Wednesday, 16 August 2017

16th - 17th August 2017

Thursday, 17th August: After a rainy night, a drizzly and blustery morning, with heavy cloud cover, but very mild in the south-westerly breeze and slowly brightening up....becoming sunny by afternoon.

East Head: The White-winged Black Tern was reported again in Chichester Harbour, off Hayling Island, this morning. (per RBA)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool: The White-winged Black Tern was present at 1330hrs and was showing well, catching insects as it shared the airspace with c150 Sand Martins, c100 House Martins and a few Swallows.  There were very few other birds about, though a Wheatear flew across the path, one or two  flocks of Linnet and Meadow Pipits were present, and a family of Shelduck was on the pools, along with three Common Sandpipers and c200 Canada Geese. (SR)
The White-winged Black Tern was still present at 1800hrs, along with a couple of Wheatears. (S&SaH)

White-winged Black Tern at the Stilt Pools (SR above & SH))

More images of the White-winged Black Tern from yesterday (D Knapp)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: In the field immediately north of the farm were two Cattle Egrets amongst the cattle that were gathering for milking. Unfortunately very shortly after I located them they were flushed by a quad bike and flew to the south side of the farm buildings where I was unable to relocate them. 
On the wires were around 120 Swallows with two Swifts overhead, and in the hedgerow was a mixed flock of Goldfinches, Linnets and Yellowhammers, about 40 birds in all.Walking north from the farm there was a Green Sandpiper in a trackside puddle and in front of me was a creche of 34 young Pheasants, one of whom managed to fall through a cattle grid but escaped unscathed. At Honer reservoir there was just 2 Black-headed Gulls and a Pied Wagtail. A Roe Deer was nearby in a field of wheat. (JDW)

Cattle Egret (above), Yellowhammer & Roe Deer around Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (JDW)

North WallA Kingfisher was behind the sluice gates and several young swallows were being fed there. A Common Sandpiper was along White's Creek and the Spoonbill could be seen from the east side. On Breech Pool were 68 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 70 plus Mallard and 5 Cormorants. Also, two Wheatears were along the Wall. (JDW) 

Spotted Redshank (above) & Swallow along North Wall (JDW)

Selsey Bill: There were a few bits moving this morning, including 300+ Gannets and two each of Bonxie, Arctic Skua and Fulmar, plus several Common and over a dozen Sandwich Terns moving west. Full log below.....
0700-1130hrs: (AH/OM)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 117E, 315W
Shag - 1E
Common Scoter - 3E, 2W
Sanderling - 2W
Whimbrel - 3W
Turnstone - 25ob
Arctic Skua - 2W
Great Skua - 2W
Common Tern - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 13W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sand Martin - 5W

Gannets (above), Mediterranean Gull & Turnstone at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: On the pool there were two Common Sandpipers, a Dunlin, five Avocets, c25 Black-tailed Godwits and c80 Lapwing, plus seven Shelduck and five Teal, with two Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers and c60 Redshank in the channel opposite. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: This evening there were c100 Sand Martins feeding over the pool and three Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper at the far end of Ferry Channel. (AH)

Sand Martin over the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: There were eight Sandwich Terns, up to six Whimbrel, two Grey Plovers and 50+ Dunlin and Ringed Plovers in the harbour this morning, but the hedges produced little more than the odd Whitethroat and Willow/Chiff, whilst a few Sand Martins and Swallows went over. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Whimbrels & Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 16th August: A fairly mild day, grey and still early on, but slowly brightening up as the westerly breeze increased....

East Head: The moulting adult White-winged Black Tern, seen off Hayling Island for the last couple of days, was viewable from East Head this morning. Initially it was seen feeding down further into the harbour along with two Black Terns before occasionally drifting over well to the east of the Winner Buoys to the Sussex/Peninsula side. After a while it moved back to the Hayling side and was out of view from East Head but was still being reported from Black Point. Also present were a number of Sandwich & Common Terns. (BI) 

Distant picture of the White-winged Black Tern from East Head (BI)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool - The White-winged Black Tern then re-appeared on the Stilt Pool early this afternoon and was seen intermittently thereafter, disappearing out onto the reserve for extended periods in between feeding over the pool. This is the first record for the south of the peninsula since 1988 (and a first for Medmerry), though half a dozen have been recorded from Chichester GPs in that time.

There were also an Egyptian Goose, a Wheatear, three Yellow Wagtails, three Common Sandpipers and 50+ Sand Martins about, too. (BO'D/TG-P/AH/BI et al) 
A Dartford Warbler was on the bank opposite Marsh Barn this afternoon. (SR)

White-winged Black Tern at Medmerry (AH)

A brief video of the Tern is here: White-winged Black Tern at Medmerry

North Wall: The Spoonbill was present again in the harbour this morning, and there were a Wood Sandpiper and three Spotted Redshanks on the Breech Pool, along with c50 Black-tailed Godwits. Also a Hobby went over, chasing Sand Martins. Also a Kingfisher, two Wheatears and a few Reed and Sedge Warblers were about, plus Sand Martins and Swallows over the wall, and 11 Greenshanks, two Whimbrel and three Grey Plovers were in the harbour. (PB/AB) Unfortunately the Wood Sandpiper was not present later on in the morning. (SR)
(For anyone puzzling over why the levels are not adequately controlled here to achieve best results - well, it's a long story but basically the sluice controls to the pool currently lie outside of the Reserve's control! Eds)

Kingfisher (top AB), Greenshanks and Redshanks & Grey Heron from North Wall (PB)

Ferry Pool: A Greenshank was at the back early on, and there were also two Avocets, a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, a Dunlin, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and c50 Lapwing present, a Whitethroat was by the road and a Hobby and a Kingfisher went over.
There were two Common Sandpipers and c40 Redshank in Ferry Channel, but the bushes were very quiet. (AH/TG-P)

Whitethroat (above), Little Ringed Plover & Common Sandpiper around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Generally the bushes were quiet, with just a few Whitethroats along the Severals, but there were three Spotted Flycatchers, a Garden Warbler and up to half a dozen each of Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler around the hide and a Peregrine and a few Sand Martins and Swallows over.
There was little of note in the harbour beyond a Common Sandpiper and a couple of Sandwich Terns and Whimbrel and c50 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, whilst offshore a little feeding group of five Sandwich Terns and four Common Terns were joined by a young Kittiwake before they all drifted off west. (AH)
This evening there were two Wheatears along the beach and a Spotted Flycatcher was around the Severals, with a Peregrine over. (S&SaH)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Whimbrel & Peregrine at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey: A single Swift went over Warner Lane today, and four Sparrowhawks, 50+ Sand Martins and 20+ Swallows were over the north of the town this evening. (SH)


Monday, 14 August 2017

14th - 15th August 2017

Tuesday, 15th August: After avoiding the overnight rain, it was another fine and sunny day, with some scattered cloud and just a light westerly breeze....

North Wall: No muddy edges, but the water in the Breech Pool had clearly dropped somewhat, allowing at least larger waders to feed. There were 35 Black-tailed Godwits, a dozen Lapwing and two Spotted Redshanks on the pool early this morning – although the latter didn’t stay too long and flew off calling. Along the hedgerows were at least a dozen Whitethroats and several Reed Warblers, whilst along the Wall were 2 Wheatears and a Whinchat. Out in the harbour, the Spoonbill was initially at its inactive best, but it later awoke then flew further into the main channel. (OM et al)

White’s Creek / East side: The Spoonbill gave better views from here and began actively feeding – a welcome change! There wasn’t too much else to report though; 90 Redshank were feeding early on but gradually dispersed, a couple of Whimbrel were loitering and 6 Grey Plover were on the mudflats, but smaller waders were almost non-existent. A few more Whitethroats and several Willow Warblers were all I could find along the bushes, whilst the Swallow families were still present around the stables area. (OM)

 Spoonbill feeding from the East side, and Common Redshanks in White's Creek (OM)

Spoonbill from the East side (apologies for poor quality - but this video experiment is a giant leap for mankind for two of the Editors; please make allowances and we will improve!) (OM)  

Ferry Pool: There were four Wheatears on the fences at the back this morning, with two Avocets, a Dunlin, a Redshank, 51 Black-tailed Godwits and c100 Lapwing on the pool and two Common Sandpipers and c50 Redshanks in the channel opposite, plus the Kingfisher flying through.
At least 200 Sand Martins, with a few Swallows and House Martins among them were feeding off the Tramway, but the bushes were quiet beyond a few Whitethroats and the odd Willow/Chiff. (AH/DF)

Common Sandpipers in Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: Once the sun came out there were lots of passerines around the hide and along the Severals, including a Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, up to ten Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow, Reed and Sedge Warblers and 30+ Whitethroats, plus a few Swallows and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Three or four Whimbrels, a lone Sandwich Terns and a few Ringed Plovers and Dunlin was about it for the harbour, though a Yellow Wagtail went over east, a Wheatear was on the concrete blocks and a Kingfisher was in the adjacent channel. (AH/TS/JD/DF/DS et al)
Later, the Spoonbill was seen in the harbour. There were also 2 Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide, and also seen were a Garden Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Whitethroat and Willow Warblers behind hide and a Whinchat in the Horse Field. (A&YF)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whimbrel, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were four Common Sandpipers and a Wheatear around the concrete spit and two Sandwich Terns, two Whimbrels and two Peregrines in the harbour, and a Shoveler, a Chiffchaff and 20+ Sand Martins around the second Several. (S&SaH)

Wheatear at Church Norton (SH)

Selsey: There were six Swifts over Warner Lane today, and two Hobbies over the north of the village this evening. (SH)

Runcton: This evening down the lane south of Runcton there were 50 Swallow, 7 Pied Wagtails and a single Spotted Flycatcher on fence posts - nice to see that what is seen in the south of the peninsular is sometimes reflected here. 
Also, Bullfinches have for once been relatively common around the village for the last month, and two Nuthatches have visited my neighbours feeders. (CRJ)

Monday, 14th August: Another glorious summer's day, with barely any breeze and lots of warm sunshine....

Ferry Pool: There was not too much of note on the pool this morning - just two Avocets, a lone Dunlin, four Shelduck, c55 Black-tailed Godwits and c100 Lapwings, whilst in the adjacent rife at least ten juvenile Reed Warblers and a couple of Whitethroats were being active.
The bushes around the Tramway and Discovery area were fairly quiet, too, though a Garden Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat were among the 20+ Whitethroats present, and there were also 20+ Long-tailed Tits, 20+ Linnets, 20+ Swallows and c200 Starlings about. (AH)
Also, a Green Sandpiper flew across from the Tramway. (TG-P)

Dunlin (above), young Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Linnets, Long-tailed Tit & Starling around the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: Churchyard/Chalder Farm/Marsh Farm - There were still three active House Martin nests on cottages near the church with 14 or so birds overhead. The churchyard was quiet with just a few Willow Warblers and a Brown Argus butterfly. 
Chalder Farm had a lot of Swallow activity around the barns, a nesting Collared Dove, seven Linnets and two Whitethroats and Marsh Farm had plenty of cattle but no Cattle Egret, just a Kestrel, two Pied Wagtails, three Blackcaps and four Willow Warblers. (SR)

Brown Argus in Sidlesham churchyard (SR)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The bushes and ditches were fairly quiet, though there were still 20+ Whitethroats and a few Reed and Sedge Warblers present, along with half a dozen Wheatears and a few Skylarks, Yellowhammers and and Reed Buntings.
There was a Whimbrel, a Greenshank and c30 Black-tailed Godwits near the poplars and a Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper were near the second sluice, whilst on the Stilt Pool were three Common Sandpipers, another Greenshank, a Dunlin and an Avocet.
Also about the pool were two Sandwich Terns that went over west, 30 Gadwall, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a dozen Mediterranean Gulls, six Shelduck, and at least 500 Sand Martins and 100 Swallows which were disturbed from the reeds by a couple of Grey Herons and swirled around madly for a brief while before mostly dispersing. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above), Greenshank, Wheatear, Reed Bunting, Skylark, Lesser Black-backed Gull & Sand Martins at Medmerry (AH)

This evening both the Barn Owls were out hunting and there were four Greenshanks near the sluice. (S&SaH)

Barn Owl at Medmerry (SH)

Pagham East Side: A brief look at mid-day didn't produce a lot but there were 40+ Redshanks along the channel along with nine Dunlin, two Whimbrel and six Black-tailed Godwits. Butterflies along the path included plenty of Common Blues, a Holly Blue, a few Speckled Woods and Red Admirals & a Comma. The Swallows were still around the sluice as was a Kingfisher. (BI)

Church Norton: The Spoonbill was present this evening at 7:20pm on the far side of the harbour viewed from Church Norton. (K.Leighton)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - There were around half a dozen Corn Buntings along the bank and adjacent cropped field this evening, along with a couple of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks and c40 Goldfinch and a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Whitethroat were in the hedges.
Also, around the Breach there were four Sandwich Terns, a couple of Curlews and c40 Dunlin. (AH)

Corn Buntings at Medmerry (AH)