Saturday, 29 August 2020

29th - 31st August 2020

Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August: After a chill start, a very pleasant morning as the cloud lifted, with just a light northerly breeze...............

Selsey Bill: There was quite a selection this morning, including a Hobby, five Tree Pipits and 100+ Yellow Wagtails over, a juvenile Arctic Skua close inshore and a pair of Sandwich Terns with a surprisingly young juvenile for the time of year. Full log later. (SH/PB/PM/BI/MO-W/SR/IP/RP/RW/AH)
(0600-0900hrs) (N, F2)
Gannet - 7E, 6W
Wigeon - 9W
Teal - 12E, 27W
Shoveler - 3W
Common Scoter - 1W
Hobby - 1W
Sanderling - 8W, 1 present
Curlew - 1E
Turnstone - 30
Arctic Skua - 1E (juv)
Mediterranean Gull - 4E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 25E, 11W, 3os
Stock Dove - 2E
Swift - 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Swallow - 26E
Sand Martin - 23E
House Martin - 3
Tree Pipit - 5W
Yellow Wagtail - 43E, 67W
Grey Wagtail - 8E, 4W
Wheatear - 2
Willow Warbler - 4
Chiffchaff - 1

Arctic Skua (AH) (above), Sandwich Terns, (AH top two & lower SH) & Mediterranean Gulls (AH) at the Bill 

Ferry Pool: Three Spotted Redshanks and a Common Sandpiper were the only unusual species on the pool, though there were c60 Lapwing, c80 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Shelduck and c100 Teal present.
A look around the Tramway produced a family group of Chiffchaffs, a Lesser Whitethroat and a handful of Whitethroats, plus a few Swallows over. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks, Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits (above), Common Sandpiper and Lapwings & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Barn Owl was present this morning. plus a Grey Wagtail. (S&SaH) 

Barn Owl at Park Farm (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There was a lot going on this morning, particularly around the hide/churchyard area, where there were four Tree Pipits, a Firecrest, a Pied Flycatcher, at least four Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher and 10+ Blackcaps reported.
Along the beach and Severals there were at least three Whinchats, five Wheatears, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, numerous Whitethroats, another Redstart, four Stonechats and a Hobby, perched in a tree at the back. Also, a total of 29 Siskins, ten Yellow Wagtails, five Grey Wagtails, a Swift and hundreds of hirundines - mainly Swallows - went over. In the harbour were six Sandwich Terns (including two young juveniles) whilst four Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk were overhead.
The Little Stint was on the mud opposite the hide again, plus the usual waders, and three Yellow Wagtails were on the mud. Also, a Water Rail squealed in the second Several and  a Fulmar and seven Wigeon flew west offshore. (IP/PB/PM/AW/MB/P&JW/A&YF/OM et al)

Tree Pipit (above), Redstarts, Pied Flycatcher, Stonechat, Hobby, Fulmar & Buzzard at Church Norton (AW)

This afternoon the Little Stint was showing well this afternoon in the harbour, and 200 sand Martins dropped down on the mud briefly, whilst a Whinchat and one of the Tree Pipits shared the dead tree in the churchyard and a couple of Redstarts were still about, too. (AW)

Little Stint, Dunlin and Ringed Plover (above), Whinchat and Tree Pipit & Redstart at Church Norton (AW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was pretty quiet here this morning, though at least five Whinchats and six Stonechats were along the banks, four Wheatears were by the rocks and half a dozen Corn Buntings, a couple of Reed Buntings and up to 20 Yellowhammers were around their favoured bushes. One or two Whitethroats, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were also seen, but barely a handful of Swallows went over.
The only waders on the Stilt Pool were a dozen Lapwings, though two Common Sandpipers went west along the beach, whilst a few Teal, Gadwall and Tufted Ducks were among the 300+ Canada Geese. (AH)
This evening four Wheatears, four Whinchats,, three Stonechats, five Yellow Wagtails, two Corn Buntings, two Whitethroats and seven Yellowhammers were along the banks, whilst a Greenshank was by the poplars and two Common Sandpipers, three Dunlin and three Ringed Plovers were on the reserve. (S&SaH)

Whinchat (above), Stonechat, Wheatear, Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer & Gadwall at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall: Early on, there was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper in White's Creek, amongst the Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits, whilst the short-billed Greenshank and a Kingfisher also put in an appearance. 
The Breech Pool water level was higher again today, though 20 Lapwings and a dozen Black-tailed Godwits were actually present on the pool and a calling Spotted Redshank flew over. In the Honer field behind the pool, where the cattle herd was present, there were 16 Cattle Egrets and at least 30 Yellow Wagtails, with 30+ Sand Martins feeding low overhead.
Warblers were active along the Wall and hedgerows, where 10 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, a couple of Blackcaps, four Sedge Warblers, six Reed Warblers, three Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and three Cetti's Warblers were logged.
Out on the mudflats, two Whimbrel were feeding amongst a small number of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers whilst another distant Spotted Redshank was heard. (OM/IH/SP)

The short-billed Greenshank (aka 'Stumpy') in White's Creek (OM)

This afternoon the Breech Pool held 27 Lapwings, 42 Black-tailed Godwits and a Spotted Redshank in partial summer plumage, whilst 53 Canada Geese were in the field behind. 
I was despairing of finding migrants until I reached Macracarpra Copse, where there were a Pied and a Spotted Flycatcher, a pair of Redstarts, a female Blackcap and two Chiffchaffs, plus a Greater Spotted Woodpecker. (JDW)

Sidlesham: At least 1000 hirundines were over the garden for much of the afternoon, initially an even split of Swallows and House Martins, but later at least 100 Sand Martins joined them.
Also two Ravens went south, some way to the west, and a Sparrowhawk and four Buzzards were up, too. (AH)

Sand Martin (above) & Sparrowhawk in Sidlesham (AH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - Presumably yesterday's Short-eared Owl appeared a couple of times from over near the breach, whilst offshore from the breach there were five Sandwich Terns.
The banks and fences were quite busy, with a pair of Corn Buntings, at least six Whinchats, four Wheatears and six Stonechats present, plus a handful of Meadow Pipits and a couple of Skylarks and Whitethroats, whilst c30 Sand Martins went over. (AH)

Short-eared Owl (above), Whinchat, Wheatear & Corn Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

Sunday, 30th August: Another cool and mostly grey morning, with the breeze brisk and from due north....................

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of a selection this morning, including two Arctic Skuas and an Eider east and two Little Gulls and 38 Yellow Wagtails west. Full log below. (SH/PB/BI/MO-W/RP/SR/IS//AH/IP)
(0600-0900hrs) (N, F4-5)
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 12E, 43W
Teal - 10W, 
Wigeon - 3E, 1W
Common Scoter - 3W
Sanderling - 1
Turnstone - 66
Arctic Skua - 2E (ad d/p & juv)
Little Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 12W, 5os
Swift - 6E
Sand Martin - 8E
Yellow Wagtail - 38W
Grey Wagtail - 1E, 2W
Pied Wagtail - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Wheatear - 2
Whitethroat - 1

Arctic Skua (SH, top, AH lower two) (above) & Sandwich Terns (AH) at the Bill

This afternoon a Hobby went east, fairly close inshore. (AW)

Selsey: At 1018hrs this morning, the flock of 22 White Storks that emanated from the Knepp Estate were seen drifting west over the town. (AW)

White Storks over Selsey (AW)

Ferry Pool: Two Common Sandpipers were present this morning, but beyond a vocal Cetti's Warbler it was much as yesterday, with c60 Black-tailed Godwits, c20 Lapwings, c80 Teal and a dozen Shelducks being about it. (AH et al)

Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Three Swifts, two House Martins, a Sand Martin and a Yellow Wagtail were seen over the farm this morning, along with two Sparrowhawks. (S&SaH/IP)

East Beach: A Swift and four House Martins went over the house this evening. (SR)

Church Norton: A total of 11 Sandwich Terns, plus a Common Tern, were in the harbour, with up to another 11 seen offshore this morning, whilst in the harbour there were a Kingfisher, a Peregrine, a Common Sandpiper, two Whimbrel, c15 Teal and plenty of the commoner waders, whilst four Wigeon (including a drake) flew in from offshore.
Two Swifts were among a mixed flock of Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows over the harbour, whilst up to five wheatears were along the spit, a couple of Yellow Wagtails were along the beach and a Redstart, a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff were in the orchard at Greenlease Farm. (S&SaH/IP)
Later, a Curlew Sandpiper was out in the harbour (KJ) and the Little Stint was back again mid-afternoon, feeding out on the mudflats. (IR)
This evening a Spotted Flycatcher was behind the hide. (AW)

Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Redstart was by the poplars this morning, with four Pintail, a Green Sandpiper, six Black-tailed Godwits and two Snipe nearby, whilst the banks held seven Whinchats, six Wheatears, a few Whitethroats and a flyover Hobby. (HB/GM)

Later, a Corn Bunting was sitting out on the bushes. (HR/DMe)

Wheatear at Medmerry (GM)

There was a lot of activity there this afternoon, including the first Hen Harrier of the autumn, a Marsh Harrier and a Short-eared Owl and what will probably be the last Cuckoo of the year.
There were also five Whinchats, six Stonechats, five Wheatears, five Yellow Wagtails, 25 Yellowhammers, three Reed Buntings, a Whitethroat and a couple of Meadow Pipits along the banks, with ten Swallows and a couple of Sand Martins overhead.
Waders seen included four Greenshank,, a Green Sandpiper, three Common Sandpipers and a Whimbrel and there were also five Egyptian Geese about. (S&SaH/P&JW)

Hen Harrier at Medmerry (SH)

A quick look up to just past Marsh Barn this evening produced a Kingfisher, a Greenshank and three Common Sandpipers by the sluice by the poplars, with at least five Whinchats and a family of at least six Stonechats nearby. (AH)

Whinchats (above), Stonechat, Greenshank & Common Sandpiper at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall: The flock of 22 White Storks were viewable distantly from the North Wall as they circled the harbour, gaining height, until they drifted off west, later seen at Selsey and West Wittering.
Otherwise, a Curlew Sandpiper, a couple of Whimbrel, a dozen Grey Plover, c30 Lapwing and a Spotted Redshank were in White's Creek, with it or another later on the Breech Pool, along with c30 Black-tailed Godwits, c20 Lapwing, a Greylag Goose, a few Teal and many Mallard and Canada Geese.
At least 41 Cattle Egrets were roosting in the harbour with a dozen Little Egrets and five Grey Herons, and a few Wigeon were also present.
A big flock of Swallows was over the fields at Halsey's Farm, but the hedges were quiet beyond a Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat and the odd Whitethroat and Willow Warbler, plus at least 30 Yellow Wagtails around the wall, whilst c40 House Martins and a few Sand Martins went over the wall, where there were a couple of Wheatears and three Meadow Pipits, and a Grey Wagtail was near the sluice. (AH/BI/IH/SP/KJ/JDW et al)

Cattle Egrets (above), Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Swallows & Lapwing around the North Wall (AH)

West Wittering: The flock of 22 White Storks passed low over the village this morning, heading for Ella Nore as they moved west. (H Goldsmith per MR)

White Storks over West Wittering (H Goldsmith)

Saturday, 29th August: A distinctly chilly morning for the time of year, with a fresh north-westerly pushing through banks of grey cloud, broken occasionally by brief sunny spells..............

Selsey Bill: There was little moving offshore, though 15 Bar-tailed Godwits went east and two Common Sandpipers went west and 20+ Yellow Wagtails went over. Full log below. (SH/BI/MO-W/AH/IP)
(0600-0900hrs) (NNW, F5-6)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 9E, 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 15E
Common Sandpiper - 2W
Turnstone - 24
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 9W, 2os
Common Tern - 2E, 2W
Swallow - 6E
Sand Martin - 8E
House Martin - 1
Yellow Wagtail - 15E, 8W
Meadow Pipit - 4N
Wheatear - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 1

Common Sandpipers (above), Wheatear, Sandwich Tern & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

(1600-1700hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 1E
Teal - 1W
Turnstone - 35
Arctic skua - 2W (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 22W
Swift - 1
Yellow Wagtail - 2W
Goldcrest - 1

This evening a swift was over Ursula Square. (RP)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were just three Sand Martins, a Pied Wagtail, a Whitethroat, two Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk about this morning. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: Plenty of birds were present this morning, just nothing unusual, and including c65 Black-tailed Godwits, c25 Lapwing, 16 Shelducks, c40 Mallard and c80 Teal, whilst a huge flock - 1000+ probably - of Starlings were around the fields at the back. (AH/IL)

Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing and Teal (above) & Starlings at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Three Spotted Redshanks and a Black-tailed Godwit were on the pool again this morning, but there were no small birds at all. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks on the Long Pool (AH)

West Wittering: This afternoon three Swifts, a few Yellow Wagtails and Swallows and lots of House Martins were moving through over the cricket ground, with a Hobby, a Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk also seen. (PH)

Hunston Copse: There wasn't much to report here beyond a Tree-creeper this afternoon. (S&SaH)

North WallA lengthy walk this morning started with a Kingfisher at the sluice gates and Dunlin, Knot and about eight Grey Plovers along East Side, while three Wheatears were amongst the rocks along the Wall and in the Breech Pool, with its improving water level, were a few Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits and a departing Green Sandpiper.  
On the mud near Owl Point two Curlew Sandpipers were feeding while amongst the cattle at Owl Point itself there were five Yellow Wagtails, one Wheatear and one Cattle Egret. The hedgerows were generally quiet but there was one Great Spotted Woodpecker and one Common Whitethroat while overhead were over a hundred in total of Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins together with one Swift and a distant sighting of the Osprey flying towards the Ferry Pool.  (IH/SP)  
The south facing hedges from the Quay towards Owl Point were considerably more sheltered and consequently there were a few small birds around including four Redstarts, a male Lesser Whitethroat, a dozen Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and two Willow Warblers. 
A few Linnets were around the saltmarsh with c.200 hirundines, including a good number of House Martins overhead, whilst in the distance 25 Cattle Egrets flew towards Marsh Farm. (BI)
Also, a juvemile Common Tern was over the little lagoon on the spit. (TG)

Curlew Sandpipers (above) & Yellow Wagtail around the North Wall (IH)

Church Norton: An Osprey caught a fish and drifted off west this morning, whilst in the harbour there were an Avocet, a Peregrine and five Sandwich Terns (with another 11 offshore from the west of the reserve), along with two Pintail and four Teal, but few waders were on show on the high tide.
Two Swifts were among at least 300 House Martins and 20+ Sand Martins and Swallows moving over the harbour, whilst four Yellow Wagtails dropped in briefly on the beach, a Grey Wagtail went over east,two Wheatears were on the shingle, a Whinchat was in the horse field. 
Also, a Spotted Flycatcher and a couple of Blackcaps and Willow Warblers were around the hide and half a dozen Whitethroats were along the Severals, whilst a Clouded Yellow was on the beach. (AH/AW/S&SaH/P&JW)

Osprey (above), Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Avocet, Peregrine, Clouded Yellow (AW), Swift, House Martin & Spotted Flycatcher (AH) at Church Norton

This evening, a Greenshank and two Whimbrel were in the harbour, along with a few Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Redshanks, whilst at least two Spotted Flycatchers and a Lesser Whitethroat were behind the hide and c40 House Martins were feeding over the trees. (AH)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Lesser Whitethroat & Greenshank at Church Norton (AH)