Sunday, 29 September 2013

29th - 30th September 2013

Monday, 30th September: Similar weather today as for the last few days, and it also appears there will be a high over Scandanavia mid-week with a blocking low over Britain; surely a few eastern surprises should be coming our way soon? Meanwhile, today's news....

Pagham Hbr: North wall: Highlight a female Marsh Harrier (picked up by Pallis Callis) behind the Breech Pool, having a hard time from the local crows (the harrier that is!). On the pool, a Kingfisher, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Lapwing, 1 Ruff and 3 Snipe, whilst 8-10 Yellow Wagtails were amongst the cattle at Honer. Small groups of Meadow Pipits moving SW. In the harbour 12 Brent Geese, 140 Black- tailed Godwits, 3 Pintail and 2 Grey Wagtails. Note: There are workmen and a flapping tarpaulin on the roof of the old vicarage which are keeping bird numbers on White's Creek very low (JW).
Ferry Pool midday from the hide (raining, poor vis. and very little about): 1 Ruff, 9 Lapwings, 1 imm. Shelduck, 14 Teal, 1 Wheatear, 30 Stock Doves and loads of Red-legged Partridges dashing about the field at the back.  Returning home a couple of hours later the pool was empty except for a few Teal and the water level very low (SR).

Chi GP's: A necessary visit to the rubbish dump gave me the chance to check the Westhampnett North (Windsurf) pit but there was little to see except 16 Great Crested Grebes (of which 1 juv). I moved on to Ivy Lake where an hour's search again failed to locate the R-c Pochard. A small increase in common ducks was apparent, with a few more Mallard, 20 Tufted and 7 Common Pochard now present. Three Common Terns (1 ad, 2 juv) also put in an appearance and a 100 or so hirundines (Swallows and House Martins) were swirling around. A single Cetti's Warbler was calling and 8+ Chiffchaffs were also logged (OM).

Went to East Head this morning for a change: highlights were the 1st winter Spoonbill, still in Snowhill Creek, along with about 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 16 Golden Plovers in with the Lapwings on the fields, a loose flock of 11 Grey Herons flying over, about 200 Brent Geese in the harbour, a few Chiffchaffs in the bushes and a steady stream of Meadow Pipits and Swallows heading east (AH).

 Spoonbill and loose flock of Grey Herons (here looking a bit like Poms?) at Snowhill Marsh (photos: Andy House)
After seeing a Spotted Flycatcher from my kitchen window this morning whilst cooking the porridge(still in the garden 3.15 pm) a text from AH confirmed the juv Spoonbill still present at Snowhill Marsh. The bird was still present late morning at the eastern end of the marsh. Whilst ‘scoping a flock of Brent flying west I picked up an Osprey over Chichester Harbour and watched it attempting to find a fish for 15 minutes (CRJ).

Sunday, 29th September: Overcast with a fresh easterly wind again this morning. No birding news yet today, updates awaited...but I begin with a few late items for yesterday. Apologies to my regular correspondents but these must have been received very late last night - is anyone else having problems with slow delivery of emails since BT adopted their super new log-in system of dropping Yahoo?

              Late items from yesterday:  Ruff at Breech Pool (AH)

Church Norton early on produced a Merlin chasing Pipits along the beach and a Marsh Harrier over the Severals, with a steady stream of Meadow Pipits and Swallows/House Martins along the beach.
In addition to your report on the North Wall, there were 2 Ruff present (at different times, but a male and a female) and at least 4 Snipe on the Breech Pool, a Yellow Wagtail over and two young Grey Wagtails by the sluice, and a continuous easterly passage of Meadow Pipits and hirundines (AH).
(The Merlin was also reported by SH on his regular walk from Selsey - Church Norton).

An evening ride down to Honer Reservoir produced 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Tufted Duck, c200 Black-headed Gulls following the plough but only 2 Med Gulls. Best was the ride back in the lowering sun accompanied by an adult Hobby along Honer Lane (CRJ).

On with today's news...

Selsey Bill 0650-1000hrs: ENE 3  (Obs: SH/PB/IP/CRJ et al)
Gannet - 55E, 21W
Brent Goose - 42W
Wigeon - 22E, 20W
Common Scoter - 5os
Curlew - 1E
Oystercatcher - 5W
Sanderling - 5E
Med Gull - 84E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 1W
Auk sp - 1E, 2W
Meadow Pipit - 113NE
Pied Wagtail - 11E
Swallow - 231E
Chiffchaff - 7 gardens
Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: 1 Peregrine, 1 leucistic Curlew, 50 Dunlin, 5 Chiffchaff (CRJ)
Still a steady stream of Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and Swallows going east, and a few Chiffchaffs about, but otherwise quiet again. Most unusual sight was of 5 Grey Herons coming in off the sea and upsetting the local crows over the Priory(AH).
Ferry PoolA Ruff and a Green Sandpiper first thing.
Medmerry: This morning, 1 Grey Wagtail, 100+ Linnet and 50+ Meadow Pipits around, 8 Pintail, 40 Wigeon & 100+ Lapwing enjoying one of the new tidal pools. This afternoon from Easton Lane, 1 Shoveler, 1 Little Grebe and 8 Tufted Duck on the private pond, and a Sedge Warbler in nearby reeds (AH).

Paul Bowley and myself made our first visit to Medmerry this morning, although you are still not allowed access along the Beach at Bunns Leisure. I must say it looks very impressive, do you know what the future access arrangements are and when it will be formally opened? Viewing from the Beach there were 4 Little Egrets on the pools, 3 Grey Herons flew over along with 8 Pintail. There was a Wheatear on the beach and a Kestrel roosting on a post. (IP)

 I undertook the walk from Selsey to Pagham Harbour at the rather late time of 1pm, I probably saw at least 1,000 Swallows, plus 4 House Martins and 2 Sand Martins. There was a lot of variety on view, but nothing of any great relevance, the highlights were probably a female Stonechat on the bushes whilst walking across the farmland plus a Grey wagtail that flew over home and was then relocated at the back of Park Farm (IP).


Another Fox shot; this one watching observers from the concrete wall at Church Norton (photo: S.Hill) 
 Honer Reservoir pm - 300 Herring Gull...300 B H Gull, 2 Little Grebes (CRJ). Again on the ride back I was accompanied by a Hobby feasting on all the Migrant Hawkers present; as I got to South Mundham it was joined by a second bird (CRJ).






Thursday, 26 September 2013

26th - 28th September 2013

Saturday, 28th SeptemberFour hours of sea-watching at the Bill produced a variety of species, even if a good few of them were not actually sea-birds! Pagham Hbr and Medmerry also received a fair bit of coverage, though nothing unusual was reported.

Selsey Bill (0640-1040hrs): Cloud, some light showers, wind E/NE 4-5. (Obs:SH/GH/CH/OM et al)
Gannet - 28E, 6W
Grey Heron - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Shag - 1 juv os
Brent Goose - 1W
Wigeon - 10W
Teal - 2W
Garganey - 2E (0835 with small flock of scoter, took a little while but the penny eventually dropped!)
Common Scoter - 17E, 5 os
Hobby - 1, actually arrived N from Mile basket, presumably hunting the hirundines flocks.
Sanderling - 2E, (inc1os departed E)
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Whimbrel - 1E
Oystercatcher - 2E, 4W
Turnstone - 49 ob
Guillemot - 1 os, off E
Med Gull - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 22E, 3W
Meadow Pipit - 115 E/N
Yellow Wagtail - 3E
Pied Wagtail - 26E
Grey Wagtail - 3E
Swallow - 275 S/E
House Martin - 430 S/E

These heavily-cropped and distant record shots are actually of the same bird - a juv Shag off the Bill - which in a quick view at times bore an uncanny resemblance to a diver!
Pagham Hbr: Sidlesham Ferry Pool:  108 Lapwings, 7 Stock Dove, 1 Kingfisher.
Church Norton: 12 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 3 Brent Geese (CRJ).
The North Wall this morning produced a Ruff in the Breech Pool amongst Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing and Teal with a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and four Mediterranean Gulls amongst many Redshanks, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Curlew, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher and Wigeon on the mudflats. Also 80 Pintail on the mudflats (per SOS website).

Medmerry: 4 Pintail, 1 or perhaps 2 Marsh Harriers, 40 Med Gulls, 5 Grey Partridges,
3 Wheatears, 30 Linnet (CRJ/OM). A later report (per ARK/SOS) of 200+ Med Gulls here and over the sea.

At West Wittering the juv Spoonbill was still present on Snowhill Marsh this morning and showing well (C. Melgar, per SOS website).


Finally, two more fine pics taken yesterday at Snowhill Marsh by Dorian Mason; Spoonbill with Little Egret, and Black-tailed Godwits.          

Friday, 27th September: The best of today's action was recorded by the Worthing boys who mopped up with several Marsh Harriers and a Spoonbill, amongst other things....

First news today is from Sarah Russell who reports from Selsey "Visited the horse paddock off Warner Lane and Northcommon Farm but it was one of those mornings when you try to decide whether you're simply a very bad birdwatcher or whether the birds have just passed through overnight and you've missed them. At Warner Lane a couple of Mistle Thrushes and a Whitethroat in the bushes, 30 Meadow Pipits, c150 Swallows and c75 House Martins overhead. The field also held the 5 Roe deer in close proximity and I didn't want to stress them, one of the fields they used last autumn has now been taken over by allotments so they have little enough habitat. Northcommon Farm was likewise quiet apart from half a dozen Chiffchaffs and the passing over of hirundines

Peninsula round-up: Not a bad day and, with temperatures holding up out of the east wind, we knocked up a good variety of birds including the following: Walked down Ellanore Lane (West Wittering) to Chichester Harbour but just a few Chiffchaffs in the hedgerow. Off Ellanore point a female Marsh Harrier being mobbed by gulls before disappearing SW. Juvenile SPOONBILL zipped past flying S. Twelve Yellow Wagtails over N and large gathering of at least 420 Med Gulls loafing on the mud. At Snowhill Marsh we relocated the juvenile Spoonbill feeding with plenty of ducks plus 5 Greenshanks and a single Spotted Redshank. On Pilsey Sands at least 1100 Brent Geese. At Medmerry two female and a male Marsh Harrier hunting over the new saltmarsh and a single Whinchat on the beach near the windmill. Church Norton very little. Sidlesham Ferry: solitary Green Sandpiper! North Wall and east side: 5 Knot, 5 Common Snipe, 3 Ruff, Spotted Redshank, 96 Great Black-backed Gulls, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, a single Sedge Warbler and 2 Clouded Yellows.  (Bernie Forbes & Dorian Mason).
Fine shots of Spoonbill, Greenshank, Ruff, Spotted Redshank and Fox (photos: Dorian Mason)

Selsey Bill: 0810-0840hrs - Nothing bar a Common Scoter W and 2 Gannets o/s, but 500+ Swallows, 300+ House Martins and 50+ Meadow Pipits moving eastwards over a wide front and 2 or 3 Chiffchaffs in the Bill House garden (AH).

Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: Many more Meadow Pipits (500+) moving east along the beach, with a couple of hundred Swallows and House Martins, 2 Grey Wagtails and a few Goldfinches and Linnets for company, but no Brent passage. Again the bushes were dead! (AH).
North Wall/East side: 2 Whinchat, 1 Ruff, 2 Snipe, 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Avocet, 20 Ringed Plover, 1 Yellow-legged Gull. On Pagham Lagoon 6 Shoveler, and nearby a Clouded Yellow. (C&ME).

 Thursday, 26th September: A rather dull and damp start to the day with an easterly breeze, some light drizzle and mist! With eastern migrants beginning to appear in numbers in the north / east of the country, my instincts tell me we should be getting something good in the south soon. Not the day then to be stuck in at home with builders and domestic stuff! So I await your call ladies and gents ..............!

Church Norton: At least 250 Brent Geese heading east over the harbour and along the shoreline between 8.30 and 10am, along with about 60 Pintail, 200 Wigeon and 80 Teal, whilst at least 400 Meadow Pipits and a few Pied Wagtails and Swallows were heading in the opposite direction. Otherwise very quiet and nothing on the Ferry.
Brent Geese arriving in the gloom at Pagham Hbr (photo: AH)
Obviously a slow news day from the regulars, with the focus on Pagham Hbr, so a trawl of the SOS website produced the following, which duplicates some of AH's report above:-

Church Norton 08.00-10.00: Most of the usual waders inc 1 Spotted Redshank and 3 Whimbrel. Large numbers of Swallows and Meadow Pipits were passing in waves going east. I heard 3 or 4 Yellow wagtails, 2 Grey wagtails and a quite a few Pied wagtails also going east in amongst the pipits. Going in the opposite direction were several flocks of Brent geese (25-50 at a time), some accompanied by Wigeon and/or Pintail and some apparently heading SW out to sea. A couple each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff in the scrub/trees around the Severals, and a Kingfisher in the harbour. North Wall (10.00-12.00): Juv Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 1 Greenshank in White's creek with a small flock of Dunlin in a nice mix of summer-to-winter and juvenile plumages. At least 2 yellow-legged gulls on the mudflats beyond. On the pool, ca.40 Black-tailed godwits, 1 Ruff, 8 Snipe. High in the brambles behind the pool, at least 3 Moorhens eating blackberries. Here, the Swallows were passing east constantly with the occasional House or Sand Martin (per Pete Hughes/SOS website)

Monday, 23 September 2013

23rd - 25th September 2013

Wednesday, 25th September: There was a bit of a panic early afternoon when unconfirmed news began circulating that there was a Solitary Sandpiper on Sidlesham Ferry pool. After getting a message from Ads Bowley I began making enquiries whilst also putting a few folks on standby. I found out a few very basic details - apologies if these are incorrect but nothing could be substantiated - but I believe a single unknown observer first reported this yesterday afternoon and then again today - I know nothing more than that. Chris Janman and Ads went to check things out (thanks guys) but could only find two Green Sandpipers on the Ferry, and other observers had also earlier reported only that species. However it could be the 'two bird theory' in action, so well worth keeping an eye out.  Other news....

Chi GP's: Ivy Lake: There was no sign of the R-c Pochard in the two hours I was present this morning (1015-1215) and in fact there were rather few ducks at all on show; just a handful of Tufted, 3 Gadwall and some Mallards. You can bet that Pochard is still there but boy is it elusive; according to AH it hides away under overhanging vegetation on the islands, so if you go for it you need plenty of patience or else good luck! The Great Crested Grebe families reported yesterday were still present but I also failed to locate the Common Pochard seen yesterday, so perhaps it's just my eyesight! The only birds worth a mention were a gathering of 250 House Martins, a Kingfisher, a nice flock of Long-tailed Tits and half a dozen Chiffchaffs.

Pagham Hbr: Pretty quiet this morning: just the Green Sandpiper and a few Lapwings on the Ferry Pool, and at Church Norton up to 10 Whitethroats and Blackcaps, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and a few Chiffchaffs in the bushes, a Greenshank in the harbour, a trickle of Meadow Pipits over and about 100 House Martins and 50 Swallows over the Severals.

Common Whitethroat at Church Norton (photo: AH)
Not a single bird on White's Creek at 0830. Early bird Peter Callis assured me that 30 minutes earlier it 'was stuffed with Wigeon'. On the Breech Pool - 87 Black -tailed Godwits, 39 Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 1 Ruff and 1 Grey Plover. Very quiet around the North fields (JW).

Selsey: 0730 this morning, horse paddock off Warner Lane:  Damp and misty gradually clearing to sunshine, and a great time to discover your shoes aren't waterproof in long grass!  The Whinchats have departed but there are still plenty of Blackcaps about - 8 were seen but more heard, Robin 8, Whitethroat 4, Chiffchaff 3, Meadow Pipit 5 and House Martin 12 (SR).

Tuesday, 24th September: Another fairly calm and pleasantly warm day although with some cloud/sea mist at times. At Ivy Lake yesterday's terns had gone although the Red-crested Pochard was still present (see AH's report below).
Chi GP's: Ivy Lake: The skulking female Red-Crested Pochard was briefly in view in the eastern half this morning, along with a Common Pochard, 2 families of young Great Crested Grebes and a few Gadwall, but no sign of any terns.

Pagham Hbr: Ferry Pool: 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Black-tailed Godwits and 40 Lapwings.
Church Norton: 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroats and 10+ Blackcaps around the churchyard/hide area, but very few Chiffchaffs or hirundines this morning (AH).

 Fem Red-crested Pochard, Ivy Lake (photo: Andy House)
 Lesser Whitethroat, Church Norton (photo: Andy House)

The fog in places did not clear at a few of the sites on the peninsula with the North Wall clear and Norton in light fog! With only a light southeast breeze, temperatures were holding up with around 17C in the fog and 20C out of it. Our first birding stop this morning was the North Wall and the east side of Pagham Harbour. Around the Breech Pool: 109 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Common Snipe and a single Ruff. Whinchat and Stonechat on the fence line. Two Water Rails were heard calling from the reeds and we also noted 3 Reed Warblers. In White’s Creek: 19 Yellow-legged Gulls loafing and as the tide came up a little 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 4 Spotted Redshanks and 3 Greenshanks. Male Peregrine beating up the waders (BFF/DIS/DM).
Fishbourne Creek: 8 Greenshanks, Black Swan and 2 Grey Wagtails. Around Apuldram Church: 5 Spotted Flycatchers.  (Bernie Forbes, Dave Smith & Dorian Mason).
Monday, 23rd September: A calm, cloudy morning with a light SE breeze, becoming warm and sunny by afternoon. At the Bill conditions prompted a mass exodus of hirundines, mostly Swallows, with hundreds on view at times ranging from sea-level to very high; at least 5000 departed in 3hrs. They may not be rare but this is what migration watching is all about. At Pagham Hbr a selection of migrants were present, with six showy Spot Flys in the trees and bushes around the Mound.
Selsey Bill (0730-1030hrs)  Cloudy and calm conditions, light breeze SE2.  (Obs: GH/OM).
Gannet - 12E, 5W
Brent Goose - 5W
Teal - 4W
Wigeon - 7W
Common Scoter - 3 os, 12W
Ringed Plover - flock of 11 settled ob, flew off E
Oystercatcher - 5 p, on shingle bar
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Kestrel - 1, flew out S to Mile basket range, then returned!
Med Gull - 12 os
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 3W
Swallow - at least 5000 out S/SE
House Martin - c.700 out S/SE
Meadow Pipit - 8 area
Chiffchaff - 12 gardens
Linnet - 25E 

West Selsey (Coastguards) - Windmill area: Wheatear - 3, Pied Wagtail - 5, Starling - 100+, 
Meadow Pipit - 27, Redstart - 1, also 4 Roe deer, and a constant flow of hirundines heading out to sea in a south-easterly direction (OM/SR). Horse paddock off Warner Lane: I was surprised to find the 3 Whinchats were still there, actively catching insects.  Also, a female Blackcap, a young Sedge Warbler, 3 Whitethroats, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, 6 Mute Swans (over), and a flock of young Goldfinches, one being fed by its parent (SR).
Also worth mentioning, a pair of House Martins still feeding young in their nest just to the east side of the Bill.

Starlings on the look-out at Selsey Coastguards tower 

Pagham Hbr: Sidlesham Ferry: A Green Sandpiper early on, plus 6 Black-tailed Godwits and 70 Lapwings; also a Greenshank in the channel.
Church Norton migrants around the Mound/churchyard area included 6 Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, 20 Blackcaps and c.50 Chiffchaffs. In the harbour a smart Arctic Tern was fishing for a while and a Peregrine zoomed about panicking the waders (OM et al). Also a Greenshank, 2 Golden Plovers and 20 Grey Plovers late afternoon (AH).

Sorry for late submission but you might as well have it: 3pm-5.30pm Honer Reservoir 2 Little Grebe, Honer Farm, still 3  Spotted Flycatcher, Marsh Farm 3 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Meadow Pipit, 3 Common Buzzard, total 9 Chiffchaff (CRJ).  

 Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton 

 Grey Plover at Church Norton (photo: Andy House)

North Wall/White's Creek - 4 Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew Sandpipers and 5 Dunlin.
Breech Pool - 86 Black-tailed Godwits, 47 Lapwings, 3 Snipe and 1 Ruff.
Five Yellow Wagtails in Honer field. Slow but steady eastward movement of hirundines, predominantly Swallows (JW).

Chi GP's: "An imm Black Tern at the back of Ivy Lake this afternoon, showing well but often chased by a group of unruly Black-headed Gulls (unfortunately the photos show the limitations of 'bridge' cameras!) Also around the female Red-crested Pochard (found again by Christian Melgar after I'd left), calling Water Rail, one very loud Kingfisher, a single Cetti's and still a juv Great-crested Grebe being fed by its parents - in fact one gave it such a huge fish that it took about 5mins to swallow it!! And talking of Swallows....only 2 seen - guess thousands really did depart !" (AB) Also 4 Common Terns.
Juv Black Tern, Ivy Lake (photos: Ads Bowley)
Great Crested Grebe with young, Ivy lake (photo: Ads Bowley)













Saturday, 21 September 2013

21st - 22nd September 2013

Sunday, 22nd September: High pressure still prevailing; mild, but remaining fairly dull and overcast all day. Just off our patch, 2 Red-backed Shrikes are on offer at Thorney Island (thanks to Barry and Margaret Collins and Ads Bowley), but on the Peninsula it was much the same as the last few days...
Selsey Bill 0630-0900hrs: Calm, mild, cloudy. (Obs; SH et al)
Gannet - 1E
Brent Goose - 24W
Wigeon - 13W
Common Scoter - 3E
Curlew - 1W
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Med Gull - 16 os
Sandwich Tern - 13 os
Wheatear - 1 ob
Pied Flycatcher -  1 in gardens, (Don Nicklelson only observer)
Meadow Pipit -  8 p
Swallow - 217 SW
Chiffchaff - 10 in gardens
Grey Wagtail -  2W
Pied Wagtail - 1 ob
Common Seal 1 offshore

Pagham Hbr: North Wall/Breech Pool: Two Curlew Sandpipers and a Spotted Redshank were showing well in White's Creek together with c.300 Wigeon and a few Pintail. Probably 60 Black-tailed Godwits present, spread between various locations. Masses of Swallows and House Martins were over the Pool and everywhere, plus a high-up Hobby and a Kestrel as escorts! I met Mr & Mrs JW on a pre-WeBS count recce and exchanged pleasantries, before setting off to cover the East side. The latter site produced 3 Greenshank, 12 Yellow-legged Gulls (all but one adults), another Curlew Sandpiper, plus 60 Grey and 3 Golden Plover (OM).

Yellow-legged Gull, Pagham Hbr East side.
North Fields (WeBS): Moorhen 5, Coot 4, Mallard  28, Teal 81, Tufted 1, Little Grebe 1, Cormorant 2, Grey heron 3, Little Egret 1, Snipe 5, Black-tailed Godwit 102, Redshank 1, Spotted Redshank 1, Lapwing 79, Curlew 34, Mute Swan 2 (Jim W).
Church Norton (15.30hrs): Redstart (male) 1, Spotted Flycatcher - 2, Blackcap 4, Chiffchaff 30+, Swallow 500+, House Martin 200+, Whitethroat 2 (SH).
On the weedy sunflower field next to Honer Reservoir were 3 Whinchat, only a single Tufted and 2 Little Grebe on the water. Nearby at Honer Farm a sheltered spot held 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Blackcaps and 2 Whitethroats. Despite hearing the “clack-clack-clack “ of a Ring Ouzel at Mill Pond Marsh I was unable to get a visual; c. 10 Chiffchaff en-route. Still no Shrike !!! (CRJ).
Selsey to Church Norton (09.30 hrs)  (S&SaH)
Grey Wagtail - 2
Hobby - 2
Stonechat -1
Chiffchaff - 20+
Willow Warbler - 6
Whitethroat - 4
Blackcap - 2
Huge numbers of hirundines, 5000+ swallows,1000+ House Martins and 10+ Sand Martins.

Saturday, 21st September: A variety of species at the Bill included a Hobby, 2 Arctic Skuas and the first returning Brent Geese. Otherwise a reasonable spread of migrants across the Peninsula though nothing outstanding.

Selsey Bill: 0630-0830hrs: Cloudy, wind light SW3.  (Obs: SH et al)
Gannet - 4E, 1W

Eider - 1W
Common Scoter - 25E
Teal - 6W

Pintail - 1W
Wigeon - 4W
Dunlin - 1W
Hobby- 1 over beach
Med Gull - 20 os
C/A Tern - 2W
Common Tern - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 13 os
Chiffchaff 6 in garden
Meadow Pipit - 54N
Yellow Wagtail - 39 ob

White Wagtail - 1 ob
Grey Wagtail - 1 ob
Swallow - 106 S
Sand Martin - 7 S
0830 to 1030Hrs:  (Obs: C&M Eames, DS)
Mute Swan - 4W 

Brent Goose - 3W (first returning birds)
Eider - 1W (male)
Common Scoter - 8W

Wigeon - 14W
Arctic Skua - 2W
Meadow Pipit - 40 W
Swallow - 242 E

I made a quick visit to the horse paddock off Warner Lane (Selsey) late this afternoon and found the 3 Whinchats, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaffs, 17 Swallows and 4 House Martins (SR).

Walk from Selsey to Church Norton (0900hrs) (S&SaH)
Sandwich Tern - 6
Wheatear - 1
Whitethroat - 1
Chiffchaff - 30+
Willow Warbler - 6
Blackcap - 2
Swallow - 500+ S
Sand Martin - 10
House Martin - 2 

Same walk (1500hrs): (S&SaH)
Sandwich Tern - 9
Wheatear - 1
Swallow 20+
Chiffchaff - 30+
Willow Warbler - 2
Blackcap - 6
Whitethroat - 2
Long tailed Tit - 40+ in 3 flocks

With RJS today we cycled from Runcton to Honer Reservoir, 2 Little Grebe, Summer Lane Sewage Farm 1 Spotted Flycatcher, White’s Creek/Breech Pool 3 Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Spotted Redshank and Yeoman’s Field 1 Redstart, about 20 Chiffchaffs on route (CRJ).




Wednesday, 18 September 2013

18th - 20th September 2013

Friday, 20th September: A fine autumn day as we approach the equinox.
Fishbourne Creek: I started here for a change; nothing unusual was present but it was nice birding. The tide was well up on my arrival, pushing many of the waders to the far side, but the following were noted: Mute Swan - 174 (only 2 juvs), Black Swan - 1, Curlew - 210, Greenshank - 3, Black-tailed Godwit - c.60, Grey Plover - 10, Snipe - 3, Med Gull - 15, Chiffchaff - 12 and Spotted Flycatcher - 2 (OM).

 Two views from Fishbourne Creek this morning: Mute Swans drifting in on the big tide, and Chichester cathedral looking splendid in the sunshine (scoped for a Peregrine but no joy!)

Selsey Bill (1150-1320hrs) Dry, sunny, wind light W/SW.  (Obs: OM) A lunchtime watch on the high tide produced no sea-passage to speak of, but a few migrants were in the gardens.
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Turnstone - 72 ob
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Meadow Pipit - 2W
Wheatear - 1 gardens
Chiffchaff - 8 gardens
Clouded Yellow - 1 gardens
Northcommon Farm (Selsey) was quiet early afternoon except for 6 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler and a particularly noisy flock of 150+ Jackdaws bombing around the horse paddocks (OM). The 3 Whinchats and a Whitethroat are still at the horse paddock off Warner Lane this afternoon but stubbornly refuse to come near enough to photograph, at one stage all four were lined up on a bramble (SR).    

Turnstones huddled on the beach at Selsey Bill during high tide, part of today's flock of 72.
Pagham Hbr: At Church Norton this morning: Hobby - 1, Redstart - 1, Spotted Flycatcher - 2, Blackcap - 9, Chiffchaff - 40+, Whitethroat - 4, Stonechat - 2 (juvs) (C&ME, TR).
Evening walk: Selsey to Church Norton (1645hrs)  (S&SaH)
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 3
Wheatear - 1
Stonechat (female) - 1
Swallow - 30+
House Martin - 20+
Sandwich Tern - 5
Whitethroat - 1
Chiffchaff - 20+
Willow Warbler - 1
Blackcap 2
Long-tailed Tit - flock 20+

Stonechat (fem) near Church Norton (photo: S. Hill)
 And finally... Forget the Tour of Britain, today it was the 25 mile tour of the Peninsular with Chris ( Brad ) Janman:- Chi Canal, Chi Marina, Birdham Pool, West Itchenor, East Head, East Wittering,Earnley, Easton, Sidlesham, Fisher back to Runcton. Unfortunately not many birds to report, apart from a few Chiffchaffs, 2 Common Terns at West Itchenor, and a roosting flock of 99 Mediterranean Gulls on the edge of Chichester Harbour at Rookwood, 4 Buzzard at Easton and 3 more at South Mundham.

Thursday, 19th September: Calm at first, becoming windy by mid-morning, then rainy by afternoon.
Pagham Hbr: North Wall (0830-1030hrs): Female Redstart and 3 Green Woodpecker near stables,  7 Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Spotted Redshank Whites Creek,  32 Yellow Wagtail amongst cattle,  also 10  Chiffchaff, 3 Grey Wagtail,  3 Wheatear in area (CRJ). 
Church Norton: Quiet in the bushes - a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps being about it, but large numbers of hirundines feeding over the Severals and churchyard area - very approx 2-300 House Martins, 100 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins.  Ferry Pool: Dead! (AH)

Selsey Bill 1710-1830hrs:   Cloud. SW4
Gannet - 3E

Ringed Plover - 4 ob
Turnstone - 11 ob
Med Gull - 3 os
Sandwich Tern - 11os, 31W
C/A Tern - 1W
Common Tern - 1W
Little Tern - 1 feeding os then W

Wednesday, 18th September: Many thanks to Andy for running the blog  so capably whilst I made a short visit to Strumble Head (Pemb's), where bizarrely the sea-watch obs there held four of the Selsey regulars; Eric Soden, John Faithfull, Mervyn Jones and yours truly! On with today's news..

Greenshank at Church Norton (photo: AH)

In the horse paddock off Warner Lane (Selsey) this afternoon were 3 Whinchats and 2 Whitethroats (SR).

Pagham Hbr: Ferry Pool: Very quiet - 4 Black-tailed Godwits and 20 Lapwings was it!
Church Norton: Much quieter than the last few days - 1 Spotted Flycatcher and a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs around the bushes, a few Meadow Pipits, Swallows and House Martins over, and a Greenshank in the creek by the horse field was all I could find (AH).
Breech Pool: 56 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 each of Spotted Redshank, Snipe and Common Sandpiper. North Fields: 11 Common Whitethroat, 5 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, 52 Curlew, 28 Yellow Wagtails and 17 Meadow Pipits. 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrel and 1 Sparrowhawk (JW).

Evening walk Selsey to C/ Norton: (Obs: S & SaH)
Wheatear - 5
Chiffchaff- 10+
Swallow - 1
Common Tern - 1
Sandwich Tern - 1
Sparrowhawk - 2
Golden Plover -10


Monday, 16 September 2013

16th - 17th September 2013

Tuesday 17th September 2013

Just to remind everyone that Mr Mitchell is back from his travels tomorrow and will retake control of the blog from then on. Thanks to everyone who kept me supplied with information - it was a busy weekend! AH

Ferry Pool: Normal service has been resumed - just 4 Dunlin and 6 Black-Tailed Godwit this morning, plus the roosting 50+ Lapwings, the 4 juvenile Shelduck and a handful of Teal.

Church Norton: Best bird of the morning was a sub-adult male Marsh Harrier that circled over the copse a few times before drifting away west. No sign of the Wryneck in the dismal and deteriorating conditions. Otherwise, 5 Sandwich Terns, 30+ Grey Plovers, 20 Black-Tailed Godwits, a single Bar-Tailed Godwit and a Greenshank in the harbour, and up to 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Redstart, and 20+ of Blackcap & Chiffchaff roaming round in big loose flocks, and 50+ Swallows and 10+ Meadow Pipits overhead.

Chiffchaff, Church Norton 17/9/13 (AH)

Marsh Harrier, Church Norton 17/9/13 (AH)
North Wall: 5 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Spotted Redshank and a Kingfisher in White's Creek. Owl Copse and North Fields - 15 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher & 1 Redstart (CRJ & CF)

Monday 16th September 2013

Selsey Bill: Very quiet this morning after yesterday's storm, barely a bird on the move. A couple of Sandwich Terns offshore, a Wheatear and a Chiffchaff in the Bill House garden the highlights.
1800-1900: Red-Throated Diver 1W (first of the autumn), Gannet 1W 2E, Sandwich tern 14W, Common Tern 8W, Oystercatcher 1 obs (SH)

Wheatear at Selsey Bill 16/9/13 (AH)
Ferry Pool: Very quiet in  the strong north-westerly - 1 Greenshank, 1 Yellow-Legged Gull, 6 Dunlin and 6 Black-Tailed Godwit was the sum of it.
Church Norton: It more than made up for the lack of birds elsewhere, with the Wryneck showing very well in its favourite bush in the 1st Several, supported by 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a brief Pied Flycatcher, seen by A&YF but sadly not relocated, 10+ Blackcaps, 10+ Chiffchaffs, 1 Reed Warbler and 2 or 3  Whitethroats, along with a juvenile Arctic Tern off the beach and a Sandwich Tern in the harbour.
Juvenile Arctic Tern, Church Norton 16/9/13 (AH)

The Wryneck enjoying the sun in the 1st Several 16/9/13 (AH)
North Wall:Very breezy. 118 Black-Tailed Godwits on Breach Pool akong with 1 Spotted Redshank and 14 Lapwing, which all subsequently took off and went into White's Creek. Prior to this there had been 44 Redshank and 1 Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Spotted Redshank along the Creek. (JW)


Friday, 13 September 2013

13th-15th September 2013

Sunday, 15th September:

Church Norton: The Wryneck was refound this morning in the long clump of bushes in the 1st Several, but was being typically elusive in the deteriorating conditions. A lot of bird-watchers were out and about this morning, and their collective sightings include 1 or 2 Wheatears, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 5+ Whitethroats, 20-30 Blackcaps and similar numbers of Chiffchaffs, 2+ Spotted Flycatchers and plenty of hirundines (mostly Swallows) overhead, plus a Peregrine in the harbour, 5 Sparrowhawks & 3 Sandwich Terns.

Spotted Flycatcher, Church Norton 15/9/13 (AH)

Blackcaps, Church Norton 15/9/13 (AH)
Ferry Pool: Still up to 6 Curlew Sandpipers this morning, and 7 Greenshank present, but no sign of any Little Stints. Also the regular 2 Green Sandpipers and 20+ Dunlin, 15 Black-Tailed Godwit and a Yellow-Legged Gull present, and a Grey Wagtail flew over.
Yellow-Legged Gull, Ferry Pool 15/9/13 (AH)
4 (of 7) Greenshank on the Ferry 15/9/13 (AH)
Medmerry: Early am - 7 Wheatears and 2 Yellow Wagtails present. (S&SaH)
Wheatear at Medmerry 15/9/13 (SH)
North Wall: Very quiet on the Breech Pool - 9 Black-Tailed Godwits, 11 Lapwing, 3 Snipe, 1 juv Ruff, and 100 plus Teal.
Around the fields 32 Yellow Wagtails around the cattle at Honer, and another 6 with cattle at Marsh Farm.
Around the bushes 2 Whinchat, 7 Blackcap, 2 Common and 2 Lesser whitethroats, 4 Wheatear and 3 Chiffchaff. Also a flock of 500 plus starlings in Honer area.(JW)

Selsey Bill: 06.15 to 10.00, N1 sunny, then SW4 cloudy:
Gannet - 23E, 46W, Shoveler - 1W, Shelduck - 3W, Common Scoter - 1E, 6W, Kestrel - 1N, 1 Oval Field, Curlew - 1W, Turnstone - 42ob, Guillemot - 1E, 1W, auk sp - 1E, 1W, Sandwich Tern - 2os, Common Tern - 2W, Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1N, Meadow Pipit - 306W, Yellow Wagtail - 12W, Grey Wagtail - 1W, Pied Wagtail - 1W, 4ob, Swallow - 48W, Sand Martin - 5W, House Martin - 6W, Wheatear - 2ob, Chiffchaff - 4 gardens and Sedge Warbler - 1 gardens. (J. Atkinson, P. Matson et al).
12.00-14.30 Arctic and Common Tern 1 of each W together, Bonxie 1W, Avocet 1W, Wheatear 1 obs (GH per SH)
14.30-16.40. Sw5 Gannet 6E 8W, Sandwich Tern 2W, Arctic Skua 1E, Fulmar 1W, Kittiwake 1E, Turnstone 5 obs (SH)

Saturday, 14th September: Andy will be continuing to run the blog for the next few days, but I interject to bring some sad news. I regret to say I have just learned of the death of Mike Shrubb, who passed away yesterday in Wales. Mike was a local farmer whose land previously included the Ferry pool and he will be known to all regular birders of my generation as a dominant force in Sussex birding, until he eventually moved to Wales a good number of years ago. There will be others who are better placed to describe his life and times, but suffice it to say that birding will be much the poorer for his passing. He did appear at the Bill only this spring, when we were pleased to reminisce - and I was able to remind him of the time when two keen young birders named Janman and Mitchell provided him with a tick on his patch - a White-rumped Sandpiper on the Ferry - which he treated with unrestrained joy after hastily arriving in a cloud of dust and a screech of brakes! Rest in peace Mike (OM). Back to AH for bird news...

Selsey to Church Norton: Wheatear 6, Chiffchaff 30+, Willow Warbler 10+, Reed Warbler 1, Sedge Warbler 1, Meadow Pipit 80 +, Yellow Wag 2, Swallow 200+, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Sand Martin 20+, Hobby 1, Peregrine 2. (S&SaH)
C&ME saw a similar selection, plus a Wryneck on the 1st Several. Annoyingly, as I walked along the path to look for it, I watched it get up from a bramble clump 40m ahead of me & fly right across the reeds and drop down at the back of the 1st Several, into a totally inaccessible area. Hopefully it will return to the beach side in due course.

Wryneck on the 1st Several 14/9/13 (pics: Colin Eames)

Ferry Pool: First thing there were up to 10 Curew Sandpipers, 1 Little Stint, a Ruff, 2 Greenshank, 30 Dunlin, 8 Black-Tailed Godwit, 3 Yellow-Legged Gulls and 50+ roosting Lapwings. (At midday, all bar the Lapwings had gone!)
Curlew Sandpiper on the Ferry 14/9/13 (AH)

2 Greenshank and a Ruff on the Ferry 14/9/13 (AH)
Halsey's Farm: CRJ reported a possible/probable Goshawk in the copse there, but could not relocate it. Whether it is the local escapee or one from the Downs is impossible to say, but keep your eyes open!
Marsh Farm: S&SaH paid a visit this pm recording -  Buzzard 1, Sparrowhawk 2, Reed warbler 1
& (best of all) Raven 3, flew north calling.
Honer Farm: A Common Sandpiper and the 7 juvenile Tufted Ducks. Also 20+ Yellow Wagtails in the fields. (CRJ & JW)
North Wall/East Side: A walk along the east side of the harbour produced 5 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Greenshank, up to 5 Common Sandpipers, 1 Knot, 3 Spotted Redshank, around 100 Black-Tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-Tailed Godwit and 20+ Meadow Pipits over. The Breach Pool was quiet - 3 Snipe and 176 Teal (JW counted them!) being about it, bar a couple of Sedge Warblers in the reeds. Also 2 Grey Wagtails briefly at the sluice.
Common Snipe on the Breach Pool 14/9/13 (AH)

Ivy Lake: 3 Common Terns (2 adults and a juvenile) and 100+ hirundines, mostly House Martins.

Park Lane Selsey: Ian Pitts reports a Pied Flycatcher in Park Lane, and a Yellow Wagtail there, but sadly it couldn't be refound, though S&SaH noted 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Wheatears and 6 Chiffchaffs present there this afternoon.

Selsey Bill: 07.45 to 10.30, NW4/5 sunny,
Gannet - 18E, 28W, Little Egret - 1W, Common Scoter - 2E, 6W, Hobby - 1W, Oystercatcher - 2ob, Turnstone - 80ob, Med' Gull - 1os, Black-headed Gull - 30os, Common Tern - 1W, 2os, Sandwich Tern - 2W, auk sp - 1W, Meadow Pipit - 149W, Swallow - 219W, Sand Martin - 4W, House Martin - 56W and Chiffchaff - 2 in Bill House Garden. (J. Atkinson, G. Heath & S. de Hat).

Friday 13th September: A dull autumnal day, with the Ferry offering most of the interest:

Ferry Pool: SH recorded 5 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Little Stints and a Spotted Redshank early on. By the time CRJ and I were looking, the Spotted Redshank had departed but there were 9 Curlew Sandpipers present. A peak of about 40 Dunlin were noted, along with 2 Sanderlings for a short time, as well as 2 Green Sandpipers, the usual dozen or so Black-Tailed Godwits and the roosting flock of Lapwings.(AH)

Curlew Sandpiper & Dunlin on the Ferry13/9/13 (AH)

Sanderling amongst the Dunlin, Ferry Pool 13/9/13 (AH)

Curlew Sandpiper & Little Stint on Ferry 13/9/13 (AH)
Church Norton: All the birds were seemingly in one big roving flock, tracked down around the concrete wall, including 1 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3+ Blackcaps, a Reed Warbler, 20+ Chiffchaff and dozens of Blue, Great & Long-Tailed Tits, but virtually birdless elsewhere.(AH)
Selsey to Norton: 17.00 - Wheatear 1, Willow Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 2, Whitethroat 1 & Sandwich Tern 6. (S&SaH)