Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29th - 31st October 2014

Friday, 31st October: Dry and sunny with a moderate southerly breeze. The unseasonal summer-like weather continues and with it the prospect of the warmest Halloween night on record..... will the birding deliver a trick or a treat?  

Selsey Bill (0645-0930hrs): Sunny, SSE3-4. (Obs: JA et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Gannet - 13W
Brent Goose - 4E, 46W
Eider - 1 os
R//b Merganser - 4W
Grey Plover - 56W
Med Gull - 4 os
Arctic Skua - 1W
Woodpigeon - 2046 SE
Stock Dove - 143 SE
Kestrel - 1 p
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Razorbill - 2W
Pied Wagtail - 11SE
Swallow - 1 S
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 gardens
Skylark - 1 S
Linnet - 130 SE
Goldfinch - 900 SE
Greenfinch - 14 SE
Starling - 16 S
Meadow Pipit - 85 S
Magpie - 16 p

Selsey area: At Northcommon Farm this afternoon there were 2 Chiffchaffs, 6 Long-tailed Tits, a Grey Wagtail, 200 Wood Pigeons and a Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker (JA).

Ferry Pool: There were 4 Green Sandpipers on the pool again this morning, along with 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 7 Avocet and 50 Lapwing. (AH)
North Wall: Pleasant, but very quiet this morning - highlights were the Rock Pipit and c20 Reed Buntings along the wall, a single Snipe, 20 Teal and 20 Black-tailed Godwits on the Breach Pool, and another 20 of the latter in White's Creek. (AH/PC) This afternoon the Short-eared Owl put in another appearance and showed well (DSh}
Rock Pipit on North Wall (above), Grey Heron over it & Black-tailed Godwit in White's Creek (AH)
Pagham Spit: No sign of the Dartford Warbler or Snow Bunting along the spit, though there were 10 Skylarks and 30 Meadow Pipits present. The Peregrine was on its island and there were many hundreds of Brent Geese and Wigeon in the harbour. (AH) Later on, the Snow Bunting was reported again, further towards the caravan site golf course area though it remained generally elusive (per SR].

Peregrine (above) & Wigeon in /over Pagham Harbour (AH)
Thursday, 30th October: Another balmy day, cloudy with some brightness and a light southerly 2-3; more reminiscent of high summer than mid-autumn, reflected in the mix of birds.... with an obvious fall of Black Redstarts today stealing the show; at least eight were present in the west Selsey to Church Norton area alone. My apologies to all those who tried to contact me but got no response today... I regret that O2's mobile signal in the Selsey area seemed to be just about useless this morning - on my phone anyway - both for texting and phoning; all very frustrating (OM).
Pagham Spit: A Snow Bunting was on the spit near the hide this morning. (BFF)
Selsey Bill 0800 - 0900hrs: S2-3. Dry, mild, cloud. I spent an hour checking the beach and gardens whilst keeping an eye on the sea, but there was little movement, with just 8 Gannets and a couple of Med Gulls logged and a Great Northern Diver offshore. A Skylark and 10 Meadow Pipits were running about on the Oval field, the regular Great Spotted Woodpecker was around the gardens and small numbers of Pied wagtails and Goldfinch passed through, but the best was a Black Redstart around the houses. (OM) There were a further 5 Black Redstarts along the western side of the Selsey coastline - see below. (SR)
Black Redstart at Selsey Bill (OM)
..... and another Black Redstart at West sands (SR). 

Selsey area A Black Redstart was at Coastguards (SR). At Drift Lane marsh there were 12 Snipe, and at Warner Lane paddocks 5 Stonechats and a few Meadow Pipits (OM).
Northcommon Farm was uneventful, producing a Great Spotted and 2 Green Woodpeckers, a Buzzard, 16 Curlew in the wet fields and just 3 Goldcrests in the trees (OM).
Medmerry: West Sands/caravan site - A juvenile/female Black Redstart in the car park; also
2 Stonechats on the rough ground, along with 4 Pied Wagtails and 6 Meadow Pipits. On the rubble heaps were another 2 Black Redstarts on the rocks, a Wheatear, c50 Linnets, c20 Meadow Pipits, 8 Pied Wagtails, and another clouded yellow butterfly. (SR).
West Sands to the breach - The two Wheatears were still present near the viewpoint, and a very late Common Sandpiper was in the big pool. Otherwise just a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits, a Grey Plover and a Curlew on the pools and the usual 200+ Linnets and 20+ Meadow Pipits present. (AH)
Wheatear at Medmerry (AH)
Church Norton: There were two Black Redstarts in the churchyard early on, which (presumably) relocated to the barn along Rectory Lane when the slash-and-burn mob turned up in force with multiple mowers and strimmers. Otherwise there were a couple of Stonechats along the Severals and a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests in the oak copse, but no sign again of the Pallas's Warbler. (AH/CRJ et al). The Spoonbill was reported again roosting out in the harbour (per RBA et al). Two juvenile Peregrines were later seen (BFF/DM).
Black Redstarts (above) & Stonechat at Church Norton (AH)
Ferry Pool: One Green Sandpiper this morning, plus 40 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 7 Avocets, 60 Lapwing and 8 Teal. (AH)

North Wall: A Short-eared Owl was present at the North fields this afternoon (DSh).

Sidlesham Quay: Two Chiffchaffs, a Buzzard, 2 calling Water Rails and a Little Grebe (OM).
Wednesday, 29th October: A really dismal day, despite the mild temperature, with mist and drizzle interspersed with heavy showers and then prolonged heavy rain.... what a change from yesterday. Birding became increasingly difficult as conditions worsened, but a certain Mr Janman and I were not about to give up without a fight, each checking out various areas of potential and finally meeting up at Northcommon Farm, before eventually making a tactical and somewhat damp retreat! (OM).
Church Norton: No sign of the Pallas's Warbler this morning - or anything else much in the oak copse! A Redwing and a dozen or so apparent 'continental' Blackbirds were in the churchyard, and 3 Chiffchaffs and half a dozen Goldcrests were in the car-park. (AH)
Selsey Bill (0820-0920hrs): Almost no seabird activity over the flat calm sea, and around the gardens there were a just a couple of Chiffchaffs, two Song Thrushes (one in-off the sea) and a few newly-arrived Blackbirds. (OM)

Selsey area: An early visit to East Beach pool produced just a single Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldcrests, a Sparrowhawk whizzing through and an obvious arrival of Blackbirds, with a dozen or more feeding voraciously on the hawthorn berries. Coastguards/Windmill field was similarly quiet with just a Stonechat and 10 Meadow Pipits of note. At Drift Lane  a Chiffchaff was calling but before I could explore further the heavens opened (OM).
Northcommon Farm: When the rain eased a bit a quick search failed to locate much at all; a couple of calling Goldcrests, a single Chiffchaff and 2 fly-over Curlews was about it! Before long though the rain returned and it became time to abandon our efforts (OM/CRJ).
Chris Janman checking it out in the rain at Northcommon Farm this morning; although we were not in luck today, such persistence will surely bring its rewards (please!) (OM)
Ferry Pool: A pair of Gadwall dropped in, there were 5 Avocets, 35 Lapwings, 20 Shoveler and at least 50 Wigeon and a couple of Curlews on the field. (AH)


Gadwall and Lapwings in the rain on the Ferry (AH)

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