Tuesday, 7 October 2014

7th - 9th October 2014

Thursday, 9th October: Changeable autumnal conditions again with cloud, sunny periods, heavy showers and a strong south-westerly wind gusting to gale force.
Selsey Bill (0800-0920hrs): (Obs: AH/GH/PC et al)
Gannet - 4W, 2E
Brent Goose - 6W
Grey Plover - 1W
Turnstone - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 5W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 2W
Swallow - 8W
An indication of how exciting the sea-watching was - we all got up to look at the rainbow over the Bill House! (AH)
Ferry Pool: Two Ruff dropped onto the Ferry this morning on the rising tide, and were joined by 2 Greenshank, the Common Sandpiper, 30 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Lapwing and 6 Shoveler. (AH)
Ruff and Greenshank (above), & again with a Teal on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: Not much to report in the strong winds and squally showers - the best were a Peregrine over, a Sandwich Tern dropping into the harbour from the east and 4 Bar-tailed Godwits amongst the commoner waders. About a dozen Swallows were feeding in the sheltered areas, but all other passerines were keeping their heads down. (AH)

Wednesday, 8th October: A real autumnal day - blustery and showery with the odd glimpse of the sun between the belts of rain...and boy did it rain at times! Sea-watching was the only realistic option at first, and with the wind being a strong southerly it was possible to seek shelter from the 'south-easterly' wall at the Bill. This didn't last however; the wind eased round to SW with driving rain and watching from the car became the only sensible course of action. Things weren't helped either by the spray from the crashing waves on a very high tide! (OM).
Selsey Bill (0800-1200hrs): Heavy rain/showers with some drier spells. Wind S5-6 backing SW later. (Obs: CRJ/OM/AH). After a nightmare drive down to the Bill-tip this morning four hours of coverage was really above and beyond the call of duty; for the last two hours I was alone and reduced to watching from the car. Despite the apparently suitable conditions for a good sea passage there was actually rather little moving.... no skuas or shearwaters at all, the best being 3 Little Gulls. (OM). Log below....
Gannet - 2E, 6W
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Brent Goose - 1E, 107W
Teal - 2W
Turnstone - 45 ob
Oystercatcher - 1E
C/A Tern - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 3W
Little Gull - 3W
Med Gull - 40 os
Auk sp - 1W
Swallow - 10 out S
Pied Wagtail - 1S
Meadow Pipit - 30W
Additionally, an hour this evening by SH (1730-1830hrs) produced
Red-breasted Merganser - 3 os
Sanderling - 2W, and
Med Gull - 13 os
ad Med Gull (above) (AH) and small flock of Gannets (OM) off Selsey Bill  
Church Norton: I was greeted in Rectory Lane with the bizarre sight of fifty or so Partridges - both Grey and Red-legged - marching down the middle of the road for some distance before reluctantly flying over the hedge.
The Spoonbill was in the harbour again, dropping in by Tern Island to go to roost on the rising tide. There were also 3 Sandwich Terns present, but not much else of note in the dismal weather, though there were 2-3 Chiffchaffs, 4-5 Jays and a few Goldcrests in the churchyard, and half a dozen Swallows went over. (AH/BFF/DS). On a later visit at noon, which coincided with the very high tide, the Spoonbill was still present on New Island but fast asleep, whilst Chiffchaffs seemed very active in the churchyard and the west side... I logged at least 15, some of which were with a large flock of Long-tailed and other tits (OM).
Grey and Red-legged Partridges (above) & Grey Partridge at Church Norton (AH)
Ferry Pool: The Ferry has returned to duck-pond status after the rain, with the only waders present being 2 Avocets and 100 or so roosting Lapwings. (AH) However, with the very high tide in the harbour late morning, it seems a good number of waders sought refuge here..... just around noon there were  6 Avocets, 8 Greenshank 4 Dunlin, 34 Black-tailed Godwits, 35 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and 7 Stock Doves (DS/PH). Also, a small wader by itself on the far shore was probably a Little Stint (PH). 
Tuesday, 7th October: Changeable with heavy showers and cloud followed by sunny spells, with a fresh westerly wind. It's good to be back after my week's jaunt up north and my thanks again to AH for keeping the blog running so efficiently in my absence. It can be quite an arduous task at times for one person as I well know. I did regularly check the site for updates whilst away and the number of daily bird news items was impressive so thanks to all for keeping the news coming (OM).

Selsey Bill: (0800-1000hrs) (CRJ et al)
Gannet - 6W, 2E
Brent Goose - 46W
Wigeon - 2W
Eider - 4W then os
Mediterranean Gull - 5W
Common Gull - 3W
Meadow Pipit - 38W
Pied Wagtail - 5W
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Swallow - 16W

An additional hour this evening (1730 - 1830hrs) (SH) produced just
Gannet - 1W
Brent Goose - 3W
Eider - 1os
Med Gull - 11os

Ferry Pool: The water level has risen after the recent rain, meaning no waders this morning save a single Black-tailed Godwit and 140 roosting Lapwing. Also 50 Wigeon, 30 Teal and 5 Shelduck present. (AH)

Wigeon and Teal on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: Best bird this morning was a Raven which briefly tussled with the Carrion Crows at the back of the churchyard before disappearing west. Otherwise there were still at least 6 Jays about, 5 Stonechats on the first Several, where there were also a couple of Sparrowhawks and a few Swallows over, and a big mixed roaming flock containing at least a dozen Chiffchaffs and a couple of Blackcaps around the churchyard area. Fairly quiet in the harbour on the big tide, though there were plenty of Wigeon and Teal about, and 30+ Grey Plovers in with the roosting Redshank. (AH/CRJ/A&YF)
Jay, Stonechat, Teal and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham Spit: This morning on the massive tide at Pagham Harbour a juv Spoonbill flying around before settling on Tern Island where it was evidently less white than Little Egrets and nearer the leucistic Curlew in colour, both of which were alongside. Also a Peregrine on the New Island. On the Spit some 150 Linnets and 30 Greenfinches and single Swallow and Wheatear. On the Lagoon ca. 50 each of Little Grebe and Tufted Duck and a Kingfisher fishing. (ARK per SOS)

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