Current birding news from Selsey Bill and other important Peninsula sites including Pagham Harbour and Medmerry nature reserves. Visiting birders are always welcome and submissions for the blog should be sent to BOTH co-editors as follows:- email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (if absent Deputy Editor email@example.com)
Monday, 16th September: A grey and largely overcast morning, though still mild in the light westerly breeze.....
Selsey Bill: It was mostly quiet, save a huge pulse of c700 Swallows and then later a pulse of c300 House Martins, going west. Otherwise there were a couple of Wheatears along the beach and 11 Yellow Wagtails over. Full log below..... (0645-1045hrs): (C&ME/AH/IP/OM)
Gannet - 8E, 37W
Shag - 3E
Turnstone - 14p
Mediterranean Gull - 17E, 10W
Sandwich Tern - 14E, 7W
Common Tern - 3W
Swallow - 1110W
House Martin - 312W
Meadow Pipit - 38W
Yellow Wagtail - 11W
Pied Wagtail - 16W
Wheatear - 2 ob
Blackcap - 1p
Chiffchaff - 8p
Goldcrest - 2p
House Martin at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were just a Common Sandpiper and three Dunlin present, along with c50 Black-tailed Godwits and c40 Lapwings. (AH/IP)
Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)
Long Pool: There were three Ospreys viewable from here over the harbour at the same time, at around 11am, with two circling high up and another drifting in from the east before eventually going off west over the Ferry.
The bushes were quiet, though, with just a Sedge Warbler, a couple of Whitethroats and a handful of Blackcaps seen, whilst Ferry Channel held at least 200 Teal, c75 Redshank and c40 Dunlin, all put up by the Osprey. (AH)
Osprey (above) & Blackcaps along the Long Pool (AH)
Medmerry: Breach Area - An Osprey went over at 10.30am. (SH) Church Norton: The Wryneck was showing intermittently, though occasionally very well, this morning, either side of the path between the Severals.
Also, the Ospreys together were seen, though the harbour was quiet, as were the bushes beyond a few Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs, with a small but steady flow of Swallows and House Martins overhead. (A&YF/TR/PC/AH/IP et al)
Wryneck (top two AF, others AH) & Blackcap (AH) at Church Norton
Chi GPs: Ivy Lake complex - There was little to grab the attention this morning, although the (presumed) family party of seven Egyptian Geese was present, plus at least 40 Great Crested Grebes. A number of small flocks of Swallows and House Martins - and at least six Sand Martins - passed through, whilst along the hedgerows and trees at least 15 Chiffchaffs were logged, but little else except a largish party of Long-tailed Tits.
New Lake held a small flock of seven Shovelers amongst other common wildfowl, whilst a Treecreeper and a couple of Chiffchaffs were the only other birds of note. (OM)
Sunday, 15th September: A decidedly chilly start, but soon warming to give another splendidly sunny autumn day, with a light W/NW breeze..... Selsey Bill: There were still a few Yellow Wagtails and Meadow Pipits over, though many fewer Swallows, but there was a huge gathering of 300+ House Martins, with half a dozen Sand Martins among them, sitting on the rooftops and adjacent wires of the houses on the east side of the Oval Field. Full log below..... (0630-0930hrs): (SH/PB/JA/BI/AH/IP) Gannet - 8E, 15W Shag - 1E Kestrel - 1p Curlew - 1E, 1W Bonxie - 1W Mediterranean Gull - 4os Stock Dove - 1E Swallow - 175E, 67W Sand Martin - 2E, 6p House Martin - 100E, 300+p Meadow Pipit - 31W Yellow Wagtail - 12E Grey Wagtail - 1W Pied Wagtail - 1E, 1W Wheatear - 2p Chiffchaff - 7p Willow Warbler - 4p
House and Sand Martins (above) (AH) & House Martins (top two AH, lower two SH) at the Bill
Ferry Pool: There wasn't much about this morning beyond a Common Sandpiper, three Dunlin, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and c25 Teal, plus a few Swallows over and a handful of Chiffchaffs in the adjacent hedgerows.. (AH/IP)
Common Sandpiper (above) & Chiffchaff at the Ferry (AH)
Park Farm, Selsey: Six Stonechats were around the fields, with a Willow Warbler and two Chiffchaffs in the hedges and a Sparrowhawk went over. (S&SaH/PB)
Stonechat at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)
North Wall: The four Cattle Egrets and 40+ Yellow Wagtails were still around the cattle in the fields behind the wall and there were constant small flocks of Swallows and House Martins, plus a few Sand Martins overhead. Also, a Cetti's Warbler was calling, a Sparrowhawk went along the wall and a Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek. (IH) Church Norton: The Wryneck was still present this morning, showing intermittently, but occasionally well, around the bushes just to the east of the second Severals. (TB/NR) The Wryneck was proving elusive later on, but there were several hundred Swallows and House Martins about, with many over the second Several, whilst a Spotted Flycatcher was by the concrete wall and up to a dozen Blackcaps and similar of Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs were spread about the hedges. Also, a large Peregrine was chasing a flock of Teal in the harbour and a dozen Grey Plovers were on the mud. (AH/IP/A&YF et al) The Wryneck was showing again early afternoon and the juvenile Hobby was again around the churchyard, whilst an Osprey went over the harbour. Also, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Redstarts were in the hedges and a Yellow Wagtail went over, whilst a Clouded Yellow was along the beach. (AB/PB/S&SaH/AW).
Wryneck (above) (top two TB, lower two SH), Swallow & Whitethroat (AH) at Church Norton
Wryneck (above) (AB) & Hobby (top three AB, lower one AW) at Church Norton
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - An Osprey flew into the middle of the reserve this morning, carrying a large fish, whilst later on there were two Ospreys present. At least a dozen Stonechats were around the hedges, plus a Whinchat and three Wheatears, whilst one of the inaccessible ponds held a remarkable 36 Pintail. (HB)
Medmerry: Ham Farm - An Osprey was sat out on a dead tree on the reserve this evening, whilst around the banks and hedges there were 10 Whinchats, three Stonechats, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Blackcap, two Chiffchaffs, five Whitethroats, a Reed Bunting and 20+ Meadow Pipits, with to Yellow Wagtails over. (S&SaH)
Whinchat at Medmerry (SH)
Saturday, 14th September: A glorious Indian Summer morning, with just a light easterly breeze, and after a cool start, unbroken warm sunshine.......
Selsey Bill: A morning of significant visible migration, including 69 Yellow Wagtails, 2077 Swallows and 717 House Martins east and ten Wheatears along the beach. Full log below. SH/BI/AH/IP/OM) (0615-0915hrs) Gannet - 4E Shelduck - 5W Wigeon - 9W Sparrowhawk - 2p Mediterranean Gul - 4E Sandwich Tern - 8E, 9os Common Tern - 1E Great Spotted Woodpecker - 4p Swallow - 2077E House Martin - 717E Sand Martin - 24E Meadow Pipit - 167E Yellow Wagtail - 69E Grey Wagtail - 4E Wheatear - 10p Chiffchaff - 6p Magpie - 10p
Yellow Wagtail at the Bill (AH), Wheatear (BI)
Ferry Pool: There were a Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers and a flock of 27 Knot on the pool today, along with the usual c50 Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwing. (AH/IP) This evening a Curlew SAndpiper and a Dunlin were on the pool, with a Greenshank in the channel opposite. (IP)
Knot on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: A Wryneck was between the Severals - a well-overdue first of the year - showing occasionally until early afternoon at least. Also, the young Hobby was seen chasing dragonflies nearby and there were also a Redstart, 10+ Whitethroats, a Whinchat and four Wheatears along the front. There were also a Greenshank, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper and two Bar-tailed Godwits in the harbour. (BI/S&SaH/IP/OM/AH et al)
Wryneck at Church Norton (SH), lower pic (BI)
There was no sign of the Wryneck later this afternoon, though a Hobby was over the Severals and a Whinchat and a Stonechat were on the path through Greenlease Farm. (AW)
Hobby (above), Whinchat & Stonechat at Church Norton (AW)
Park Farm, Selsey: A Grasshopper Warbler was seen several times in a bush beside the field-side ditch this morning, and there were also four Yellow Wagtails and two Pied Wagtails on the fields. (S&SaH) Long Pool: A Reed Warbler was in the pool this morning, with four Stonechats, two Whitethroats, five Chiffchaffs and two Reed Buntings also present. (AH) This evening two Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool, a Cetti's Warbler was calling and one or two Blackcaps were in the bushes. (IP)
Reed Warbler (above), Stonechat & Reed Bunting along the Long Pool (AH)
North Wall: Two Kingfishers were active at the Sluice Gates this morning and two Stonechats were at the back of the horse paddock. White's Creek contained a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank, whilst further down the wall some 200 Yellow Wagtails followed the cattle in the fields, with four Cattle Egrets were also present. (IH) This afternoon, waders included a single juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 30 Knot, one Snipe and four Avocet while duck included 60 Wigeon and seven Pintail . Also seen was a Grey Wagtail, two Kingfishers together, four Yellow-legged Gull, a Marsh Harrier and lots of Swallows and Sand Martins. (ARK per SOS) Northcommon Farm: A Redstart and a Spotted Flycatcher were around Flycatcher Corner this morning. Also several Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs were along the hedges, plus a Stonechat and two more Whitethroats at the nearby Warner Lane paddocks.(OM)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - An Osprey was over the reserve before settling on the dead trees, whilst a Marsh Harrier was also seen , along with half a dozen Buzzards.
The banks held at least two Whinchats, eight Stonechats and ten Wheatears, along with a Lesser Whitethroat, several Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs and a handful of Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings, plus several flocks of Linnets and Goldfinches. There were also several hundred Swallows and House Martins moving through overhead.
A Whimbrel and a Greenshank were near the Poplars, with another of the latter, the regular Spoonbill and half a dozen Lapwings on the Stilt Pool. There were still the female Pintail and a few Wigeon and Gadwall present, along with the big goose flock containing 500+ Canada, two Bar-headed, two Cackling-type, one Greylag and eight Barnacle-type Geese. (AH/IP et al)
Spoonbill and Canada Geese (above), Wheatear, Stonechat, Lesser Whitethroat, Greenshank & Bar-headed, Barnacle-type and Canada Geese (AH)
The only additions to this morning were a total of 21 Wheatears present, along with three Greenshank, whilst at least 300 Swallows were seen going in to roost. (S&SaH)
Medmerry: Ham Farm - There were lots of birds around the banks and hedges this evening, including minimum counts of five Spotted Flycatchers, six Whinchats, 12 Stonechats, four Wheatears, two Reed Warblers, three Whitethroats, ten Chiffchaffs, ten Blackcaps, five Yellowhammers and 15 Reed Buntings, but the only hirundine seen was a solitary Sand Martin. (AH)
Whinchat (above), Whinchat and Stonechats, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear & Whitethroat at Medmerry (AH)
Friday, 13th September: A cloudy but warm and pleasant morning, with just a light northerly breeze, soon giving way to lots of sunshine.......
Selsey Bill: A few Shags went east and a Common Tern was among the Sandwich Terns offshore, but otherwise the sea was quiet, though a Hobby went out south, three Siskins, a few Meadow Pipits and a steady stream of Swallows went over, six Wheatears were on the beach and a Goldcrest and a few Willow/Chiffs were in the gardens. Full log below....
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 16E, 29W
Shag - 7E
Hobby - 1S
Kestrel - 2p
Dunlin - 9E
Turnstone - 11p
Sandwich Tern - 9E, 4W, 9os
Common Tern - 1os
Swallow - 578E
Meadow Pipit - 19W
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Wheatear - 6p
Chiffchaff - 2p
Willow/Chiff - 12p
Goldcrest - 1p
Siskin - 3E
Shags (above) & Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: It was quiet on here, with just a Common Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers of note, along with 45 Black-tailed Godwits and 25 Teal. (AH/IP)
Little Ringed Plover (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry & the new view along Ferry Channel (AH)
Late afternoon there were at least four Spotted Flycatchers around the Discovery area, one of which was ringed. (AW)
Spotted Flycatcher in the Discovery Area (AW)
Long Pool: There was a good selection of birds along the hedges of the Long Pool and the west side late this afternoon, including a Whinchat, a Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat, five Willow Warblers, and 10+ Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats, whilst 30+ Meadow Pipits, 50+ Swallows and 10+ Sand Martins went over.
Also, a Marsh Harrier was out over the harbour and a Kingfisher, two Spotted Redshanks and three Greenshanks were around Ferry Channel. (S&SaH)
North Wall: A Great White Egret was in the ditch in the fields at Halsey's Farm first thing, before flying off west. (BL)
Also, two Curlew Sandpipers and a Greenshank were in White's Creek. (IH) A late afternoon look produced at least four Whinchats and eight Stonechats around the hedges at Owl Point, at one point all in a loose group, with a Redstart, a Lesser Whitethroat and half a dozen Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats also about Halsey's farm. A Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek, along with a Greenshank and eight Wigeon, with another four Spotted Redshanks and half a dozen Lesser Black-backed Gulls out in the harbour. A Wheatear was along the wall, with several Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats and Blackcaps along the hedges and a huge hirundine flock - c500 Swallows plus 50 or so Sand and House Martins were feeding low over the Breech Pool, where a squealing Water Rail was also heard. (AH)
Whinchats (above), Whinchat and Stonechat, Stonechat, Redstart, Wheatear, Swallows & spotted Redshank around the North Wall (AH)
Church Norton: At least four Spotted Flycatchers, a dozen Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and two or three Goldcrests were around the churchyard/hide area, along with a sickly looking Lesser Whitethroat.
Along the beach and Severals there were a probable Grasshopper Warbler, four Wheatears, a dozen Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs and a pair of Stonechats, whilst 200 House Martins were feeding over the second Several and two Black-tailed Godwits were on it.
There was also a bit of visible migration east, including a Grey Wagtail, four Yellow Wagtails, 40 Linnets, 50 Meadow Pipits and 700 Swallows, but the only wader of note in a fairly empty harbour was what looks increasingly likely to be the wintering Whimbrel. (AH/IP/BI)
Wheatear (above), Spotted Flycatcher, Blackcap, Chiffchaff & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)
Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - A WeBS count produced 50 each of Pochard and Tufted Duck, plus two Shoveler, a Kingfisher and a Snipe, whilst along the hedgerows were 10 Blackcaps, at least 20 Chiffchaffs and three Lesser Whitethroats. (OM)