9th AugustA fine sunny morning  and fairly warm, but with cloud due to develop by afternoon. Wind light W/NW perhaps increasing later.....
Thanks as ever to AH for holding the fort with the blog during my week's absence on a family holiday - which saw me doing no birding at all (!) - but I return to learn there is some good news concerning the Oval Field at the Bill-tip; I'm grateful to SR for the following...

"On Wednesday evening, Selsey Coastal Trust announced that its Observatory idea has been withdrawn - a business study has shown it to be non-viable! The Town Council has therefore withdrawn its offer of land at a peppercorn rent! To celebrate this good news, HOOF (Hands Off Oval Field) invites all to a Community Picnic from 4.00 p.m. on the Oval Field on Saturday 15 August, just turn up with your picnic and enjoy !!

However, we are still proceeding with the {village} Green application.
Meantime, thanks for your continued support.
Lesley Bromley & Jerry Goodman"
The last-named two persons have been instrumental in co-ordinating objections to this scheme, so well done to them from all us regulars at the Bill-tip. However, whilst I am obviously delighted with this outcome, may I just sound a note of caution in that it is a warning that we need to be aware of any future applications from the Selsey Coastal Trust or anyone else who might seek to develop this or other precious areas of green space in the area. (OM). 

Selsey Bill: (0710-0915hrs) (JA/SR)
Gannet - 7E, 14W
Common Scoter- 1E, 1W
Oystercatcher - 2W
Turnstone - 9obs
Sandwich Tern - 6E, 30os
Swift - 4p
House Martin - 40p
Swallow - 11E
Sand Martin - 5W
Grey Wagtail - 1E
Willow Warbler - 2p

Medmerry: Golf Links Lane to Ham Viewpoint - A Little Owl perched on the chimney of Northcommon Farm first thing, and a female-type Marsh Harrier went eastwards over the fields towards the Ferry. (Where it was also seen - see below). Also around were four Reed Warbler, six Willow Warblers, two Whitethroats and eight Swallows, plus a Tufted Duck in the pool near the farm. (SH)

Little Owl (above) & Marsh Harrier at Medmerry (SH)

Easton lane to Marsh Barn - What was probably the same Marsh Harrier was seen again from here, along with  two Whimbrel, a Green Sandpiper, a Yellow-legged Gull, two Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, 50+ Sand Martins, 10+ Swallows, two Whitethroats and a Willow Warbler.
Also, a Raven went over Sidlesham School at the start of Ham Lane. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: Not a lot to report between the north of Selsey and Church Norton.

There was some evidence of migration in the final row of Poplars towards the sea where there were a number of Willow/Chiffs (majority were Willow Warblers), and there were also a few others scattered around the rest of the walk. Three Jays flew into the western end of Bluebell Wood early morning and there was a noisy flock of about 40 Long-tailed Tits in the small wood between the two Severals.
The harbour held a flock of about 30 Common Terns and there were also 2 Sandwich Terns there; apart from that the ever present Dunlin flock was roosting on the metalwork along with a few Turnstones and there was also at least one Whimbrel present. Hirundine numbers were low on the walk out, indeed I did not see a House Martin until I returned to Park Farm, by that time there was a mixed flock of all 3 species totalling about 100 birds with Sand Martin easily the most numerous, whilst there were also three Swifts high up heading south. (IP)
Early afternoon:  A Wheatear was along the spit by the broken concrete, my first of the autumn.  Other highlights were a Greenshank, three juvenile Redshank, 13 Grey Plover, 33 Dunlin, two Curlew, c25 Ringed Plover, three Common Terns and a Sandwich Tern.  All quiet in the churchyard with two Blackcaps and three Chiffchaffs (SR).
Early this evening there were over 50 Common Terns and over 20 Sandwich Terns in the harbour, including many juveniles of both species. (AH)

Common and Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There was a possible ringtail Montagu's Harrier mid-morning, that flew high to the south in the company of a Buzzard, but its identity could not be confirmed. (IL)
Earlier on the Marsh Harrier seen at Medmerry drifted across to the south, but otherwise there was little to report - just six Black-tailed Godwits and a few Lapwing on the pool, and a Sedge Warbler and a couple of Blackcaps around the pond in the Discovery area. (AH)

Marsh Harrier (above), Sedge Warbler & Blackcap around Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were lots of young Sedge and Reed Warblers and Whitethroats sitting out in the bushes early on, plus the usual Linnets and a few Reed Buntings. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Whitethroat & cobwebs along the Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: A good selection of waders this morning included a juvenile female Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, c75 Black-tailed Godwits and c30 Lapwings on the Breach Pool, two Greenshank in White's Creek, and a Common Sandpiper, two Whimbrel and 100+ Curlew and Redshank in the harbour. 
A Kingfisher was in White's Creek, a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls were in the harbour, a Water Rail, a pair of Shoveler and ten Teal were on the Breech Pool, a Lesser Whitethroat was among the warblers seen, and there were c200 Sand Martins and c100 Swallows drifting westwards all morning. Also, a Tufted Duck with five ducklings was in Owl Water and the first Spotted Flycatcher of the autumn was at Halsey's Farm.(AH/RJS/A&YF/C&ME/C&JM)

Juvenile Ruff (above), Greenshank, Spotted Redshank & Tufted Duck family from the North Wall (AH)

Chichester GPs - Drayton pits: Not a great deal to report this morning. Several of the Tufted Duck and Pochard broods were still present, although it was obvious that most of the broods have now reduced considerably in size, presumably due to predation..... and in the case of the latter species two of the females each have only one young left now. Otherwise there were 120 moulting Tufted adults, 25 Pochard and 12 Gadwall, whilst the three Great Crested Grebes all have young and at least 10 pairs of Little Grebes have bred. Three Common Buzzards were soaring (but no sign of any Hobbies), and the pair of Green Woodpeckers and a couple of Jays were noisily obvious, whilst small birds were restricted to six Willow Warblers, a family party of Reed Warblers and a Blackcap. (OM)

Saturday, 8th AugustAnother fine summer's day, with plenty of sunshine and a bit of breeze.....

Selsey Bill: (0700-0800hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 2E, 3W
Common Scoter - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 19os
Common Tern - 27os
Swift - 6 present
House Martin - 30+ present
Sand Martin - 25 present
Swallow - 10 present

North Wall area: What a lovely morning! A Greenshank was with 16 Redshanks and 3 Little Egrets on White's Creek, whilst on the Breech Pool there were 86 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Lapwing, a Common Snipe, 26 Canada Geese and 12 Teal, along with a Tufted Duck with 5 Ducklings. 
On Honer reservoir there was another Tufted Duck with 2 ducklings. I have not seen nesting Tufted Ducks on the Pool or the Rife and there is nowhere on the reservoir for waterfowl to nest - and the ducklings were not old enough to fly - so here did they come from?. The fields are quickly changing character as the thistles are now full of seed heads which is bringing in the Goldfinches and swathes of golden sunflowers are now appearing. (JDW) 

Tufted Ducks (above), Little Egret & Sunflowers around North Wall (JDW)

Ferry Pool: Just the regular flock of Black-tailed Godwits (c45), a few Lapwing and Teal on hte pool, whilst five juvenile Shelduck flew over into the harbour. Still not many warblers about - just a couple of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in the adjacent hedges. 
There was a rather spectacular Poplar Hawk-moth outside the Visitor Centre - one of a number of good catches from the moth-trap there last night (AH)

Poplar Hawk-moth (above), juvenile Lapwing & Willow Warbler around Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was very quiet along the banks and hedges - just the odd Whitethroat, Skylark and Yellowhammer to be seen, but at Marsh Farm the Little Owl was showing well for the first time in a very long while.
Out in the reserve a female-type Marsh Harrier was hunting, but fairly quickly dropped down and didn't resurface. 
Around the pools there were plenty of Linnets, plus single Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting, and a busy group of Sand Martins and Swallows feeding low over the water. 
There was much less activity of late as the breeding season draws to a close, though there were still at least four families of Avocets, though well grown now, and three juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, along with one adult. The Shelduck family still had eight juveniles, but the Oystercatchers and Redshanks appear to have de-camped into the tidal areas. 
The only other waders present were three Common Sandpipers and three Dunlin, whilst there was also a pair of Gadwall, eight Teal and a noisy flock of c120 Canada Geese present. Offshore there were up to a dozen Sandwich Terns, plus a couple of Common Terns. (AH)

Little Owl (above), Sand Martins, Swallows, Little Ringed Plover, Gadwall & juvenile Shelducks at Medmerry (AH)

Sidlesham: The Buzzard chick that has been wailing away all summer at the end of the field seems to have fledged, and we have had four pairs of Swallows in our sheds - the best for a number of years. Also there were three or four Common Terns among a huge wheeling gull flock , that also included a dozen Mediterranean Gulls, this evening - presumably after flying ants. (AH)

Buzzard (above), Swallows & Common Tern from a Sidlesham garden (AH)

Friday, 7th August: A glorious summer's day, with sunshine and no wind.....

Selsey Bill: (0730-0930) (JA/C&ME)
Gannet - 16E, 4W
Teal - 4W
Sparrowhawk - 1p
Sandwich Tern - 24os
Common Tern - 14os
Swift - 20p
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1p
and Martin - 44E
House Martin - 60E, 30p
Swallow - 16E
Willow Warbler - 5p

Ferry Pool: There were 95 Black-tailed Godwits roosting on the pool this morning, but otherwise there were just two Avocets, two juvenile Shelduck and a Common Sandpiper that flew off into the channel.
Around the tramway there were a few Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Willow/Chiffs, mostly keeping well hidden. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above), Common Sandpiper, Blackcap, Whitethroat & Greenfinch around the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Golf Links Lane to Chainbridge and the Breach - The hedge between the first two sites was very quiet after last weekend's bonanza - just 20+ Whitethroats, a few Willow/Chiffs and a Reed Bunting to be seen, though a smart Hobby went over low, upsetting the few Sand Martins and Swallows that were about.
Very little around the breach - though a juvenile Cuckoo flying low over the water's edge was unusual. A Grey Wagtail also flew over, but on the mud there were just a couple of Whimbrel and Curlew, half a dozen Ringed Plover and c50 Dunlin, plus five Grey Plover that flew over from the reserve and returned without settling. 
It was very quiet along the banks, just the odd Skylark and Whitethroat about, though there were plenty of Common Blue butterflies, and a Clouded Yellow flew through. (AH)

Hobby (above), Cuckoo & Common Blue at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: At Park Farm there were 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, 100+ Sand Martins 20+ Swallow and a few Swifts. There was a big mixed tit flock in the orchard behind the Severals which included a couple of Blackcaps and a few Willow Warblers. Offshore there were 60+ Common Terns 40+ Sandwich Terns. (S&SaH)

Sidlesham: This evening there were twenty plus Sand Martins feeding and resting on wires among our regular Swallow flock. (AH)

Sand Martins at Sidlesham (AH)

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