Thursday, 1 October 2015

1st - 3rd October 2015

Saturday, 3rd OctoberA slight change in the weather, with a lighter breeze, but a lot more cloud.....

Selsey Bill: (0650-0920hrs) (SH/SR)
Gannet - 4E,9W
Brent Goose - 5W

Turnstone - 26p
Mediterranean Gull - 12E, 4W
Sandwich Tern - 5E, 3W
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2E, 1p

Skylark - 2N
Pied Wagtail -  78N/E, 4W, 1p
Meadow Pipit - 149N/E
Swallow - 38N/E, 11p

House Martin - 10N
Chiffchaff - 7 in Bill House garden, further 9 in gardens along the front
Goldfinch - 13p

Siskin - 27E
Chaffinch - 4E
Linnet - 4E 

Selsey - Northcommon Farm: I spent a couple of hours working over the more promising areas, but the bottom line is there wasn't a great deal to be found and nothing unusual - just a dozen or more Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 6 Goldcrests, a few Siskins and a Redpoll flying over eastwards and a mixed flock of 50 or so Swallows and House Martins. (OM)
Warner Lane paddocks held a Grey Wagtail, 10 Meadow Pipits, 5 Chiffchaffs, a couple of Blackcaps and a very big flock of hirundines swirling around and extending right down to the beach and Coastguard cottages area...estimate about 700 Swallows and 300 House Martins. (OM)

Ferry Pool: Most of yesterday's birds were still present, with the still conditions clearly not shifting the birds around. A Spotted Redshank early on was different, but otherwise the Curlew Sandpiper was still in the company of c30 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper and three Green Sandpipers were also still present, as were three Snipe, six Avocets, c20 Black-tailed Godwits, c140 Lapwing and eight Shelduck, whilst the Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher both put in typically fleeting visits. (AH)

Curlew Sandpiper with Avocet and Dunlins (above), Snipe, Common Sandpiper & Grey Wagtil on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There may well be two Whimbrel in the harbour, but other waders were in short supply early on. The bushes were quiet, with a dozen or more Blackcaps with a few Chiffchaffs in attendance, and a scattering of Goldcrests being the only birds on show. A Wheatear was on the beach and four Stonechats, including a very young one still begging for food, were along the Severals, where there were also a dozen or more Reed Buntings, but not much else was in evidence. A few dozen Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Swallows were on the wing, but they seemed to be moving about rather than moving through. (AH)
In the afternoon there was more activity... (S&SaH)
1 Osprey watched for 30 mins over harbour (only dived once before moving off west)
2 Hobbys hawking dragonflys around the Severals
5 Buzzards
3 Sparrowhawks
2 Kestrels
1 Snipe
5 stonechats

10 Blackcaps
20+ Chiffchaff
2 Willow Warbler

Bathing Whimbrel (above), Wheatear, Stonechat, Blackcap & Goldcrest at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Breach viewpoint - I met a couple who had seen an Osprey near the Ham area (though I failed to see one!), but otherwise there was not a lot on offer... just a few Dunlin and Ringed Plovers, a couple of Grey Plover, 2 Wheatears, 2 Stonechat, a handful of Siskins moving east and a Redpoll calling from a small Linnet flock.(OM)
Ham - A splendid Marsh Harrier flew low over the field behind the viewpoint, climbing high and disappearing from view toward Ham early afternoon.  Also present was 6 Skylarks, c75 Goldfinches, 4 Stonechats, 3 Kestrels, 2 Buzzards and c30 Swallows on the wires.
Chainbridge - 3 Stonechats, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Kestrels, 1 Whinchat, 2 Stock Doves. (SR)

Friday, 2nd October....and still more of the same, with dry conditions, unbroken sunshine, clear skies and a moderate to fresh NE wind. There is however a hint of change due from the weekend onwards with the prospect of rain early next week, which may then prompt a bit of movement on the birding front....

Ferry Pool: The Curlew Sandpiper was still in residence this morning, along with three Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper, c30 Dunlin, five Avocets, 25 Black-tailed Godwits and c80 Lapwing. The Kingfisher was around again, too, and around 250 Wigeon and 50 Pintail flew over into the harbour, along with half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls. (AH/IL/GB) Later, two Ravens flew east over the harbour (PH)

Kingfisher (above), Common Sandpiper, Pintail & Mediterranean Gull at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: This evening there were five Stonechats along the Severals and 20+ Siskins in amongst the Goldfinch flock in the horse field. Also three Sparrowhawks were about and three Common Scoter and four Brent Geese went west offshore. (S&SaH)

Earlier the Spoonbill was reported present again. (per Birdguides)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool: No sign of the Hen Harrier this morning, and not many migrants about, bar a Whinchat, a Chiffchaff and around 2-300 each of Swallow and House Martin, mostly around the Stilt Pool. There were plenty of the 'winter resident' birds about though, including 200+ Meadow Pipits, 100+ Goldfinch and Linnet, 30+ Skylarks, half a dozen Yellowhammers and thee or four Corn Buntings, plus a pair of Stonechats.
A Kingfisher was by the sluice at the poplars, as were a couple of Green Sandpipers, but the only other waders seen were a fly-over Greenshank, two Snipe, two Redshank in the tidal area and two Common Sandpipers on the Stilt Pool. (AH)

Corn Bunting (above), Whinchat, Stonechat, House Martins, and with Swallow & Goldfinches at Medmerry (AH)

There was again no sign of the Hen Harrier this evening, though an Osprey was still present out on the reserve. There were 20+ Yellowhammers, a dozen Reed Buntings and three or four Corn Buntings, plus plenty of Linnets and Goldfinches enjoying the evening sun, and four Black-tailed Godwits were on the tidal area. (AH)

Two Ospreys were present mid-afternoon today; an adult and juvenile perched on adjacent posts near the derelict hut, with occasional fishing trips out towards Selsey.(R. Best)

Also, an unconfirmed report of a White-fronted Goose in with the Canada Geese in the Stilt pool.

Yellowhammers at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 1st October: A new month, but more of the same pleasant weather - still dry and breezy but slightly more cloud and less wind than yesterday......

Selsey Bill (0745-1045hrs): Sunny, clear, wind E/NE 3-4  (Obs: OM/C&ME/SR/AH)
Some wildfowl were on the move this morning, but not much else, though there were half a dozen Sandwich Terns and over 150 Mediterranean Gulls around on the low tide. There was not much visible migration on offer, with just a steady, if modest flow of Meadow Pipits and the odd Grey and Pied Wagtail among them. Full log below....
Gannet - 15E, 3W
Brent Goose - 93W
Common Scoter - 6E
Teal - 5W
Wigeon - 22E, 71W, 1os
Sparrowhawk - 1NW
Sandwich Tern - 6E, 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 154 os
Meadow Pipit - 77N/E
Pied Wagtail - 32E, 9N
Grey Wagtail - 2E
Swallow - 20E
Chiffchaff - 4 gardens
Goldfinch - 20N

Sandwich Tern and Mediterranean Gulls (above) & Common Gull at the Bill (AH)

Selsey, Northcommon Farm: The brisk wind again made passerine-finding less than easy, but fittingly a Spotted Flycatcher was at 'flycatcher corner.' There wasn't much else on offer however... just 6 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests and a Grey Wagtail (OM).
Ferry Pool: The Curlew Sandpiper was again present with around 25 Dunlin, and there were also six Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper, five Avocets, 30 Black-tailed Godwits and c80 Lapwings on the pool. The Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher put in brief appearances, and a handful of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails went over, as did a Sparrowhawk. (AH/OM)

Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlins (above), Common Sandpiper & Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was less visible migration than yesterday, though there were still 80 Meadow Pipits, 40 Swallows, 20 Goldfinches, three Reed Buntings and 25 Siskins moving east over the Severals, plus a dozen of the latter appeared out of the trees by the Mound. 
There were at least a dozen Blackcaps around the sheltered hedges by the Mound, and similar of Goldcrest (heard, if not seen), though little else, whilst along the Severals there was a Sedge Warbler, a Whitethroat and another Blackcap. There was very little activity in the harbour on the low tide, save a couple of family groups of Brent Geese that dropped in from the east. (AH)
A Kingfisher later flew right across the churchyard, and also noteworthy were the efforts of Messrs Forbes and Mason, clearing the area around the seat on the top path (near the steps) to open up the vista for everyone, well done boys... (well, they like to feel usefuI and I said I'd give them a mention!) (OM)

Bernie Forbes (left) and Dorian Mason taking a break from their good deeds at Church Norton (OM)
Blackcap (above), Whitethroat, Brent Geese & Redshank at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool:  The highlight this afternoon was undoubtedly a ringtail harrier that regrettably has to go unidentified at present.  However an Osprey was taking full advantage of the reserve's fish stocks, returning to the same post each time.  The water in the Stilt Pool was high and bird numbers had dwindled, the main ones being a Shoveler, 15 Teal, 2 Green Sandpipers, 7 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Wheatears and a Clouded Yellow butterfly.  At the Easton Lane pool only one Garganey was showing along with a Little Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron and a Swan family.  Also along the track were 3 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, 2 Stonechat, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Yellowhammers, 4 Kestrels and a Buzzard (SR)

Later on the harrier was on show again, and it would seem most likely to be a Hen Harrier, though light and range didn't help - see bad pics below! Other birds not seen earlier included a Kingfisher, a Spotted Redshank flying around, a Greenshank and lots of Linnets coming in to roost. (S&SaH/AH)

Hen Harrier at Medmerry (SH above & AH)

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