Thursday, 18 September 2014

16th -18th September 2014

Thursday, 18th September: More of the same weather-wise; dry, sunshine and cloud, although a bit less breezy. There is the increasing prospect of showers over the next few days, with a subtle shift in the wind direction predicted from north-east to east or even south-easterly.
(I am away for the next three days - so all news to OM, please. AH)
Ferry Pool: More of the same this morning - a Snipe and 2 Green Sandpipers, 4 Avocets, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 25 Lapwing and 20 Teal. (AH)
North Wall area: All of yesterday's interesting waders seemed to have disappeared into the gloomy grey weather this morning! However there was a Water Rail on the Breach Pool, along with 3 Snipe and 120 Black-tailed Godwits, and there were at least a dozen Reed Buntings and a couple of Kingfishers scooting about. In the harbour there were a handful of Mediterranean Gulls and large numbers of the commoner waders, plus a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits, a half dozen Knot, some smart nearly summer-plumaged Grey Plovers and 50+ Wigeon, whilst there were still a few Chiffchaffs in the hedges. (AH)

Mid-afternoon: 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Curlew Sand up White's Creek, and 3 Ravens over the farm behind. One Kingfisher on the Breach Pool but the biggest surprise was a Water Shrew that dashed across the top path just beyond the sluice. First one I've ever seen here and the first I've seen anywhere for years!! (AB)

Water Rail (above), Kingfisher & Snipe from the North Wall (AH)


Grey Plover (above) & 1st-winter Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls in White's Creek (AH)

Church Norton: Quiet this evening on the rising tide - just a couple of Greenshank and a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits of note. (AH)
Bar-tailed Godwit at Church Norton (AH)
Fishbourne Creek: A Tawny Owl was calling from trees around Apuldram Church car park. In the harbour 4 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, single Curlew Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and 3 Yellow-legged Gulls. In the pool at the base of the seawall where the Lavant flows into the creek a large Salmon (approx 3kg) basking in the shallow water! (BFF/DIS/DM).
Medmerry: - Breach and Viewpoint: 12 Wheatears and 2 Yellow Wagtails. Offshore where the channel flows into the sea a large gathering of gulls with 153 Med Gulls, 5 Common and 3 Sandwich Terns and a single Eider duck. On the tidal saltmarsh, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Dunlin, single Knot and Little Stint, 5 Avocet and 2 Golden Plover. Also a flock of c. 200 Linnets swirling around and a couple of Kestrels (BFF/DIS/DM)

Eider and Wheatear at Medmerry (DM) 

(below) Sandwich Tern and Kestrel at Medmerry (DM)


Wednesday, 17th September: A bright but very breezy day, with the wind almost due north of east at times, somewhat spoiling an otherwise pleasant day. The weather has been stuck in this general pattern for a couple of weeks now; all very nice but also very samey and as the days of this prime migration month slip by a certain feeling of restlessness is beginning to creep in with some observers, me included. It may well take a change to more unsettled conditions before more exciting birding conditions can be anticipated (OM).

Ferry Pool: A Snipe and 2 Green Sandpipers this morning, along with 4 Avocets, 14 Black-tailed Godwits, 45 Lapwing and 22 Teal, plus a Kingfisher over. In the nearby bushes there was a brief Redstart and 6+ Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, whilst a visitor reported a Wheatear and Whinchat at the back of the Ferry. (AH)
Green Sandpiper (above) Snipe and Teal on the Ferry (AH)
Medmerry: Breach area - At least 5 Wheatears present this morning, with 100+ Meadow Pipits and up to 500 Linnets around the rough ground. A Grey Wagtail briefly dropped in and more Meadow Pipits were going over with up to 1000 House Martins and 100 Swallows going east. Fairly quiet on the pools - 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Curlews and 30 each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover being about it. Also a Peregrine was sat out distantly on a post and several Kestrels were upsetting the Linnet flock. (AH/SR)
A further visit late morning, with the tide dropping, produced a good bit more interest... a large gathering of gulls was present feeding offshore at the mouth of the breach, this flock containing 20 Common and 3+ Sandwich Terns and perhaps a dozen Med Gulls. On the pools close scrutiny of the Dunlin flock produced 2 Little Stints and there were now 5 Bar-tailed Godwits. The Peregrine showed again, the Wheatears were also still present and a Yellow Wagtail went over calling (BFF/OM).

Wheatear (above), Meadow Pipit & part of the Linnet flock at Medmerry (AH)

 Common Terns at Medmerry breach (OM)

North Wall area: There was a Little Stint, up to 6 Curlew Sandpipers and 8 Spotted Redshank in White's Creek and along the east side this morning, although they were somewhat spread out along the mudflats and more difficult to see today. Also along the east side were 4 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Greenshank, 1 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 200+ Dunlin and 146 Wigeon. A single Blackcap and a few Chiffchaffs were along the hedges, whilst at the sluice a showy Kingfisher performed well and a Yellow Wagtail went over. Black-tailed Godwits were commuting between the Breach Pool and White's Creek, totalling 105, whilst 3 Snipe were also on the pool. A  fair bit of disturbance was apparent early on; a Sparrowhawk was the culprit for some of this, but otherwise we couldn't see what kept spooking everything (BFF/OM).
Kingfisher at the North Wall sluice this morning - and an endearing Robin that just had to throw itself at the photographer at the same time to try and steal the limelight (DM)

Church Norton: Never a good place to look when the wind is in the north or north-east, it was predictably quiet this morning - apart from the Slash-and-Burn mob in the churchyard!. A walk right round, including the Severals and Greenlease Farm, produced just a Spotted Flycatcher by the concrete wall and a Whitethroat on the first Several as the only migrant birds in the bushes, though 50+ Meadow Pipits and several hundred House Martins went over. (AH)

Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AH)
This evening there was a sub-adult male Marsh Harrier hunting over the harbour, before dropping into the vegetation. Also there was a big flock (c20 birds) of Grey Partridge in the fields west of the Long Pool. They all appeared to be juveniles, and I suspect from their manner that they are 'released' birds, along with the 100+ Red-legged Partridges scattered about the fields. They were nice to see and hear, but sadly their outlook is not good - even those Grey Partridges that escape the guns tend to fare badly and rarely, if ever, survive to breed once wild. (AH)
Grey Partridges at Church Norton (AH)
Tuesday, 16th September: Another day that warmed up as the brisk easterly began to blow away the early give a sunny and quite warm afternoon.

Ferry Pool: Still a Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, 4 Avocet, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Lapwing and 30 Teal present, a Kingfisher and a Common Sandpiper flew over, and 3-4 Blackcaps were in the adjacent hedgerows. (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: There were a total of 9 Greenshank present this morning, along with 6 Grey Plovers, 30 Black-tailed Godwits and the usual 100+ Redshank and Curlew. A single Common Tern was present early on, whilst around 12 Common Gulls, 4 Mediterranean Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gulls were in with the many hundreds of Herring and Black-headed Gulls, and there were 6 Shelduck and 60 Wigeon on the water.
Along the path, at least a dozen Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were in the hedges, along with 4 Reed Buntings, and 3 Grey Wagtails, and a few Meadow Pipits and Swallows went over. (AH)


Greenshank (above), Common Gull & Blackcap at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Medmerry: A male Merlin flew over the Ham Lane area at midday (PH).
Later, a probable but distant Great White Egret was noted at the back of the breach (SR).
Easton Lane westwards this evening
5 Buzzards
5 Kestrels
3 Snipe
3 Green Woodpecker
1 Kingfisher
100+ Swallows - most appearing at dusk
1 Chiffchaff
1 Whitethroat
1 Cetti's Warbler
75+ Meadow Pipit (S&SaH)

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