Tuesday, 1 September 2015

1st - 3rd September 2015

Thursday, 3rd September: A real autumnal day, with a chilly north-westerly breeze and plenty of cloud cover....
I have been asked to pass on this information (via JDW) to all those who see cetaceans from the Bill or elsewhere along the Sussex coast..... could you pass on details of all such sightings (species/time/date/location etc) to the co-ordinator of the Seawatch Foundation who monitor and record this information. If you have historic sightings of cetaceans these would also be of value. The Co-ordinator is Kathy James, who would be pleased to receive the info, and she is contactable by email: kathy.james@seawatchfoundation.org.uk or telephone: 01545 561227. Failing that, if you submit your info to the blog editors we can always submit it on your behalf. Personally, I have enough trouble with birds, but would be pleased to help in my limited way.... however my memory banks seem to recall Mr Janman was once a bit of an expert... I'm sure he'll advise me! (OM).

Selsey Bill: There was still a bit of visual migration this morning, with 35 Siskins, 4 Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit over by 8.30am, and there were still 30+ House Martins around, too, plus four Wheatears and two Whitethroats along the gardens. A Redshank was on the beach, as were 20+ Turnstones and five Mediterranean Gulls, but very little, bar a few distant Gannets, was happening offshore. (AH/GH)

Wheatear (above), Redshank & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Kingfisher flew through early on, but otherwise it was more of the same - single Green and Common Sandpipers, five Avocets, c80 Lapwing, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, c40 Teal and a few Shoveler and young Shelduck. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above) & Avocets and Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Fairly quiet here, too - with very little on the Breech Pool except 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Teal, four Gadwall and two Shoveler early on and a couple of Wheatears along the wall, two Whinchats in the fields plus a single Greenshank and 50 Black-tailed Godwits in White's creek near the sluice. A Cetti's Warbler was calling, and a Grey Wagtail, two Yellow Wagtails and a Kingfisher were also noted. The brood of fledged Swallows was still being fed by the parents on the sluice and 50+ House Sparrows were feeding there also.  On Honer reservoir were three Green Sandpipers, three Little Grebe, four Tufted Ducks, 126 Black-headed Gulls and a Common Gull, plus two Common Whitethroats in nearby bushes and two Jays.  At Bremere Bridge were 11 Chiffchaff and two Spotted Flycatchers  (OM/PC/JDW).
Later, at around 1100hrs, a Spoonbill was flying around, circling amongst a gull flock before heading south down the east side, apparently over the Slipe field until lost from view (GJ et al/OM).

 Juvenile Swallow and flock of House Sparrows feeding on the North Wall sluice (OM)
 Gadwall on Breech Pool and Spotted Flycatcher at Bremere bridge, North fields (JDW)

East side/White's creek: There were 45 Wigeon in the channel and five Yellow-legged Gulls on the mudflats, plus five Lesser Black-backed Gulls with the Great Black-backs. A check through 200+ Dunlin - mostly somewhat distant - failed to produce anything of interest other than seven Knot, and two Greenshank were nearby. At least two Chiffchaffs and several Willow Warblers were in the tamarisk and a Peregrine flew over. (OM)

ad Yellow-legged Gull (above) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (below, with Great Black-backed) (OM)

Church Norton: A Marsh Harrier was over the fields along the west side before drifting away, eight Siskins dropped in briefly onto the birch by the mound before heading off again and a Whimbrel and a couple of Greenshank were in the harbour, but the bushes were pretty quiet. There were still at least three Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide, along with a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, and along the west side there was a big mixed Blue and Great Tit flock containing a fair few Willow/Chiffs and Blackcaps among them, whilst there were a few Whitethroats in the brambles. To add to the autumnal feel there were several calling Goldcrests in the churchyard and a Jay went over. (AH)
An Osprey was making impressive swoops over the harbour late morning.  The fields along Rectory Lane had 3 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, a Buzzard and a Red-legged Partridge (SR).

 distant Marsh Harrier (above), Blackcap & Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: On the Stilt pools this afternoon around 5pm, among the Canada Geese there, were a pair of Bar headed Geese - and a Spoonbill was there for a short while too (T.Roe).

Wednesday, 2nd September: A similar day to yesterday, with a moderate WNW breeze but plenty of sunshine between the clouds....though again the risk of a heavy shower remains.

Selsey Bill: A busy morning of diurnal migration, including a Short-eared Owl, a Marsh Harrier, 6 Tree Pipits, 120 Siskins, 45 Yellow Wagtails and 10 Grey Wagtails over. Also Redstart, Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher were amongst migrants recorded around the Northcommon Farm area. (GH from his blog)

Also a Wheatear in a garden near the front this evening. (IP)

Ferry Pool: Plenty of birds, but not much out of the ordinary this morning - a Common Sandpiper, six Avocets, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, c100 Lapwings, c50 Teal and 15 Shovelers being the sum. (AH)

Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were still three or four Spotted Flycatchers, plus a few Blackcaps and Whitethroats behind the hide, at least 14 Wheatears along the beach and three Whinchats and a few Whitethroats were around the horse field. Two Swifts went over among a steady stream of hirundines, the vast majority of which were Swallows, and 20+ Grey Plovers and Curlews were on the strandline. (A&YF/RJS/C&ME/AH)

Wheatear (above), Swallow, Spotted Flycatcher & Blackcap at Church Norton (AH)

There was not much different this evening, though a pair of adult Common Terns were in the harbour with a juvenile - hopefully this is the last youngster from Tern Island finally fledged. (AH/S&SaH)

North Wall: Very quiet and most of yesterdays migrants appeared to have moved on; my migrant hot spots were cold! Apart from House and Sand Martins and Swallows I could find only 2 Reed Warblers, 3 Whitethroats and 5 Yellow Wagtails, whilst 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk were riding the thermals at Honer. The Tufted Duck family at Owl Water are thriving and on the mud nearby were 118 roosting Black-headed Gulls. Also, juvenile Swallows were being fed on the sluice gates. (JDW) 
A Marsh Harrier was quartering the field north of Church Lane at 11.15 this morning before it flew over the North Wall and spent the next half hour perched out on sea purslane looking as black as a crow. During the next two hours or so on the flow tide at the Old Jetty there was a summer-plumage male Bar-tailed Godwit, 23 juvenile Knot, two adult Golden Plover and an adult Curlew Sandpiper; along with 20 Wigeon and two Pintail. Later, from the North Wall there were  two Hobbies, a Peregrine, two Whinchats and a Lesser Whitethroat.(ARK per SOS).
Also seen were four Common Sandpiper, seven Greenshank, two Spotted Redshank and a Ruff. (AB) Also reported was a Short-eared Owl over the Slipe Field. (PJ per AB)

 Tufted Duck family on Owl Water and juvenile Swallows on the North wall sluice (JDW)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - There were 10+ Wheatears and a couple of Whinchats in the rough fields towards the breach, along with a few Skylarks. A couple of Greenshank flew over, but they were the only waders in evidence, and a steady flow of Swallows were going west. There were a few Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats in the bushes, but not much else was about, bar 300+ Canada Geese, with a few Greylags among them, dropping into the stubble fields. (AH)
Chainbridge: 1 Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, 1 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 7 Whitethroats.  A Kingfisher was perched on the Easton Farm sluice. 
Easton Viewpoint: 3 Wheatears, 2 Stock Doves, a single Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Skylarks, 1 Buzzard.  No sign of the Wryneck but plenty of Whitethroats and good view of a Lesser Whitethroat. 
Stilt Pool: Chocca with birds although I could only find 1 Ruff. The 200 or so Canada Geese had attracted 2 Bar-headed Geese, 2 Greylags and a Black Swan.  There were at least 4 Green Sandpipers and 2 Common Sandpipers, all highly vocal and constantly on the move.  Also 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 11 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 12 Tufted Ducks including the young family and a constant flow of hirundines, mainly Swallows.  On the mudflats 9 juvenile Shellduck, a Common Sandpiper, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 12 Lapwings.(SR)

Wheatear (above), Chiffchaff & Greylag Goose at Medmerry (AH)

Tuesday, 1st September: A pleasant, early autumn morning, with a bit of breeze and a bit of sun.....but a fairly cool NW wind.

Selsey Bill: Not much moving offshore, bar a few Common Scoter, Sandwich Terns and a Bar-tailed Godwit, but plenty of hirundines (mostly House Martins) going over, along with seven Yellow Wagtails, whilst there were also half a dozen Wheatears and a garden Warbler along the front. Full log below... (OM/C&ME/CH-W))
0700-1030hrs: Dry, cloud, some sun, wind light NW 2-3
Gannet - 54E, 2W
Fulmar - 1E
Shag - 1 os on shingle bar, later flew W
Common Scoter - 9E
Ringed Plover - 1 ob
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1W
Sparrowhawk - 1 p
Kestrel - 1 p
Common Tern - 9W
Sandwich Tern - 37W
Mediterranean Gull - 6os
Sand Martin - 10E
House Martin - c.400, mainly E, though several large flocks moved through in all directions
Swift - 2 p, then generally S
Yellow Wagtail - 8 ob/E
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Wheatear - 7 ob
Garden Warbler - 1 gardens
Whitethroat - 2 gardens
Willow Warbler - 2 gardens

Heavily cropped record shot of the Shag on the distant shingle bar at the Bill (yes ok, but you get the idea and it doesn't look much bigger than the Herring Gull!) and Ringed Plover on the beach (OM).

Selsey: Northcommon Farm: It looked promising but there was not a great deal on offer, the best being 2-3 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Buzzards soaring and 4 Goldcrests (OM).
Late afternoon there was a Swift and a couple of Yellow Wagtails over the village (SH).

 Ferry Pool: There were six Green Sandpipers again early on, plus three Ruff (which then flew off towards the harbour) and two Common Sandpipers, along with three Avocets, c120 Lapwing, c30 Black-tailed Godwits and Teal and a dozen Shoveler. (AH/TR) Also, a Siskin was heard overhead. (PH)
Later, there was still no sign of the Ruff, but the three Avocets, two Common Sandpipers and four or five Green Sandpipers were still there, plus 55 Black-tailed Godwits. Two Herons overflew the pool and scattered everything, then five Dunlin dropped in; one of the latter was particularly large with a longish somewhat downcurved bill and a prominent supercilium, recalling a Curlew Sandpiper... one to be wary of if it remains! On the way back along the path from the hide I came across a mass of black caterpillars on some nettles; well done to the RSPB for a series of small notices which inform the visitor of various wildlife aspects on the site... one of which advised me they were in fact Peacock butterfly caterpillars on their food plant! (OM).
Ruff and Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)
Peacock butterfly caterpillars on nettles near the Visitor centre hide (OM) and Common Sandpiper at the Ferry (DM)
Church Norton: There were quite a few migrants around this morning, including at least ten Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide (with another on the Severals), at least three Redstarts, a couple of Garden Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, and quite a few Blackcaps, Willow/Chiffs and Whitethroats. Also the first Siskins of the year - a flock of a dozen or so - settled on the birches by the Mound, and on the beach there were two Whinchats in with eight or more Wheatears.
A Spoonbill flew through the harbour and landed near the North Wall, but not much else was noted early on in the harbour on the very low tide, though a few House Martins were going over. Later in the harbour there were six Knot and six Wigeon, with two flyover Peregrines and a juvenile Hobby. Also, another six Siskin were seen heading north.  (AH/TR/A&YF/BFF/DIS/DM et al)Not much change this evening, with a whinchat and half a dozen Wheatears on the beach, and a Redstart and half a dozen Spotted Flycatchers around the hide, but there was also a Whimbrel and two Common Terns in the harbour, and a Gannet offshore. (S&SaH)

Redstart (above), Willow Warbler & Spotted Flycatchers at Church Norton (AH)

 Spotted Flycatcher and Hobby at Church Norton (DM)

North Wall: Generally quiet, with no indication of any overnight migration. There were two Green and one Great Spotted Woodpecker sharing the same tree at Welbourne, juvenile Swallows were still being fed at the stables and 60 House Sparrows were bathing in the puddles. 
On White's Creek there were six Black-tailed Godwits, 24 Redshank and a Spotted Redshank, but there were no waders at all on the Breech Pool, just Mallard and a single Teal. 
Along the Wall there were a few Reed and Sedge Warblers, four Chiffchaffs, a Whitethroat, a Whinchat and three Wheatear. Amongst the cattle at the western end of the Wall there were 14 Yellow Wagtails, and there was a Common Redstart was near to Bremere Bridge. At one point there was a flock of 80 House Martins feeding above Owl Copse but they soon joined the steady trickle of Swallows moving east. (JDW) 
At the Breech Pool the water level was high so no waders roosting or feeding this afternoon. Out in the harbour were a single Yellow legged Gull, 21 Wigeon and two Pintail, whilst lurking with the Redshanks were singles of Ruff and Spotted Redshank. Four Wheatears were along the wall, plus a dashing Kingfisher around the sluice gates (BFF/DIS/DM/OM).
At 11.20am an Osprey was seen fishing along main channel near White's Creek. It caught a fish, then had to stop with prey on the mud bank before flying off in north easterly direction. A wonderful sight. (T. Best per SOS)
Sedge Warbler (above), Swallow & House Sparrows at the North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pools,   (C&ME).
Avocet - 10                         

Green Sandpiper - 3
Common Sandpiper - 4
Black-tailed Godwit  - 4
Wigeon - 6
Greenshank - 1
Grey Plover - 29
Redshank - 3
Ruff - 3
Bar-headed Goose - 2

Greylag Goose - 2
Canada Goose - 200+
Kestrel - 2
Buzzard - 7
Sparrowhawk - 1  

Yellow Wagtail - 12   
Wheatear - 14
Whinchat - 5
Whitethroat - 6
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Willow Warbler - 4
Reed Bunting - 2
Yellowhammer - 10

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