Tuesday, 29 August 2017

29th - 31st August 2017

Thursday, 31st August: A changeable morning, with a still and grey start giving way to glorious sunshine and then some scattered big clouds and the odd squall of drizzly rain.....

Ferry Pool: The pool remains a bit forlorn for the peak wader migration period, with just singles of Avocet, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit, plus half a dozen Teal and two dozen roosting Lapwings present.
The channel opposite only held c50 Redshank and the Tramway circuit only yielded a handful of Blackcaps and Whitethroats. (AH)

Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A bit of a welcome reduction in the water level at the Breech Pool and the effects were immediate......there were four Spotted Redshanks there this morning! Also present on the pool were 95 Black-tailed Godwits, 60 Lapwing, five Teal and a Kingfisher. Along the Wall were at least three Wheatears, several Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and a couple of Cetti's Warblers. (OM/IB/IH)

East side/Pagham Spit: There were 105+ Redshank in White's Creek, and further along was a flock of 45 Grey Plover out on the mudflats, but otherwise there were very few small waders - just a handful of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. A flock of 22 Teal was in the channel, and the single Pintail reported last week was still present, nearer to the harbour, with the three moulting Eider for company nearby.
A check along the hedgerows and onto Pagham Spit didn't produce anything more exciting than five Wheatears, a Whitethroat and six Willow Warblers - though to be fair time was getting on and holidaymakers were out in droves by late morning! (OM)

 A few Willow Warblers in the bushes along the East side this morning, but little else (OM)

Church Norton: Quite a few warblers were about this morning, including up to ten Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, a single Garden Warbler, a couple of Reed and Sedge Warblers and at least 25 Whitethroats, though the only other migrants noted were an elusive Redstart by the hide, a couple of Spotted Flycatchers and a few Swallows, including the family in the hide.
A single Sandwich Tern was offshore and a Greenshank was in the creek by the horse field, but the harbour held just a couple of Grey Plover and a few Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. (AH/A&YF et al)

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

Later on, on a very slow receding short tide we spent our time scanning through the waders producing 120 Dunlin ,47 Ringed Plover and single Knot, Sanderling, Greenshank, and - unusually for the Church Norton end of the harbour - a Spotted Redshank. 
Out in the harbour there were two Peregrines with a Hobby, plus 40 Linnets, a single Yellow Wagtail and Sandwich Terns. Around the northern end of the concrete wall there were three Wheatears with another eight sitting on posts along the beach when a Kestrel flew through. (BFF/DM)

Itchenor: A Cuckoo flew over the Chichester channel from Cobnor to Itchenor this lunchtime, and there was a single Wheatear on the shoreline. (PH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Around Easton Viewpoint was a juvenile and adult Reed Bunting, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroats, 11 Black-tailed Godwits, singles of Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail and c50 Teal. The star of the morning however was undoubtedly the very vocal juvenile Yellowhammer begging food from its parent....... this species is so much a part of Medmerry yet we rarely get sight of a chick or juvenile. Further along, near the bench a flock of c30 Yellow Wagtails was in amongst the cattle along with a Kestrel, a distant Buzzard and few Meadow Pipits. The Stilt Pool held (apart from a herd of cattle!) 3 Wheatears, a Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Lapwing, c25 Teal, 22 Swallows and 8 House Martins. The 2 Bar-headed Geese were in with the Canada Geese flock again and just before the rain there was an impressive Starling murmuration. (SR)

Juvenile Yellowhammer at Medmerry, and cattle amongst the birds at the Stilt pool (SR)

Later on there were 80+ Yellow Wagtails, 100+ Sand Martins, two Swallows, seven Wheatears, a Buzzard and five Kestrels along/over the banks, an Egyptian Goose on the Stilt Pool and at least 500 Mediterranean Gulls among the huge flock out on the reserve. (S&SaH)

Yellow Wagtail (above) & Egyptian Goose at Medmerry (SH)

Medmerry: Medmerry Cliff/Toe End - There were nine Wheatears along the top this morning, and a further seven, plus six Pied Wagtails and two Sandwich Terns near the breach. (SH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge/The Breach - There was no sign of any Short-eared Owls up to 1830hrs but compensation was in the form of an Osprey which flew in from the Pagham Harbour direction and fished over the breach for a while before drifting off towards the west. Also present, a Peregrine distantly at the breach, two Buzzards and a Kestrel but very few small birds in the stiff breeze. (BI)

Osprey flying towards the breach at Medmerry (BI)

Wednesday, 30th August: A dramatic change in the weather, with a very cool and grey start and a sharp northerly breeze, giving way to persistent drizzle and rain from late morning....

Selsey Bill: Around a dozen Sandwich and Common Terns drifted west this morning, and there were a few more Gannets present than of late, whilst along the gardens there were a Whinchat and 15 Willow Warblers. Full log below.....
0730-1130hrs:  (OM/SR/AH)
Gannet - 8E, 52W
Turnstone - 45 ob
Ringed Plover - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 10W, 6os
Common Tern - 15W
Mediterranean Gull - 6W, 1os
auk sp - 1W
Swallow - 40W
House Martin - 10W
Whinchat - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 15 gardens

Whinchat at the Bill (AH) and (below) Sandwich Terns with Black-headed Gull (OM)

Ferry Pool: The pool remains largely birdless, with just an Avocet, eight Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Teal and 20 roosting Lapwings present, whilst in the channel opposite there were a Kingfisher, a Greenshank and c40 Redshank. (AH)

Kingfisher (above), Greenshank, Greenshank and Redshank & Avocet around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: At least one Spotted Flycatcher was in the churchyard, with another by the concrete wall, but otherwise there were just a handful of Whitethroats and the odd Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler noted in the sheltered spots, along with a Sedge Warbler and a Green Woodpecker, whilst in the harbour there was one Whimbrel, c20 Curlews, c30 Redshank and c50 Ringed Plovers and Dunlin. (AH)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker, Whimbrel & Ringed Plovers and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Medmerry Cliffs - Toe end/Breach - There were just one Wheatear and one Whitethroat along the top this morning, plus a Yellow Wagtail over, and just a single Meadow Pipit at Toe End. (SH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were just six Yellow Wagtails on the fields this evening and four Swallows over. (S&SaH)

Tuesday, 29th August: The fine spell continues, with lots of warm sunshine and a light north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Little on the move except hirundines, but a juvenile Little Gull was among the Black-headed Gulls along the beach this morning, though its odd appearance gave it a strange jizz - like a cross between a dark marsh tern and a phalarope - initially puzzling me awhile, before the ID was clinched in flight! There was also a massive flock of around 1000 House Martins gathered on the wires and roofs early on before all taking flight and dispersing. (OM) Full log below......
0720-0935hrs:  (OM)
Gannet - 5W
Turnstone - 45ob
Little Gull - 1 juvenile, close inshore amongst Black-headed Gulls early on, but drifted off
Sand Martin - 20W
Swallow - c.250W
House Martin - 1000+ assembled around houses, mainly dispersed at 0923hrs...
Wheatear - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Willow Warbler - 2

 juvenile Little Gull with Black-headed Gulls at the Bill (OM)

 Gathering of House Martins at the Bill (OM)

Ferry Pool: There were just a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and five Teal on the pool this morning, and a Kingfisher flew over. (AH/OM)

Birdham Pool: A Coal Tit was singing in the hedges by the pool this evening. (MR)

Coal Tit at Birdham Pool (MR)

Long Pool/West: There were 500+ hirundines - mainly Sand Martins with some House Martins on the hedges until they were flushed by a Peregrine and then dispersed.  

The walk from the Centre to Church Norton was quiet with just a Sedge Warbler, a few Common Whitethroats and a Kingfisher flying towards the Ferry Pool, whilst later on in the channel there was a Common Sandpiper and six Yellow Wagtails flew over. (C&JM)

Sand Martins along the Long Pool (C&JM)

Church Norton: There were three or four Spotted Flycatchers and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps around the hide/churchyard area and a few Whitethroats on the first Several, plus lots of Linnets on the beach, whilst many hundreds of hirundines - mainly House Martins - went over west. (OM/AH et al)
Also a Redstart and a very young Robin were in the churchyard. (C&JM)

Redstart (above) & juvenile Robin at Church Norton (C&JM)

Spotted Flycatcher (above) Lesser Whitethroat, Swallow, House Martin & Sand Martin at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Medmerry Cliffs - Toe end/Breach: There were 2 Whinchats and 11 Wheatears along the fences and rough ground west of the Coastguard station this morning. Also logged was a Great Spotted Woodpecker which appeared to have come in off the sea, plus 3 Yellow Wagtails over, a Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtails, a Sparrowhawk and 100+ House Martins west. (SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was very quiet this morning, though there were a Spotted Flycatcher, 20+ Whitethroats and two or three Chiffchaffs, Willow, Reed and Sedge Warblers along the banks, and at least four Corn Buntings were in with Yellowhammers in their favourite hedge. A few dozen Swallows and a few sand Martins went over, as did a lone Yellow Wagtail, but there were no other migrants on show.
The only waders were a Common Sandpiper and a few Lapwing on the stilt Pool and c20 Black-tailed Godwits by the poplars, whilst the two Bar-headed Geese were among the 400+ Canada Geese and an Egyptian Goose was on an outlying pond. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Sandpiper, Yellowhammer & Egyptian Goose at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - This evening one Short-eared Owl was out hunting, briefly, over the stubble field and there were just three or four Corn Buntings on show, plus a couple of Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers, though at least 400 Canada Geese had moved into the field.
At least 18 Sandwich Terns were roosting in the breach at high tide, with another half a dozen or so offshore, along with 30-40 more distant gannets. (AH/RHa)

Short-eared Owl (above), Sandwich Terns, Yellowhammers and a very large cruiser passing the Isle of Wight at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall: On another lovely day there were 93 Common Redshank along the length of White's Creek. Water levels on the Breech Pool remain very high and it was again mainly populated by Mallard, although 19 Black-tailed Godwits dropped in for a short while. Along the Wall were 4 Common Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers and a Reed Warbler, whilst a Kingfisher was at Owl Water and a Little Grebe was feeding 2 young at Bremere Bridge. At Macracarpa Copse were 7 Common Whitethroats and a Lesser Whitethroat, and Honer reservoir held 170 Black-headed Gulls and 60 Herring Gulls plus a Tufted Duck and a Common Sandpiper. (JDW) Later in the day it was relatively quiet but there were two Wheatears and a Whinchat along the fenceline at Halsey's Farm & two Lesser Whitethroats, a Blackcap and a few Whitethroats along the hedges here. Along the wall were two Reed Buntings, more Whitethroats but little else in the midday heat. (BI)

Little Grebe with young at Bremere bridge, North Wall (JDW)