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)













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