Tuesday, 17 October 2017

17th October 2017

Tuesday, 17th October: Another odd sort of a day, with a brisk south-westerly early on fading away to a flat calm, but with exceptionally dark leaden-grey skies once again....

Selsey Bill: Another quiet day at the Bill, with almost no sea-bird passage and only the lightest of visible migration observed, though a Firecrest and a Goldcrest were in the bushes. Full log later. (OM/SR/AH et al)

Goldcrest (above), Turnstones & a strange sun at the Bill (AH)

Selsey East Beach: The Rose-coloured Starling finally gave itself up mid-morning, in Marine Drive again, though an earlier search around Selsey Common failed to locate it, but did turn up a Wheatear. (BFF/DM/DF/KJ/AH et al) Also a Firecrest was in my garden nearby. (SR)

Rose-coloured and Common Starlings (AH) (above) & Firecrest (SR) at East Beach

Ferry Pool: Just the injured Avocet, six Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank, ten Teal and 65 Lapwing were on the pool, with two Buzzards at the back early on and a Grey Wagtail over later on. (AH/KJ et al)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Whimbrel and two Greenshank were among the Grey Plovers, Redshank and Curlews roosting  in the harbour, along with half a dozen Pintail and 20 Wigeon.
A couple of Siskins were in the trees at the end of the path to the harbour, and there were also a few Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and Long-tailed Tits about, with half a dozen Skylarks, c20 Meadow Pipits and c200 Linnets along the spit. (AH/A&YF)

Whimbrel (above), Greenshanks and Redshanks, Grey Plover, Pintails & Long-tailed Tit at Church Norton (AH)

Friday, 13 October 2017

13th - 16th October 2017

Monday, 16th OctoberA strangely mild and humid day, with heavy cloud and a steadily freshening south to south-easterly breeze......these conditions largely generated by a severe storm (ex-hurricane Ophelia) tracking northwards from the Atlantic, along the west side of Britain towards Ireland and then Scotland.....

Selsey BillThere was not too much of anything at the Bill, perhaps surprising given the conditions, though a few Swallows and Meadow Pipits were moving around and a few Gannets went west. Frustratingly, there were quite a number of unidentifiable finches and passerines moving through offshore, or heading out, but most were just too distant! Surely there must be some hope of seabird or migrant displacement to add interest over the next few days....?     Full log below.....
0815-1200hrs:  (SR/AH/OM/CBC/MC)
Diver sp - 1E
Gannet - 10E, 45W
Brent Goose - 8W
Common Scoter - 11W
Turnstone - 53 ob
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Razorbill - 3W
auk sp - 1E, 12W
Kestrel - 1 hunting over the gardens
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 gardens
Swallow - 15E
Meadow Pipit - 58E/SE, 19W
Pied Wagtail - 8E, 1W
Goldfinch - 40 p
Goldcrest - 3 Oval field

Meadow Pipit (above) & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

 Kestrel on the Bill House and part of the Turnstone flock on the beach (OM)

Selsey East beachThere was no sign of the Rose-coloured Starling at first this morning, in blustery conditions, but around noon it was again reported from the Kingsway area, on rooftops....(G.Trigg, per SR)

Rose-coloured Starling at East Beach (G Trigg)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers on the concealed pool, that briefly visited the main pool, and there were also eight Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Teal, 35 Lapwing and the injured Avocet present. (AH)

Green Sandpipers (above) & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: It was generally quiet, though four Blackcaps and a couple of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs were around the hide/Mound area, a couple of Stonechats and Cetti's Warblers, plus half a dozen Jays were around the Severals, and four Skylarks, c20 Meadow Pipits and c50 Linnets went west overhead, with one Grey and one Pied Wagtail going the other way.
The Whimbrel was in the high tide roost, by the concrete blocks, along with a few Grey Plovers, but there was little else of note on the big tide, whilst a Sparrowhawk crossed the bay well offshore before flying in and diving into Bluebell Wood. 
Also a Siskin was along the path between the Severals, a possible Fieldfare flew over, a Little Grebe was on the second Several and there were a couple of Meadow Pipits on the first Several. (AH/AW)

Blackcaps (above), Stonechat, Whimbrel and Curlew & Teal (AH), Little Grebe & Meadow Pipit (AW) at Church Norton 

Snowhill Creek: The Brent Goose count had risen to 60 this morning. (MR)

Medmerry: Toe End - There were two Wheatears on the rough ground today and 16 Ringed Plovers and 11 Dunlin near the breach. (SH)

Selsey: There were a couple of interesting moths in the trap this morning - a Blair's Mocha and a Cypress Carpet. (SH)

Blair's Mocha (above) & Cypress Carpet in a Selsey garden (SH)

Sunday, 15th October: Rather cloudy and dank early on, but decidedly mild,  becoming somewhat brighter as the day progressed, with a light to moderate SSW breeze...

Selsey East beach: The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was again present in the Kingsway area, early morning at least (per RBA) and was on rooftops and visiting gardens later. (S&SaH/SR). Early afternoon found it in & out of the roost at Selsey Common and again on the rooftops of the houses nearby. (C.Melgar/M.Booker)

The Rose-coloured Starling on rooftops this morning (SH) and below visiting gardens (SR)

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of visible migration today, whilst a Merlin flew west....
0700-0930hrs: (SH/PB/SR/IP)
Gannet - 9E, 103W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 29W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W
Common Scoter - 2E
Curlew - 1W
Razorbill - 7W
auk sp - 2W
Merlin - 1W
Kestrel - 1 p
Mediterranean Gull - 9W
Common Gull - 1W
Swallow - 30W

Pied/alba Wagtail - 75W
Meadow Pipit - 85W
Skylark - 6W
Goldfinch - 70 p
Linnet - 290 p

Park Farm, Selsey: There were 3 Stonechats and a Reed Bunting this morning, whilst two Swallows went over (SH) Later in the day there were two Mistle Thrushes here & a Grey Wagtail was at the balancing pool in Manor Road. (IP)

Chi GPs - Drayton Pits: Wildfowl numbers are still low (apart from Coots), the best being 26 Gadwall, 12 Pochard and 10 Shoveler, with 4 Snipe around the pool edges. Around the hedgerows were 14 Chiffchaffs and the same number of Goldcrests, whilst Cetti's Warblers were prominent with a minimum of 6 birds present, and back-up birds included 3 Green and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 2 Jays. (OM) 

Medmerry, Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool: Fairly muted in the stiff breeze today along the banks with just three Stonechats to note here. The Stilt Pools held hundreds of Canada Geese, two Bar-headed Geese, four Gadwall, 50 Wigeon and plenty of Mallards but unfortunately there was not a wader to be seen. The beach area was more productive with two large flocks of Meadow Pipits, a large flock of Linnets and a charm of Goldfinches constantly active over the shingle. (BI) This afternoon a walk up to Marsh Barn yielded three Kestrels, a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk over & 50 Lapwing with two Golden Plovers were out in the fields with a Greenshank nearby. Along the banks were seven Stonechats, 10+ Yellowhammers and 20+ Meadow Pipits. (SH/SaH)

Bar-headed Goose at Medmerry (BI)

Church Norton/West Side: A five-hour vigil by two birders at the hide had not produced the Ring Ouzel by 13:00 but there was a Jay and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in that area and a few Swallows went over. There were plenty of waders out in the harbour including Dunlin & Grey Plover and there were 16 Little Egrets altogether on the margins, the three Eider were still present and wildfowl numbers in general seemed on the rise. A Spoonbill was distantly towards the north wall and the Dartford Warbler remained along the west side near the gorse. At the Severals, 20 Swallows went over whilst a Wheatear in partial summer plumage was on the concrete. (BI/IP)

Waders at Church Norton (BI)

Saturday, 14th October: Very mild for the time of year, mainly cloudy at first but becoming brighter later with pleasant sunny periods and a moderate SSW breeze....

We start today with an important editorial. Apologies for taking some time and space here, but we need your help. In short, there are several planning applications to develop farmland in Pagham (no prizes for guessing whose), including two applications that are likely to impact on Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve due to their proximity. An objection case is being prepared, but the developers are likely to resist as hard as possible. One of the proposed areas is on the land behind Pagham Village Hall, say as far as opposite Sea Road, land which as many of you may well know has been used annually by wintering Brent Geese and other species. The trouble is proving it in relation to this specific area.
So, if you have any records of wildfowl/waders previously using the land, we need to hear from you, especially if you also have photos. Jim Weston is gathering such material, but you can always send it to us for onward submission.
However, it is now vitally important that we record any birds visiting this winter, again with photos....even though bird scarers may be in operation, and information is important. The SOS are on board, and we hope the RSPB will be also, so please take the time to read the following advice we have received.............

"I would suggest that you ensure that every wetland bird that alights on the proposed development area from now to end March is recorded with a six-figure grid reference. Records should include appropriate notes such as “100 birds on ground for 5 minutes but flew off when bird-scarer went off.  Photograph available.”. Records supported by photographs will be particularly useful, because at some stage in the future we are going to have to sit down with the developers and be prepared with provable facts to demonstrate why these sites are important for Brent Geese.    Where possible any photographs should show some distinguishable landscape feature, such as a hedge line, tree line, or even better buildings.  I think it will be better to get a composition with such distinguishable background features in it (as well as the geese of course!) rather than the best composition of the geese themselves with only a field as backdrop, but which could be anywhere. (I have a feeling we are up against these kind of developers)."   
We do hope you can assist. Many thanks. (Eds)
Selsey East Beach: The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was again present this morning, frequenting various gardens (including the finder's again) and the verges and rooftops in the area around the new Lifeboat Station in Kingsway and in the "traditional" Starling roost near Selsey Common. It is often accompanied by Common Starlings and remains mobile, but with a little patience can usually be located........! (OM/SR/BI/MJ)
It was still present, around the fishermen's crab-tanks at 1700hrs (SH)
Very little at the Pond this morning; just a few Goldcrests and a single Chiffchaff, though a squealing Water Rail was a surprise. Three Swallows and 50 Goldfinches also passed through. (OM/MJ)

The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling this morning, viewed through the kitchen window of the original finder's house (top two OM, lower SR, bottom with Common Starling BI)

Selsey Bill: Remaining quiet with the southerly winds.....little over the sea and just a small amount of vis.mig. overhead.....
Gannet - 2E, 12W
Common Scoter - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 10W
Razorbill - 1W
Skylark - 1W
Meadow Pipit - 34W
Pied Wagtail - 8E, 4W, 1S
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Swallow - 2E
Linnet - 45E
Goldfinch - 155E
Goldcrest - 2 gardens

Park FarmThree Stonechats and 4 Buzzards. (SH)

Buzzard at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

Church Norton/West Side: Quite a big crowd looking for the Ring Ouzel behind the hide this morning and the bird obliged by showing occasionally around the large conifer in the fenceline; better, if not longer, views were later obtained by viewing the tree from the churchyard side.
The harbour was generally quiet apart from a few Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew & Grey Plovers, all of which were put up at one stage by a Sparrowhawk. There was a single Wheatear on the concrete and a few Goldcrests & a Great Spotted Woodpecker around the hedges but generally these were quiet. Further down towards Reedy Marsh there was a Dartford Warbler popping up & down on the gorse and there were two Small Copper butterflies here as well. (BI)
Later, there were 2 Wheatears and 4 Stonechats, a Swallow went over, a Peregrine was in the harbour and the Whimbrel was still around. (SH)

Great Spotted Woodpecker & Wheatear at Church Norton (BI)
Ring Ouzel behind the hide at Church Norton (G.W.Trigg)

 Whimbrel and Wheatear at Church Norton (SH)

Medmerry: Toe end - A Wheatear was still present, plus 2 Stonechats and 50+ Meadow Pipits, and 11 Skylarks W (SH)

Snowhill Creek: At 8:30 am this morning I spotted 20 Brent Geese that must have arrived in the last 12 hours. (MR)

Brent Geese in Snowhill Creek (MR)

Friday, 13th October: Cloudy and dry, but a bit murky at times, though notably mild despite the fresh-strong SW breeze, force 5-6 along the coast.....

Selsey, East Beach: The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was seen briefly on rooftops in Kingsway late morning, (JD/DS), but it was very mobile and soon flew off with other Starlings and by early afternoon could not be re-located. (BI/OM).
Later it briefly re-appeared in bushes near Julie's cafĂ© by the fishermen's huts (per RBA).
Three Swallows and 50 Goldfinches flew over, and around the Pond were two Chiffchaffs and at least a dozen Goldcrests. (OM)

Selsey Bill: Nothing really moving at sea, apart from about 100 Gannets, and little visible migration was apparent either this morning........Full log below....
0725-1000hrs:   (OM/SR/JD/DS)
Gannet - 5E, 96W
Common Scoter - 2W
Curlew - 1W
Turnstone - 15 p
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Kestrel - 1 gardens
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 3E, 1W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1W
Swallow - 3 W
Pied Wagtail - 2W, 1 gardens
Meadow Pipit - 32W
Linnet - 20W
Goldfinch - 60W

Selsey Park Farm: A Stonechat and ten Long-tailed Tits were present this evening. (SH)

Selsey, West: Around Drift Lane/Warner Lane paddocks the only birds of note were four Chiffchaffs, a single Stonechat and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. (OM)

Church Norton: Rather quiet mid-morning out in the harbour with just a few distant Dunlin & Grey Plover out on the mud and the Peregrine sat on the island. The bushes were mainly still as well apart from a small flock of Goldcrests along the beach front and one or two Chiffchaffs. Fifteen Swallows were over the fields and along the Severals were at least fifteen Red Admiral butterflies. (BI) The Ring Ouzel was reported as being present behind the hide again mid-afternoon. (per RBA). This evening there were c.100 Swallows along the beach. (BI)

Red Admiral in the Ivy at Church Norton (BI)

North Wall/Pagham East Side: There were plenty of Dunlin in the harbour this morning but nothing more exciting could be found with them! There were also four Bar-tailed Godwits, six Turnstones, three Ringed Plovers, 20+ Grey Plovers and many Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits. Towards and in White's Creek were 100s of Wigeon and 20 Pintail as well as 100+ Canada Geese. (BI/PC et al)

Grey Plover, above, Wildfowl & Waders in White's Creek & Wigeon at the North Wall (BI)

Medmerry: Toe End - There was still a Wheatear today joined by a Stonechat and eight Swallows flew over whilst six Skylarks went over west. (SH)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

10th - 12th October 2017

Thursday, 12th October: A thoroughly pleasant morning, with an unseasonably warm westerly breeze and lots of sunshine....

Selsey, East Beach: There was a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling on the fence in my garden near East Beach Pond this afternoon. (SR) Amazingly, it is just over four years from another one in the same garden! (Eds) It was later seen flying towards the fishermen's huts near the beach. (S&SaH)

Rose-coloured starling in a Selsey garden (SR)

East Beach Pond: There was a Wheatear on the beach this morning, and a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests around the pond. (GH)

Selsey Bill: There was a steady bit of visible migration this morning, and of a wider range of species than so far, including two Woodlarks over together, half a dozen Siskins and a few Skylarks among the more usual fare of Meadow Pipits, Swallows and Pied Wagtails.  Full log below. (AH/C&ME/GH/SR/PC)
Gannet - 76W
Brent Goose - 5E, 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Curlew - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 4W
Common Gull - 5W
Sandwich Tern - 4os
auk sp - 2E
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2p
Skylark - 11W
Woodlark - 2W
Swallow - 57W
House Martin - 4W
Meadow Pipit - 94W
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 81W
Mistle Thrush - 1p (seen flying between gardens)
Goldcrest - 2p (in Bill House garden)
Siskin - 7W
Greenfinch - 30W
Linnet - 50W
Goldfinch - 135W

Sandwich Tern (above) & Pied Wagtail at the Bill (AH)

Medmerry: Toe End - There was still one Wheatear present today, plus a few Meadow Pipits over. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were just 16 Lapwings and a Stock Dove along the side of the pool, plus a dozen Swallows over. (AH)

Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Ring Ouzel was showing well earlier on (TR), but had not been seen for over an hour by 11am. Otherwise, a Mistle Thrush was near the hide, a Blackcap and a few Chiffchaffs were along the hedges, a pair of Stonechats were along the beach and at least 200 Linnets and half a dozen Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were along the spit.
There was a bit of visible migration, including four Skylarks, 30 Meadow Pipits, ten Pied Wagtails, c50 Swallows and four House Martins all going west, but there was little of note in the harbour beyond a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and a few Grey Plovers and Curlews. (AH)

Linnets (above), Mistle Thrush, Stonechat, Bar-tailed Godwit & Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A Short-eared Owl flew in from the sea early on and landed in the reeds behind the Breech Pool. (IH). 
White's Creek was full of birds, with the highlights being 52 Golden Plover and six Spotted Redshanks, whilst further out in the harbour there were a Yellow-legged Gull and a Spoonbill.  
Water levels on the Breech Pool are higher than ever and only Mallard and Cormorants could be seen, though along the Wall there were three Reed Buntings and two Linnets , and overhead just a lone Swallow. There were also three Chiffchaffs in the hedges along the east side. (JDW/MO-W)

Reed Bunting along North Wall (JDW)

Wednesday, 11th October: A very gloomy and windy day, with a strong westerly persisting and just the odd glimpse of sun between the heavy grey cloud.....

An interesting development from the bat seen recently at the Bill, and considered a possible, if ultimately unprovable, Nathusius's Pipistrelle - Ian Honeyman sent recordings of a bat in Pagham churchyard to Sally-Ann Hurry, a bat surveyor and expert, who considers that his recordings from Pagham churchyard dated 28.9.17 and 4.10.17 were indeed of this species, and this would be a first  confirmed occurrence on the peninsula. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: Another quiet morning, with almost no overhead migration and just a couple of Shags and a few Common Scoter east and a few Gannets west. Full log later. (C&ME/GH/AH)
Gannet - 142W
Shag - 3E
Brent Goose - 1W
Common Scoter - 15E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 5W
Common Gull - 3W
Kittiwake - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 1os
auk sp - 2W
Meadow Pipit - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 2W
Linnet - 59W

Gannet past the Bill (AH)

Selsey: A splendid Swallow-tailed Moth was in the trap this morning. They are usually only seen on the wing in June and July. (SH)

Swallow-tailed Moth in a Selsey garden (SH)

Medmerry: Toe End - There were still two Wheatears showing around a wind-swept Toe End this morning. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There was just the Avocet, a Black-tailed Godwit and two Teal on the pool this morning. (AH)
Also, a Ring Ouzel was seen along the Tramway. (TG-P)

Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: It was very quiet in the blustery conditions, with just a lone Sandwich Tern, three Bar-tailed Godwits and a flock of a dozen Brent Geese that dropped in being of note.
The bushes were equally quiet, with a dozen Chiffchaffs, and a few Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits along the sheltered hedges being the only small birds seen beyond a couple of dozen Swallows over. (AH)
This afternoon the Ring Ouzel was reported by visiting birders as present behind the hide again. (per IL)

Bar-tailed Godwits (above), Sandwich Tern, Brent Geese, Chiffchaff & Long-tailed Tits at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A Cattle Egret was present with Little Egrets (info received later, per MO-W)

Tuesday, 10th October: A very grey and blustery morning, though dry and fairly mild......

Selsey Bill: A very quiet morning, with little offshore or overhead. Full log below. (C&ME/AH/DF/JD)
Gannet - 121W
Brent Goose - 3W
Wigeon - 4W
Common Scoter - 13E, 4W
Turnstone - 6W
Curlew - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 4os
auk sp - 2W
Swallow - 5N
Meadow Pipit - 27W
Pied Wagtail - 10W
Linnet - 45W

Sandwich Tern (above), Mediterranean Gull & wind-turbines in the distant sunshine at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just the Avocet with a damaged leg and a dozen Lapwing were on the pool, with a dozen Wigeon and 200 Teal in the channel opposite. (AH)

Avocet (above), Wigeon & Teal around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Yesterday's Ring Ouzel was still about, though very elusive, either sat deep in the bushes or flying to inaccessible areas. The bushes were generally quiet beyond a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and half a dozen Jays, with c50 Swallows over, whilst in the harbour there was a very late adult Common Tern, a Sandwich Tern, a Spoonbill feeding over towards the North Wall, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a few Grey Plovers. (AH/BFF/DM/DF/JD)

Common Tern (above), Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and Great Spotted Woodpeckers at Church Norton (AH)

DM, ME, CE & BFF settled in the hide awaiting the Ring Ouzel's re-appearance (AH)

We spent some time in the churchyard and then viewing from the hide, but it was relatively quiet with only 6 Chiffchaff, 20 Goldfinch and a couple of Blackcap and just a glimpse of the Ring Ouzel from the back of the hide first thing before it disappeared for a couple of hours. Eventually, though, it showed itself for a long period on the fence posts and in the paddock at the northern end of the sheep field behind the hide. 
In the harbour 5 Sandwich and single adult Common Tern were active with 3 Bar-tailed Godwit feeding. A Spoonbill was showing briefly as it fed in one of the creeks at the North Wall, whilst in amongst  the Dunlin  flock a Little Stint  was busy feeding up and there was a steady movement of Swallows feeding around the harbour. (BFF/DM)
This evening a Merlin sped across the saltmarsh, but otherwise it was quiet, with just a lone Sandwich Tern in the harbour and a few Chiffchafs in the bushes. (S&SaH)

Ring Ouzel (above) & Little Egrets at Church Norton (DM)

Medmerry: Toe End - There were still two Wheatears and two Stonechats on the rough ground this morning, and 14 Ringed Plovers were in the pools near the breach. (SH)

North Wall: The Breach Pool was very windy and with high water levels meaning little was about, though a Kingfisher flew across the pools, four Swallows flew over, a Kestrel was out hunting, two Stonechats were in the reeds and a Little Grebe was in with the Mallards.  
In White's Creek there were 100 or so of Wigeon and Teal, 17 Pintail, c50 Golden Plover, c25 Grey Plover, c75 Lapwing, a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper.  (SR)

Pagham Lagoon: The lagoon looks green with algae and white spume had gathered at the water's edge, but there were still two Kingfishers, three Chiffchaffs and a Green Woodpecker about, though there was very little on the water - just nine Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe, 15 Tufted Ducks and a family of Mute Swans with a few Swallows over. (SR)