Friday, 4 September 2020

4th - 6th September 2020

Sunday, 6th September: Another warm and pleasant morning, with just a light north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There was little offshore again, though five Bar-tailed Godwits east was unusual, and there were still 20 Sandwich Terns about, but the most notable event was the gathering of up to 1000 House Martins around the houses and wires on the east side of the Oval Field, something that seems to happen around this time every year. Full log below. (SH/BI/SR/IP/RP/AH/CN)
(0615-0900hrs) (WNW, F2)
Gannet - 5E, 3W
Sparrowhawk - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit - 5E
Turnstone 74
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 22E, 14W
Stock Dove - 3E
Swift - 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Swallow - 349W
Sand Martin - 67W
House Martin - 129W, c1000 present
Yellow Wagtail - 14W
Grey Wagtail - 13W
Pied Wagtail - 1
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Willow Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 5

Yellow Wagtails (SH), Sandwich Tern, Bar-tailed Godwits & House Martins (AH) at the Bill

The Moon from the Bill this morning, with Mars visible above and to the right of it (AH)

Ferry Pool: Three Common Sandpipers were around the pool this morning, plus a Ringed Plover and at least 30 Dunlin, along with the usual c40 Lapwing, c60 Black-tailed Godwits, c100 Teal and ten Shelducks.
Also, a few Swallows and Sand Martins went over and a Cetti's Warbler was very vocal by the sluice. (AH/CG)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Dunlin at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Late news received this evening of an earlier sighting by visiting birder A Ashdown, of what appears to be a juvenile Scaup. It has apparently been the subject of some debate thus far via Twitter, with Tufted being suggested as an alternative by some, but the small dark nail on the bill tip with no banding, and a hint of a pale cheek patch, surely hints at Scaup being the likely ID. (Eds)

Putative juv Scaup at the Long Pool this afternoon (A. Ashdown)

Church Norton: There were a Whinchat and six Wheatears along the beach this morning, with a few Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs along the Severals, with c100 Swallows and House Martins,plus 50 Sand Martins over west.
Two Sandwich Terns were offshore, whilst a flock of 12 Bar-tailed Godwits flew west and a flock of 20 Grey Plovers flew into the harbour. (S&SaH)

Whinchat at Church Norton (SH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were 15 Cattle Egrets around the farm this morning, with a Redstart in the hedges, six Yellow Wagtails in the fields, with a Raven and a Kestrel over, whilst there was a flock (of more than dubious origin!) of Helmeted Guinea-fowl at Fisher. (CRJ)

East Head: A flock of ten Yellow Wagtails were the only birds of note this morning. Also, anything up to 1000 Oystercatchers, 200 Dunlin and 100 Ringed Plovers were on the spit at Ella Nore, and a Buzzard was sat out with prey in my garden nearby. (GM)

Yellow Wagtail at East Head (above) & Buzzard in a West Wittering garden (GM)

Long Pool: This evening there were five Spotted Redshanks on the pool itself, along with six Black-tailed Godwits and c40 Teal, whilst two Sedge Warblers popped up briefly in the hedges and a dozen Sand Martins went over. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks along the Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Two Spoonbills were flying around over the first viewpoint (by the poplars) this morning. (P&JW)
Later, between Easton Lane and the Stilt pool, there were 10 Wheatears, three Willow Warblers, three Whitethroats, 37 Yellow Wagtails, a Pied Wagtail and 20+ Swallows along the paths and banks, whilst on the Stilt pool were a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper and a Spoonbill. (S&SaH)

Spoonbill and Wheatear at Medmerry (SH)

North Wall: Disappointingly, there was no sign of the Red-backed Shrike this morning, though at the horse paddocks were two, probably four, Sparrowhawks, a Marsh Harrier, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Green Woodpecker and two Jays. 
The short-billed Greenshank was at White's Creek while along the Wall there was one Wheatear, and in the hedgerows Common Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Reed Buntings, four Greenfinches and a Stonechat. 
At Owl Copse about 40 Yellow Wagtails fed among the cattle and flying over were two Skylarks, perhaps 30 House Martins and a few Swallows. (IH/OM et al)
There were another 30 or so Yellow Wagtails in the fields at Halsey's Farm, whilst two Redstarts, a Whinchat, a Wheatear, a Garden Warbler and up to a dozen Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs were in the hedges and a few Sand Martins and Swallows went over.
There were also two Curlew Sandpipers and a Whimbrel in the harbour and two Lapwings and two Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool, where there was also a Great Crested Grebe with a well-grown youngster. (AH/BI/RJS/A&YF et al)

Yellow Wagtail (above), Redstart, Whinchat, Lapwing & Great Crested Grebes around the North Wall (AH)

Cattle Egrets at Marsh farm (CRJ)

East side: It was quiet again this morning on the low tide, with the usual Dunlin, Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers on the mudflats, interspersed with a couple of Whimbrel, a Spotted Redshank calling but not seen and perhaps six Knot. At least 50 Wigeon and seven Pintail were also present and there were 20+ Mediterranean Gulls on the mud (amongst other gulls) with two bearing white colour rings; after much effort I managed to get the details of one bird, whilst the other remained unread due to the distance.
A single Sandwich Tern was feeding along the channel into White's Creek, a couple of Chiffchaffs were in the tamarisk hedge and a small number of Swallows and House Martins drifted west, but that was about it during my visit. (OM)

Mediterranean Gulls on the East side, including white-ringed bird 3AFI (OM)

Saturday, 5th September: Another warm and sunny morning in a moderate, if freshening, north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: The sea was quiet, though six Tree Pipits, three Siskins, a Raven, a few Yellow Wagtails and over 1000 House Martins went over west. Full log below. (SH/RP/BI/MO-W/AH/SR/IP)
(0610-0900hrs) (WNW, F3)
Gannet - 3E, 8W
Ringed Plover - 1
Turnstone - 22
Snipe - 1E (over Over Field)
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 13W, 8os
Swift - 1W
Swallow - 295W
Sand Martin - 50W
House Martin - 1110W
Yellow Wagtail - 1E, 33W
Grey Wagtail - 2W
Pied Wagtail - 1
Meadow Pipit - 3W, 1 present
Tree Pipit - 6W
Wheatear - 6
Willow Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 3
Raven - 1W
Siskin - 3W
Later, two Sandwich Terns were offshore and three Willow Warblers, a Pied Wagtail and a Sparrowhawk were around the gardens and there was still one active House Martin nest in Broadreeds. (SR)

Wheatear (above) & Turnstones at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Curlew Sandpiper was still present among c30 Dunlin, with two Common Sandpipers, two juvenile Ringed Plovers early on, c40 Lapwing, c60 Black-tailed Godwits, ten Shelducks and c80 Teal also about.
There was a Wheatear on top of a tree in the Discovery Area, whilst there were at least 30 Whitethroats around the Tramway, along with a dozen Blackcaps and a couple of Willow Warblers, plus 20 Sand Martins and 50 Swallows over. (AH)

Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin (above), Wheatear, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Star bird of the day was the juvenile/1st-winter Red-backed Shrike, found by visiting birders, in the paddocks at the start of the wall, remaining faithful to one obliging little corner to be widely appreciated.
Also, two Spotted Redshank and a few Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits were on the Breech Pool,plus two Kingfishers flying through together, the short-billed Greenshank was in White's Creek and yet another new Cattle Egret high count was recorded - with 56 seen over the fields to the north.
A couple of Redstarts, a dozen Wheatears and a few Yellow Wagtails were around Halsey's Farm, plus a Raven over west, whilst three more Redstarts, a Whinchat, two Wheatears and a Spotted Flycatcher were in the hedges north of the wall and a few Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Reed Bunting and a Cetti's Warbler were along the wall itself and a few Swallows and Sand Martins went over. (SP/AH/BI/AB/PC/T-GP/S&SaH/GM/GJ/PJ et al)

Red-backed Shrike (above) (top two, AB, then GM, lower two AH), Spotted Redshanks, Redstart & Cattle Egrets (AH) around the North Wall

The Red-backed Shrike was showing all afternoon and into the evening, with two Grey Wagtails, two Chiffchaffs, a Sparrowhawk, 50+ Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows also seen. (S&SaH/AW et al)

Red-backed Shrike (top AW, lower SH) & Little Egret (SH) at the North Wall

Park Farm, Selsey: a Wheatear was sat on a roof in nearby Manor Lane, whilst a Yellow Wagtail, a Pied Wagtail, a Meadow Pipit, three Buzzards and five Sparrowhawks went over, along with a dozen or so Swallows, Sand and House Martins and two Curlews were on the condemned field. (S&SaH/IP)

Medmerry: Just one Spoonbill was still at the Stilt Pool today. (BI/EP) 
Later, roughly 17 White Storks flew in, followed by a single Osprey and there were plenty of Wheatears about behind the beach.(C Milverton per SOS)
The Osprey was seen hunting near the poplars at about 2pm, and there were also two Kingfishers by the sluice, with a Redstart, a Yellowhammer and a Kestrel nearby. (S J Axten)

I had only just pulled out of Easton Lane car park ,at about 9pm when I found, a short distance along, a Little Owl, sitting mid-carriageway. morefocussed on the moths attracted by my lights than me. Even the arrival of a car coming from the opposite direction did not cause any alarm. In the end, I had to exit my vehicle,and shoo it away. Memorable birding,if ever there was! (D Illman per SOS)
Church Norton: There were two Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, and numerous Willow Warblers behind the hide and another (male) Redstart in the Orchard at Greenlease Farm, whilst a Whinchat, a Sedge Warbler, 20+ Wheatears, a dozen Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler and a Cetti’s Warbler were along the Severals and beach.
Two Sandwich Terns were offshore, with another fishing in the harbour, a Peregrine was on the salt-marsh near its island and a Bar-tailed Godwit, ten Knot, six Grey Plovers, 40 Ringed Plovers were among the waders present, whilst 100 House Martins and 50 swallows and Sand Martins went over. (S&SaH/IP/A&YF/AW/BI et al)

Redstart (above) & Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AW)

This evening there were still at least ten Wheatears on the beach and at least half a dozen Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were among a big, mobile tit flock in the churchyard. (AH/AW)

Wheatear (above) & Chiffchaff at Church Norton (AH)

Birdham: A smart male Redstart was in the garden this morning. (AB)

Redstart in a Birdham garden (AB)

Friday, 4th September: A pleasant morning of cloud and warm sunny intervals in a light westerly breeze..........

Selsey Bill: Six Yellow and four Grey Wagtails went west, along with 20 Siskins and a few hirundines.  Full log below. (SH/RP/M-OW/AH/BI/IP)
(0610-0910hrs) (W, F3)
Gannet - 10E, 45W, 32os
Trnstone 25
Knot - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W, 4os
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 11W
Common Tern - 1W
Swallow - 81W
Sand Martin - 13W
Yellow Wagtail - 6W
Grey Wagtail - 4W
Pied Wagtail - 3
Willow Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 1
Siskin - 20W

Sandwich Tern (above) & Willow Warbler at the Bill (AH)

(1700-1730hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 1E, 13W, 13os
Turnstone - 9
Sandwich Tern - 4W
Swallow - 20W

Park Farm, Selsey: A male Redstart was in Park Lane at midday, (IP), and later two Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard went over. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: A Curlew Sandpiper was among c25 Dunlin on the pool this morning, along with two Common Sandpipers, c40 Lapwing, c75 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Shelduck and c80 Teal. (AH)

Curlew Sandpiper (above) & Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were just a handful of Whitethroats in the hedges and half a dozen Sand Martins over this morning, with just two Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, though a Spotted Redshank could be heard in the adjacent channel. (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least four Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide with a large flock of mixed warblers moving around the bushes, including Blackcaps, Lesser and Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, a Reed Warbler and a few Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. 
A Wheatear was in the churchyard, with at least another five spread along the beach and spit, whilst a Whinchat was in the horse field, though there was no sign of the Lapland Bunting along the Severals, with just a dozen Whitethroats and a couple of Willow Warblers noted, plus three Sparrowhawks over together.
There were hundreds of hirundines - mainly House Martins and Swallows, but including at least 50 Sand Martins, overhead across the whole area, but the harbour was quiet beyond a Greenshank, a Whimbrel and a Knot out on the mud, but there was no sign of the Little Stints. (AW/A&YF/AH/BI/IP)

Wheatear (above), Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, House Martin, Whitethroat, Sparrowhawks (AH), Spotted Flycatcher, Sedge Warbler & Blackcaps (AW) at Church Norton

Later, at around 1530hrs, a Wood Warbler was located in the orchard at Greenlease Farm, but it quickly disappeared. There was also a female Redstart nearby, whilst along the front there were a dozen Wheatears, a Whinchat and a Whitethroat, withh two Sparrowhawks, four Buzzards, 50+ Swallows and 50+ Sand Martins overhead.
The harboiur held four Knot, eight Grey Plovers, two Bar-tailed Godwits and four Sandwich Terns, whilst an Osprey went over high to the north.(S&SaH)
There wasn't much to add later, though plenty of House Martins were going over, four Spotted Flycatchers were still behind the tide and at least six Wheatears were along the path to the spit. (AH/AW)

Wheatear at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - The first sluice held three Common Sandpipers, the banks had half a dozen Yellowhammers, three Reed Buntings, a few Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Linnets and three Meadow Pipits, with seven Swallows, two House Martins, a Kestrel and a Buzzard overhead and there was an Emperor Dragonfly, along with plenty of Common Darters about. 
The Stilt Pools were noisy with 300+ Canada Geese, a Greylag Goose and the odd, large white goose. The two Spoonbills were asleep and there were good numbers of Gadwall and Teal, the Mute Swan family, 14 Lapwings, three Stonechats, two Wheatears and a Whinchat nearby. (SR)

Spoonbill at Medmerry (SR)

North Wall: 
In White’s Creek the moulting Spotted Redshank was still present, as were the stumpy-billed Greenshank, 45 Wigeon and 7 Pintail, whilst a Kingfisher was near the sluice.
The water level in the Breech Pool was again high, with just 4 Black-tailed Godwits amongst the Mallards and Teal, whilst in the harbour opposite 2 Whimbrel were on the mudflats and a Wheatear was along the main path. 
There was a lot of warbler activity in the hedges, although nothing exciting was found, with minimum counts of 8 Blackcaps, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 10 Whitethroats, 5 Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs and 6 Cetti’s Warblers. 
Halsey’s Farm was also busy; there were 4 Yellow Wagtails around the cattle, where 8 Cattle Egrets were also present, whilst in the fields and hedgerows towards Owl Point were 2 Redstarts, 3 Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, 10 Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers and 4 Blackcaps. 
Hirundines were also on the move, with many more House Martins than of late, a few Sand Martins and plenty of Swallows too. (OM/IH/SP)

Spotted Redshank in White's Creek (OM), Kingfisher near the sluice, Black-tailed Godwit and the stumpy-billed Greenshank around the North Wall (GHi)

East side: There was little to report from here again, with 2 Greenshanks, 2 Whimbrel, 10 Knot, another Spotted Redshank and c.20 Grey Plover amongst the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. A few Mediterranean Gulls were roosting amongst the Black-headeds, 4 Great Crested Grebes were along the channel and plenty of hirundines were on the move here also. (OM)

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