Sunday, 1 September 2013

1st - 2nd September 2013

Monday, 2nd September: Sunny and clear, wind W/NW3, becoming warm. At least 11 Curlew Sandpipers recorded at Pagham Hbr today.
Pagham Hbr: Ferry Pool: The Curlew Sandpiper still present, also 2 Green Sandpipers, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and small numbers of Lapwing.
North Wall area: The rising tide in White's Creek revealed a total of 10 (one adult) Curlew Sandpipers. In the harbour there were 300+ Dunlin and 100+ Ringed Plovers, but few other smaller waders. Along the Breech Pool, too, higher numbers, but much the same species-wise - 2 Spotted Redshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers, 6 Snipe and 50 Black-tailed Godwits, with a few Sedge & Reed Warblers about, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 50+ Swallows and 20 Sand Martins over (AH).

Common Snipe on the Breech Pool, and Curlew Sandpiper in White's Creek (photos: Andy House) 
Selsey - Church Norton (evening): (SH)
Black headed Gulls 600-700
Med Gulls. 200-300
Swallows 50
Sand Martins 50
Sandwich Tern 1
(All hawking flying ants over beach)
Whinchat 1
Wheatear 1
Willow Warbler 1

Sunday, 1st September: A new and hopefully exciting month begins, but first a few details from yesterday that I didn't have chance to add. The total of 56E and 20W Balearic Shearwaters is a clear record and is put into context by the following from Andy House:

"A bit of context from some research in the SOS reports....To give you an idea, in 2001 there were about half a dozen 'double figure days' of which the 17 at the Bill was the biggest, surpassed by the 19 in 2008, so if nothing else it's the biggest day in the county by a mile. In Bill terms, only the third YEAR there has been a double-figure count. (No figures for 2012, but there certainly weren't many past the Bill!)"  ..... the first column shows the year, followed by the Sussex Year Total, the Selsey Year Total, and the Selsey Day Total where relevant:

pre 94 41 22 6
94 0 0
95 0 0
96 6 2
97 6 1
98 27 0
99 23 0
00 5 1
01 260 119 17
02 6 4
03 3 0
04 0 0
05 13 1
06 41 4
07 15 9
08 75 62 19
09 17 3
10 6 3
11 20 4
564 235

Old boys re-united - Bob Lord (left) and Jim Weston at the Bill yesterday

Quite why so many Balearics chose to move on a light N/NW wind is anyone's guess, but it just goes to show how unpredictable things can be and that it's always worth keeping an eye on the sea. I was for once able to get there on time (thanks Andy!) but it can be frustrating to get it wrong - as the following from a somewhat disgruntled Mr Janman shows "In a desperate attempt to not be left out and add to todays Balearic total, I watched from 1730-1908, but no Balearics; only Gannets 8e,1w...Fulmar 1w...Turnstone 7 ob plus 2 unid’d small waders sp and 2 large white swan/geese NE at great distance. Great !! I had to content myself with a small influx of probably Small White butterflies, at least 25 during the watch. (CRJ)"
News from today awaited.....will there be any more?  The answer was yes !


From the top: Green Sandpipers with a Teal on the Ferry Pool,  female Blackcap and Redstart at Church Norton (photos: Andy House)

Pagham Harbour: Ferry Pool: The juvenile Curlew Sandpiper still present, along with 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Lapwing and 60 Teal.
Church Norton: 2 Redstarts, 2+ Spotted Flycatchers, 3+ Lesser Whitethroat & 6+ Blackcaps behind the hide, 3 Wheatears on the spit, several hundred Swallows over, a Knot and a Greenshank in the harbour, though generally wader numbers seem low for the time of year (AH). North Wall: Along White's Creek, 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 47 Redshank and 23 Wigeon. On the Breech pool a Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, 4 Common Sandpipers, 4 Snipe, 64 Black-tailed Godwits and 120 Swallows, but few migrant warblers (JW).

A later report from CRJ: This afternoon I took the bike to the North Wall, a Hobby over Honer Reservoir when I got there, and 2 Common Sandpipers on the return journey. On the Breech Pool, 1 Common Sandpiper , but the best was a Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank feeding near each other, then they flew off together over the harbour and both called, which was very nice for a young man who was out running but stopped to ask what all the birds were, and spent a rewarding half-hour with me going through all the regular species. 

From Sarah Russell: "I'm sure the others will fill you in with Bill sightings - they're still there.  A flock of 9 Balearics heading east has been the highlight of an otherwise quiet watch so far although Dave Sneller found this Jersey Tiger Moth on his car and was very impressed with it, being a scarce UK month.  Looking on the internet I read it was fairly scarce but has recently expanded its territory, particularly in the south.  Pic attached which unfortunately doesn't show the lovely orange underside, was quite impressive just the same."

Jersey Tiger Moth  -  photo: S. Russell (see text above)
Selsey Bill: 0545 - 1030hrs: Dry NW2 sun: (Obs: JA/SH/PB/CW et al) 
Gannet - 87E, 16W
Fulmar - 1W
Balearic Shearwater - 9E (one flock at 0840) 
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Black Swan - 1E
Teal - 2E
Common Scoter - 15E, 6W, 1os
Sparrowhawk - 1 over gardens
Oystercatcher - 5W
Redshank - 1 ob
Turnstone - 10 ob
Black-headed Gull - 220os
Sandwich Tern - 6W, 4os
Common Tern - 1W
auk sp - 2W
Yellow Wagtail - 1S
House Martin - 7W
Swallow - 32S, 134W
Wheatear - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 1 
Blackcap - 1
As there was major digger activity at Ham Farm this afternoon I went to Easton Lane, Earnley for the first time in a long while. Highlight was a huge flock - I estimated 120-150 birds - of Yellow Wagtails feeding along the sea defence work with about 50 Linnets, and nearby 2-300 Swallows and 50+ Sand Martins were feeding over the maize field. Very few other birds about - 2 Little Grebes, 4 Gadwall and 6 juvenile Tufted Ducks on the nearby pond being about it. The good news for Medmerry fans is that they have given up trying to grow maize on the setaside land and it has reverted to ideal raptor territory for the forthcoming autumn (AH).
Yellow Wagtail, Medmerry (Earnley) (photo: AH)

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