Thursday, 29 August 2019

29th - 31st August 2019

Saturday, 31st AugustDry and mainly sunny after a cool but pleasantly calm start, with a faint W/SW breeze increasing to moderate by late morning and some heavy cloud developing by afternoon.

Selsey Bill: A quiet morning but with 50+ Sandwich Terns and 30+ Mediterranean Gulls passing through, plus a couple of Whimbrel. Full log below......
(0630-0745hrs)  (SH)
Gannet - 1W
Whimbrel - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 34E
Common Tern - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 52E
Swallow - 3W
Whitethroat - 1 gardens

(1545-1700hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 8E, 5W, 3os
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Common Tern - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 5E, 10W

Ferry PoolIt was very quiet this morning, with just three Little Ringed Plovers and a Dunlin, along with c50 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Lapwing and c25 Teal on the pool and a Whimbrel in the channel opposite, whilst a handful of Swallows and Sand Martins went over. (IP)

Church Norton: It was fairly quiet this morning, though a few birds were around the hide area, including a Garden Warbler, a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps and half a dozen Whitethroats, with more of the latter along the front, but not too much else.
Half a dozen Knot were on the mud, along with 50 Redshank, but that was about it. (AH/IP)

Garden Warbler (above) & Lesser Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: Highlight was a Grasshopper Warbler flushed from the edge of the lower path early this morning, where there was also a bit of warbler activity, with five Sedge Warblers, four Reed Warblers, four Lesser Whitethroats, six Whitethroats and two Cetti's Warblers logged in the general area. 
A single Yellow Wagtail flew over and two Grey Wagtails were nearer the sluice, whilst six Reed Buntings and 10 Linnets were along the hedgerow. (OM)
There was also a Spotted Redshank among 20 or so Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool, a Wheatear along the wall and two Knot and half a dozen Grey Plovers in the harbour.
Also, later on, the two Cattle Egrets were among a dozen Little Egrets and a Grey Heron on the small island in the harbour. (AH)

Wheatear (above), Spotted Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits, Cattle and Little Egrets and Knot from the North Wall (AH)

Halsey's Farm: The two Cattle Egrets were again present, as were four or five Whimbrel in the fields and a calling Greenshank flew over. 
At least six Yellow Wagtails were in the cattle field, whilst along the fences and hedgerows there were pockets of activity, with at least 10 Whitethroats, four Lesser Whitethroats, a couple of Redstarts, a couple of Willow Warblers, three Whinchats, at least five Wheatears and several Reed Buntings. (OM/AH)

Redstarts (OM, above & AH) & Wheatear (AH) at Halsey's Farm 

Medmerry: East side - Three Whinchats and a Wheatear were around the Ham Viewpoint this morning (SR), whilst a further seven Wheatears were at the Breach Viewpoint (A&YF)

Medmerry (west): Easton Lane to Stilt pool - Along the paths and hedges this morning a selection of species included five Whinchats, five Wheatears, a Reed Warbler, 10 Whitethroats, a juvenile Stonechat and three Willow Warblers, whilst overhead were three Yellow Wagtails,  20+ Sand Martins, 40+ Swallows and two Swifts. Also, a total of 11 Corn Buntings were around the 'Yellowhammer Bush'.
Around the Stilt Pool were a Green Sandpiper, five Greenshank, three Common Sandpipers, the female Pintail, 16 Gadwall, 12 Wigeon, two Sparrowhawks, two Buzzards and at least 300 Canada Geese. (S&SaH/IP)

Whinchat (above) & Pintail at Medmerry (IP)

Friday, 30th August: A much cooler, blustery morning, with a freshening westerly breeze ....but still with plenty of sunshine and some heavy cloud.

Selsey Bill: It was quiet again, with 20 or so Sandwich Terns offshore, but not much moving. Full log below. (C&ME/AH/IP)
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 2E, 42W
Shag - 2E
Common Scoter - 9W
Turnstone - 12p
Mediterranean Gull - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 19W, 20os
Swallow - 5W
House Martin - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 1W      

(1645-1745hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 2E, 5W
Mediterranean Gull - 7W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 14W, 13os

Turnstones at the Bill (AH)

Ferry PoolThere were just two Little Ringed Plovers and two Dunlin present this morning, along with four Shelducks, c40 Lapwing, c50 Black-tailed Godwits and c25 Teal. (AH/IP)

Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall and Halsey's Farm: There were two Whinchats, a Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Redstart around Halsey's Farm this morning, plus the now-regular two Cattle Egrets and a Whimbrel, but only two Yellow Wagtails in the cattle field. Nearby, two Greenshank flew over Owl Point calling, and soon after a Spotted Redshank did likewise.
Along the North Wall hedgerows there were 12 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Reed Warblers, 5 Reed Buntings and a Wheatear, whilst at the Breech Pool a Kingfisher was present for a while and eight Black-tailed Godwits were just about able to feed in the present water level, amongst Mallards and a few Teal. It felt like there should now surely be a Wryneck lurking somewhere, but a good deal of effort searching for one here (and the East side) was in vain! (OM)

This evening there were still two Whinchats and a Redstart at Halsey's Farm, along with at least a dozen Wheatears and half a dozen Whitethroats, whilst the two Cattle Egrets were in the egret roost and a Kingfisher flew through.
There was again a huge gathering of Yellow Wagtails over the wall shortly before dusk, numbering at least 300 birds, though there may well have been more. (AH/IH)

Wheatear (above), Whinchat, Whitethroat & Yellow Wagtails at the North Wall (AH)

Birdham: There were definitely two - and quite possibly three - Pied Flycatchers along the hedges in our garden this morning. (AB) 

Pied Flycatchers in a Birdham garden (AB)


Long Pool: A late afternoon look produced at least five Whinchats in the rough grass and nine Spotted Redshanks roosting together on the pool itself, though they were difficult to view. (AH)

Whinchat (above) & Spotted Redshank along the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: It was very quiet this morning, with two Wheatears on the beach and a Garden Warbler and one or two Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Willow Warblers in the sheltered hedges and a handful of Swallows and Sand Martins over being about the sum of migrants.
The harbour, too, was quiet, save for a flock of 50 Ringed Plovers, a few Grey Plovers and 50+ Redshank. (AH/IP/BI et al)

Wheatear (above), Garden Warbler & Great Spotted Woodpecker at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 29th August: A bright and breezy morning, warming up from a chill start, though with a moderate westerly breeze persisting....

Selsey Bill: There wasn't much moving offshore, but a Spotted Flycatcher, a dozen Willow Warblers and 16 Wheatears along the front more than made up for it! Full log below..... 
(0645-1000hrs) (C&ME/OM/PC)
Gannet - 3E, 22W
Shag - 2E
Turnstone - 11ob
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
sandwich Tern - 10E, 22W
Swallow - 127W
House Martin - 30W
Wheatear - 16ob/area
Spotted Flycatcher - 1 Bill House garden
Willow Warbler - 12 gardens
Chiffchaff - 3 gardens
Whitethroat - 1 gardens 

Northcommon Farm:  No flycatchers this morning, but at least 8 Willow Warblers, a Reed Warbler, several Whitethroats, a Whinchat and 3 Wheatears, plus a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk. (OM)  
Later, there was a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Yellow Wagtails and a Swift flew over. (SH/PC)
Later still, a Pied Flycatcher was in the middle hedge, with the Spotted Flycatcher nearby. (SR)
Ferry Pool: There were three Little Ringed Plovers at the back of the pool this morning, along with a Dunlin, but not much else beyond the usual 60 or so Lapwing, c40 Teal and c80 Black-tailed Godwits. (AH/IP)

Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Grasshopper Warbler was seen along the west side path, where there were also 20+ Willow Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat and 10+ Whitethroats, but not too much else. 
There were two more Lesser Whitethroats and a few Whitethroats and Willow Warblers, plus a Garden Warbler, around the hide area, too, along with the family of Swallows, whilst the beach held yet more Whitethroats and Willow Warblers, along with three Wheatears, plus a Sparrowhawk over. (AH/IP/SR/A&YF)
It seems the Swallows nesting in the Hide have now fledged their young....well, bar one reluctant lingerer! (SR)

Grasshopper Warbler (above), Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat & Swallows at Church Norton (AH)

.... and the lingering juvenile Swallow at Church Norton Hide (SR)

This evening there were three Knot, ten Grey Plovers and c50 Ringed Plovers on the mud, with c100 Mediterranean Gulls along the beach and 50 more in the harbour. (AH)

Ringed Plover (above), Knot & Mediterranean Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm/east side - A probable Honey Buzzard went over north-east at 9.20am, whilst there were also two Whinchats and five Wheatears around the Ham Viewpoint. 
Only one Corn Bunting could be found in the area today, but there were around ten back near the 'Yellowhammer Bush' on the west side - apparently mirroring a similar dispersal to last autumn.(HB/MW)

Birdham: A Pied Flycatcher was in the hedges in our garden this morning. (AB)

Pied Flycatcher in a Birdham garden (AB)

North Wall and Halsey's Farm: The hedges were quiet save the odd Whitethroat, but the fence around the tidal pool near Owl Point held two Whinchats and at least 20 Wheatears, with a dozen sat in a row along the fence at one stage, along with a single Whinchat.
Also, a dozen Yellow Wagtails flew around the fields but didn't settle, whilst the two Cattle Egrets were around again, along with half a dozen Little Egrets and eight Whimbrel. (AH)
This evening, a spectacular gathering of 500+ Yellow Wagtails was swirling above the reed-beds, looking to settle. (IH)

Whinchat and Wheatears (above), Wheatears & Cattle Egret at Halsey's Farm (AH)

Monday, 26 August 2019

26th - 28th August 2019

Wednesday, 28th August: A break in the weather today, with a cooler and cloudier morning after some overnight rain, though still pleasantly warm, despite the moderate westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There wasn't much this morning besides a Bonxie, a Fulmar, a few Sandwich Terns and a steady stream of Gannets, all going west. Full log below. 
(0645-1015hrs)  (C&ME/AH/IP)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 102W
Shag - 2E
Common Scoter - 2W
Sparrowhawk - 1p
Turnstone - 12p
Bonxie - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 8W
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 24W
Swallow - 34W            

Sandwich Tern at Selsey Bill (AH)

Northcommon Farm: There was no repeat of yesterday's excitement, with just two Pied Flycatchers and two Spotted Flycatchers to be found around Flycatcher Corner and the football field, though a flock of seven Greenshank over south was unusual. Also, the Little Owl was around the farm buildings early on. (SH/PB/IP)

Pied Flycatchers at Northcommon Farm (AB)

Birdham: There was a surprise just before 6pm this evening, when the local gulls made a big fuss and it turned out that a juvenile Arctic Skua was heading over the garden! (AB)

Arctic Skua over a Birdham garden (AB)

Ferry Pool: Early on, a Common Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers were on the pool,  plus a brief Kingfisher, whilst later there were also five Greenshank and a Dunlin, plus the usual Lapwings, Black-tailed Godwits and Teal. There were also two Whimbrel in the channel opposite and four Red-legged Partridges walking up the start of the Tramway.. (AH/IP)

Common Sandpiper (above), Greenshanks & Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The most unusual sighting of a quiet morning was a Cattle Egret sitting out on the mud in front of Tern Island for a short while before the tide pushed it off.
Otherwise there were six Knot, a Whimbrel, c50 Redshank, ten Ringed Plovers and a Sandwich Tern in the harbour, with at least another 18 of the latter going west along the beach. Passerines, though, were few, with just the odd Blackcap and Whitethroat noted, plus a few Swallows over. (AH/IP)

Cattle Egret (above), Knot, Whimbrel & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon an Osprey went east over the harbour. (AB)

Osprey over Church Norton (AB)

North Wall: A Grasshopper Warbler was flushed from grass along the wall today. (M.Read)

Tuesday, 27th August: A possibly even hotter morning than yesterday, with unbroken sunshine after a hazy start and just a light westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Over 1000 Swallows went west, along with a few Sand and House Martins, with four Wheatears and two Willow Warblers present, whilst the only activity of note offshore was six juvenile/immature Shags east. (C&ME/OM)
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 10E, 43W
Shag - 6E
Little Egret - 1W
Teal - 12W
Common Scoter - 3W
Turnstone - 38 ob
Mediterranean Gull - 7W
Sandwich Tern - 25E, 10W
Swallow - 1243w
Sand Martin - 15W
House Martin - 60W
Wheatear - 4p
Willow Warbler - 2 gardens

Wheatear at the Bill (OM)

Northcommon Farm: There were a minimum of five Pied Flycatchers and four Spotted Flycatchers spread around the 'Flycatcher Corner' area and the hedges of the adjacent football field this morning, along with half a dozen Willow Warblers. (SH/OM/AH)

Pied Flycatchers (above) & Spotted Flycatchers at Northcommon Farm (AH)

Later on, there were at least ten Pied Flycatchers present - a remarkable fall....the number gradually increasing to a minimum of 12 and up to 14 birds by early evening - quite amazing!! Also logged at various times were a Redstart, a Whinchat and a Whitethroat and at least a couple of Willow Warblers. (SH)

 More Pied Flycatchers at Northcommon Farm (SH)

Ferry Pool: There wasn't much going on on the pool beyond the regular fare, including c75 Black-tailed Godwits, c60 Lapwing, c25 Teal and four Shelducks, though there were two Whimbrel in the channel opposite and a Green Sandpiper flew over the Discovery Area..
Single Pied and Spotted Flycatchers put in brief appearances around the Tramway circuit, where there were also c30 Whitethroats plus a dozen Blackcaps a the odd Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. (AH/IP)

Also, a Portland Ribbon Wave was trapped overnight - the first for the Reserve.  (IL)

Portland Ribbon Wave at the Visitor Centre (IL)

Church Norton: The churchyard was bereft of birds after yesterday's bonanza, but two Whinchats, a Yellow Wagtail, 20+ Willow Warblers and 30+ Whitethroats, plus the odd Blackcap, and Sedge Warbler were spread along the path to the beach and the Severals area, with a small but steady movement of swallows, plus a few Sand and House Martins overhead.
A Kingfisher flew over the horse field, but a Whimbrel, a dozen Sandwich Terns and c50 Redshanks were about the only birds seen in the harbour at high tide, all of which were dispersed by three paddle-boarders floating around between the islands. (AH/IP/RP)

Whinchats (above) & Yellow Wagtail at Church Norton (AH)

Itchenor: A Red Kite and a Tree Pipit flew over Chalkdock Marsh early this afternoon. (PH)

Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August: A very warm morning of uninterrupted sunshine, with barely a breath of breeze....

Selsey Bill: A Tree Pipit  and a Yellow Wagtail went over, whilst an Eider was offshore. Full log below..... 
0630-0830hrs:  (SH/BI)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 9W
Eider - 1E
Common Sandpiper - 2E then back W
Mediterranean Gull - 3E
Little Tern - 1W
Common Tern - 15W
Sandwich Tern - 14E
Green Woodpecker - 1 p
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 p
Tree Pipit - 1 over Bill House garden
Yellow Wagtail - 1E
Sand Martin - 20W
House Martin - 5 area
Swallow - 5S, 63W
Wheatear - 5 ob
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Also a Common Seal and a Grey Seal

Wheatear at Selsey Bill (SH)

Selsey, Park Farm: There were 200+ Mediterranean Gulls in the area today, plus a Grey Wagtail and a Swift. (S&SaH/PB)

Grey Wagtail at Park Farm (SH)

Ferry Pool: A Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper were on the pool this morning, along with c100 Black-tailed Godwits, c50 Lapwings, six Shelducks and c40 Teal. (AH/IP)
There were plenty of passerines along the Tramway early this morning including a Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. (AW)
Later on, two Great White Egrets, seen earlier in the harbour, went over west (per M Read on Twitter) and a Swift was over the Visitor Centre at lunchtime (IL).

Spotted Redshank (AH) (above), Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat & Blackcaps (AW) around the Ferry

Church Norton: Most of the action was in the churchyard this morning, with a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat and a Wheatear all seen, along with a dozen Willow Warblers, a couple of Chiffchaffs, a Garden Warbler and half a dozen Whitethroats and Blackcaps.
The rest of the area was quieter, though there was at least one more Spotted Flycatcher, more of the commoner warblers and up to three Wheatears along the beach,
There wasn't much to see in the harbour on the high tide beyond a Raven that flew over eastwards and a handful of Sandwich Terns. (AH/IP/BI/TB/A&YF/RP et al)
Later, a Great White Egret was at the rear of Tern Island before flying off into the harbour, whilst a Peregrine, 100+ Sand Martins and 3 Reed Warblers were also present. (S&SaH/PB)

Pied Flycatcher (AH top, lower two TB), Whinchat (TB), Spotted Flycatcher, Raven and Carrion Crow, Wheatear, Willow Warbler (AH), Yellow Wagtail & Swallows (RP) at Church Norton


The Great White Egret was still in the channel in the harbour this evening. Also, the Swallows in the hide appear to be ready to fledge and six Silver-Y Moths were feeding on Valerian by the churchyard gate. (SR)

Great White Egret at Church Norton (SR)

Halsey's Farm: A look around Halsey's Farm and Owl Point produced two Redstarts, three Whinchats, six Wheatears, two Spotted Flycatchers, a Sedge Warbler, a couple of Blackcaps and a dozen Whitethroats.
Also, the Whimbrel was in the grass fields again, a Greenshank went over and the two Cattle Egrets were among half a dozen Little Egrets.
Along the wires on Mill Lane there were c100 Swallows with c50 House Martins and c50 Sand Martin (AH)

Redstart (above), Whinchats, Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, Swallow and sand Martin & Swallow and House Martin around the North Wall (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: There was a good selection of commoner waders along the Creek this morning, including 24 Black-tailed Godwits at the Lavant outfall and 11 Greenshanks and a Whimbrel further up the channel, plus a small flock of six Wigeon. (RW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was a spectacular gathering of hirundines near the Poplars this evening - impossible to estimate, but probably between 5 and 10,000 birds, of which two thirds were Swallows and one third Sand Martins.
Otherwise it was fairly quiet, with just two Wheatears and ten or so Yellow Wagtails seen, whilst on the stilt Pool there were two Green sandpipers, two Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - This evening there were three Wheatears on the field towards the breach, half a dozen Whitethroats and a couple of Blackcaps and Willow Warblers in the hedges and a few Swallows and Sand Martins over.
There were also half a dozen Sandwich Terns and a few Ringed Plovers around the breach and a couple of Greenshank were heard. (AH)

Sand Martin (above) & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)