Saturday, 10 September 2016

10th - 12th September 2016

Monday, 12th September: A bit more autumnal, despite the southerly direction of the breeze, with plenty of cloud cover....though brightening by afternoon.

We are most grateful to Shaun Ferguson of Surrey Birders for allowing us to use the below map of the Pagham harbour will doubtless prove useful to anyone visiting the area and a copy will be added to our header 'Site Totals and Maps' link page for future reference.

Selsey Bill: Not much moving offshore - just a Shag east and a juvenile Kittiwake, two Sandwich Terns and a few Gannets; also quiet in the gardens, though a flock of six Grey Wagtails went over and out to sea, as did a Peregrine, and there was a steady stream of Swallows east. Full log below....

0735-0935hrs: SSE4-5   (Obs: OM/AH/SR)
Gannet - 25E, 6W
Fulmar - 1W
Shag - 1E
Common Scoter - 1E
Peregrine - 1 over, moved off E
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Kittiwake - 1E
Grey Wagtail - 6 out S
Sand Martin - 5 SE
Swallow - 200 SE
Goldfinch - 30p

 Ferry Pool: A Ruff, a Green Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover were on the pool this morning, along with three Black-tailed Godwits, c75 roosting Lapwings, 20 Teal and 10 Shelduck. A Kingfisher shot over early on and three Cetti's Warblers were involved in a territorial dispute by the pumping station.
Also there was a Spotted Redshank and two Greenshank in the channel opposite. (AH/GM/D Mitchell)

Cetti's Warbler (above), Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: We were pleased to be joined this morning  by OM's namesake Dominic Mitchell (editor of Birdwatch magazine). There was a Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper among 2-300 Dunlin in the harbour, along with half a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, c30 Grey Plover and c50 Ringed Plovers..... including an oddly white-faced individual of the latter which got us going for a while, plus a juvenile Peregrine over.
There was not much in the bushes beyond 20+ Blackcaps and the odd Willow/Chiff, though there was a Treecreeper in the car-park, along with a dozen Goldcrests, and there was a steady stream of Swallows over south, with c40 Sand Martins and c20 House Martins among them. (AH/OM/SR/D Mitchell)
There was not much more to report this evening - just 50 Mediterranean Gulls and three Whimbrels of note, plus a Wheatear on the concrete blocks and six Sand Martins over. (S&SaH)

Little Stint (above), Curlew Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, odd-looking Ringed Plover & Tree-creeper at Church Norton (AH)

Little Stint and Dunlin (above), odd-looking Ringed Plover & Dunlin & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (D Mitchell)

Medmerry: East Side - A Ruff was around the pools and a juvenile Marsh Harrier went over, and a distant Spoonbill was seen in flight over the west side. (PH)

Fishbourne Creek: I counted all the gulls there: there were 1100 smaller gulls in total, of which I estimated 175 were Mediterraneans, 50 Commons and the rest Black-headed. Also there adult Yellow-legged Gull present. (D Mitchell)

Yellow-legged Gull at Fishbourne Creek (D Mitchell)

Sunday, 11th September: What a contrast to yesterday! A beautifully warm , still and bright autumn's day.......

A few items from the editorial chair..... firstly, many thanks to our assistant editor Bart Ives for stepping in to cover the blog for his first time yesterday afternoon whilst we were committed. Bart of course passed with flying colours (he's our techno kid!), but would regular contributors please note his email address for future reference (see side bar info). Secondly, regulars may have noted the absence of Colin and Mich Eames over some weeks now - unfortunately Mich has not been too well recently and has also suffered a very recent bereavement with the loss of her mother;  we offer our condolences at this difficult time and also wish Mich a speedy recovery. Finally a couple of our other lady regulars have also had some difficult times recently; apologies for our tardy response, but we are very pleased to see Sarah Russell in the field following her sad bereavement and also wish our dear Beryl James all the best following her ill health and medical treatment. Hang on in there ladies. (OM/AH)

Selsey Bill: (0630-1100hrs) (Obs: SH/JA/OM) Quite a fall of Wheatears this morning, including a flock of six together.....
Gannet - 1E, 4W
Sparrowhawk - 1 over gardens
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 1W
Green Woodpecker - 1 gardens
Meadow Pipit - 7W
Yellow Wagtail - 4W, 1S
Pied Wagtail - 5W
Grey Wagtail - 4 present
Swallow - 10W, 5SE, 2p
House Martin - 5W, 2p 

Wheatear - 17 (10 ob, 3 in gardens, 4 flew out to sea)
Willow Warbler - 3 in gardens
Chiffchaff - 10 gardens
Blackcap - 2 gardens
Whitethroat - 1 gardens

Wheatear on the Triangle at the Bill (SH)

 Rooftop Wheatears, Whitethroat and Green Woodpecker on a sunny morning at the Bill (OM)

East Beach:  This morning a Wheatear was on the roof of my house, and a late afternoon visit to the pond finally - after a couple of hours staring into the reeds - produced views of a noisy Reed Warbler family, with at least 3 very mobile young being fed by attentive parents. There were good numbers of Willow Warblers about, too, with at least 15 - 20 present. (SR)

Wheatear at East Beach (SR)

Church Norton: There were at least 30 Wheatears spread along the beach this morning and at least six Spotted Flycatchers, a Sedge Warbler and a Garden Warbler behind the hide, plus a reasonable number of Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs spread around the hedges and a handful of Meadow Pipits over.
At one point there were 18 Buzzards, five Sparrowhawks and a Peregrine airborne over the Priory Wood area before they dispersed again. 
In the harbour there were two Kingfishers, at least five Bar-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, two Knot, c20 Grey Plover, c40 Ringed Plover and c300 Dunlin and around 100 Swallows went over. (AH/IP/S&SaH/A&YF/RJS et al)

Kingfisher (above) & Grey Plovers (IP), Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler & Willow Warbler (AH) at Church Norton

Medmerry: Breach area - Two Spoonbills were in the pools before heading off west early on,  one- and possibly two - Ospreys were out on the reserve, and there were at least 20 Wheatears and a couple of Whinchats in the vicinity. (A&YF/RJS)

North Wall: A really good morning for migrants, with nine Common Whitethroats, three Willow Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat along the wall, and in the area from Bremere bridge to the Macracarpa copse there were two Whinchats, two Common Redstarts, three Spotted Flycatchers, seven Willow Warblers, three Reed Warblers, a Garden Warbler, two Common Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler. Also in the copse there were two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Green Woodpecker and two Jays. 
On the Breech Pool there were 40 plus Redshank (with another 90 along White's Creek), 70 plus Black-tailed Godwits, 19 Dunlin, two  Curlew Sandpipers, 16 Lapwing, four Greenshank and two Spotted Redshank. (JDW)
Later on there had been five Spotted Redshank, six Greenshank, just one Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff and three Snipe on the pool, and two Whinchats and eight Wheatears in the field behind. (AH) 
Later still there was also a Common Sandpiper & a Bar-tailed Godwit on the back of the Breech Pool, three Wheatears on the wall and at Halsey's Farm there were at least three, and probably four, Common Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Clouded Yellow. (BI)

Ruff (above) & Curlew Sandpiper (AH) & Dunlin (JDW) from North Wall

Redstart at Halsey's Farm (above) & Wheatear on the North Wall (BI)

East Side: An Osprey flew in from the west just before 9am and circled around a couple of times before departing again. A Curlew Sandpiper was along the main channel, along with a Common Sandpiper, five Bar-tailed Godwits, c40 Turnstones and c500 Dunlin, a Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek and there were also three Pintail with c70 Wigeon present. (AH)

Osprey (above), Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Pintail & Wigeon along East Side (AH)

Ferry Pool: A bit of a sorry sight these days - half empty of water and three roosting Lapwings being the only waders present. (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This afternoon a Barn Owl was out hunting, along with a Marsh Harrier, three Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk, and the first Stonechat of the autumn was among 14 Whinchats, nine Wheatears, three Yellowhammers, 30+ Meadow Pipits and 60+ Yellow Wagtails along the banks and fields.

There were huge number of gulls around this afternoon, with a minimum 3000 present of which 500 -1000 were Mediterranean Gulls, though the only waders noted were three Common Sandpipers, and there were just three Sand Martins and six Swallows seen. (S&SaH)

Barn Owl (above) & Stonechat at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm and Ham Farm - There were just half a dozen Chiffchaffs and a couple of Whitethroats at Porthole Farm, but at Ham Farm a Redstart and four Chiffchaffs were in the trees around the houses and along the fences and banks there were at least four Whinchats and 20 Wheatears, with at least 150 Yellow Wagtails in the fields with the cattle. (AH)

Whinchat (above), Yellow Wagtail & Chiffchaff at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 10th September: Cloudy with a fresh SW wind and the prospect of heavy rain throughout much of the day; it still hadn't arrived by mid-morning..... but a miserable afternoon followed! Unsurprisingly, few reports were received today......

Selsey Bill: 0630-0830  (Obs: SH/JA/SR)
Gannet - 4E, 11W
Fulmar - 1W
Common Scoter - 2E
Kestrel - 1 out SE
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 1os
Kittiwake - 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 91E (nearly all in first 30 minutes)
Swallow - 14SE, 15W

Selsey: A Convolvulus Hawkmoth appeared in JA's garden moth trap overnight...see below

 Convolvulus Hawkmoth in a Selsey garden (JA)

Also 1615-1715: (SH)
Great Crested Grebe - 2os

Gannet - 3E, 5W
Dunlin - 2W
Little Tern - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Kittiwake - 1W

North Wall: On the Breech Pool this afternoon in the showers were 19 Dunlin and two Curlew Sandpipers, 8 Greenshanks with c.50 Black-tailed Godwits, c.40 Lapwings and 30 Teal. A Snipe also showed quite well at the front before scuttling back to the sanctuary of the reeds. By the sluice were two Common Sandpipers and the Kingfisher showed briefly here too. (BI) Earlier there were six Snipe showing and also a Green Sandpiper present on the Breech Pool and at least 30 Yellow Wagtails around the cattle. (BFF per SOS)

Dunlin on the Breech Pool (BI)

Church Norton: From the hide around lunchtime were a single Peregrine, two Greenshanks and six Bar-tailed Godwits. A quick look around the Severals in a brief lull in the weather gave no sign of the Wryneck. (BFF per SOS)
Not many small birds about in an early morning walk - just two Wheatears on the spit, a pair of Blackcaps and a Whitethroat between the two Severals and a steady trickle of Swallows with four Sand Martins among them  just about accounted for everything!

There were four Bar-tailed Godwits in the harbour, plus a pair of Sandwich Terns, with five of the latter also feeding offshore on the rising tide.

On the second Several, after several weeks of not being sure, there are 2 fully grown Cygnets with their parents. (IP)

East Wittering: A Spoonbill flew west along the beach at 1830. (I.Mears per SOS)

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