Friday, 29 July 2016

29th - 31st July 2016

Sunday, 31st July: A pleasantly bright and breezy day - dry and sunny with cloudier periods and a light to moderate mainly NW wind....

And so we reach the last day of July - a month that birders traditionally consider to be the summer doldrums, yet one look through yesterday's blog will show the surprising array of species on offer on the Peninsula at this supposedly 'dead' time...... from Black Tern to Marsh Harrier, Turtle Dove to Yellow Wagtail, Ruff to Yellow-legged Gull and many more, it just goes to show that autumn migration is already well under way with the exciting prospect of much more to come!

Selsey Bill (0645- 0800hrs): (Obs: SR/JA)
Gannet - 16E, 10W  

Common Scoter - 2E, 1W
Common Tern - 1W, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 1E
Mediterranean  Gull - 1os
Pied Wagtail - 7NE
Swallow - 5E
Sand Martin - 15E
House Martin - 8p
(also a mixed flock of c30 hirundines on telephone wires early on, mostly House Martins with some Sand Martins and a handful of Swallows).
A Seal was also present offshore

North Wall: The three Ruffs were still present this morning, although they were in and out of the reeds at the back for most of the time, along with 43 Black-tailed Godwits, 50 Lapwings, a Little Egret, 6 Dunlin, 14 Redshanks and two Spotted Redshanks. In the channel at the back of the pool were two Common Sandpipers & two Green Sandpipers and the Water Rail also put in an appearance before being shooed off by a Moorhen. Twenty four Canada Geese also flew in. Along the fence line were three Whinchats and a flock of Linnets with a few Reed Warblers still about as well. In the harbour a single Yellow-legged Gull and a Greenshank and two Great Crested Grebes on the water. A scattering of House Martins, a Sand Martin or two and a few Swallows still in the area. (BI/JD/PC)
This evening there was a Ruff, two Common Sandpipers, a Greenshank, three Dunlin and nine Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool, plus a Kingfisher and a Tawny Owl calling nearby. (CG)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: There were two Little Stints on the Ferry late this morning, in the company of five Common Sandpipers and two Dunlin. Also there were 14 Shelduck present. (AH/SH et al)
Early on there were seven Common Sandpipers in Ferry Channel, and a Kingfisher dropped in briefly. (AH/PB)
At 17.30 the two Little Stints were still present along with two Common Sandpipers, two Little Ringed Plovers, an adult and two juvenile Pied Wagtails, a Kestrel, a Stock Dove, 13 Lapwing and the Shelducks as before. (SR)

Little Stints on the Ferry (above), Common Sandpiper & Kingfisher in Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: A Marsh Harrier was over the harbour early on, before heading off west with a stream of terns in its wake. There were still a lot of terns about (though no Black Terns!), with at least 50 Little, 100 Sandwich and 200 Common Terns still present in the harbour and offshore. There were also 300+ Dunlin, with three Sanderling among them, 50 Turnstones and half a dozen Whimbrel in the harbour, and a Green Sandpiper again dropped into the first Several.
There was a bit more passerine activity, with Willow Warblers and Whitethroats seen in several locations, and a Reed Warbler and a couple of Blackcaps behind the hide, plus a Swift and a few Sand Martins and Swallows over. (AH/S&SaH/PB/IP et al). Nearby around Park Farm a female Migrant Hawker dragonfly was identified (SH/AB).

Marsh Harrier and Common Terns (above), Sandwich Tern, Common and Sandwich Terns, Willow Warbler & Blackcap at Church Norton (AH) 

         Female Migrant Hawker at Park Farm (AB/SH)

This evening there was a Wheatear along the beach by the second Several and the Black Tern was offshore and on the beach again with large numbers of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns, eight Whimbrel went off west and one or two Mediterranean Gulls, Common Gulls and Gannets were also present. (S&SaH/AH)

Wheatear at Church Norton (SH)
Black Tern (above), with Little and Sandwich Tern, and with Common Tern, Little Terns, Sandwich Terns, Little, Common & Sandwich Terns, Gannet, Mediterranean Gull & Common Gull at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday, 30th July: Another grey and cool start, though less breezy than of late...with some late morning showers but brightening by mid-afternoon.

Selsey Bill (0700-0830hrs): (SR)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 31E, 98W, 12os
Common Tern - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 1W
Green Woodpecker - 1 across Oval Field E, then back W
Swift - 12p
House Martin - 8p

Ferry Pool: This morning there were four Common Sandpipers, three Avocets, 14 Lapwing, and 19 Shelduck on the pool, a couple of Reed Warblers in the reeds and a Whitethroat by the road. (AH/OM/BFF)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Whitethroat at the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was generally quiet along the banks, with even the Skylarks keeping low, with Yellowhammers and Whitethroats being the only conspicuous species. On the high tide by the first sluice there was a Greenshank, a Whimbrel, five Lapwings, a dozen Redshank and 40 Canada Geese, with a Green Sandpiper by the second sluice.
The Little Owl was at Marsh Farm, and on the Stilt Pool there were four or five Yellow Wagtails, a dozen Meadow Pipits, a Dunlin, two Little Ringed Plovers and three Common Sandpipers, plus a dozen Sand Martins over and half a dozen juvenile Gadwall.
Also, there were about 15 Sanderling along the beach, and a handful of Common and Sandwich Terns offshore. (AH)

Sanderlings (above), Yellow Wagtails, Little Owl, Dunlin, Greenshank, Yellowhammer & Skylark at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: A juvenile Turtle Dove was in the dead trees at the back of the Severals this morning - the first record of the year. Also a Green Sandpiper was nearby and between the Severals and Park Farm there were c100 Swifts, 100 House Martins, 100 Swallows and 20 Sand Martins feeding overhead, and at the farm itself there was a Peregrine with a freshly killed pigeon and 20 Pied Wagtails. (S&SaH)

Juvenile Turtle Dove at Church Norton & Peregrine at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

A quick look at high tide didn't produce much new, but there were still 40-50 Little Terns in the harbour and several hundred Common Terns, plus lesser numbers of Sandwich Terns and Mediterranean Gulls among a big sprawling feeding flock well offshore.
Also, roosting in the harbour, there were four Whimbrel, c60 Turnstones and c200 Dunlin. (AH)
Later on the Green Sandpiper was on the mud at the front of the horse field and there were as many as 500 Dunlin in the harbour. Also a Willow Warbler was flycatching along Park Lane. (IP)
This evening there was no sign of the Turtle Dove at the Severals but offshore was a large mixed tern flock and 2 Black Terns were feeding before flying off in a westerly direction. At low tide the remaining tern flock settled on the exposed shingle so I settled myself down to watch; c70 Sandwich Terns with juveniles kept coming in with fish and there were c80 Common Terns and 16 Little Terns, 20 Mediterranean Gulls of all age groups and right in amongst them looking very small and thin, a single Black Tern. Close by were 2 Gannets, 19 Turnstones, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Linnets and a Whitethroat. A flock of c40 House Martins flew east and a flock of 20 Sand Martins headed west. (SR)
Nearby, at Park Farm there was a lot of activity around the stables with c75 Swallows, 8 Pied Wagtails inc. 3 juveniles, a Kestrel, a male Blackcap and two Willow Warblers.(SR)

Sandwich Tern (above) & Common Terns and Turnstones at Church Norton (AH)

Willow Warbler at Park Farm and Black Tern (lower centre) amongst terns and gulls at Church Norton beach (SR)

North Wall: There was only one Ruff this morning on the Breech Pool, though there were still three Spotted Redshanks present. Most of the waders were on the pool itself but including the harbour/White's creek area there were nine Greenshank, three Green Sandpipers, four Common Sandpipers, three Whimbrel, 12 Dunlin, four Grey Plover, 35 Black-tailed Godwits and 80 Redshank. Additionally, a single Yellow-legged Gull was on the saltmarsh mudflats.  (OM/BFF)

Spotted Redshanks (top & centre) and Ruff (lower) at the Breech Pool (SH)

There was a good selection of waders on the Breech Pool this muggy morning as follows- 17 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Lapwing, four Dunlin, two Spotted Redshank, a Common and a Green Sandpiper, and in the field behind there were 14 Canada Geese and five Curlew. 
Up to 20 Yellowhammers were feeding on the flower tops in maize fields, whilst on the Honer reservoir there were two Common Sandpipers and a Tufted Duck still with one duckling, and the Mute Swan family on Pagham Rife are still all together.
After a summer of no Grasshoppers I was pleased to find dozens around this morning along Pagham Rife and in the field behind Owl Copse - they were too elusive for my camera but the two species identified were Common Field and Meadow. (JDW)

This evening a Kingfisher was on the rife through Halsey's farm and the 3 Spotted Redshanks, the Ruff and 2 Common Sandpipers were on the Breech pool, with a female Marsh Harrier on the saltings (perhaps the earlier bird at Fishbourne?) (SH)

Chichester Marina pool: Quiet on and around the pool as anticipated, but there were a dozen House Martins feeding low, whilst 40+ Swifts were feeding high above. A flighty Green Sandpiper dropped in at the back of the reedbed where several family parties of Reed Warbler were flicking to and fro and a Willow Warbler called from the hedgerow, whilst a squealing Water Rail made its presence known and three Buzzards were soaring over the woods nearby. (OM/BFF)

Fishbourne creek: Bird of the morning was a female-type Marsh Harrier that scattered the gulls and waders before drifting off towards the sewage works. In the creek there were 50+ Curlew, three Whimbrel, small numbers of Redshank and seven Greenshank. A search through the roosting gulls produced only three Mediterranean, a single Lesser Black-backed and no Yellow-legged Gulls. However, closer scrutiny of two potential candidates for the latter revealed they were actually two adult-type argentatus 'Scandinavian' Herring Gulls, their slightly darker grey (than Herring Gull) mantles, deeper pink legs and marginally bulkier build drawing attention. (OM/BFF)

Friday, 29th July: Mainly cloudy and dry after some early morning drizzle, with a fresh W/SW wind, but brightening up considerably later.....

North Wall: Still plenty to see this morning with two of the three Ruff still present, twenty Black-tailed Godwits, five Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank, ten Dunlin and 15 Lapwing, also a Common Sandpiper and two Green Sandpipers were along the creek at the very back. A Sparrowhawk put all the waders up at one point and there were a few young Reed Warblers in the rushes but no sign of any Whinchats early on. (BI)

Ruff, above, Black-tailed Godwit, below, Greenshank, bottom on the North Wall (BI)

Selsey Bill: The first Wheatear was on the wall this morning (SR), but otherwise it was quite quiet, though there were a few Gannets and Common Terns, plus the odd Sandwich Tern and Mediterranean Gull, plus four Sand Martins also going west. Full log below...
0715-0945hrs:   (Obs: SR/AH/C&ME) 
Fulmar - 2W                       
Gannet - 3E, 78W
Common Scoter - 3E, 1W
Grey Plover - 1W                      
Common Tern - 1E, 38W
Sandwich Tern - 8E, 22W
Mediterranean Gull - 4E, 9W                  
Sand Martin - 4W             
Wheatear - 1, briefly on wall

Gannet (above), Mediterranean Gull & a very fine Dutch tall ship off the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 14 Black-tailed Godwits, the three Avocets, nine Teal and 17 Shelduck on the pool this morning, and 18 Canada Geese in the field to the south. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit (above), Shelduck & Canada Geese at the Ferry (AH)

This evening there were three Little Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper on the pool. (AH)

Church Norton: There were still between 50 and 60 Little Terns in the harbour and offshore, though there are definitely fewer Common and Sandwich Terns about. Otherwise there were a handful of Mediterranean Gulls, four Whimbrel and 60+ Turnstones and 200+ Dunlin in the harbour and a dozen Sad Martins went over, though the bushes remain quiet. (AH)

Little Tern (above), Common Tern & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

The Black Tern was again present this evening in the harbour, but was very elusive, just coming up from the roosting terns three or four times before quickly disappearing again. Otherwise there were still good numbers of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns both in the harbour and offshore, whilst along the beach there were at least 300 Mediterranean Gulls. Among the waders in the harbour there was a Common Sandpiper and at least 300 Dunlin. (AH)

Common Terns and Sandwich Tern (above), Common Terns and Mediterranean Gull, Little Tern, Mediterranean Gulls & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)