Thursday, 26 September 2013

26th - 28th September 2013

Saturday, 28th SeptemberFour hours of sea-watching at the Bill produced a variety of species, even if a good few of them were not actually sea-birds! Pagham Hbr and Medmerry also received a fair bit of coverage, though nothing unusual was reported.

Selsey Bill (0640-1040hrs): Cloud, some light showers, wind E/NE 4-5. (Obs:SH/GH/CH/OM et al)
Gannet - 28E, 6W
Grey Heron - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Shag - 1 juv os
Brent Goose - 1W
Wigeon - 10W
Teal - 2W
Garganey - 2E (0835 with small flock of scoter, took a little while but the penny eventually dropped!)
Common Scoter - 17E, 5 os
Hobby - 1, actually arrived N from Mile basket, presumably hunting the hirundines flocks.
Sanderling - 2E, (inc1os departed E)
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Whimbrel - 1E
Oystercatcher - 2E, 4W
Turnstone - 49 ob
Guillemot - 1 os, off E
Med Gull - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 22E, 3W
Meadow Pipit - 115 E/N
Yellow Wagtail - 3E
Pied Wagtail - 26E
Grey Wagtail - 3E
Swallow - 275 S/E
House Martin - 430 S/E

These heavily-cropped and distant record shots are actually of the same bird - a juv Shag off the Bill - which in a quick view at times bore an uncanny resemblance to a diver!
Pagham Hbr: Sidlesham Ferry Pool:  108 Lapwings, 7 Stock Dove, 1 Kingfisher.
Church Norton: 12 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 3 Brent Geese (CRJ).
The North Wall this morning produced a Ruff in the Breech Pool amongst Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing and Teal with a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and four Mediterranean Gulls amongst many Redshanks, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Curlew, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher and Wigeon on the mudflats. Also 80 Pintail on the mudflats (per SOS website).

Medmerry: 4 Pintail, 1 or perhaps 2 Marsh Harriers, 40 Med Gulls, 5 Grey Partridges,
3 Wheatears, 30 Linnet (CRJ/OM). A later report (per ARK/SOS) of 200+ Med Gulls here and over the sea.

At West Wittering the juv Spoonbill was still present on Snowhill Marsh this morning and showing well (C. Melgar, per SOS website).


Finally, two more fine pics taken yesterday at Snowhill Marsh by Dorian Mason; Spoonbill with Little Egret, and Black-tailed Godwits.          

Friday, 27th September: The best of today's action was recorded by the Worthing boys who mopped up with several Marsh Harriers and a Spoonbill, amongst other things....

First news today is from Sarah Russell who reports from Selsey "Visited the horse paddock off Warner Lane and Northcommon Farm but it was one of those mornings when you try to decide whether you're simply a very bad birdwatcher or whether the birds have just passed through overnight and you've missed them. At Warner Lane a couple of Mistle Thrushes and a Whitethroat in the bushes, 30 Meadow Pipits, c150 Swallows and c75 House Martins overhead. The field also held the 5 Roe deer in close proximity and I didn't want to stress them, one of the fields they used last autumn has now been taken over by allotments so they have little enough habitat. Northcommon Farm was likewise quiet apart from half a dozen Chiffchaffs and the passing over of hirundines

Peninsula round-up: Not a bad day and, with temperatures holding up out of the east wind, we knocked up a good variety of birds including the following: Walked down Ellanore Lane (West Wittering) to Chichester Harbour but just a few Chiffchaffs in the hedgerow. Off Ellanore point a female Marsh Harrier being mobbed by gulls before disappearing SW. Juvenile SPOONBILL zipped past flying S. Twelve Yellow Wagtails over N and large gathering of at least 420 Med Gulls loafing on the mud. At Snowhill Marsh we relocated the juvenile Spoonbill feeding with plenty of ducks plus 5 Greenshanks and a single Spotted Redshank. On Pilsey Sands at least 1100 Brent Geese. At Medmerry two female and a male Marsh Harrier hunting over the new saltmarsh and a single Whinchat on the beach near the windmill. Church Norton very little. Sidlesham Ferry: solitary Green Sandpiper! North Wall and east side: 5 Knot, 5 Common Snipe, 3 Ruff, Spotted Redshank, 96 Great Black-backed Gulls, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, a single Sedge Warbler and 2 Clouded Yellows.  (Bernie Forbes & Dorian Mason).
Fine shots of Spoonbill, Greenshank, Ruff, Spotted Redshank and Fox (photos: Dorian Mason)

Selsey Bill: 0810-0840hrs - Nothing bar a Common Scoter W and 2 Gannets o/s, but 500+ Swallows, 300+ House Martins and 50+ Meadow Pipits moving eastwards over a wide front and 2 or 3 Chiffchaffs in the Bill House garden (AH).

Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: Many more Meadow Pipits (500+) moving east along the beach, with a couple of hundred Swallows and House Martins, 2 Grey Wagtails and a few Goldfinches and Linnets for company, but no Brent passage. Again the bushes were dead! (AH).
North Wall/East side: 2 Whinchat, 1 Ruff, 2 Snipe, 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Avocet, 20 Ringed Plover, 1 Yellow-legged Gull. On Pagham Lagoon 6 Shoveler, and nearby a Clouded Yellow. (C&ME).

 Thursday, 26th September: A rather dull and damp start to the day with an easterly breeze, some light drizzle and mist! With eastern migrants beginning to appear in numbers in the north / east of the country, my instincts tell me we should be getting something good in the south soon. Not the day then to be stuck in at home with builders and domestic stuff! So I await your call ladies and gents ..............!

Church Norton: At least 250 Brent Geese heading east over the harbour and along the shoreline between 8.30 and 10am, along with about 60 Pintail, 200 Wigeon and 80 Teal, whilst at least 400 Meadow Pipits and a few Pied Wagtails and Swallows were heading in the opposite direction. Otherwise very quiet and nothing on the Ferry.
Brent Geese arriving in the gloom at Pagham Hbr (photo: AH)
Obviously a slow news day from the regulars, with the focus on Pagham Hbr, so a trawl of the SOS website produced the following, which duplicates some of AH's report above:-

Church Norton 08.00-10.00: Most of the usual waders inc 1 Spotted Redshank and 3 Whimbrel. Large numbers of Swallows and Meadow Pipits were passing in waves going east. I heard 3 or 4 Yellow wagtails, 2 Grey wagtails and a quite a few Pied wagtails also going east in amongst the pipits. Going in the opposite direction were several flocks of Brent geese (25-50 at a time), some accompanied by Wigeon and/or Pintail and some apparently heading SW out to sea. A couple each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff in the scrub/trees around the Severals, and a Kingfisher in the harbour. North Wall (10.00-12.00): Juv Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 1 Greenshank in White's creek with a small flock of Dunlin in a nice mix of summer-to-winter and juvenile plumages. At least 2 yellow-legged gulls on the mudflats beyond. On the pool, ca.40 Black-tailed godwits, 1 Ruff, 8 Snipe. High in the brambles behind the pool, at least 3 Moorhens eating blackberries. Here, the Swallows were passing east constantly with the occasional House or Sand Martin (per Pete Hughes/SOS website)

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