Friday, 10 September 2021

10th - 12th September 2021

Sunday, 12th September: After a chill start, a very pleasantly warm and sunny morning, in just a light north-westerly breeze......

Selsey Bill: The most notable feature of the morning was the huge westerly movement of hirundines, including over 4000 House Martins, with Sand Martins, Swallows and Grey and Yellow Wagtails also on the move, and a dozen Wheatears and a few Chiffchaffs dropping n. Full log later. (SH/BI/IP/SR/AN/CNJA/CS)
(0615-0930hrs) (WNW, F3)
Gannet -1E, 20W
Common Scoter - 1E
Sparrowhawk - 2
Ringed Plover - 1W
Sanderling - 2E
Turnstone - 4
Mediterranean Gull - 4E, 9W
Sandwich Tern - 9os
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Swallow - 533W
Sand Martin - 124W
House Martin - 4254W, 300 present
Meadow Pipit - 34W
Yellow Wagtail - 22W
Grey Wagtail - 10W
Pied Wagtail - 3W
Wheatear - 12
Whitethroat - 1
Chiffchaff - 4
Jay - 1E

Wheatear (above), Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were five Spotted Redshanks on the pool and two more in the channel opposite this morning, whilst two Greenshanks were present, early on, too.
Otherwise it was the current mix of a dozen Dunlin, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Shelducks and c40 Teal, whilst a Peregrine went over and a couple of Blackcaps were in the hedges opposite. (AH/CN/CS)

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwit & Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Two Swifts went over this morning, among many Swallows and lesser numbers of House Martins than elsewhere. (IP/CN)

North Wall: The Red-backed Shrike was present for its eighth day, still at Owl Copse. (P&JW/S&SaH)

Red-backed Shrike at the North Wall (SaH)

Church Norton: There were huge numbers of hirundines here, too, with up to 5000 House Martins, 500 Swallows, a handful of Sand Martins and a single Swift, moving about in vast flocks, with some settling on the beach and others in the harbour,
Otherwise, though, it was quiet for migrant species, with just a couple of Wheatears along the beach, a Sedge Warbler on the first Several and a light scattering of Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.
An Osprey went north over the harbour, and a flock of 24 Little Egrets dropped in from the North Wall, but waders were few, though did include a single Bar-tailed and three Black-tailed Godwits. 
There were also 12 Sandwich Terns and six Mediterranean Gulls on the beach and eight Gadwall and three Shovelers on the second Several.(AH/IP/CN et al)

Osprey (above), Swift, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat & House Martins at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs - Drayton House pits All very mundane on the WeBS count today, with nothing out of the ordinary, the meagre highlights being 63 Pochard, four Shovelers, 12 Gadwall and a single Wigeon on the North pit, but very little on South pit. 
Apart from wildfowl there were about ten Chiffchaffs spread around, several Reed Warblers and Cetti’s Warblers, a pair of Bullfinches and a noisy family party of four Jays. (OM)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were thousands of hirundines here, as well, comprising 2500 House Martins, including an albino bird, 500 Swallows and 200 Sand Martins, whilst the banks held 18 Wheatears, three Whinchats, two Stonecats, 20 Meadow Pipits and two Whitethroats, with a Hobby, six Buzzards together and a remarkable nine Kestrels hovering in a tight group overhead.
Five Cattle Egrets and 25 Yellow Wagtails were on the reserve, whilst a Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, six Egyptian Geese and 20 Black-tailed Godwits were on the Stilt Pool. (S&SaH/CS)

Ruff at Medmerry (SaH)

This afternoon/evening there were also two Ospreys and two Marsh Harriers on the reserve, two Little Stints on the pools opposite the Stilt Pool, four Ruff flew over the pool, with possibly two of them on the pool later, along with a Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers and four Dunlin.
Also, at least 50 Yellow Wagtails were with the cows, 11 Pintails were in the tidal areas and 20 Yellowhammers were around their favourite bushes. 
There was also a very dark Adder seen.(HB/AT//AHu/AH et al)

Osprey (above), Marsh Harrier, Wheatear, Common Sandpiper, Meadow Pipit & Yellowhammers at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 11th September: It was a fairly bright and breezy morning, quite mild in the mix of sunshine and cloud and the brisk westerly.......

Selsey Bill: Given the wind direction, it was a surprisingly interesting morning, with three Balearic Shearwaters lingering offshore, a Garganey west, an Arctic Skua east and quite a few hirundines and wagtails overhead. Full log later. (JA/SH/PB/PN/BI/AH/IP/SR/MO-W)
(0615-0945hrs) (W, F4)
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Balearic Shearwater - 3os (1 at 0720hrs, 2 at 0755hrs)
Gannet - 3E, 194W
Little Egret - 1E
Garganey - 1W
Common Scoter - 2E, 2W
Sparrowhawk - 1
Sanderling - 3W
Turnstone - 8
Arctic Skua - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 4W, 2os
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 7W, 14os
Swallow - 46E, 41S, 192W
Sand Martin - 18W
House Martin - 71W
Meadow Pipit - 3W
Yellow Wagtail - 12W
Grey Wagtail - 2E,14W
Pied Wagtail - 2W
Wheatear - 3

(1515-1600hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 9W, c100os
Turnstone - 30
Sandwich Tern - 9W, 8os
Swallow - 7W
Wheatear - 1

Yellow Wagtail (above), Grey Wagtail, Sandwich Tern & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were a total of six Spotted Redshanks around the pool and channel this morning, but not too much else of note, with the pool just holding three Greenshanks, eight Dunlin, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, three Shovelers, 19 juvenile Shelducks and c40 Teal, with as many again of the latter in the channel opposite. (AH/ESt)

Spotted Redshanks (above), Greenshanks, Shovelers & Shelducks around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: The Red-backed Shrike was again showing well around the western end of Owl Copse to a steady stream of admirers this morning, with most of the other passerine activity around Halsey's Farm, and including a Tree Pipit, two Redstarts, least four Whinchats, seven Wheatears, several Lesser Whitethroats and Whitethroats, at least 50 Yellow Wagtails and 200+ Swallows.
There were also a few Cattle Egrets about, whilst four Knot and a Ruff were in White's Creek. (ESt/AH/PB/PM et al)

Red-backed shrike (above) & Wheatear at the North Wall (PM)

Red-backed Shrike (above), Whinchats, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear & Cattle Egret around the North Wall (AH)

Church Norton: Two Whinchats were among a number of Wheatears along the beach this morning, whilst a Marsh Harrier went up high over the spit, heading out to sea. (AW)

Marsh Harrier (above), Whinchats & Wheatears at Church Norton (AW)

Later, an Osprey flew north over the harbour and a Whimbrel was on the mud, with two Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide. (ESt)
This evening, a Spotted Flycatcher and several Willow/Chiffs were in the churchyard. (AH)

Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AH)

Bramber Farm, Chalder Farm and Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: A bike ride through the farms produced, a total of 30 Cattle Egrets, three Kestrels, c100 Swallows, six Pied Wagtails, 12 Yellow Wagtails and a single Chiffchaff. (CRJ)

Medmerry: Medmerry Trail to Ham - The sewage works wires were full of Starlings mid-morning with at least 1000 noisy birds present whilst overhead there were c.200 Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins. At Ham, a Wheatear and two Whinchats were along the path and a big flock of Linnets was on the stubble fields as were, surprisingly, two Cattle Egrets. Coincidentally, (see later report) a probable Grasshopper Warbler was flushed from the cycle path on the way back. (BI)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The juvenile Black Tern was briefly over the Stilt Pool this morning, before heading out to sea, whilst a Ruff was also present. (AHu) 
As well as the above, 60 Yellow wagtails were near Easton Lane car-park, with 20 more along the banks, along with a Wheatear, a Corn Bunting was in the 'Yellowhammer bushes,' a Greenshank was by the poplars and 150 Sand Martins, 200 Swallows and a Sparrowhawk went over.
Five Cattle Egrets were on the reserve, with another on the Stilt Pool, whilst there were also a Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, two Common Sandpipers, a Snipe, 20 Black-tailed Godwit and ten Egyptian Geese present. (S&SaH)
Late this afternoon there were four Little Stints on the Stilt Pool, a Grasshopper Warbler was flushed from the bank near the Easton viewpoint, two whinchats and five Wheatears were along the banks and an Osprey was out on the reserve. (ESt)
This evening there were two Ospreys on the reserve and a Hobby was chasing passerines before perching up in the poplars. (AB)

Ruff (above) & Cattle Egret at Medmerry (SH)

Friday, 10th September: A shift towards south-west for the breeze produced a mild, but mostly overcast morning, with even the odd drizzly squall.....

Of interest.... readers may recall the recent mention on this blog of a report of a Cattle Egret taking and devouring a Yellow Wagtail in a cattle field. Although not perhaps the most edifying of subjects, it is however unusual behaviour and so worthy of recording, hence the following images that have just become available (with thanks to MP).......  (Eds)

Cattle Egret taking a Yellow Wagtail at Halsey's farm (MP)

Selsey Bill: It was another slow morning, with nothing really on the move beyond a Yellow Wagtail and a few Swallows. Full log below. (SR/IP/AH)
(0700-0800hrs) (SSW, F4)
Gannet - 13E, 17W
Little Egret - 1 (on rocks)
Mediterranean Gull - 6E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 14W
Swallow - 7E, 20W
Yellow Wagtail - 1E

(1620-1720hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 1E, 5W, 25os
Sanderling - 1
Turnstone - 13
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 5W, 8os

Ferry Pool: Two Spotted Redshanks were on the pool and two were in the channel opposite, but otherwise it was quiet, with just 11 Dunlin, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, a Redshank, five Lapwing, six Shelducks and c30 Teal on the pool and another 30 of the latter in the channel. 
Also, a Grey Wagtail and 20 Swallows went over. (AH)

North Wall: The Red-backed Shrike was showing well again at the west end of Owl Copse this morning, with a Whinchat, a Garden Warbler, a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and half a dozen Whitethroats in the vicinity, whilst a Wheatear was along the wall and 200+ Swallows were feeding low over Honer 2 and 3 fields.
At least a dozen Cattle Egrets were about, whilst c80 Black-tailed Godwits and 20 Curlews were on the fields, but the Breech Pool is back to being a duck pond.
A Common Sandpiper, a Kingfisher and the short-billed Greenshank were in White's Creek, whilst at least 20 Pintail and 100 Wigeon were at the far end, but few wades were about beyond a few Lapwing and Redshank. (AW/AH/IP/SP/LP et al)

Whinchat (above), Red-backed Shrike (AW, top), Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Swallows & Pintail and Wigeon (AH) at the North Wall

Church Norton: There wasn't much about this evening, though a Spotted Flycatcher was in the churchyard and a Peregrine went over. (AW/AH)

Spotted Flycatcher (AW) (above) & Peregrine (AH) at Church Norton

Fishbourne Creek: On this afternoon's high tide there were at least eight Greenshank off Dell Quay, 28 Turnstone on moored boats, a Black-tailed Godwit and about 20 Redshank on the saltmarsh at Apuldram. Also, a Black Swan was in the Mute Swan herd at Fishbourne. (RW)

Black-tailed godwit at Fishbourne Creek (RW)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool - The juvenile Black Tern was again fishing on the far side of the Stilt Pool at lunch-time today. (GSh)

Black Tern at Medmerry (GSh)

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