Sunday, 21 April 2013

21st - 23rd APRIL

Tuesday, 23rd April: A fine sunny day and once again most of the news eminated from Pagham Harbour. The Bonelli's Warbler sp was clinched as a Western (of which more later) and after giving observers the slip for some while finally showed to most behind the Hide at Church Norton. The Long-eared Owl was not re-located, but in its place (almost at the same spot) was a reeling but none-too-obliging Grasshopper Warbler. Other migrants included several Lesser Whitethroats and plenty of Whitethroats, a couple of Cuckoos and some Whimbrel; a Nightingale was also reported. Sea-watching at the Bill was again a non-event with little coverage achieved today.

Two views of the action from the crowd gathered behind Church Norton hide
Pagham Harbour: The following report from Bernie Forbes gives details of the morning: "Unfortunately we were a little late this morning and missed the Bonelli's
Warbler seen around 0800-0830hrs behind the Norton hide. A long stakeout
followed with much grumbling and mirth with a few observers giving up and leaving.
Plenty of Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff moving around keeping most
of us on our toes, and some of us could even hear the Lesser Whitethroat belting
out its rattle nearby! Around 1200hours birders started to disperse when
Chris Janman had the bird high in the alders at the bottom of the footpath
from the car park. We could hear it calling for a few moments and confirmed
it is a Western Bonelli's. It once again disappeared for a few minutes
although we could hear it calling before it was finally pinned down south
of the hide and showed well over the next hour or so, mainly in the sallow's
etc between the footpath and the hide."   (BFF).
I would just add that the bird also responded to a recorded call of Western played
briefly, giving a di-syllabic 'hu-eet' note, and also called several times without any
prompting, surely confirming it as WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER. (AB/BFF/CRJ/OM et al).
Also in the harbour were 6 Whimbrel, only 2 Sandwich Terns, 4 Med Gulls and 2 calling Cuckoos.
A Nightingale was also reported from Church Norton.

Fishbourne Creek; 2 Greenshanks, 2 Whimbrel, 4 Med Gulls and 2 Red Kites.
Monday, 22nd April: A day when Pagham Harbour stole the show. Yesterday's Long-eared Owl was still present near the cycle track and even more obvious, being perched out in the open, allowing those photographers present to obtain good shots. Then Ivan Lang reported a fem-type Common Rosefinch nearby but sadly it didn't linger and no-one else got to see it. The icing on the cake however was at Church Norton, when visiting birders Ted Raynor and his wife located a BONELLI'S WARBLER sp in the hedgerows behind the Hide. Around 15 observers got to see it before it moved off, and it hadn't re-appeared by the time I left at 4pm. Some observers managed photos and these are awaited... presumably it was a Western, but I didn't hear it call. Selsey Bill by contrast was fairly dire, leaving a few visitors from Bexhill and elsewhere underwhelmed - though it was nice to meet them. A male Pied Flycatcher was reported at Selsey Golf Club (per SOS) - but regrettably the news was not released to the locals by the finder, as far as I'm aware.
Long-eared Owl, Pagham Hbr; this over-exposed image is the best I could do - doubtless some good images will appear! 

(Western) Bonelli's Warbler, Church Norton (photo: Ads Bowley)

above and below: (Western) Bonelli's Warbler and Long-eared Owl: photos Martin Peacock (with thanks)

Selsey Bill (0645-1030hrs): Dry and mainly sunny with light cloud. Wind light WSW 1-2, inc 3.
(Obs: GH/OM et al):
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Diver Sp - 1E
Common Scoter - 51E, 1W, 3 os
Fulmar - 1E, 4W
Gannet - 22E, 34W
Whimbrel - 7E, 5W
Oystercatcher - 2W
Woodpigeon - 10 SW
C/A Tern - 2W
Little Tern - 8W
Sandwich Tern - 16E, 4W  
Swallow - 9N
Linnet - 4W
evening sea-watch: (1800-1915hrs) (Obs:SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Diver sp - 2 E
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 5E, 19W

Common Scoter - 1os
Swift - 1N
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 14 os

Pagham Hbr: An outstanding day as mentioned above, with Long-eared Owl, Common Rosefinch and Bonelli's Warbler. Other sightings: Sidlesham Ferry field: 5 Whimbrel, singing Lesser Whitethroat. Long Pool : 7 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 pairs of Little Grebe.

Chi GPs: Ivy lake area: stunning Arctic Tern giving good views, 4 Common Terns, 10 Swifts, 6 House Martins, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Reed Warbler, 3 Cetti's Warbler. (GH)


Sunday, 21st April: Following on from my mobile phone problem, I have now acquired a new smartphone which will mean notifying you all of a new number (when I can work out this touch screen mullarky) - which I will do by email - but meanwhile I can receive most texts and calls on the old number but cannot reply. The new phone has me baffled right now. Thanks for your patience.
A very quiet seawatch today with no skuas and few highlights, perhaps the Black-throated Divers being about the best. It seems  the observers present (which didn't include me) packed up early:-

Selsey Bill (0530 - 0945hrs): Dry, sunny with some cloud, wind NNE1 then SW2. (Obs:JA/SH et al).
Great Northern Diver - 8 os
Black-throated Diver - 4E
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 39E, 17W
Fulmar - 3E, 4W
Brent Goose - 5E,
Shelduck - 2E, 1W, 2p
Mallard - 5p
Teal - 2os
Eider - 2E
Common Scoter - 110E, 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 1W
Curlew - 1E, 1W
Whimbrel - 5E
Oystercatcher - 4E, 2W
Snipe - 1E
Turnstone - 38ob
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2E
Dunlin - 5W
Common Gull - 14E
Sandwich Tern - 42E, 14os
Commic Tern - 2E
Little Tern - 8 os,
auk sp - 1W
Swallow - 14N
Wheatear - 1 ob
Linnet - 7N
Also one Bottle-nosed Dolphin lingering offshore.
 evening sea watch (1715-1840hrs)(Obs: SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E

Diver sp - 3E
Common Scoter - 3E

Eider - 2W
Gannet - 7W, 8E
Auk sp - 2E
Razorbill - 3W
Little Tern - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 17 os
The bird of the day was undoubtedly a Long-eared Owl which showed well at Pagham Hbrapproximately 50m from the Selsey Tramway along the cycleway behind the Visitor Centre.... also 4 Whimbrel on Church Norton beach.
Long-eared Owl, Pagham Hbr near the Tramway, 21st April (photos: (above) Andy House and (below) Sam Hill)

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