Monday, 26 July 2021
26th - 28th July 2021
Wednesday, 28th July: A mix of sunshine and fast moving cloud pushed through by a very fresh and strengthening south-westerly breeze.....
Selsey Bill: A dark-phase Arctic Skua, stopping to mug a Sandwich Tern as it headed east, was the highlight of another quiet morning, though a few Gannets were about, too. Full log below. (SR/IP/AH)
(0655-0810hrs) (SW, F4-5)
Gannet - 6E, 25W, 7os
Common Scoter - 6E
Oystercatcher - 1W
Turnstone - 10
Arctic Ska - 1E (d/p)
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Sandwich Tern - 6E, 24W, 20os
Common Tern - 2W
Swallow - 2W
(1645-1800hrs) (SW, F7) (SH/AH)
Gannet - 1E, 13W
Turnstone - 3
Sandwich Tern - 25W, 6os
Common Tern - 1W
Mediterranean Gull (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: The two Spotted Redshanks and the Greenshank were again in the channel opposite, along with a Grey Wagtail, whilst the pool held c60 Lapwings, c150 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Shelduck and c20 Teal, but a look round the Tramway was effectively birdless. (AH)
Spotted Redshanks (above), Greenshank, Grey Wagtail & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)
East side: A walk along White's Creek and the East side this morning produced two Greenshank, two Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, a summer-plumaged Knot and two Dunlin, amongst the 70+ Redshanks and 30+ Curlew present. There was also an obvious influx of Mediterranean Gulls, with at least 300 spread along the mudflats with Black-headed Gulls; a number of these Meds were colour-ringed - including at least four with white rings and one each of red and yellow - but infuriatingly they were all just too distant for the ring details to be read despite zooming with scope and camera! (OM)
Greenshank in White's Creek, phone-scoped image of the Knot, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls on the mudflats and (below) enlarged/cropped image of the Mediterranean Gull in the image above, showing red colour ring with the details not clear enough to be read (unless you can do better!) (OM)
North Wall: During my short visit it was very quiet, with almost no birds present on the very full Breech pool. In the damp fields behind at least 60 Curlews and a couple of Whimbrel were feeding, as was a Buzzard, whilst a Kestrel was hunting above, but no Marsh Harriers appeared. A few Reed Warblers were moving around in the reeds but passerines were few. (OM)
Church Norton: Sandwich Tern numbers were much reduced again this morning, with c100 on the mud, along with a couple of Common Terns and c20 Mediterranean Gulls.
Waders were also few, beyond a handful of Whimbrel and Curlew, with the Swallows around the hide the only passerines noted. (AH)
Whimbrel (above) & Common and Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)
This evening a Roseate Tern was among the diminishing tern flock, which also included a Little Tern and five Common Terns among 100 or so Sandwich Terns.
Thee were also c40 Mediterranean Gulls, three Whimbrel, a dozen Turnstones and seven Dunlin in the harbour. (AH)
Roseate Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Terns, Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls & Dunlin and Turnstones at Church Norton (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Wood Sandpiper was on the Stilt Pool again first thing, whilst a Cattle Egret and two Egyptian Geese were also present. Four Common Sandpipers were around the pool with two more in the mud gully opposite, and there were four Avocets including two juveniles. (AW)
West Itchenor & Pond: A Buzzard was minding its own business in the Alder carr behind the pond this morning, being heckled by a Blackbird and there were two broods of very small Moorhens. Nearby Yellowhammers and Skylarks and a Chiffchaff could be heard and three Swifts with seven Swallows flew overhead.
Buzzard being mobbed by Blackbird at Itchenor Pond (OM)
At the Harbour Office the two pairs of House Martins were still about; they were occupying different nests from my last visit so presumably have reared one brood and moved onto the next. On the high tide there was nothing else of note apart from a couple of Curlews, a Mediterranean Gull and more Swallows. (SR)
Tuesday, 27th July: After another night of heavy thunderstorms, a very overcast morning, with the threat of drizzly rain never far away in the brisk south-westerly breeze.....
Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning. Full log below. (AH/SR)
(0650-0750hrs) (SW, F4)
Gannet - 1E, 7W
Common Scoter - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 20os
Sanderlings at the Bill (AW)
A young Great Black-backed Gull dropped into our garden this evening - it was fed by its parents and then flew off again. (A Wallington)
Great Black-backed Gull in a Selsey garden (A Wallington)
Ferry Pool: The two Spotted Redshanks, the Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper were all in the channel opposite this morning, along with 25 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst another 50 of the latter, similar of Lapwings, three Avocets, eight Shelducks and c20 Teal were on the pool. (AH)
Spotted Redshanks (above), Common Sandpiper & Black-tailed Godwit at the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: There were still a handful of Little and Common Terns among the Sandwich Terns this morning, whilst a Grey Plover and at least eight Whimbrel were the only waders of note beyond the regular Curlews and Redshanks.
The pair of Swallows around the hide, a pair of Skylarks at the start of the spit and two Linnets over the Severals were the only passerines seen, whilst the Red-legged Partridge was on the spit. (AH)
Also of interest, one of the Sandwich Tern fledglings, ringed on 8th July, was seen yesterday at Dawlish Warren in Devon. (per IL)
Whimbrels (above), Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Sandwich Tern and Grey Plover, Skylark & Red-legged Partridge at Church Norton (AH)
North Wall: Late this morning, one of the juvenile Marsh Harriers was out in the field behind the Breech Pool. (M James)
This evening the adult Marsh Harriers were both bringing in food but the juveniles were keeping low, whilst up to eight Cattle Egrets were involved in a bust-up in Owl Copse and c200 Mediterranean Gulls flew out from the harbour, heading west. (AH)
Marsh Harrier (above), juvenile Mediterranean Gull & Cattle Egrets at the North Wall (AH)
West Wittering: A Tree-creeper was in the garden this morning - the first I've seen here. (GM)
Almodington: A Hobby went over this afternoon. (GM)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Early this morning there were four Common Sandpipers around the pool including a pair which seemed to be displaying. The first returning Snipe showed briefly, while a Cattle Egret was among the cows and a Little Egret was struggling to eat an eel.
Along the path there were a few Yellowhammers and Stonechats including two juveniles, as well as a Cetti's Warbler showing well among the gorse bushes.(AW)
Later, the Wood Sandpiper was in the tidal area by the poplars, along with two Greenshanks and another Common Sandpiper. (KJ et al)
At high tide, early this afternoon, there were two Wood Sandpipers together on the Stilt Pools before one headed towards the main channel, whilst there were still four Common Sandpipers present, along with 20 Dunlin that dropped in and a Common Snipe flew over the path dropping into the near field.
Also, 30+ Sand Martins and a similar number of Swallows over the pools and a single Swift flew over. (PM)
Common Sandpipers (above), Snipe, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Cetti's Warbler & Stonechat at Medmerry (AW)
Monday, 26th July: A return to summer after a misty and murky start, with the warm sun burning off the mist to leave a warm day in a light north-westerly breeze.....
Selsey Bill: A flock of 15 Common Scoter were offshore, whilst two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the shingle bar. Full log below. (AH/SR/MO-W/IP)
(0650-0805hrs) (NW, F1-2)
Common Scoter - 15os
Turnstone - 5
Mediterranean Gull - 11os
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 2os
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Common Tern - 2os
Swift - 12
Swallow - 6
House Martin - 3
Whitethroat - 1 (in gardens)
Common Seal - 1os
Turnstones (above), Common Scoter, Common Tern & Mediterranean Gulls at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: Seven Cattle Egrets were on and around the pool this morning, in the southern hedge early on and then actually dropping onto the island after something disturbed them from the fields.
There were also two Spotted Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover, two Avocets, c120 Lapwings, c50 Black-tailed Godwits, c25 Teal and eight Shelducks on the pool, with the Greenshank again in the channel opposite. (AH)
Cattle Egrets (above), Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshanks, Greenshank & Avocet round the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: The first returning Wheatear was along the beach opposite the first Several this morning, whilst at least ten Little Tens went up in the melee after a Peregrine shot through the harbour..
Waders were few, though including a Whimbrel, two Turnstones and half a dozen Curlews, whilst the Little Grebe and two youngsters, plus a pair of Gadwall were on the second Several and a Reed Bunting was on the first several. (IP)
North Wall: Two juvenile Marsh Harriers and the adult male were seen early on, whilst Swallows and Sand Martins were moving through in a westerly direction and two Green Sandpipers passed through the Breech Pool and were later located along Pagham Rife.
In the field behind the Pool there were 81 Curlew, three Lapwing and three Black-tailed Godwits, with a further 21 of the latter, five Greenshanks, six Redshank and a Whimbrel were in White's Creek, where four Egyptian Geese flew in from the north at 1100hrs and landed at the southern end.
There was a lot of activity at the egret colony which made counting difficult, but at one point there were six Cattle Egrets in the Copse and a further ten amongst the cattle in the field behind. (JDW/AW)
Cattle Egret (above) & Sand Martin at the North Wall (AW)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was pretty quiet along the banks, though there were several Whitethroat families, half a dozen young Stonechats, a dozen Yellowhammers and 100+ Linnets and Goldfinches, with c30 Swallows over.
A Greenshank and a Whimbrel were by the poplars, whilst a Green Sandpiper and three Common Sandpipers were on the Stilt Pool, along with four Lapwings, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and a dozen Gadwall. (AH)
Common Sandpipers (above), Lesser Black-backed Gull, Stonechat, Yellowhammer & Goldfinches at Medmerry (AH)
This evening the Wood Sandpiper was still on the Stilt Pool, along with the Green Sandpiper, three Common Sandpipers, three Avocets and two Egyptian Geese, but the banks were quiet beyond a few Sand Martins and Swallows. (S&SaH)
South Mundham to Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were three Buzzards at South Mundham, whilst around Honer Farm and Reservoir there were a Little Grebe, a Buzzard, a Kestrel, two Green Woodpeckers, six Goldfinches, a Yellowhammer and a Clouded Yellow.
At Marsh Farm there were two young Kestrels and a Yellowhammer, whilst on the way back a group of 17 Swallows, inc 13 young birds, were on telephone wires at Fisher. (CRJ)
Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - A slightly delayed WeBS count today definitely gave that end of July doldrums feeling, with low numbers of wildfowl and no additional broods to report. The broods of Great Crested Grebes and Little Grebes seem to be doing well however and likewise the many Coot families, but overall it was all rather quiet.
Bird of the morning was the regular Hobby, hunting over the South pool briefly, until it saw me and once again immediately melted away....it is always surprisingly elusive but given its number of appearances must surely be breeding somewhere in the general area.
Two Common Terns were fishing for a while and two Buzzards and a Kestrel were also noted, whilst a good deal of Reed Warbler activity was going on, with family groups and adults carrying food, and several Cetti's Warblers giving brief bursts of song. (OM)