Saturday, 29 July 2017

29th - 31st July 2017

Monday, 31st July: The weather appears to continue in an unsettled pattern, with a fresh south-westerly driving on some big banks of cloud, though dry at least today.... with some periods of sunshine and feeling pleasantly warm in the sheltered spots.

Selsey Bill: Not too much again this morning beyond a few Gannets and a small movement of 25+ Sandwich Terns, plus eight Sand Martins over. Full log below.....
0750-1120hrs:   (OM/SR)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 32E, 28W
Common Scoter - 6E
Common Tern - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 26W
Sand Martin - 8W
House Martin - 4 (attending nests old Pontins estate)
Pied Wagtail - 2W
(It's also worth mentioning the end of an era with the recent complete removal of the iconic old Selsey Lifeboat station and walkway - in favour of a new land-based station - resulting in a very different view to the east now).

The ever-changing face of Selsey...... looking east, this morning. Immediately to the right of the white cottages (far left) and partly obscured in this view is the new land-based Lifeboat station, with its flagpole just visible. Note the open sea view and the distant coastline. (OM)

This photo from 'the Archives' dates to September 2002, and  shows the view on a flat calm day, when, ironically, repair works were being carried out to the Lifeboat station slipway. Note the white cottages (shown in the above pic) are just about visible to the extreme left in this shot. (OM)

The Lifeboat station and walkway, January 1992. This shot - also taken from 'the Archives' - clearly shows the walkway, but less clear is the subject of my attention, marked with the arrow. It was, in fact, a Glaucous Gull (!), a regular here for several years becoming known to locals as 'George the Glauc'...... George is long gone now, but I couldn't let this pass without at least giving him a mention (though I'm not sure my photography has improved much since then!) (OM)

...... and for the record, this was 'George the Glauc' (photo, Dave Sadler, c.1991)

Selsey: A Herald moth was found in a local trap this morning - a first for the finder (S&SaH)
Herald moth in a Selsey garden trap (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were six Little Ringed Plovers, ten Avocets, three Redshank, seven Teal, 52 Black-tailed Godwits and c125 Lapwings on the pool this morning, and the Kingfisher flew along the channel opposite.
Around the Tramway/Discovery Area there were a Lesser Whitethroat, two Reed Warblers, four Sedge Warblers, four Blackcaps, ten Willow Warblers and 20 Whitethroats, mostly keeping low, and four Sand Martins over. (OM/AH)

Avocets (above), Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat & Sedge Warblers around the Ferry (AH)

East Side: A visiting birder reported the three Eider as still in the harbour, with eight Greenshank also present. (Eds)

Church Norton: There were still around 20 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern in the harbour this morning, along with two Common Sandpipers, four Whimbrel and c30 each of Turnstone, Dunlin and Ringed Plover.
Along the hedges by the hide there were a Lesser Whiethroat, 5+ Whitethroats and Willow Warblers, plus a Reed Warbler and two Sedge Warblers, with at least half a dozen Swallows still around the hide, and a House Martin and two Sand Martins went over. (AH)

Willow Warbler (above), Reed Warbler, Swallows, Whimbrel,  Common Tern & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 30th July: A bright and breezy day, with a brisk westerly moving the cloud through quickly, and quite warm in the sun....

Selsey Bill: The most interesting thing this morning was a pod of at least five Bottle-nosed Dolphins moving through eastwards.

(0700-0800hrs) (SH/AH/IP)
Gannet - 11E, 20W
Common Scoter - 22W, then presumably the same birds back E
Dunlin - 12W
Turnstone - 6E
Common Tern - 2W 

Sandwich Tern - 1W

Gannets (above) & Common Scoters off the Bill (AH)

(1615-1715hrs) (SH)
Balearic Shearwater - 3W (1645hrs)
Gannet - 7E, 59W
Common Scoter - 6E
Sandwich Tern - 14W
Common Tern - 1W
Also, a single Bottle-nosed Dolphin offshore

Ferry Pool: A Little Stint was on the pool early this morning, but quickly flew off with a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and hadn't re-appeared by late morning.
There were a total of ten Little Ringed Plovers late morning, along with ten Avocets, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Lapwings, five Teal and a Redshank. (AH/IP)

Little Stint (above), Little Stint with Little Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plovers & Avocet and Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Hobby went over the beach this morning, and around the hide there were a Garden Warbler, two Lesser Whitethroats, a Blackcap and one or two Willow Warblers and Whitethroats, plus a couple of Purple Hairstreaks on the path to the beach, and a Clouded Yellow by the horse field.
There were plenty of Whitethroats and Reed and Sedge Warblers along the Severals, with a pair of Teal on the second Several, and c30 Sand Martins ad one or two Swallows and House Martins were overhead
In the harbour there were three Peregrines, a Common Sandpiper, a couple of Whimbrel and a few Dunlin, Redshank and Turnstones, plus a dozen or more Sandwich Terns. (PB/A&YF/RJS/S&SaH/IP/AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Warbler & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were c30 Sandwich Terns roosting in the harbour, along with one Common Tern, one Mediterranean Gull, two Common Sandpipers, ten Ringed Plovers, c30 Turnstones, c30 Dunlin and c50 Redshank. (AH)

Juvenile Sandwich Terns (above), Turnstones & juvenile Ringed Plover at Church Norton (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two or three Skylarks, half a dozen Pied Wagtails and a Mediterranean Gull on the lettuce fields, one or two Whitethroats and Linnets in the hedges, and overhead there were a couple of Sparrowhawks and a few Swfts, Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows. (S&SaH/IP/AH)

Skylark at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Generally quiet this morning, the best being two Common Sandpipers, two Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover and the Shelduck family on the Stilt Pool. Elsewhere the wind appeared to be keeping the smaller birds down with just a few Skylarks, Goldfinches & Meadow Pipits about the banks. A 15 minute count of Common Blue butterflies at Easton viewpoint reached 52. (BI)

Saturday, 29th July: A mild and humid morning, with light winds after the overnight gales, but yet again with the prospect of more heavy rain later....

With spring well over and summer slipping by, it is time to start thinking about a 'Pom-party' gathering to formally present the trophy to this year's Pom King, John Faithfull (from Hants!).... his second title in consecutive years. He has indicated he would like a repeat of last year's gathering, when we assembled on a Saturday lunch-time at the Seal Hotel, Selsey, so the date of 19th August has been pencilled in. This allows a bit of time for a morning sea-watch before taking refreshment......all are welcome to attend if you are able. (Eds)

Selsey Bill(0600-0845hrs) (JA/PB/IP)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet – 55W, 16E
Shag - 2E
Common Scoter - 14E, 3W
Turnstone - 9W, 14ob
Sanderling - 4ob
Mediterranean Gull -1E
Sandwich Tern - 14W
Common Tern - 5W
Swallow - 2W

(1015-1100hrs) (BI)
Gannet - 2E, 4W
Sandwich Tern - 3W
Common Tern - 10W

(1215-1315hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Whimbrel - 2W
Turnstone - 20ob
Sandwich Tern - 7W, 4E
Common Tern - 6W

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a few bits about early this afternoon, including two Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat, with 10 House Martins and Swallows overhead. (SH)

Ferry Pool: Early on there were five Avocets, seven Black-tailed Godwits, two Teal and five Shelducks on the pool and a Cetti's Warbler was calling nearby. (PB)
Later on there were seven Avocets, 24 Black-tailed Godwits, 65 Lapwings and four Little Ringed Plovers present, whilst a Grey Wagtail dropped in very briefly and a Kingfisher flew along the channel opposite, though the bushes were very quiet. (AH)

Little Ringed Plovers (above), Black-tailed Godwits & Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Last night, just before dark a flock of 300 hirundines circled in a noisy tight flock high over the Visitor Centre. It was a great sight, and sounded mainly like Sand Martins and Swallows, presumably looking to roost somewhere nearby. (BO'D)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were 100+ Sand Martins, 50+ Swallows and House Martins and a few Swifts moving through this morning, though generally it was quiet. There were a few Reed and Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats along the hedges and ditches, plus plenty of Linnets and Skylarks and a few Yellowhammers and Meadow Pipits, plus a couple of Reed Buntings also about.
Waders were thin on the ground, though a Whimbrel was by the Poplars, and a Little Ringed Plover, two Common Sandpipers and a Lapwing were on the Stilt Pool, where there were also a Mediterranean Gull, a Gadwall, a large family of Shelduck and a mother and four young Tufted Ducks.
The late-summer build-up of Canada Geese would appear to have commenced, with c100 present, plus a Greylag and an apparent Barnacle x Canada hybrid. 
Also a Clouded Yellow and a few Common Blues were along the banks.(AH/IP)

Sedge Warbler (above), House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper, Gadwall, Greylag, Canada Geese, Barnacle x Canada Goose hybrid & Clouded Yellow at Medmerry (AH)

A walk this afternoon produced a Sparrowhawk with a small bird in its talons, a Green Sandpiper flying up from the ditch, and a growing gathering of Swallows lining the fences and Sand Martins hawking over the Stilt Pool. 

Six Black-tailed Godwits and a Common Sandpiper were all there was to be had in terms of waders on the pool, though there were plenty of Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Goldfinches, so a pleasant walk if an unremarkable one. (GM)

East Side: From the East side of the Harbour this morning the three Eiders were resting on the mud somewhere near the middle, and on the low tide, waders were mainly Curlew, Whimbrel and Oystercatcher, and there was also a flock of 11 Gadwall flying over the Breach Pool and two Teal on it, along with a pair of Common Terns and, in the saltings, what I believe was a first-year Yellow-legged Gull. Also, three or four kestrels hunted the North Fields. (ARK per SOS)
Also, two Barn Owls have been regularly hunting over the fields behind the North Wall recently. (per BO'D)

Church Norton: Not much to report in the drizzle this evening, though there were a Common Sandpiper, four Whimbrels, c100 Redshank and c20 Sandwich Terns roosting around the concrete slabs and 40 Swallows were feeding low over the harbour. (AH)

Whimbrels (above), Swallows & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

26th - 28th July 2017

Friday, 28th July: Yet another very grey and windy morning, if fairly mild, with the prospect of more heavy rain later....

Selsey Bill(0715-0800hrs) (AH)
Gannet - 8E, 27W
Turnstone - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 3W

(1025-1130hrs) (BI)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 3E, 33W
Turnstone - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 5W
Arctic Skua - 2 E (l/p)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Avocets, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, a Grey Heron, five Redshank, six Teal and 14 Shelduck on the pool, plus a Stock Dove on the side and two Common Terns and eight Swifts over west, whilst in the channel opposite a very young Grey Wagtail was feeding around the pumps. (AH)

Grey Wagtail (above) & Grey Heron around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were still c20 Sandwich Terns and a lone Common Tern in the harbour, along with half a dozen Whimbrel, Ringed Plover and Redshank and up to 80 Dunlin in one big mobile flock.
Also, two Peregrines were hunting together on the far side and the Swallow family was still around the hide, but the bushes were devoid of life bar a couple of Willow Warblers with a flock of Blue Tits along the harbour-side. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Common Tern, Dunlin, Willow Warbler & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: There were four Common Sandpipers this evening, one by the sluice and a further three out on the saltmarsh keeping the company of a few Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits. The water in the Breech Pool was still very high and the only birds present here were three Mallards & a Coot whilst around Grey Barn there were at least a  dozen Swifts. (BI)

Thursday, 27th July: Changeable....another fairly grey but dry autumnal morning, with a brisk westerly breeze, and slowly brightening up.....but then a few heavy showers and some drizzle, before brightening up again.

Selsey BillA few Common and Sandwich Terns went west,  a Shag went past, and an Arctic Skua put in an appearance, but otherwise it was  just the usual small and presumably local movements of Gannets and Common Scoters this morning. Full log below......
(0745-1145hrs) (OM/BFF et al)
Gannet - 28E, 31W
Shag - 1E
Common Scoter - 54E
Turnstone - 2ob
Common Tern - 7W
Sandwich Tern - 6E, 20W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Swift - 2S
Sand Martin - 5W
House Martin - 2p

(1640-1740hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 5W
Turnstone - 15ob
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 17W (inc 1 juvenile)
Common Tern - 1W

Ferry Pool: There were just four Little Ringed Plovers, seven Avocets, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and a couple of Shelduck on the pool this morning, with a Whimbrel, a Common Tern and the Kingfisher in the channel opposite. (AH/OM)

Kingfisher (above), Common Tern, Whimbrel, Little Ringed Plovers & Avocets around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton and West Side: There were barely a dozen Sandwich Terns and a single Common Tern in the harbour this morning, though there were a dozen Whimbrel widely spread across the mud and at least 20 Curlews likewise, with another 40+ of the latter out on strand-line of the beach on the very low tide.
Generally it was very quiet, with just a few Dunlin and Ringed Plover on the mud, and not much more than a handful of Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Linnets and Reed Buntings , plus a couple of Skylarks and Sand Martins, along the whole of the west side, though the Swallow family was still around the hide. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Whimbrel, Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, juvenile Wren & Swallows at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: There were 95 Curlews and 320 Mediterranean Gulls in the creek this morning. (BFF)

Medmerry: Easton Lane - Stilt Pools: The recent rain has filled up the stilt pools, which were not so good for waders today. Sadly, a young Barn Owl, which had recently died, was found in the general area. On a positive note more singing Corn Buntings are appearing on the west of the site, whilst a covey of Grey Partridges (4-5 flying young) were in the bird cover crop. (BO'D)

Wednesday, 26th July: After a brief dry, but very grey, start the heavy rain moved in earlier than forecast, driven on by a brisk southerly......

We start with a request to those observers that visit Drayton Gravel Pits and submit their records to SOS/Birdtrack:-

These pits currently have no formal wildlife designation or protection, so we are keen to improve this situation, especially given the amount of development taking place in the surrounding area. It is therefore important to submit your bird records for these pits - especially breeding records - though all records are valuable. There are actually three Drayton pits in existence, though unfortunately, due to unforeseen problems, most records in the SOS files have previously been attributed to just one - the old (original) Drayton pit (situated  east of the railway line but west of Oving Road).

In recent years the two newer pits have produced the lion's share of the Drayton GP records, so in order to clarify the situation for the future, and ensure that the correct record is attributed to the correct pit, all observers are asked to adopt the following site names forthwith when submitting their records.............

1. The 'old' original pit  = Chichester GPs Drayton (pit 7) (SOS site code 24)

2. The newer pits = Chichester GPs New Drayton House South (pit 7a) (SOS site code 2959) and/or as applicable Chichester GPs New Drayton House North (pit 7b) (SOS site code 3442).

A bit of a mouthful we know, and you will note the newer pits are now treated separately, but your co-operation would be much appreciated. Many thanks.  (Eds) 

Selsey Bill: The dry start didn't last long and by about 0800 the rain had begun, driven by the onshore wind, with variable visibility as a result.... so by 0900 the only sensible option was to watch from the shelter of a car! Things were mighty slow however and the only highlights were a handful of Common Scoter and an Arctic Skua......

(0700-0730hrs) (AH)
Gannet - 5E, 1W
Common Scoter - 12E
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 6W
Swift - 4p
House Martin - 2p

(0750-1220hrs) (OM)
Gannet - 9E, 1W
Common Scoter - 25E
Oystercatcher - 2W
Turnstone - 2ob
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 6W, 4os

(1630-1730hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 25E, 4W
Turnstone - 4ob
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Common Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 6W (inc 1 juvenile)

Sandwich Tern past the Bill (AH)
Common Scoters passing the Bill, and (below) nice to see Turnstones back in the Hillfield Road car-park (OM) 

Ferry Pool: There were 16 Avocets on the pool first thing, and the Egyptian Goose was, too, before it flew off into the harbour with eight Shelducks. Also about were a Common Sandpiper, four Little Ringed Plovers, 35 Black-tailed Godwits, a juvenile Redshank and eight Lapwings, with a couple of Sedge and Reed Warblers in the reeds at the front.
The Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite, as was a Kingfisher (briefly) and a Common Tern, three Sand Martins went over, and one or two Whitethroats and Willow/Chiffs were hiding in the bushes. (AH)
Later (1230hrs) there were still a dozen Avocets and 15 Black-tailed Godwits, but at least eight Little Ringed Plovers were present plus the Common Sandpiper. (OM)

Spotted Redshank (above), Little Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpiper, Avocets, Sedge Warbler & Egyptian Goose and Shelducks around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Sanderling was with c40 Dunlin and a dozen Ringed Plovers on the mud this morning, at least three Whimbrel were also present, and up to 20 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern were also about. The family of Swallows was still around the hide, and a mixed flock of Long-tailed and Blue Tits, plus a few Willow/Chiffs, moved through there. (AH)

Sanderling and Dunlin (above), Sandwich Terns, Willow Warbler & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: This afternoon three Yellow Wagtails dropped into the reeds by the path along the Breech Pool. (AB)
A pleasant evening stroll at Pagham North Wall produced a couple of extremely early Yellow Wagtails - an adult of vivid, lemon-yellow,and a pale juvenile, solicitous of food. A possible second adult was seen nearby, along with some Grey Wagtails. The north fields offered excellent, extended views of two hunting Barn Owls. (D Ilman per SOS)

Ivy Lake: This evening there were 300+ Sand Martins, plus a couple of Common Terns on/over the lake. (AH)

Sand Martins (above) & Common Tern at Ivy Lake (AH)