Saturday, 13 August 2016

13th - 16th August 2016

Tuesday, 16th August: A pleasant summery day; less windy than yesterday, and a little warmer, too....with lengthy periods of sunshine and little cloud.

Late update (2025hrs) : News of an Aquatic Warbler on the North Wall at 0830 this morning (TG)......look at the Pagham Birder blogspot...... (OM) 
Unfortunately, due to a bit of bad timing, pressure of work and technical issues, an email sent during the day by the finder TG to AH went unread.....then a later one sent to me on my old defunct email address met the same fate. We can only apologise and thank TG for his was just unfortunate circumstances.....let's just hope it stays!! (OM)
Aquatic Warbler on North Wall (TG per Pagham Birder)

Selsey Bill: The Dartford Warbler was still present around Bill House garden, along with a Wheatear, in a couple of quick looks this morning whilst an hour's sea-watch was very unproductive. Log below.....
0845-0915 & 1000-1100hrs(OM/MJ/SR)
Gannet - 2E, 2W
Buzzard - 1 soaring over gardens, noisily mobbed by gulls
Common Tern - 1E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 2W
Sand Martin - 28E
Wheatear - 1 gardens
Dartford Warbler - juv still present
Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 2 gardens

 Wheatear in the gardens at the Bill and an over-flying Buzzard being mobbed by gull(s) (OM)

This is Wojtek, the cheery and hard-working Polish gardener/handyman in action at Bill House care home. I include this as you may see him when visiting the Bill, especially if there is something in the garden.... he has been very helpful to us birders so please say hello if you get the chance and do all you can to keep him on our side.....thanks. (OM)

Northcommon Farm, Selsey: Again very quiet with few migrants noted; a single Spotted Flycatcher, a couple each of Willow Warbler and Whitethroat and a small number of Swallows and Sand Martins overhead. Two Green and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were also logged, one of the latter taking quite a liking to a telegraph pole. (OM)

 Great Spotted Woodpecker at Northcommon Farm (OM)

Ferry Pool: A juvenile Ruff was on the pool this morning, along with three Green Sandpipers, four Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover (after five had flown off early on), a Redshank, nine Teal and 16 Shelduck. Also the Kingfisher shot over towards Ferry Channel and three Wheatears were along the back fence but the nearby hedges were almost devoid of birds, save a few Greenfinches and Goldfinches. (AH/OM/PH/DF et al)

Ruff (above) & Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was no sign of any Pied Flycatchers early on, though there were at least three Spotted Flycatchers in the churchyard, along with one or two Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats, plus at least 20 Willow Warblers and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
In the harbour two Greenshank dropped in and there were at least 500 Dunlin out on the mud, plus a few Whimbrel, Curlew, Turnstones and Ringed Plovers and a single Bar-tailed Godwit, whilst there were also still 50 or so Common Terns and 20 Sandwich Terns present, and at least 50 each of Sand Martin and Swallow were feeding high overhead. (AH/OM/MJ/DF/JD/G&RH)

Later in the morning, one male Pied Flycatcher was reported, in the churchyard with two Spotted Flycatchers. Also three Spotted Flycatchers, two Willow Warblers and a Whitethroat in the hedges behind the hide, and two Ravens over the harbour. (A&YF)

Later still, there were up to 8 Spotted and 2 Pied Flycatchers feeding in and around the church yard and adjacent meadow behind the hide. At 1220 hrs an Osprey put on a performance, flying around to the North Wall for several minutes before going high east towards Sidlesham..... also 200+ Med Gulls in the harbour (BFF/DIS/DM/IL).

An evening walk from Selsey to Church Norton produced 50+ Swallows, 50+ Sand Martins, 50+ House Martins and a Reed Warbler in a ditch at Park farm. There was a thin sprinkling of Willow Warblers and Whitethroats, but no more than 50 Mediterranean Gulls and just a handful of Common Terns offshore, plus a Wheatear along the beach and a Blackcap at the Severals (SH).

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenshank & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)

 Pied Flycatchers (below) at Church Norton (DM) and Wheatear (bottom) on Norton beach (SH)

North Wall: Not much to report this morning..... the usual common waders on the Breech Pool with a single Spotted Redshank, plus at least 300 Sand Martins feeding around the reedbeds. In Whites Creek were 3 Avocets, 6 Whimbrel, 4 Greenshank and a single Yellow legged Gull, also 2 Yellow Wagtails west. (BFF/DIS/DM/IL)

Monday, 15th AugustAnother bright and breezy day, though the wind has shifted round to the north-east....

Selsey Bill: The Dartford Warbler was still in residence in Bill House garden, but it also moved a few gardens along westwards, to the area in front of the bungalows. There was also a Whinchat, a Wheatear and three Whitethroats about, though sea-passage was mainly limited to a few Sandwich and Common Terns. Full log below.....
(0735-1005hrs):    (Obs: SR/OM/AH)
Gannet - 10E, 8W
Fulmar - 1W
Shelduck - 10W
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Common Tern - 10E, 17W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 5W
Sand Martin - 6E
Swallow - 4E
Wheatear - 1 ob
Dartford Warbler - juv again present, gardens
Whitethroat - 3
Willow Warbler - 2

 Two views of the Whinchat at the Bill (OM)

Wheatear on the beach, and three of Selsey's finest on a splendid morning... Chris Janman (left), Andy House and Sarah Russell (OM)

and..... CRJ/OM/AH.....'Last of the Summer Wine?'...... (SR)

Church Norton: At least one Pied Flycatcher was in the churchyard late this morning. (CRJ).
Earlier on it was quiet, with just a couple of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps about, and little else in the bushes with the wind direction keeping stuff low.

In the harbour there were c40 Sandwich Terns and c50 Common Terns, with just one Little Tern among them, and c200 Mediterranean Gulls drifted in to roost away the high tide. There were three or four Whimbrel about, plus 50 Redshank, and out in the middle there were 3-400 Dunlin until the tide displaced them. (AH)

Later, it was established there were definitely at least two Pied Flycatchers in the churchyard. One bird has been the subject of some debate due to an apparently obvious white upper wing bar (i.e. second wing bar on median coverts), the extent of white on the tertials and the size/shape of the small white wing patch at the primary bases. (see also yesterday's blog photos). Whilst just considering the option of the rarer species it seems there is insufficient at present to confirm it is anything other than a Pied.....but if anyone has other views we'd be delighted to hear! (Eds).

A Golden Plover was in the harbour, plus many Mediterranean Gulls and a hunting Peregrine. A Hobby was hunting over the Severals and a Clouded Yellow butterfly was on the path there, whilst three Wheatears were on the concrete spit and five Wheatears were in the area (C&JM/DP/MP et al).

Late afternoon a Pied Flycatcher was in the corner of the churchyard close to the mound and a Spotted Flycatcher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Whitethroat and 5 Willow Warblers were around the mound itself. Another birder had also seen a juvenile Redstart and a Lesser Whitethroat. (SR)

Common Terns (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

 View towards harbour mouth with gathering of Med Gulls, Hunting Peregrine and Clouded Yellow butterfly (C&JM)

Pied Flycatchers at Church Norton churchyard (top two - DP, bottom one - SR)

This evening the two Pied Flycatchers were still in the churchyard, and had been joined by two Spotted Flycatchers. (AH/AB)

Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers and six Common Sandpipers present this morning, along with eight Black-tailed Godwits, 24 Lapwing, six Teal and 15 Shelduck.
There was a lot of activity around the Discovery Area, dominated by 40+ Long-tailed Tits, though there were a Garden Warbler, half a dozen Whitethroats and Blackcaps and 20+ Willow Warblers/Chiffchaffs with them. (AH)

Common Sandpipers (above), Teal, Garden Warbler & Long-tailed Tits around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A really good morning for waders with three Curlews, a Whimbrel, two Dunlin and 68 Common Redshank along White's Creek and on the Breech Pool there were 76 Common Redshank, five Spotted Redshank, 47 Black-tailed Godwits, five Dunlin, three Greenshank, three Green Sandpipers, nine Lapwing, the Little Stint (evasive!), a Common Snipe and an Avocet - a total of 12 wader species. Also on the Pool there were 89 Canada Geese and a single Greylag Goose. 
It was quiet elsewhere, with just two Little Grebes, two Tufted Duck and two Stock Doves at Honer reservoir, though there were early signs of returning migrants with several Blackcaps and Whitethroats about, and a single Spotted Flycatcher recorded. (JDW)

Park Farm, Selsey: This evening there were seven Whitethroats and a Reed Bunting in the hedges, four Swallows over and a Grey Partridge in the fields. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Of interest, the below is a picture of an aberrantly-plumaged Wood Pigeon, which was photo'd last week but is probably still present....(per PH)

pale Wood Pigeon (aberrant plumage) at Medmerry (M. White)

Sunday, 14th August: Remaining dry with broken cloud and sunny spells and a gentle shift in the wind direction to E/NE - with the prospect of some warmer weather in the next few days......

Selsey Bill:  (0715-0830hrs) (SR)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 12E, 15W
Common Scoter - 5W

Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Common Tern - 10E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 11E, 15W
Green Woodpecker - 1 in gardens
Swallow - 4p
House Martin - 13p
Dartford Warbler - 1 in Bill House garden
Willow Warbler - 4 in gardens

There were eight Swifts over my house nearby at lunchtime today, and this evening the number had risen to fifteen. (IP)

Medmerry: East side -  This morning there were five Wheatears, two Willow Warblers, 20+ Ringed Plovers and a Peregrine around the breach area, plus three Clouded Yellow butterflies. (A&YF/RJS)

North Wall: Both the Little Stint and the Ruff were still present on the Breech Pool this morning, the Stint being the more obliging of the two as it was back on the small easterly pool showing well whilst the Ruff was more reticent skulking at the back near the reeds. Also present, 16 Dunlin, c.50 Redshank, 36 Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, three Greenshanks and three Spotted Redshanks. The Canada Geese flock dropped in with the Greylag Goose amongst them, two Common Terns and a few Swallows buzzed the pools and there were still a few Reed Warblers and a lone Sedge Warbler in the rushes. 
Earlier a Wheatear was along the wall near the sluice gates, one or two Whitethroats and Willow Warblers were about and a family of Linnets was along the wall. (BI/P&JW/AH)

Little Stint and Dunlin from North Wall. (BI)
Little Stint (above), Ruff & Whitethroat from North Wall (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Two Ravens flew over heading east mid-morning. (IP) 
There were also a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wheatear,  three Willow Warblers, two Whitethroat and two Buzzards in the vicinity. (S&SaH)
This afternoon there were 150+ Sand Martins and 50+ Swallows perched on the scaffolding on the building site, and were then seen over the Severals. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: A Kingfisher was in the southern part of the harbour early on, a Shoveler was still on the second Several, two Jays and three Sparrowhawks were around Priory Wood and a few Willow Warblers were widely scattered.
Tern numbers in the harbour were reasonable - circa 250 Common Tern and 50 Sandwich Tern - but no sign of any Little Terns, and waders comprised of 50+ Ringed Plover, 50+ Turnstone, a few Dunlin with four Knot among them and one Whimbrel.

Also, a large flock of gulls, numbering about 400 birds were in the stubble field between the two Severals, of which about three quarters were Mediterranean Gulls. (IP) 

Also, there was a Spotted Flycatcher in the orchard at Greenlease Farm, 10+ Willow Warblers and Whitethroats about and a couple of Common Sandpipers in the harbour. (S&SaH)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), with Willow Warbler & Green Woodpecker at Church Norton (SH)

This afternoon a Pied Flycatcher was in the Churchyard. (PJ/BI)
A look for the Pied Flycatcher this evening produced not one, but two birds in the churchyard, showing well as they pursued a circuit around the bushes. There were also a dozen or more Willow Warblers and two or three Blackcaps enjoying the still evening. (AH/IP/SR/S&SH/WT/CG)

Pied Flycatcher (BI top, next two CG, SH middle two, AH bottom two), Lesser Whitethroat & Willow Warbler (AH) at Church Norton

Ferry Pool: The first Avocet for a couple of weeks was on the pool this morning, along with two Green Sandpipers, four Common Sandpipers, two Little Ringed Plovers, eight Black-tailed Godwits, 24 Lapwing and 16 Shelduck, and a Kingfisher shot over from the rife.

The adjacent hedges were very quiet, with just the odd Whitethroat, Blaclcap and Willow Warbler showing, plus at least 100 Goldfinches. (AH)

Green Sandpipers (above), Black-tailed Godwit & Goldfinches around Ferry (AH)

Saturday, 13th August: Dry, sunny and bright with some cloud; quite warm but still with a fresh westerly breeze......

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Common Sandpiper was by the first sluice with a Green Sandpiper by the second and a few Yellowhammers were around the banks on the way down to the pools. On the Stilt pool were two Common Sandpipers, four Little Ringed Plovers and two Ringed Plovers whilst the two Bar-headed Geese and the Greylag Goose were still with the large Canada Goose flock. A Wheatear was on the gate by the beach and another was along the path to Bracklesham as was a large flock of Linnets. Non-avian highlights included six Clouded Yellows and six Common Blues butterflies near to the Easton viewpoint. (BI)

Also there were at least six Yellow Wagtails in with the cattle and 20+ Sand Martins went over west. (S&SaH)

Common Sandpiper, Bar-headed Geese, Wheatear & Clouded Yellow at Medmerry (BI)

Early this morning, a Sparrowhawk was being mobbed by four Magpies, two Whitethroats, two Reed Warblers, a big flock of Linnets and three Green Sandpipers were along the pools on the west side, and two Common Sandpipers were on the Stilt pool amongst all the white feathers, but there was no sign of the Little Stint. (TRo)

Green Sandpiper (above), Sparrowhawk, Reed Warbler & Common Sandpiper at Medmerry (TRo)

Selsey Bill: The Willow Warblers seem to have vanished and not a single tern appeared, however there was a steady trickle of House Martins flying west, over the sea and behind Bill House, whilst our local birds continued to gather mud. (SR)
Gannet - 15E, 23W
Swallow - 14W
Sand Martin - 15W
House Martin - c50W, 11p
Whitethroat - 1 in gardens

House Martin at the Bill (SR)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Golden Plover was in the stubble field north of the farm this morning, a Garden Warbler was in the hedges and 20+ Sand Martins went over. Also the first Swift in a week went over our garden in the north of the village. (S&SaH)

Golden Plover (above) at Park Farm, and September Thorn and Canary Shouldered moths in JA's trap (SH)

Church Norton: This morning there were four Sparrowhawks up together over Priory Wood, and in the bushes there were three Lesser Whitethroats and 10+ Whitethroats, with a Wheatear on the concrete spit. 
In the harbour and offshore there were 50+ Common Terns, ten Sandwich Terns and 200+ Mediterranean Gulls and a single Gannet. (S&SaH)
This afternoon's reports included a partial summer-plumaged Curlew Sandpiper present with 30 or so Dunlin and 50 Ringed Plover (of which one was ringed – sent off for details); unfortunately they flew off into the harbour when spooked by a plane. (IL)

Ferry Pool: This morning there was a Green Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover and eight Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, but the adjacent hedgerows were quiet, with just a scattering of Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around the Discovery Area and Tramway. (CG/AH)

Green Sandpiper (CG) (above), Lesser Whitethroat & Blackcap (AH) around Ferry

North Wall: Early on the Little Stint and Ruff were again present, along with a Greenshank, two Spotted Redshanks and two Kingfishers, with two Sparrowhawks over, and in the harbour there was a Yellow-legged Gull and five Knot. (CG)
Later on the Little Stint was elusive till early afternoon, when it showed, with the Ruff in the small, easternmost pool along the wall. Also on the Breech Pool there were six Greenshank, with another in White's Creek, at least three Spotted Redshank, a couple of Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, up to a dozen Dunlin and Lapwing, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and c200 Redshank. 
The harbour, though, was quiet, with just half a dozen Whimbrel and 30+ Curlew of note, plus a few Sand Martins over west, and a juvenile Peregrine flew in with a Feral Pigeon and spent the next hour devouring it out on the mud (AH)

Little Stint (above), with Dunlin, Ruff, Greenshank, Greenshanks and Spotted Redshanks (AH), Yellow-legged Gull & Whimbrel (CG) around North Wall

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