Sunday, 31 August 2014

31st August 2014 Beachy NW1 partly overcast

Hobby 1
Collared Dove 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker h
Swift 8
Swallow c. 3,000 W
House Martin c. 150 W
Sand Martin c. 150 W
Grey Wagtail 1 W
Yellow Wagtail 241 W
Tree Pipit 5 W
Wheatear 18
Whinchat 7
Redstart 2 males
Reed Warbler 1
Blackcap 27
Whitethroat 35
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 95
Chiffchaff 1
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Goldfinch 20 W
Linnet 10 W
Corn Bunting 12

Yellow Wagtail at Birling

Saturday, 30 August 2014

30th August 2014 Beachy SW5 moderating Overcast 7-10am

Balearic Shearwater 1W at 9.32am
Balearic/Manx Shearwater 3W at 7.20am too brief and distant
Little Egret 2E
Shelduck 3E juveniles
Scoter 9E, 4W
Buzzard 1+
Sparrowhawk 1
Arctic Skua 1E
Sandwich Tern 10 W
Common Tern 16 W
Wryneck 1
Swift 2 W
Swallow 102 W
Sand Martin 18 W
Whinchat 1
Yellow Wagtail 2 S
Meadow Pipit 20
Whitethroat 8

Clouded Yellow 3
Adonis Blue 1

Southern Hawker 6

Wryneck in Whitbread Hollow
Found by JK & RJF it proved incredibly wary seemingly content to rest hidden deep in hawthorns but did eventually drop to the ground and commence feeding on ants.

Adonis Blue in Whitbread Hollow
Vulcan Bomber over Whitbread Hollow

Colour-ringed Herring Gulls at Princes Park
A7FM is an old friend (unfortunately now with a limp) and 5TOB a new kid on the block!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

28th August 2014 Rodmell

Greenshank 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Kingfisher 1
Swift 3
Sand Martin c.30
Yellow Wagtail c.100

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

27th August 2014 Rodmell

Peregrine 1 juvenile
Kingfisher 1
Yellow Wagtail c.5

Kingfisher at Rodmell
With the species maintaining a year-round presence in the County, Kingfishers are probably an under-appreciated migrant. However, ringing recoveries have revealed that some head south to warmer climes of France and Spain and their Autumn passage reaches its peak in August and September. This is the first we have seen at this location this year so the timing of its appearance might have been expected.

Juvenile Peregrine at Rodmell

Monday, 25 August 2014

25th August 2014 Birling SW2 increasing rain 7am - 9am

Gannet 90E, 4W
Fulmar 12E, 3W
Sparrowhawk 1
Kittiwake 1W juvenile
Commic Tern 1W
Raven 2

Sunday, 24 August 2014

24th August 2014 Beachy NW2 Clear

Common Buzzard 4+
Sparrowhawk 2
Hobby 1
Kestrel 2
Collared Dove 2
Swallow 75
Sand Martin 140
Yellow Wagtail 85 mainly W
Wheatear 5
Whinchat 3
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Garden Warbler 1
Blackcap 2
Whitethroat 25
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Willow Warbler 11
Chiffchaff 1

Grasshopper Warbler at Belle Tout
A surprisingly vocal individual not only giving sharp, rather hard 'tic' or 'tchick' calls but a long continuous series loud and rapid series of such calls and including some more liquid calls. Southbound first-year birds have sufficient fat reserves to reach North Africa with only a single stopover. Given the inconspicuous nature of the species it is surprising they are considered a frequent prey item of Eleonora's Falcon in an island colony off western Morocco! (BWP).

Whinchat at the Old Trapping Area

Saturday, 23 August 2014

23rd August 2014 Beachy NW2 Clear & Rodmell

Sparrowhawk 2
Common Buzzard 3
Curlew 6
Whimbrel 2
Turnstone 1 flew south accompanying a flock of racing pigeons!
Cuckoo 1 juvenile
Swift 1 S
Swallow 50
House Martin 26
Sand Martin 50 W
Yellow Wagtail 9W
Tree Pipit 2W
Wheatear 1
Whinchat 4
Willow Warbler 8
Blackcap 1
Whitethroat 20
Lesser Whitethroat 1

Juvenile Cuckoo at Birling
Brimstone at Belle Tout

Clouded Yellow at Belle Tout
Merlin 1
Greenshank 1
Swift 1
Sand Martin c.100
Yellow Wagtail c.15

Friday, 22 August 2014

22nd August 2014 Rodmell

Sparrowhawk 2
Greenshank 1
Ruff 1
Swift 1
Sand Martin c.20
Yellow Wagtail c.50

Thursday, 21 August 2014

21st August 2014 Rodmell

Snipe 10
Green Sandpiper 1
Sand Martin c.100
Yellow Wagtail 17

Juvenile Green Sandpiper at Rodmell
The fine buff spotting to the upperparts and elongate spotting to the tertials readily age this individual as a juvenile.

20th August 2014 Rodmell

Greenshank 1
Ruff 1
Swift 3
Sand Martin c.100
Yellow Wagtail 3
Whinchat 3

Hedgehog at Rodmell

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

19th August 2014 Rodmell

Greenshank 1
Ruff 1
Swift 1
Sand Martin c.100
Yellow Wagtail 1
Whinchat 4

Juvenile female Reeve at Rodmell
The first autumn juveniles typically arrive in the UK in August but numbers have sadly plummeted in Sussex and the regular large autumn influxes of the 1970's and 1980's now seem a thing of the past.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

17th August 2014 Beachy WNW6 Overcast

Little Egret 4
Whimbrel h
Wheatear 2
Whitethroat c.20
Willow Warbler 2

Saturday, 16 August 2014

16th August 2014 Beachy NW2 Clear

Marsh Harrier 1 juvenile in off sea
Buzzard 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Swallow 10
House Martin 56
Sand Martin 8
Yellow Wagtail 9W
Tree Pipit 3
Wheatear 13
Whinchat 1
Redstart 1 female
Reed Warbler 4
Whitethroat 50
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Willow Warbler 30
Spotted Flycatcher 1

Clouded Yellow 4+
Hummingbird Hawk Moth 1

Juvenile Marsh Harrier arriving in off the sea along the Seven Sisters

Willow Warbler in the Hotel Garden

Male Clouded Yellow in Chat Vale

Friday, 15 August 2014

15th August 2014 Rodmell

Hobby 1
Green Sandpiper 2
Sand Martin c.100

Reed Warbler at Rodmell

Thursday, 14 August 2014

13th August 2014 Rodmell

Hobby 1

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

12th August 2014 Selsey

Long-tailed Skua 1 near-adult


Near-adult Long-tailed Skua at Selsey (lower four JFC)
Olsen and Larsen include short central tail-streamers, a more extensive pale belly (therefore almost reminiscent of adult pallescens), relatively dark upperwings and some limited white barring to the median coverts of the underwings as features of third- or fourth-summer individuals all of which apply to this individual. Its upperwings certainly lack the typically eye-catching contrast between the greyish upperwing coverts and dark trailing edge seen on adults passing the Bridges of Ross at the same time of year. Its upperwings appeared to be matted possibly with oil (JFC speculated a Fulmar might have been responsible) that it seemed to be constantly preening. It stumbled a few times on the beach which added to a sense that all might not be well. That said, it did seem very alert and on seeing a passing Common Tern it was surprising how quickly it covered the ground to pursue it.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

10th August 2014 Birling Gap 6.30am - 1.30pm & 2.45pm - 4.15pm SW2 increasing to SW7 Overcast

Fulmar c.50 mainly E
Gannet c. 500 mainly E
Balearic Shearwater 2E (1E at 8.20 and back W at 8.22 reappeared E at 8.28 and immediately back W with a paler individual E at 11.25am)
Heron 1 circling high a long way out to sea at the time of the full strength of the wind at c.12.30pm
Shelduck 17E
Scoter 106E, 20W
Lesser Black-backed Gull 22 adults in field
Kittiwake c.350 mainly E
Sandwich Tern 4E
Common Tern 1E
Whimbrel 10 S out to sea
Auk sp. 1E
Swift 45 S out to sea
Swallow 1E

Shelduck passing Birling Gap
With the remnants of Hurricane Bertha forecast to pass along the English Channel we were hoping for She...arwaters but for the first 90 minutes were rewarded with little more than She...lduck! No doubt making their unique moult migration as most British birds migrate to the vast sandflats of Helgoland Bight on the German North Sea coast in late June and July not usually returning until November. Fortunately that was to change as Matt then kindly text with news of a Balearic Shearwater passing Splash Point heading in our direction that whilst took its time, presumably constantly back-tracking, reached us after 37 minutes. News of another at 10.10am may or may not have been our second an hour and a quarter later? Whilst there was something of a surge of Gannets when the winds were at their strongest around midday activity all but then ceased with us leaving when the wind, whilst still strong, had switched to due west.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

9th August 2014 Beachy W5 Clear & Rodmell

Little Egret 3
Peregrine 4
Curlew 4W
Yellow-legged Gull 2 juveniles
Swallow 3
Wheatear 2
Grasshopper Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Reed Warbler 1
Whitethroat 12
Blackcap 1
Willow Warbler 5
Yellowhammer 3 pair with young
Raven 2

Willow Warbler in the Old Trapping Area
Garganey 2
Greenshank 1
Snipe 1
Juvenile Garganey at Rodmell

8th August 2014 Birling SW3 Overcast 7.10pm - 8.30pm

Gannet c.50 milling around
Scoter 3E
Teal 1E
Black-headed Gull 25W virtually all juveniles
Sandwich Tern 4E
Curlew 4W
Oystercatcher 5W

7th August 2014 Rodmell

Greenshank 1
Green Sandpiper 2
Sand Martin 10

Juvenile Greenshank at Rodmell
Autumn passage in Europe begins in late June with the peak of adult passage in July; juveniles pass through in August. Migrant Greenshanks first appear in southern Africa in late July and early August, one of the earliest Palearctic shorebirds to arrive.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

6th August 2014 Rodmell

Little Ringed Plover 2 flew over together calling whilst heading south
Sand Martin c.50S

5th August 2014 Church Norton

Mediterranean Gull c.200

Monday, 4 August 2014

4th August 2014 Rodmell

Garganey 5

Church Norton Skua

Two images of the Skua currently present at Church Norton that pose a number of questions appear on the Selsey blog for the last two days:

The first 'lightened' here:

Skua (P. Sketch)
Small rounded head, no pale noseband, greyish shawl are all good pointers for Long-tailed Skua
Skua (Andy House)
Perhaps the above flight image posted is misleading, and it is very small, but my heart would be pumping seeing that one as it sure looks like an adult Long-tailed Skua to me... very slim body, no hint of a dark collar on the sides of its breast, smoky-brown lower belly, ashy-brown (not blackish) underwings that appear to lack any hint of a pale crescent formed by the pale bases to the primaries of an Arctic Skua

Sunday, 3 August 2014

3rd August 2014 Beachy Calm & overcast & Rodmell

Yellow-legged Gull 1 juvenile
Reed Warbler 4
Whitethroat 20
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 7
Chiffchaff 2
Yellowhammer 2 (a pair)

Willow Warbler at Chat Vale
Late July and early August was formerly a good time of year to encounter passage Wood Warblers at Beachy but times have sadly changed and they've now become all too scarce. Not for the first time this Autumn conditions felt ideal for a fall of Willow Warblers but yet again we were left disappointed.
Wigeon 2
Garganey 3
Lapwing c.60
Snipe 1
Common Sandpiper 1

Juvenile Garganeys at Rodmell
Some first-winters are described as being distinctly orange-toned on the body that nicely applies to these ruddy-breasted beauties.
Eclipse drake Wigeon at Rodmell
The deep chestnut plumage and obvious white upper forewing readily ages and sexes this individual.
Lapwings at Rodmell
Now numbering around 60 at Rodmell unfortunately last week's Black-winged Pratincole sadly hasn't read the script and joined them!
Clouded Yellow at Rodmell
The Clouded Yellow is primarily an immigrant to the UK, originating from north Africa and southern Europe, with numbers varying greatly from year to year. In more recent years, it has been shown that this species has successfully overwintered in the south of England. In good years this species can produce up to 3 generations in the UK.