Monday, 7 October 2013

7th October 2013

Monday, 7th October: The juv Rose-coloured Starling at Selsey finally gave itself up this morning! I'd heard a rumour and an unconfirmed report of the bird having been seen over the last couple of days, though none of the locals knew the details or had connected, so I decided to walk from the Bill-tip to East beach pool to fully check the area. As it turned out it paid dividends and midway between the Lifeboat Station and the Fishermen's Huts I located it on the roof of a house with a few Common Starlings (in Kingsway). After I put the news out, Andy House was first on the scene and within a few minutes had safely ticked it, whilst CRJ,C&ME et al got it later, after a lengthy wait. If you do go, it seems to favour this area of East beach around the Fishermen's huts, and the open grassy area there. Note there is a small starling roost in the bushes and you may have to wait a while (OM). If accepted this will actually be the 6th record for the Peninsula and the 4th for Selsey; the first being an historic record of one taken (i.e. shot) on Selsey marshes in 1838. The next record was not until Sept 1994 - an adult briefly at Sidlesham Ferry - followed by an immature at Pagham Hbr on 31st Dec 1997! A fine adult on the beach at the Bill-tip in June 2002 was next (found by the late Barry Carter), with the fifth, another adult, occurring in early May just last year - on a housing estate in Selsey, just a short way from the Bill-tip.
Record shots of the juv Rose-coloured Starling, Selsey (photo's Andy House - these two cropped shots just have the edge on my rubbish efforts - where is the man with the big lens when you need him!?)
At Selsey Bill seabird passage was virtually non-existent. I concentrated on the beach and gardens and logged the following (Bill - Lifeboat St'n) :- Pied Wagtail - 16W, Grey Wagtail - 1W, Linnet - 18W, Meadow Pipit - 5 p, Swallow - 4 SE, Goldfinch - 20 E, Skylark - 5W, Common Whitethroat - 1 gardens and Chiffchaff - 6. Selsey East beach and pond: juv Rose-coloured Starling, Swallow - 2, Meadow Pipit- several,  Chiffchaff - 3 (OM). Also up to 6 Clouded Yellows (per CRJ).

I thought I knew the Bill pretty well, but I came across this plaque by the new houses on Pontins whilst on my walk towards East beach. This was complete news to me and I wonder if any of us were aware of it, but it just goes to show you learn something new every day (OM).

Further update: Rose-coloured Starling still present at 1730hrs on fisherman's huts - per Sam Hill (so you got yourself a Selsey tick at last Sam!!) See  pic below...

Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: 3 Stonechats and a Whitethroat on the beach, 100+ Swallows and about 10 House Martins over but the bushes were very quiet (AH).
Walked along to the Severals this morning where I spotted a rather late Reed Warbler, a party of 3 Stonechats then 2 more (met CRJ who was looking at them too), 2 Cetti's were calling, 3 Chiffchaffs, a constant flow of Swallows and House Martins overhead and feeding over the water, 2 Long-tailed Tits and a Sparrowhawk, 8 Great Crested Grebes offshore but that was it, all very quiet (SR). Also at Norton, a Raven, 1 Redwing and 12 Blackcaps (C&ME).

Stonechat and Whitethroat, Church Norton (photos: A. House).
North Wall and fields. On the back fence of the horse field a pair of Stonechats and a Whinchat. 2 Wheatears along the Wall and 2 Cetti's Warblers calling. Goldfinches are flocking up 25 feeding on thistles behind the Pool. On and around the Breech Pool were 116 Canada Geese, 135 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Common Snipe and 1 Ruff. Small movement of Swallows (30). A Merlin was dashing around the sunflower field just east of the Honer reservoir but was seen off by crows. On the reservoir around 550 Herring Gulls, 400 of whom were juveniles. 9 Tufted Duck there. A good morning for raptors, 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrel and 1 Peregrine  (JW).  

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