Monday, 29 August 2016

29th - 31st August 2016

Wednesday, 31st August: Another lovely late summer's morning, though clouding up as the breeze picked up through the day....

Selsey Bill (0710-0910hrs): Nothing moving at sea (except a single Gannet east) in the flat calm conditions, but there were four Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern offshore fishing, whilst along the beach/gardens were six Wheatears and a Whitethroat, plus 10 House Martins present. (OM)

 Wheatears at the Bill this morning (OM)

Selsey: A Spotted Flycatcher was present in the observer's garden this evening. (IP)

Church Norton: At last a Wryneck! Found in the very traditional area along the first Several (OM), before it disappeared and was relocated just beyond the path between the Severals. (OM/AH). Prior to this an Osprey appeared high over the harbour, and there were five Yellow Wagtails moving NW and six Whitethroats in the hedgerows, (OM)

Wryneck at Church Norton, above & middle (AH), bottom (BI).

Ferry Pool: A Glossy Ibis was seen briefly on Ferry Field before heading off north this morning by the volunteers mending fences. (TG-P/PH) (Later it was briefly reported from the North Wall - Eds)
On the pool itself there were just four Little Ringed Plovers and a Green Sandpiper, plus a few Lapwing, Teal and Shelduck, while the adjacent hedges were very quiet, with just a single Chiffchaff seen. (AH/OM)
No sign of the Glossy Ibis this evening, though there were 80-100 Yellow Wagtails among the cattle on Ferry Field. (AH)

Yellow Wagtails on Ferry Field (AH)

Medmerry: (west) -  Easton Lane - A very quick look (before being dragged away by the lure of a Wryneck!) produced an Osprey drifting east over the maize fields. (AH)
This evening there were singles of Osprey, Sparrowhawk and Merlin around the reserve plus 2 Kestrels. Waders present were a Ruff, 3 Black-tailed Godwits and a Ringed Plover, whilst nearby were a Kingfisher, a Yellow-legged and 20+ Mediterranean Gulls. A good count of 9 Whinchat was supported by 13 Wheatears, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 20+ Sand Martins and 10 Swallows. (SH) 

Osprey over Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Breach area - There were twqo Osprey's hunting over the big pool by the breach early this morning. (A&YF)

Osprey over Medmerry (AF)

North Wall: The five Little Stints were present but being elusive under the bank along the Breech Pool this morning, along with five Spotted Redshank, three Greenshank (with another in White's Creek), 20 Lapwing, a Dunlin, a Snipe, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and c100 Redshank.
Also, a Kingfisher buzzed up and down, a Yellow Wagtail was on the pool with a few more overhead, along with a few Sand Martins and Swallows, but the bushes were quiet, with just a couple of Sedge Warblers and a few Whitethroats and Reed Buntings noted, including an odd, partly leucistic one of the latter. The Glossy Ibis made an appearance on the Breech Pool early afternoon but soon flew west. (AH/TG/GM/JDW/RN)

Sedge Warbler (above), Yellow Wagtail, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and Redshank, Lapwing & aberrant Reed Bunting from North Wall (AH)

Snowhill Creek: A Grey Wagtail was present this morning. (MR)

Grey Wagtail at Snowhill Creek (MR)

Tuesday, 30th August: A predictably glorious late summer's day as the world returns to work, with bright sun and a light breeze....though perhaps not the best weather for dropping avian migrants on the coast....

Selsey Bill: A quick look early on produced three Wheatears heading west and six Willow Warblers in the garden, with 18 Swallows east over the sea. (SR)

Wheatear at the Bill (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers and four Little Ringed Plovers on the pool this morning, but not much else - just a handful of Lapwings and Teal and a dozen Shelduck. (AH/TR) 
Later there was also a Ruff and a Common Sandpiper (CRJ)

Nearby at the Discovery area a Hare was bathing, and around the Visitor centre were three Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and c.25 Whitethroats (CRJ).

Church Norton: Quiet, just two Wheatear, a Whinchat and two Whitethroat. (CRJ) Also, 6 Common and 4 Sandwich Terns, 12 Knot, 18 Pintail and a similar number of Wigeon in the harbour (BFF/DIS)
This evening there were eight Whitethroats, a Wheatear, two Swifts, 50+ Sand Martin
and 20+ Swallows along the Severals. (SD&SaH)
In the churchyard this evening there was a big mixed flock of 20+ Willow Warblers, 30+ Long-tailed Tits and a few Blue and Great Tits, with 5+ Swallows and a few Sand and House Martins overhead. (AH)

Willow Warbler (above) & Long-tailed Tit at Church Norton (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: This evening there were two Wheatears, 10+ Swallows and a Buzzard about. (S&SaH)

North Wall: There were still five Little Stints on the Breech Pool - although they could be elusive at times -  along with  15 Dunlin, four Spotted Redshank, 12 Greenshank, 73 Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, 213 Redshank and a Water Rail. Also present were 40+ Teal, a Kingfisher, two Cetti's Warblers, six Reed Warblers and at least two Sedge Warblers. There were also 40+ Yellow Wagtails among the cattle and a couple of Whinchats along the fence lines, with at least five Wheatears along the wall, whilst the adjacent hedgerows held a few Willow/Chiffs, a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and several Whitethroats.
Along White's Creek and the east side, there was a Grey Wagtail, three Yellow-legged Gulls and a selection of waders, including 200+ Dunlin, a Curlew Sandpiper, 35 Knot, three Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank and 15+ Grey Plover. Wildfowl numbers had obviously increased, including 34 Wigeon and 4 Pintail, and two juvenile Peregrines caused some mayhem when they appeared in the harbour. Plenty of the commoner butterflies, including several Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Woods. (PB/OM/BFF/DIS/ et al)

 North Wall this morning: Little Stint, Wigeon and Pintail, Yellow-legged Gull, juv Peregrine and Speckled Wood (OM)

Snowhill Creek: A juvenile Redstart was present this morning. (MR)

Redstart at Snowhill Creek (MR)

Pagham Spit: A good search of the bushes and likely vegetation failed to produce any of the more exciting migrants this morning, though 10+ Wheatears were some compensation. A couple of Chiffchaffs and a steady stream of eastbound Swallows was about it for my efforts. (OM)

 Wheatear at Pagham Spit (OM)

 Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The two Ospreys were sat out in the trees in the middle of the reserve this morning, occasionally taking to the air, and a Merlin shot over the banks near the second sluice heading eastwards. 
There were at least five, possibly as many as eight, Whinchats and up to 20 Wheatears along the banks and around Marsh Farm, but other migrants were few, wit just a few Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and a couple of Reed Warblers in the bushes, though 30+ Yellow Wagtails were with the cattle and several hundred Swallows, with a few Sand Martins among them, were feeding over the  pools and fields.
The only waders seen were a Green Sandpiper on one of the pathside pools and a Greenshank, an Avocet, five Common Sandpipers and five Dunlin on the Stilt Pool, where there were also six Gadwall, four Wigeon, 30 Teal and at least 300 Canada Geese.
Among the resident birds the Little Owl appeared briefly at Marsh Farm, several Stock Doves were around Marsh Barn and there were several juvenile Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits about, plus plenty of Linnets. (AH/TR)

At 1300hrs a Red Kite was seen over the reserve (C&JM).....presumably the same one seen at 1200 at Hunston by the same observers.

Whinchat (above), Wheatear, Yellow Wagtails, Willow Warbler, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper & Stock Dove at Medmerry (AH)

Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August: A generally grey, but mild and still day with the odd sunny interval....and the odd spot of rain, but brighter by late afternoon....

Selsey Bill: Nothing much moving offshore, but a Redstart, a Whinchat, five Wheatears and a few Willow Warblers and Whitethroats were along the gardens and a Ringed Plover on the beach. Full log below...... (OM/SR/SH)
0630 - 1030hrs(Obs: SH/SR/OM et al)
Gannet - 8E, 4W
Fulmar - 1W
Common Scoter - 1E
Dunlin - 4E
Turnstone - 35 ob
Ringed Plover - 1 ob
Oystercatcher - 3 ob
Little Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 6E
Sandwich Tern - 6W, 5os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Swallow - 16E/SE
House Martin - 4E
Wheatear - 5 ob
Yellow Wagtail - 1W 
Grey Wagtail - 1 ob
Redstart - 1 gardens
Whinchat - 1 gardens
Whitethroat - 1+ gardens
Willow Warbler - 5 gardens
Grey Seal - 1os

Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher on the beach at the Bill (OM)


Panoramic view of the Oval Field this morning, taken from the south-east corner at a time when nobody was present.... a bit of a rarity! The line of elm trees and bushes on the opposite side partly masks the view of Bill House, but otherwise it is effectively an open ex-sports field with just a little vegetation on the edges, bordered by the sea to the south and housing all around the periphery. Fortunately this last open green space at the Bill-tip has recently been given village green status, which should help preserve it for all from further development in the years ahead. (OM) 

Selsey- Warner Lane/Northcommon Farm: Apart from hirundines there were few migrants on offer, with joint totals of just a couple of Whitethroats and Willow Warblers, 40+ Swallows, 50 House Martins and 16 Sand Martins, plus a Buzzard and Green Woodpecker. (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were four Green Sandpipers late this morning, and also seen earlier were a Little Ringed Plover, a Golden Plover and a Black-tailed Godwit, along with c40 Lapwing, c50 Teal and 15 Shelduck, with two Common Sandpipers and 25 Redshank in the channel opposite.
The hedges around the Tramway/Cycleway were very quiet, with just a scattering of Whitethroats and a couple of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps to be seen. (AH/OM)

Green Sandpipers (above) & Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were two Ospreys and a Grey Seal in the harbour this morning, and a Whinchat was at Park Farm. Also there five Wheatears were along the spit, another Whinchat was in the horse field and there was a huge northerly movement of hirundines (virtually all Swallows, we did not see a House Martin), involving about 1,000 birds, many flying over the sea and large numbers feeding over both Severals. (IP/EL)

Osprey over Church Norton (EL)

North Wall: There were three Little Stints, a Ruff and a Curlew Sandpiper on the Breech Pool this morning, along with half a dozen each of Spotted Redshank and Greenshank., 60 Redshanks and 30 Dunlin. A Kingfisher was by the sluice at Halsey's Farm as was a Common Sandpiper and a Wheatear was again along the wall. The hedges at Halsey's had a bit more life in them with a few Whitethroats, two Willow Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat and a flock of Long-tailed Tits all present but best were two Redstarts, male & female, which were fairly briefly by the conifers. A Painted Lady butterfly was here too. (CN/BI)

Ruff (above) & Wheatear at the North Wall (BI)

This evening there were between 150 and 200 Yellow Wagtails feeding among the cattle in the fields north-west of the North Wall. (AH)

  Yellow Wagtails from North Wall (AH)

Medmerry: Northcommon Farm to the Breach - It was very quiet all the way round this morning, with three or four Wheatears on the stubble fields and a dozen Whitethroats in the hedges, but almost no other birds were seen until the Breach area, where there were half a dozen Wheatears, a lone Whitethroat and 40 Linnets around the rocks. Out on the tidal area there were c100 roosting Dunlin, c50 Ringed Plover and four Curlews, a Sanderling  flew in through the Breach and back out and a Sandwich Tern and a few Swallows went over. (AH)

Whitethroat (above), Wheatear & Wheatear with Linnets at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt pools: This afternoon (1330) there were two Ospreys present, plus a Buzzard. Waders consisted of 4 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover, whilst passerine migrants noted were 6 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Whinchat, 4 Wheatears, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Chiffchaff, with 20+ Swallows in the area. (S&SaH/CN)

 Osprey, Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat at Medmerry (SH)