Wednesday, 10 September 2014

10th - 12th September 2014

Friday, 12th September: More of the same weather-wise; high pressure prevailing, dry with a light E/NE breeze and generally sunny conditions today. We may be reaching the point of diminishing returns as the clear moonlit nights don't assist in dropping migrants on the coast whilst local migrants are moving out; it may take a change in the weather before we also see a change in our birding fortunes... although a somewhat distant Wryneck at the back of the Breach Pool this morning proves that some migrants at least may still appear out of the blue, whilst the first returning Brent Geese past the Bill hint at cooler days ahead.

Selsey Bill (0645-0900hrs): Sunny, bright, dry, wind E/NE3. (Obs: JA/GH et al)
Gannet - 3W, 3 os
Little Egret - 13 feeding os in the tidal 'lagoon' by the shingle bar (record day total)
Brent Goose - 2W
Shelduck - 7W
Wigeon - 27W
Kestrel - 2 p
Sandwich Tern - 2 os
Med Gull - 171 os/shingle bar
Meadow Pipit - 56E
Grey Wagtail - 5E
Yellow Wagtail - 12E
Chaffinch - 2E
Swallow - 92E
House Martin - 350E
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 p
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens

Selsey:  Finding the Bill well covered this morning I decided to check out some of the lesser known sites in the area. It was hard going with plenty of blank spots but also occasional small pockets where migrants were present (OM)..........
Northcommon Farm: Whinchat - 1, Chiffchaff - 8, Blackcap - 1, Goldcrest - 4, Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2.
Warner Lane horse paddocks: Whitethroat - 3, c.200 House Martins with c. 50 Sand Martins
Warner Lane - Chainbridge field (formerly "archery field"): Spotted Flycatcher - 3, Whitethroat - 5, Blackcap - 5, Chiffchaff - 4
Drift Lane/Marsh: Whitethroat - 1, Chiffchaff - 2

 Spotted Flycatchers at Warner Lane / Chainbridge field (OM)

Fly-past at Warner Lane: the two surviving Lancasters, with escort, en route to the Goodwood revival festival this morning and surely worthy of inclusion here (OM).

North Wall: Star bird this morning was a Wryneck that sat out in the bushes at the back of the field behind the Breach Pool. It was never exactly close, but it showed well for half a dozen or so observers before dropping into cover. There were also 6 Whinchats along the fence running north from the Breach Pool, though equally distant, but almost no other passerine activity bar a brief glimpse of a Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat. On the pool itself there were 5 Snipe, 30 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Teal and a Gadwall, plus a grey Wagtail over and a Kingfisher. Also a flock of 23 Shoveler went over south-west.
In the White's Creek area there were up to 9 Curlew Sandpipers and at least 5 Spotted Redshank still present, along with a Greenshank, 30+ Black-tailed Godwit and up to a dozen Wigeon, and a Hobby flew over early on. (AH/BI/PC/TG/AB et al)
This evening, along with many of the birds seen earlier, though sadly not the Wryneck, there were 4 very early Brent Geese in the harbour. (S&SaH)
Very distant Wryneck (above), Curlew Sandpipers, Spotted Redshank and Snipe from the North Wall (AH)
Kingfisher from North Wall (AB)
Ferry Pool: Still 4 Green Sandpipers and 5 Avocets, but no other waders at all this morning. Also a Grey Wagtail flew over. (AH)
Green Sandpipers on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: West Sands to Breach: Not a great deal to report, a juv Curlew Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper and a single Black-tailed Godwit being the only waders observed. A flock of 8 Shelduck were presumably new in and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Sandwich Terns were about the best of the rest (OM).

Church Norton: This evening on the falling tide there were 9 Sandwich Terns that flew out of the harbour, 12 Knot, a Whimbrel, a Greenshank, 30+ Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed and 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 100+ Redshank, 40 Dunlin and a tight little flock of 14 Pintail that looked 'newly arrived'. (AH)

Knot (above) & Grey Plover at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 11th September: Anticyclonic conditions still, dry but with cloud cover and a light NE breeze. It seems that once again I may have had my email hacked; I have been targeted for some time now with daily fake messages ranging from urgent BT updates to Tesco and prize money...... basically if you get an odd e-mail purporting to be from me, or it originates at an odd time, please ignore and don't open it. I'm very careful what I open and not sure what happened this time... my apologies for any inconvenience (OM).    

Ferry Pool: Still 5 Green Sandpipers this morning, plus 12 Black-tailed Godwits and 25 :Lapwings. (AH)
Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH) 

North wall / east side: Most of the action was in White's Creek this morning, with a nice selection of waders concentrated in the channel on the rising tide. Nine juv Curlew Sandpipers were present, together with 8 Spotted Redshanks, 3 Greenshank, 45 Black-tailed Godwits and 1 Bar-tailed (JW/MW/OM et al). Further along the east side were 2 Common Sandpipers, 86 Wigeon and a Sandwich Tern, whilst 4 adult Yellow-legged Gulls were roosting on the mudflats amongst a small group of Herring Gulls. In the bushes 5 Chiffchaffs were the only migrants noted. Later at the Breach Pool at around high tide there were 110 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Spotted Redshanks (probably those seen earlier at White's Creek?) and also a Yellow Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, 40 Teal and a Kingfisher (OM). 

(above) Three Yellow-legged Gulls with argenteus Herring Gull (left) (OM)
 (above) juv Curlew Sandpiper and (below) Greenshank in White's Creek (JDW)

 (above) Four Spotted Redshanks and (below) Little Egret with prey, White's Creek (OM)
To answer a couple of recent queries, this is the 'old jetty' on the east side (OM)
Church Norton: Very quiet this morning, with barely a passerine on show in the brisk easterly - just 2 Whitethroats in the hedges and 3 Skylarks on the spit and a steady stream of mixed hirundines going east, along with 20+ Meadow Pipits. In the harbour there were 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, a juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit, a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and 50 Redshank, plus a Greenshank over. (AH) This evening, a walk from Selsey to Norton produced a Whinchat on waste ground (ocean air factory) and also 1 Yellow Wagtail, a Whitethroat, 2 Sandwich Terns, 50+ Med Gulls, 2 Sparrowhawks and a small number of Swallows (S&SaH).
Juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit (above) & juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at Church Norton (AH) 

Chi GPs - Ivy Lake: A quick look this morning produced no terns, but there was a Kingfisher present, and several hundred Sand Martins feeding low over the water, with a few House Martins and Swallows amongst them. (AH) 

Wednesday, 10th September: High pressure still dominating, keeping the weather fine and settled with a light ENE wind... though with a good deal more cloud today.

Ferry Pool: There were 7 Green Sandpipers this morning, and a Little Ringed Plover, but no sign of the Little Stint early on. Also present were 5 Avocets, 11 Black-tailed Godwits and 40 Lapwing.(AH)
Medmerry: West Sands to the breach -  There were 4 Wheatears this morning and 30-40 Meadow Pipits feeding on the newly sowed area with 10+ Linnets. Waders were few on the pools - just 2 Curlew and 4 Ringed Plovers present, whilst along the beach there were 3 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern and at least 200 Mediterranean Gulls of all ages. (AH)

Wheatear (above), Meadow Pipits, Sandwich Tern & Common Tern and Mediterranean Gull at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: A female Marsh Harrier flew through the harbour this morning at 10.45am, heading for the Ferry. There were still a few migrants tucked away in the bushes this morning, including a Redstart and 2 Blackcaps by the horse's field, 2 Spotted Flycatchers on the edge of the Priory, and a few scattered Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. There were 5 Sparrowhawks airborne together at one point, and 4 Yellow Wagtails, a Pied Wagtail and a few Swallows and Sand Martins went east. Also 100+ of the latter went over Park Farm early on. A Greenshank flew over and landed on the beach, where there were also up to 10 Knot and 30+ Grey Plovers. In the harbour there were a Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and  3 Wigeon. (AH/IP)

Blackcap (above) & Redstart at Church Norton (AH)
Fishbourne Creek: with limited time available today (wife's birthday!) I decided on a visit here to coincide with the rising tide. It was a bit disappointing overall as there seemed to be no small waders present (other than a few Turnstones) and the best on offer was a single Ruff, 6 Greenshanks and a Snipe. Other waders logged were 35 Black-tailed Godwits, 180 Curlew, 160 Redshank and 35 Grey Plover, whilst back-up birds included a single Wigeon, 204 Mute Swans (only 3 juv's amongst them), a Kingfisher, 2 Common Terns, a dozen each of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, several Whitethroats and a Spotted Flycatcher (OM).
North Wall area: On White's Creek there were 7 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher. The Breach Pool held 78 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Spotted Redshank and a Common Snipe. Starlings feeding on hawthorn berries. At Honer reservoir there were single pairs of Mute Swan, Tufted Duck and Little Grebe, and also 5 Yellowhammers in that location. There were 7 Spotted Flycatchers around Honer Farm along with several Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Chiffchaff. (JW)
Spotted Redshanks (above), Snipe, Yellowhammer & Starlings from the North Wall (JW)


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