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)

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