Monday, 13 October 2014

13th - 15th October 2014

Wednesday, 15th October: A dull, cloudy and grey morning with a light wind in the north-east but the promise of rain later. The Yellow-browed Warbler was relocated and a Ring Ouzel was nearby, whilst there were also late afternoon reports of a Hen Harrier and a Short-eared Owl at Pagham Harbour....
The Yellow-browed Warbler is (approximately!) the 200th species seen on the peninsula this year. By comparison, last year we reached an impressive (approximate) total of 215, and I think that a figure of 205-210 is probably 'par for the course,' so keep those eyes peeled!

Selsey, Northcommon Farm: The Yellow-browed Warbler was still present and showing well along Paddock Lane late morning, though it can be very elusive at times! Also present were 5-6 Chiffchaffs and half a dozen Goldcrests, a distant Redwing in the field hedge and 2 Stonechats along the fence. (AH/OM) The Yellow-browed Warbler was still present at 1615hrs in the same area (near the metal gates) and showing well on and off (SH).

Redwing at Northcommon Farm (AH)
Selsey Bill (0745-1000hrs): Quite mild, cloudy, fairly calm, wind light NE2. (Obs: OM) No sea passage again, but a fair bit of visible migration going on. I decided to give the gardens and open spaces at the Bill a good looking at, but by doing so I missed a good deal  of what was going on overhead, so inevitably my counts will be on the light side. Log .......
Brent Goose - 6W
Little Egret - 1 p, eventually moved E
Sandwich Tern - 2E
Med Gull - 4 os
Pied Wagtail - 20E
Meadow Pipit - 50+ E
Skylark - 20E
Swallow - 60E
Jackdaw - 70 in flock eventually moved N with c.40 Carrion Crows
Goldfinch - 45E
Linnet - 200+ E
Wheatear - 1 ob
Chiffchaff - 8 gardens
Goldcrest - 1 gardens

Selsey: Warner Lane paddocks/Drift Lane marsh: A Blackcap and 6 Stonechats were in the paddocks with a single Snipe and 2 Chiffchaffs on the marsh (OM).
Chainbridge field: Amongst the blackbirds feeding on berries in the hedgerow a fem/juv type Ring Ouzel was heard 'chacking' before it eventually flew, briefly revealing its faint gorget and silvery-edged wings. Also at least 5 Blackcaps there, plus a Cetti's Warbler and 2 Stonechats. Interestingly, several flocks of Brent Geese moved west, totalling 100+ birds, cutting off the Bill-tip on their travels as is so often the case (OM).

Ferry Pool: A Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin were on the pool this morning, along with 9 Avocets, 15 Shoveler and the usual Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck. (AH) 

Church Norton: Pretty quiet this morning - around the churchyard/hide area just a pair of Mistle Thrushes, a couple of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, and up to 4 Jays, whilst along the beach there was little bit of eastward movement, comprising 150 Goldfinches with a handful of Swallows, Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Pied Wagtails accompanying them, plus a flock of 60 Jackdaws. (AH)

Mistle Thrush at Church Norton (AH)
While on the Chichester RSPB local group mid-week walk among the 48 species seen, there was a Short-eared Owl being mobbed by crows over the Severals. Other highlights were a Whimbrel, a young Peregrine, Pintail, Grey Plover, Turnstone, one Wheatear, several small flocks of incoming Brent Geese, Linnet, a number of Meadow Pipits and two Swallows. (Kerry Jackson per SOS)
North Wall: Much quieter today. Seventy Brent Geese flew over very high on a westward track and 3 Stonechats and 1 Wheatear along the Wall. The fields are now wet enough to tempt a few feeding Black-tailed Godwits. Starlings continue to flock up and today were feeding on sloes, whilst Wood  Pigeon numbers are increasing. (JDW). Late afternoon update... a smart female Hen Harrier arrived from the north and flew low over the wall before being seen off by two crows (DSh).
Tuesday, 14th October: Dull and cloudy but drier this morning, with a fresh W/NW breeze; still changeable, with another Atlantic depression due to arrive mid-week. The Yellow-browed Warbler put in a brief early morning appearance, and other highlights today included a Black Redstart, a Ring Ouzel, the Ruddy Shelduck and a late Curlew Sandpiper....
Selsey, Northcommon Farm: The Yellow-browed Warbler was showing well at the caravan park end of Paddock Lane early on (BI), but could not be refound later in the morning, though there were one or two Chiffchaffs present and 20+ each of Swallow and House Martin over. (IL et al)
Spent an hour looking for Yellow-browed Warbler this afternoon without luck, but there were 6 Chiffchaffs, 12 House Martins, 2 Buzzards and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the vicinity. (SH)
Selsey, Coastguards/West St: A female-type Black Redstart was around the Coastguard Station and adjacent gardens, though being typically elusive. (AH/BI)
Black Redstart at Selsey Coastguard Station (AH)
Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - A late Curlew Sandpiper was on the muddy pool by the breach with 30 Dunlin and 25 Ringed Plovers this morning. A female Merlin raced through with a crow in pursuit, a single Pintail, 14 Brent Geese, 80 Teal and 140 Mallard were on the same pool, and 2 Golden Plover were with 40 Lapwing on the larger pool. A huge flock of c400 Canada Geese dropped in, and there were 2 Wheatears and 300 Linnets around the viewpoint/rubble heaps, but there were only a dozen or so Meadow Pipits present. (AH) 
Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlins (above) & Wheatear at Medmerry (AH)
This afternoon the Merlin was again active around the viewpoint, there were at least 12 Wheatears on the rocks along with a Stonechat; a Peregrine and two Kestrels were in the distance, and 2 female Eiders were at the breach. There was also another 6 Wheatears on the rocks near the fun fair. (SR)

Medmerry: Chainbridge Field - A nice flock of 10 Stonechats feeding together close to the bridge, the most I've seen in one flock. Also a calling Cetti's Warbler present and 22 Swallows went over. (SR)
Selsey Bill: Still not much moving; totals this morning included Red-throated Diver - 1W, Gannet - 12W, Common Scoter - 10os, and Mediterranean Gull - 2os. Also a few Meadow Pipits, Swallows and House Martins about. (GJ/DS/DF)
Ferry Pool: A total of 9 Avocets roosting on the pool this morning, along with 60 Lapwing, 15 Shoveler, 40 Wigeon and 25 Teal. (AH)
The Ruddy Shelduck had re-appeared on the pool by early afternoon (IL).
Also the first Redwing of the autumn went over the village. (PH)
Avocets roosting on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A fem/juv type Ring Ouzel was in the churchyard this afternoon (IL).

North Wall: Around the sluice gates were 2 Kingfishers, 2 Wheatears and 2 Rock Pipits. Very little on the overflowing Breach Pool,  just 2 Little Grebes and a pruning Water Rail. Just past the Breach Pool, on the lower path were at least 7 Stonechats feeding with Reed Buntings and Goldfinches, and there was a small  eastward movement of Swallows and House Martins. In my Pagham garden were 1 Blackcap and 1 Goldcrest. (JDW).
Stonechat (above) and Wheatear on the North Wall (JDW) 

Water Rail on the Breach Pool (JDW) 
Monday, 13th October: A thoroughly miserable start to the week, with a moderate NE wind backing to NNW with intermittent heavy drizzle after a couple of dry early morning hours..... just the sort of weather then for something decent to turn up, and bang on cue it did at Northcommon Farm, in the form of a Yellow-browed Warbler (OM).

Ferry Pool: The Ruddy Shelduck was on the pool early this morning with a dozen or so Shelduck and 8 Avocets. (OM) It had gone by 8am, though, along with most of the Shelduck. The Avocets were still there, plus a single Curlew, 60 roosting Lapwing, 11 Shoveler, 40 Wigeon and 25 Teal, plus a flyover Kingfisher. One of the Avocets, which I believe is from the last Medmerry brood, has a distinctly pale crown (see pic), and it will be interesting to track its whereabouts over the winter. (AH)

Avocets, including the one with a pale crown (above) & Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)
Selsey Bill (0745-1030hrs): Cloudy but dry at first, becoming very dull and overcast with rain and heavy drizzle; wind NNE3-4 backing NNW 4-5. (Obs: OM/AH).
Again almost no sea-bird activity this morning apart from a small number of Brent, and not too much on the land either! A walk along the front and nearby gardens produced only a Stonechat, Goldcrest and Jay plus 3 Chiffchaffs, whilst a handful of other migrants passed through.... see log:
Gannet - 5W
Brent Goose - 38W
Little Egret - 1 ob
Lapwing - 1N
Med Gull - 5 os
Swallow - 3E
House Martin - 21E
Pied Wagtail - 4W
Meadow Pipit - 10W
Stonechat - 1 gardens
Chiffchaff - 3 gardens
Goldcrest - 1 gardens
Jay - 1 gardens
Selsey, Coastguards/West St: Two Rock Pipits were on the concrete breakwater, with 2 Wheatears on the beach nearby whilst along the eroding cliffs a small flock of 6 Swallows and 3 House Martins were hawking insects (OM).
Selsey, Northcommon Farm: After earlier telling AH that conditions looked good for a goodie to turn up, I decided to work the woodland here in the drizzle. Things started slowly but then a few Chiffchaffs  (c.10) and Goldcrests (8) gave hope, until eventually persistence paid off and a splendid Yellow-browed Warbler popped into view to brighten the day - soon coming as close as 10 feet! I did a double-take as it zoomed back up into the branches, but admit I also took pleasure in advising AH of my good fortune before putting the news out more widely! The prevailing conditions made a photograph impossible, but the bird was still present early afternoon in the line of trees/willows that line the unmade section of road at Paddock Lane (near 'flycatcher corner') south of the Golf club (OM).
Church Norton: Not much in the harbour beyond the regular Curlews, Redshank, Dunlin and Grey Plover, and around the hide/churchyard there were 4 or 5 Jays, a Sparrowhawk, a couple of Chiffchaffs and a dozen Goldcrests - mostly heard rather than seen. (AH)

A bedraggled Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

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