Tuesday, 1 October 2013

1st - 3rd October 2013

Thursday, 3rd October: Cloud with heavy showers mid morning, brighter later, and far less rain than predicted, but windy, ESE 5-6. Another meeting of the old firm (CRJ and OM) saw us spending much of the day checking out the Pagham North wall area, where we were joined by Dave Smith and Dorian 'camera' Mason early afternoon. There were a number of migrants about, the Great White Egret put in an appearance (from 1310hrs onwards), but the highlight of the day for us was a Jack Snipe feeding, bobbing and sleeping along the edge of the reeds at the Breech Pool - fascinating to watch - and Dorian even managed to capture some good images despite the poor light!

Pagham Hbr: North Wall / Breech Pool / White's Creek:  The Great White Egret was still present from early afternoon. Waders of interest included a Jack Snipe and 3 Common Snipe on the Breech Pool, a Ruff, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Greenshank. A largish flock of c.40 Yellow Wagtails dropped into the fields around the stables where 2 Whinchats and a Stonechat where also present (CRJ/OM/DIS/DM).
At Church Norton, 1 Whimbrel, 60 Brent Geese & 80 Pintail in the harbour and a few Meadow Pipits and Swallows over (AH).


Jack Snipe, Yellow Wagtail and a flight record shot of the Great White Egret (photos: D. Mason).
 Thirty minutes at Selsey Bill produced one juvenile Arctic Tern, 4 Sandwich Terns and 6 Med Gulls offshore, but zero movement, bar 2 Curlew and a few Meadow Pipits east(AH).

At Snowhill Marsh, W. Wittering the Spoonbill was still present (DIS/DM).
Wednesday, 2nd October: Early morning at Selsey saw CRJ and OM searching the Marine Drive and East beach areas for the Rosy Starling, but alas there was no sign of it amongst the local Sparrows and Common Starlings. We then opted to do a sea-watch at the Bill, being joined soon after by AH, when out of the blue a Balearic Shearwater fluttered by westwards, a surprise given the conditions. Bird of the day though was found by Jim Weston at the North Wall - a splendid Great White Egret, which showed well on and off. The Spoonbill was also still at Snowhill Marsh.  Finally, a couple of late items of interest:  1) shedloads of Ring Ouzels around Seaford/Beachy today; East Sussex can't get them all so eyes down tomorrow,  2) just off our patch, a juv Little Gull crash-landed on a pub window today and died in Bognor Regis town centre (per TGP) 

Just heading for home after a quiet morning along the North Wall when a Great White Egret flew in from the north east. It circled the Breech Pool a couple of times before settling at the back, western end. Initially preened and then moved right (east) behind reeds and out of my vision. Otherwise 127 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Snipe, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Ruff on the Pool. (JW). (Mid-afternoon update: GWE still present, in creek at Halsey's Farm then into harbour, was being harassed by a Grey Heron. And I get the Snipe count up to 7 !! {OM} ).

 Great White Egret, Pagham Hbr
Not much to report at Church Norton bar a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, and a single Green Sandpiper on the Ferry Pool. The Great White Egret was in the harbour from the North Wall when I got there. Also a Wheatear and several Whitethroats along the North Wall, and at least 3 calling Cetti's Warblers (AH). All I have to add at Church Norton were 3 Blackcaps, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Peregrine beating up the ducks and 3 Avocets distantly on the east side (CRJ).

Further pics of the Great White Egret (photos: A. House)
Selsey Bill (0755-0930hrs): Dry, mild, cloud with some hazy brightness. Wind  light SE 2-3.
(Obs: CRJ/OM/AH)
Gannet - 5E, 3W
Balearic Shearwater - 1W (0840) about 3/4 mile out but fair/good views 
Brent Goose - 26W
Common Scoter- 5 os
R/b Merganser - 1W (1st of autumn?)
Sparrowhawk - 1 out S (probably hunting)
Med Gull - 6E, 10W
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 2 os drifted W
Swallow - 25E
Pied Wagtail - 1W
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
(0930-1150hrs)  (Obs: C&ME)
Gannet - 6E
Brent Goose - 16W
R/b Merganser - 1E
Common Scoter - 6E
Peregrine - 1 p
Med Gull - 2E, 7 os
Selsey East beach pool/Common: 4  Chiffchaffs, 30+ Swallows, 2 Clouded Yellows (CRJ/OM)
At Northcommon Farm (Selsey) I patiently worked the tree lines/bushes hoping for an eastern surprise, but could only dig out 9 Chiffchaffs. Also logged were 2 Buzzards, 2 Great Spotted Wood's and 12 Long-tailed Tits (OM).

Snowhill Marsh, W. Wittering: Spoonbill still present, sleeping and preening, in no hurry to go!

Tuesday, 1st October: Well here we are, the anticipated month of October is upon us, so it's about time we had something unusual. OK how's this for starters...........I got a call from Sarah Russell this afternoon, saying she had found what she thought was a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling at Selsey in a private garden. She sent a couple of pic's; spot-on Sarah and well done. The bird is on the estate behind the Lifeboat station, so if you are thinking of going, please be considerate to the locals with parking and privacy.

juv Rose-coloured Starling, Selsey (photos: Sarah Russell)
At Snowhill Marsh/West Wittering the Spoonbill was still present and showing well (SR).
Pagham Hbr: A grey and blustery morning at Church Norton: highlights were 1 Spotted Flycatcher and a couple of Chiffchaffs in the churchyard, half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls along the shoreline, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Skylarks that dropped in briefly on the beach, and a steady trickle of Meadow Pipits and Swallows moving east (AH). Additional report from CRJ: A circuit of Church Norton this morning produced a constant stream of Swallows still moving east, plus small numbers of Meadow Pipits, 12 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and the Spotted Flycatcher seen earlier in the churchyard, and later behind the hide. As the tide receded in front of the hide, among 60 Dunlin were a single Juv Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Knot.

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