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)

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