Wednesday, 16 August 2017

16th - 19th August 2017

Saturday, 19th August: Another day of strong westerly winds and a mix of bright sunshine and big black clouds, though fairly mild and mostly dry....

Selsey Bill: It was quiet again this morning, though a couple of Yellow Wagtails and some Sand Martins, plus a few Sandwich Terns went west and four Wheatears were on the beach. Full log below....... (SH/PB/AH/IP/JF/OM/CRJ)
Gannet - 15E, 43W
Common Scoter - 3E, 2W
Turnstone - 15p
Dunlin - 8E, 25W
Ringed Plover - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 15W
Common Tern - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 6W
Sand Martin - 24W
Swallow - 23E
House Martin - 2 p
Yellow Wagtail - 2W
Wheatear - 4 ob

Wheatear (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

CRJ prepared for a morning's sea-watching! (AH)
This was also the day when the Pom King trophy was presented to this year's winner John Faithfull at the Seal Hotel - well done John and thanks to all who attended (OM) 

Ferry Pool: There was nothing much beyond the regular c40 Lapwing and c30 Black-tailed Godwits, plus a couple of Avocets and a handful of Teal on the pool this morning, and a couple of Common Sandpipers and a Teal in the channel opposite. (AH/PB)

Teal in Ferry Channel (AH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The two Cattle Egrets were present for a short time in fields between the Sidlesham Church and the Marsh Farm milking parlour, seen from the cycle path this morning. (SR)

Cattle Egrets at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (SR)

They were still present this afternoon, along with a couple of Wheatears. (RHa)

Cattle Egret (above) & Wheatears at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (RHa)

North Wall: There were still three Spotted Redshanks on the Breech Pool this morning along with c.40 Black-tailed Godwits whilst in the habour near Owl Point the Spoonbill was still present. The Redstart was still in the hedge by Halsey's Farm as were a Willow Warbler, a pair of Blackcaps, four Lesser Whitethroats and a Whitethroat or two. Along the Wall was a Wheatear and a few Reed Buntings and a Green Woodpecker, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and two Yellow Wagtails flew over. Later in the morning the Spoonbill was roosting opposite the Breech Pool in the harbour. A worn Clouded Yellow was at Halsey's Farm, as were a few worn Meadow Browns, and a Painted Lady was in the north fields (BI/TS)


Spoonbill, Redstart, worn Clouded Yellow & Painted Lady from the North Wall (BI)

Church Norton: What was presumably the Spoonbill from the North Wall did a circuit overhead this morning, and there was a fair selection of migrants in the sheltered hedges, including a Spotted Flycatcher, two Redstarts, two Garden Warblers and up to half a dozen Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, with at least eight Wheatears along the beach.
Three Peregrines (presumably two adults and a juvenile) were in the air together and were seen to take a Feral Pigeon and pass it on in flight. 
Also, two Common Sandpipers were on the concrete spit, a Sandwich Tern and a Gannet were offshore, whilst around the Bluebell Wood there were a Garden Warbler, 10+ Willow Warblers, and two Chiffchaffs, with 20+ Sand Martins over.
There were a couple of Small Coppers and lots of Holly Blues about, plus a couple of Migrant Hawkers, too. (AH/IP/AB/PB/S&SaH/GM/TS et al)

Spoonbill (above), Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Peregrine, Jay & Holly Blue at Church Norton (AH)

Redstart (above), Spoonbill & Migrant Hawker at Church Norton (AB)

There was a very late in the season family of Chiffchaffs still being fed by parents this afternoon. (M Rose)

Chiffchaff family at Church Norton (M Rose)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two Buzzards and two Sparrowhawks over the farm this morning. (S&SaH)

Sidlesham: A Jersey Tiger was on our front door this morning! (A&YF)

Jersey Tiger in Sidlesham (AF)

Fishbourne Channel: At 3pm there was a juvenile/female type Marsh Harrier, right at the top of the channel. Also present, in addition to a multitude of mixed gulls there were a Whimbrel, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 66 Mute Swans and 200+ Starlings. (R Watson)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A female/juvenile Marsh Harrier was over the reserve by Marsh Barn all afternoon causing panic , and it was joined by a huge female Peregrine which scared off everything.
Also about were a Green Sandpiper, the Common Sandpipers, a Greenshank, an Avocet, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, a Yellow Wagtail, a Reed Warbler, 20+ Sand Martin, a Buzzard and three Kestrels. (S&SaH)

Marsh Harrier at Medmerry (SH)

Friday, 18th August: A bright and blustery day after a very grey and squally start....

Selsey Bill: It was pretty quiet this morning, though a Bonxie and three Sandwich Terns went west and a few Gannets were going both ways. Full log below. (AH)
Gannet- 34E, 47W
Common Scoter - 3E
Great Skua - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 3W
(1630-1730hrs)  (SH)  
Gannet - 12E, 5W
Common Scoter - 4E
Common Tern - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 4W

Sandwich Tern (above) & Gannet past the Bill (AH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The two Cattle Egrets were present again this morning among the cattle, distantly viewable from the North Wall. (BI)

North Wall: Three Spotted Redshank were on the Breech Pool this morning, and around Halsey's Farm there were a Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Blackcap and three Willow Warblers. (BI)

Ferry Pool: There were just the regular species on here this morning, including three Avocets, 35 Lapwings, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, seven Shelduck and four Teal, whilst in the channel opposite there were four Common Sandpipers and c60 Redshank. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Shelducks around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was a bit of a selection of migrants this morning around the sheltered hedges, including two Whinchats, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, a Wheatear (very nearly taken by two Peregrines!), a couple of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps and at least half a dozen Lesser Whitethoats and a dozen Whitethroats.
Also, a Kingfisher flew over the first Several, a few Swallows and a House Martin were overhead, at least six Whimbrel were in the harbour and flocks of c50 Grey Plover and c200 Dunlin flew around at diffferent times. (AH/IP/TS/A&YF)

Whinchat (above), Lesser Whitethroats, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Peregrine & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pools: There was no sign of the White-winged Black Tern today, much to the chagrin of the hopeful group of observers that had gathered. There were also rather few waders; three Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper and a single Dunlin on the pool, and a handful of Avocets out in the Reserve area. Plenty of Sand Martins were around and passing through, and perhaps half a dozen Wheatears were around the tracks and beach area. (OM/BI/JD/DS et al)
Also seen were a juvenile Cuckoo and two Corn Buntings (D&JK per SOS), and a Marsh Harrier, five Avocets and 500 Canada Geese. (ARK per SOS)

Thursday, 17th August: After a rainy night, a drizzly and blustery morning, with heavy cloud cover, but very mild in the south-westerly breeze and slowly brightening up....becoming sunny by afternoon.

East Head: The White-winged Black Tern was reported again in Chichester Harbour, off Hayling Island, this morning. (per RBA)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool: The White-winged Black Tern was present at 1330hrs and was showing well, catching insects as it shared the airspace with c150 Sand Martins, c100 House Martins and a few Swallows.  There were very few other birds about, though a Wheatear flew across the path, one or two  flocks of Linnet and Meadow Pipits were present, and a family of Shelduck was on the pools, along with three Common Sandpipers and c200 Canada Geese. (SR)
The White-winged Black Tern was still present at 1800hrs, along with a couple of Wheatears. (S&SaH)

White-winged Black Tern at the Stilt Pools (SR above & SH))

More images of the White-winged Black Tern from yesterday (D Knapp)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: In the field immediately north of the farm were two Cattle Egrets amongst the cattle that were gathering for milking. Unfortunately very shortly after I located them they were flushed by a quad bike and flew to the south side of the farm buildings where I was unable to relocate them. 
On the wires were around 120 Swallows with two Swifts overhead, and in the hedgerow was a mixed flock of Goldfinches, Linnets and Yellowhammers, about 40 birds in all.Walking north from the farm there was a Green Sandpiper in a trackside puddle and in front of me was a creche of 34 young Pheasants, one of whom managed to fall through a cattle grid but escaped unscathed. At Honer reservoir there was just 2 Black-headed Gulls and a Pied Wagtail. A Roe Deer was nearby in a field of wheat. (JDW)

Cattle Egret (above), Yellowhammer & Roe Deer around Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (JDW)

North WallA Kingfisher was behind the sluice gates and several young swallows were being fed there. A Common Sandpiper was along White's Creek and the Spoonbill could be seen from the east side. On Breech Pool were 68 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 70 plus Mallard and 5 Cormorants. Also, two Wheatears were along the Wall. (JDW) 

Spotted Redshank (above) & Swallow along North Wall (JDW)

Selsey Bill: There were a few bits moving this morning, including 300+ Gannets and two each of Bonxie, Arctic Skua and Fulmar, plus several Common and over a dozen Sandwich Terns moving west. Full log below.....
0700-1130hrs: (AH/OM)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 117E, 315W
Shag - 1E
Common Scoter - 3E, 2W
Sanderling - 2W
Whimbrel - 3W
Turnstone - 25ob
Arctic Skua - 2W
Great Skua - 2W
Common Tern - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 13W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sand Martin - 5W

Gannets (above), Mediterranean Gull & Turnstone at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: On the pool there were two Common Sandpipers, a Dunlin, five Avocets, c25 Black-tailed Godwits and c80 Lapwing, plus seven Shelduck and five Teal, with two Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers and c60 Redshank in the channel opposite. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: This evening there were c100 Sand Martins feeding over the pool and three Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper at the far end of Ferry Channel. (AH)

Sand Martin over the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: There were eight Sandwich Terns, up to six Whimbrel, two Grey Plovers and 50+ Dunlin and Ringed Plovers in the harbour this morning, but the hedges produced little more than the odd Whitethroat and Willow/Chiff, whilst a few Sand Martins and Swallows went over. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Whimbrels & Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 16th August: A fairly mild day, grey and still early on, but slowly brightening up as the westerly breeze increased....

East Head: The moulting adult White-winged Black Tern, seen off Hayling Island for the last couple of days, was viewable from East Head this morning. Initially it was seen feeding down further into the harbour along with two Black Terns before occasionally drifting over well to the east of the Winner Buoys to the Sussex/Peninsula side. After a while it moved back to the Hayling side and was out of view from East Head but was still being reported from Black Point. Also present were a number of Sandwich & Common Terns. (BI) 

Distant picture of the White-winged Black Tern from East Head (BI)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool - The White-winged Black Tern then re-appeared on the Stilt Pool early this afternoon and was seen intermittently thereafter, disappearing out onto the reserve for extended periods in between feeding over the pool. This is the first record for the south of the peninsula since 1988 (and a first for Medmerry), though half a dozen have been recorded from Chichester GPs in that time.

There were also an Egyptian Goose, a Wheatear, three Yellow Wagtails, three Common Sandpipers and 50+ Sand Martins about, too. (BO'D/TG-P/AH/BI et al) 
A Dartford Warbler was on the bank opposite Marsh Barn this afternoon. (SR)

White-winged Black Tern at Medmerry (AH)

A brief video of the Tern is here: White-winged Black Tern at Medmerry

North Wall: The Spoonbill was present again in the harbour this morning, and there were a Wood Sandpiper and three Spotted Redshanks on the Breech Pool, along with c50 Black-tailed Godwits. Also a Hobby went over, chasing Sand Martins. Also a Kingfisher, two Wheatears and a few Reed and Sedge Warblers were about, plus Sand Martins and Swallows over the wall, and 11 Greenshanks, two Whimbrel and three Grey Plovers were in the harbour. (PB/AB) Unfortunately the Wood Sandpiper was not present later on in the morning. (SR)
(For anyone puzzling over why the levels are not adequately controlled here to achieve best results - well, it's a long story but basically the sluice controls to the pool currently lie outside of the Reserve's control! Eds)

Kingfisher (top AB), Greenshanks and Redshanks & Grey Heron from North Wall (PB)

Ferry Pool: A Greenshank was at the back early on, and there were also two Avocets, a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, a Dunlin, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and c50 Lapwing present, a Whitethroat was by the road and a Hobby and a Kingfisher went over.
There were two Common Sandpipers and c40 Redshank in Ferry Channel, but the bushes were very quiet. (AH/TG-P)

Whitethroat (above), Little Ringed Plover & Common Sandpiper around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Generally the bushes were quiet, with just a few Whitethroats along the Severals, but there were three Spotted Flycatchers, a Garden Warbler and up to half a dozen each of Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler around the hide and a Peregrine and a few Sand Martins and Swallows over.
There was little of note in the harbour beyond a Common Sandpiper and a couple of Sandwich Terns and Whimbrel and c50 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, whilst offshore a little feeding group of five Sandwich Terns and four Common Terns were joined by a young Kittiwake before they all drifted off west. (AH)
This evening there were two Wheatears along the beach and a Spotted Flycatcher was around the Severals, with a Peregrine over. (S&SaH)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Whimbrel & Peregrine at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey: A single Swift went over Warner Lane today, and four Sparrowhawks, 50+ Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows were over the north of the town this evening. (SH)

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