Friday, 10 October 2014

10th - 12th October 2014

Sunday, 12th October: A change in the weather this morning with a distinctly cooler feel, the wind having veered to the NE. A bright and dry morning which could perhaps prompt a bit of passage for those birds using this window of opportunity, as these conditions are not due to last, with heavy rain forecast from mid-afternoon onwards and continuing through the night. There was a good deal of visible migration across the peninsula this morning, and a Ruddy Shelduck turned up at Medmerry....
Selsey Bill (0715-0930hrs): (SH/GH/AH)
Little Egret - 1ob
Brent Goose - 6E, 6W
Red-breasted Merganser  1W
Sparrowhawk - 1p
Turnstone - 14W
Stock Dove - 5N
Skylark - 66E
Grey Wagtail - 1E
Pied Wagtail - 57E
Meadow Pipit - 63E
Swallow - 29E
House Martin - 47E
Wheatear - 1ob
Stonechat - 1ob
Reed Bunting - 2N
Linnet - 50E
Goldfinch - 214E
Brambling - 7E
Chaffinch - 57E
Greenfinch - 30p
Medmerry: Easton Lane westwards - Highlights this morning were a Ruddy Shelduck on the tidal flood just west of the poplar trees, and a Merlin hunting the nearby fields. Also present were a Green Sandpiper and 2 Black-tailed Godwits on the first pool, 15+ Yellowhammers, several Stonechats, a Grey Wagtail, a Blackcap and half a dozen Chiffchaffs, and huge numbers of Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Pied Wagtails. (C&ME/C&JM)
The Ruddy Shelduck was still present at 1400hrs, whilst at Ham a Marsh Harrier flew over and a female Merlin was present. At 1430hrs there were at least 14 Wheatears at the West Sands viewpoint (PH).
Ruddy Shelduck at Medmerry (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were 8 Avocets on the pool this morning, plus the Common Sandpiper, a Yellow-legged Gull, 12 Shoveler and 150 Lapwings. Also a Kingfisher went over and there were a couple of Chiffchaffs in the roadside bushes. (AH)

Yellow-legged Gull on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: Totals this morning on the walk from Selsey included 80 Brent Geese going east, 6 Stonechats, 2 Wheatears, 50+ Swallows, 50+ House Martins, 5 Sparrowhawks, 20 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Also a Green Sandpiper flew up from a ditch on Park Farm. (S&SaH)
In addition to the above there were approximately 350 Goldfinch, 150 Pied Wagtail, 100+ Meadow Pipits, 8 Skylarks and 5 Reed Buntings all going east over the beach and surrounding areas. Around the churchyard there were at least 4 Jays, 12 Chiffchaffs and 20+ Goldcrests. (AH)

Jays (above) (AH) , Chiffchaff & Stonechats at Church Norton (SH)

Saturday, 11th October: Lighter winds, a bit variable at first but settling down later to a W/SW direction force 3ish. Still changeable with thundery showers, then sunshine, cloud and the odd shower later.
Selsey Bill (0715-0845hrs): (Obs: SH)
Gannet - 1E
Sparrowhawk - 1W
Little Egret  - 1E
Common Scoter - 7E
Eider - 1os
Brent Goose - 16W
Sandwich Tern - 2E
Skylark - 4E
Pied Wagtail - 24 ob
Meadow Pipit - 13NW, 4ob
Swallow - 207SE
House Martin - 21SE
Chiffchaff - 2 in gardens
North Wall: There was a good selection of birds both winter and summer along the North Wall this morning. Amongst the summer birds there was a very late Reed Warbler, at least 2 Wheatears and c30 Swallows and c20 House Martins, along with a Blackcap and half a dozen Chiffchaffs. Other passerines present included 2 Rock Pipits and a few Meadow Pipits, 2 or 3 Stonechats, 10+ Reed Buntings and 30+ Starlings in very striking plumage.
A Water Rail was in the reeds on the Breach Pool plus 4 Snipe and over 100 Black-tailed Godwits were roosting nearby.(AH/DSh)
There was a Kingfisher briefly in White's Creek, along with a Greenshank, 6 Spotted Redshanks (two of which relocated to the Breach Pool) and a Bar-tailed Godwit. A Peregrine, 2 Golden Plovers, a flock of 7 Jays and several flocks of Brent Geese went over, and half a dozen Pintail, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were in the harbour. (AH)
Water Rail (above), Greenshank, Spotted Redshanks, juvenile Black-tailed Godwit and Starlings from the North Wall (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 8 Avocets, 16 Black-tailed Godwits and 75 Lapwing were on the pool today, along with 6 Shoveler, and a Grey Wagtail flew over. A Water Rail was on the adjacent Small Pool, and along the Long Pool there were at least a dozen Reed Buntings, 4 Stonechats, a Blackcap, 6 Linnets and 4 Swallows. (AH)
Shovelers (above) & Greenshank, Lapwing and Shoveler roosting on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: On the walk from Selsey to the harbour this afternoon we recorded 80+ Brent Geese, 4 Buzzards, 7+ Sparrowhawks (including 6 up together over Norton with hirundines), 1 Peregrine, 60+ House Martins, 30+ Swallows, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Stonechats, a Wheatear and 20+ Chiffchaffs (with several in our Selsey garden still, as well). (S&SaH)
A late afternoon visit, as the tide finally started to drop, found the Spoonbill at the north end of Tern Island, before a flight round the harbour and back again. Also a Kingfisher, a Sandwich Tern, 20 Grey Plovers and 5 Mediterranean Gulls to add to the list. (AH)
  Spoonbill at Church Norton (AH)
 Wheatear (above) & Grey Plovers at Church Norton (SH)
Friday, 10th October: The wind has eased a little and a bit more sun than rain, but still plenty of heavy showers and another blustery autumn day, with a fresh south-westerly, which even produced a rather spectacular waterspout off Selsey. 

Selsey Bill (0750-1030hrs): Heavy cloud, heavy showers and sunny periods, wind SW 4-5 gusting 6. (Obs: OM/BFF). Almost no seabird movement, bar a couple of Sandwich Terns and a single Common Scoter! There were 90 lingering Mediterranean Gulls along the beach, but the only action was the vis. mig. overhead early on. Pipits and finches seemed to be moving in every direction, some arriving NW from the sea, but the general trend was of a W/NW movement.  The most notable thing though was a waterspout which formed high to the west at around 0915; it was observed to reach all the way down to the sea, where even at distance the turbulence could be observed through bin's. The spout remained for about 10 minutes, moving fairly quickly east, before eventually dissipating  (OM/BFF). Full log.....
Common Scoter - 1W
Little Egret - 1W
Oystercatcher - 7E
Turnstone - 40 ob
Sandwich Tern - 2E
Kittiwake - 1W
Med Gull - 90 along beach
Skylark - 19W
Swallow - 11 out S
Pied/alba Wagtail - 32W
Grey Wagtail - 3 (2W, 1 gardens)
Meadow Pipit - 140W
Linnet - 240W
Wheatear - 1 gardens
Goldfinch - 20W

 The waterspout off Selsey Bill: (upper three) - the spout moving eastwards and the turbulence where the spout contacts the sea (OM), (lower two) - the spout approaching the mile basket (BFF).



Medmerry: West Sands/viewpoint: Early this morning a Wheatear was by the viewpoint, a Grey Wagtail flew onto the saltmarsh and a dozen Swallows went west - otherwise it was just Linnets and Meadow Pipits on show, with c200 of the former and c500 of the latter present. On the pools there were a single Grey Plover, 45 Golden Plover roosting with 75 Lapwings, and the standard 30-50 Ringed Plover and Dunlin, together with a single Pintail, and along the beach a Common Gull and 6 Mediterranean Gulls. (AH)
Things had improved somewhat by late morning with the tide rapidly gaining height.... there were at least 8 Wheatears, 32 Ringed Plovers, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 22 Dunlin and 1 Little Stint. The 45 Golden Plover were still there, plus 20 Pintail, 3 Wigeon and 10 Brent Geese, whilst the Linnet flock and some Meadow Pipits were still very prominent (OM/BFF).
 (above) Wheatear (OM), (below) Grey Plover & Golden Plovers at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: A Wheatear was on the ploughed field along Rectory Lane and another on the beach, but bar a couple of Chiffchaffs in the churchyard and 40+ Swallows over the Severals there was no other evidence of migration. There were a couple of Reed Buntings and a few Meadow Pipits about, but there was rather more insect interest, with a late Painted Lady and a Hornet along the path to the beach. (AH/BI) Later, with the harbour approaching high tide, the colour-ringed juv Spoonbill was present roosting amongst the regular gathering of Cormorants, but then flew to the back of Tern island and out of sight (not possible to get exact colour ring details). A Merlin flew over, as did 3 Sandwich Terns, and then 20 Swallows and 2 House Martins flew through heading south, whilst 5 Chiffchaffs and a Clouded Yellow were present around the hide/path area. The high tide wader roost included a Knot, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits and 80 Grey Plover.  (OM/BFF).

Wheatear (above), Painted Lady & Hornet at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Not much to report before the tide rises - just 8 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Avocets and 40 Lapwing, plus 8 Shelduck and 20 Teal. (AH) However, with a full tide in the harbour things had improved markedly by early afternoon... there were 15 Greenshank, 7 Avocets, 50 Lapwing, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Green Sandpipers, plus a Clouded Yellow near the hide. (OM/BFF).

Pagham Harbour (east side): The Spoonbill could be seen roosting on Tern Island and there were 6 Stonechats on the Spit. (BI) Also 3 Spotted Redshanks on the Breach Pool and a Tree Pipit over. (per Birdguides) 

Chi GP's: Not much to report.... at Ivy Lake there were at least 39 Great Crested Grebes, surely an unusual number to be gathered at this time of year and probably the most we can remember, whilst at Drayton Pits 3 distant Swallows were the best we could do (OM/BFF). 

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