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)
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).
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)
Saturday, 30th July: Another grey and cool start, though less breezy than of late...with some late morning showers but brightening by mid-afternoon.
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)
Sandwich Tern (above) & Common Terns and Turnstones at Church Norton (AH)
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)
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