Friday, 23 October 2015

23rd - 25th October 2015

Sunday, 25th October: A chilly start, giving way to a pleasant and fairly calm morning with sunny periods and some cloud and a gentle easterly breeze...

Meanwhile, just to start the day with a smile, I recently received the following message and pic from Dave Sadler, who says "Just looking back over some old snaps and found the attached. The smiles indicate we've just got a tick. Where did the years (and hair) go !"  In fact this pic dates back to 10th April 1995, when three of us were off work (later to be called the sick, lame and lazy club!) and sea-watching on a slow day at the Bill. Then news came in of a Scops Owl down in Cornwall at a little place called Morwenstow.... we made a bold decision to go for it, and the rest is history..... and if you're reading this Mr Jones I'm sorry we forgot to pick you up from work! (OM)

Left to right, the more youthful figures of Dave Sadler, yours truly and John Faithfull, posing in Cornwall having abandoned the Bill and successfully twitched a Scops Owl on 10th April 1995 (DSa)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - The Great Grey Shrike was still present between Porthole Farm and Ham this morning. (SH/RJS/A&YF/SR)

Great Grey Shrike at Medmerry (SH)

Selsey Bill: (0640-0830) (SH/SR/GH/PC/AH/IP) 
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 7E, 12W
Brent Goose - 65E, 18W
Common Scoter - 1E
Sparrowhawk - 2p
Curlew - 4W
Mediterranean Gull -7W

Sandwich Tern - 1W
auk sp- 1W

Pied Wagtail - 1W

Turnstone (above) & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were three Fieldfare and a Redwing in the hedges around the farm this morning. (IP)

Ferry Pool: There were three Spotted Redshanks this morning - though as the third flew in the first two flew out! Also about were two Green Sandpipers, two Snipe, 26 roosting Avocets, c25 Black-tailed Godwits, five Redshank, one Dunlin, c200 Lapwing and, briefly, the Grey Wagtail. (AH)
Spotted Redshank (above), Green Sandpiper & Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

West Side/Tramway: Later two Woodlarks flew out of a recently ploughed field calling, with Skylarks late morning, just south of Ferry Pool on the right of the west side path. Also a Firecrest was showing occasionally but calling frequently by the RSPB visitor centre car-park and a Wheatear was flying about and feeding on the saltmarsh. Other than that, usual wildfowl and other fare (J-PC)

Wheatear & Teal (above), Pintail & Black-tailed Godwit around Pagham Harbour (J-PC)

Church Norton: A Spoonbill flew east along the spit this morning until lost from view, and there were two Rock Pipits near the concrete spit this morning, along with 20+ Skylarks and a few Linnets, whilst in the Severals there were two female Blackcaps, a pair of Stonechats and half a dozen Reed Buntings, and a Snipe flew out from near the horse field. There were still a few Goldcrests around the hide/churchyard area, but not much else of note.
The Peregrine was on its island, and the Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit were present, too, among the regular waders and there were large numbers of Wigeon and Teal and 50+ Pintail, too, whilst offshore there were nine Great Crested Grebes. (AH/IP et al)

Rock Pipits (above), Blackcap & Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and Turnstones at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon a cracking male Dartford Warbler was in gorse bushes by the second Several, perching briefly before flying into bushes between the Severals and was seen again briefly near the first Several. Also a Kingfisher was showing nicely in the harbour, there were nine Buzzards and two Sparrowhawks around the area, along with two Chiffchaffs and a Grey Wagtail. (S&SaH)

Kingfisher at Church Norton (SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane - There were two Short-eared Owls hunting near Marsh Barn late this afternoon, and one (and possibly two) Marsh Harriers were seen around the nearby viewpoint. (S&SaH)

Saturday, 24th October: A typically, grey and windy autumnal day, though quite mild....

MedmerryHam Farm -  The Great Grey Shrike was still present early this morning around the viewpoint. Also in the area were the Merlin, four Kestrels, a Kingfisher and up to six Stonechats. (SH)

Around midday, the Great Grey Shrike had retreated inland and was showing on the hedges and telegraph posts between Ham and Porthole Farm, along the lane. (IP/SR/IL)

It was still along the hedges and wires opposite Porthole Farm late this afternoon, and nearby there was a pair of Stonechats, and there was also a Grey Wagtail and two Meadow Pipits in with around 100 Pied Wagtails on the settling tanks. (AH)

Great Grey Shrike (above) & Grey Wagtail at Porthole Farm (AH)

Selsey Bill: (0745-1145) (Wind SSW F4) (C&ME/GH)
Red-throated Diver - 1W
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 15E, 528W
Shelduck - 1E
Long-tailed Duck - 1W
Common Scoter - 8E, 10W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Merlin - 1W
Kestrel - 1p
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Kittiwake - 9W
Razorbill - 3E, 10W
auk spp - 10E
Meadow Pipit - 19W
Swallow - 2W      

Additional 1640 - 1740hrs : (SH)
Gannet  - 9E, 20W

Shag - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Sanderling - 1W
Kittiwake  - 2 W
Mediterranean Gull  -1W
Common Gull - 2W 

Sandwich Tern - 2E
Grey Seal - 1os

Ferry Pool: There were two Spotted Redshanks and two Green Sandpipers on the pool this morning, along with nine Avocets, c30 Black-tailed Godwits and c80 Lapwing, whilst the Kingfisher flew three-quarters of the way round the edge, but didn't settle. Also there were a total of 34 Shelduck present this morning - the highest count so far this autumn. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks and Lapwings (above), Green Sandpiper and Teal & Shelducks on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There was surprisingly little on the Breech Pool - just a single Snipe and c60 roosting Black-tailed Godwits, plus a female Pintail, three Brent Geese and a few Wigeon and Teal, but a bit more was to be seen in the harbour. 

There was a single Greenshank present, and at least 100 Golden Plovers, with double that of Lapwing, plus about 50 Pintail spread out among the many Wigeon. There were 50+ Brent Geese about, and there was a good spread of commoner waders about, including Grey and Ringed Plover, Curlew and Redshank, along with half a dozen Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 30+ Mediterranean Gulls, whilst at least one Kingfisher was active while the tide was high. 

There was a Stonechat in the horse paddock, with another pair along the wall, where there were also two or three Rock Pipits and a few Reed Buntings and Linnets, whilst a Grey Wagtail and a few Skylarks and Pied Wagtails went over, and there were at least 500 Starlings in the harbour. (AH)

Rock Pipit (above), Stonechat, Pintail and Wigeon, Pintail, Golden Plovers and Lapwings & Grey Plover from North Wall (AH)

East Head & Snowhill Creek area: There were plenty of Long-tailed Tits around the church, a couple of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs by the sailing club and fifty Brent Geese and thirty Black-tailed Godwits in the creek itself. On the pools there were a few Wigeon, Teal and a few Curlews, but not much else. A flock of Redwings went over and there was a calling Cetti's Warbler and a Stonechat in the scrub. The dunes were fairly quiet with just a flock of Linnets, a fair few Meadow Pipits and a dozen Reed Buntings about. (BI)

Friday, 23rd October: A quiet and benign day for weather, with very little breeze and leaden skies.....

Medmerry: Ham Farm -  The Great Grey Shrike reported yesterday was present around the Ham ponds at around 13.00-13.15, then later at about 14.45 it was on a hedge between Porthole farm and Ham Lane, overlooking some of the field margins that we put in earlier in the year. I was only around Ham ponds for about 10 minutes, and even in that time it did a couple of disappearing tricks on me, only to reappear nearby. (PH)

Please note there is no public access via Ham Lane. Access for the east side of Medmerry is best via the public footpaths from Pagham Harbour visitor centre, or Golf Links Lane and Warner Lane, Selsey. (PH, Warden)

Earlier, there had been no sign of the Shrike, and it was very quiet, though a Merlin was hunting Meadow Pipits around the farm and there were a pair of Stonechats  and a Kestrel about the bank. (AH)

 Great Grey Shrike at Ham, Medmerry this afternoon (BI)

The Great Grey Shrike was still present at 5.15pm, actually sitting out on the top of the viewpoint. (AH)

More images of the Great Grey Shrike at Medmerry (AH)

Selsey Bill (0800-1100hrs): Cloudy, mild, wind very light E1, sea flat calm.   (Obs: C&ME)
Red-throated Diver - 1E

Gannet - 3E, 55W  
Brent Goose - 1E            
Common Scoter - 2E

Red-breasted Merganser - 3E
Wigeon - 5W
Mediterranean Gull  -1E, 1W
Pied Wagtail - 12E
House Martin - 12E
Swallow - c.90E

Ferry Pool: There was a Spotted Redshank present this morning, along with a Snipe, two Green Sandpipers, five Dunlin, eight Redshank, 15 Avocets and the usual Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing, Shoveler and Teal. (AH)

Green Sandpiper & Spotted Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit on Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Greenshank, a Kingfisher, three Black-tailed Godwits  and a Water Rail were all opposite Marsh Barn in the tidal area, along with 100+ Teal and Wigeon this morning, whilst on the Stilt Pool there was a late Common Sandpiper and three Green Sandpiper, plus 50 or so Teal but little else of note.
The White-fronted Goose flew out onto the cropped fields with the Canada Goose flock, as did the Bar-headed Geese, whilst along the banks there were a couple of pairs of Stonechats, a Chiffchaff, a couple of Corn and Reed Buntings, a dozen each of Skylark and Yellowhammer, and 50+ each of Linnet and Meadow Pipit. (AH) 
Later on the White-fronted Goose came back onto the Stilt Pool, along with the Canada Geese, Bar-headed Geese and a Greylag, whilst a Red-throated Diver drifted west, quite close inshore. (DM/HR)

Greenshank (above), Common Sandpiper, White-fronted and Canada Geese, Kingfisher, Linnet & Kestrel at Medmerry (AH)

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