Sunday, 25 September 2016

25th - 27th September 2016

Tuesday, 27th September: A very grey, drizzly morning with a stiff southerly breeze, though remaining mild.....

A short editorial note to the regulars and/or contributors to the blog.... its nearing the time when yours truly will be heading north for a spot of Shetland birding and so absent from the blog. This would normally place quite a burden on AH who has to work (!) and run the blog alone; however fortunately we now have our assistant editor - Bart Ives - in position and ready to assist. Could all contributors now add Bart's email address ( when forwarding any posts with immediate effect.... this will give him time to see your writing style and be ready to make the necessary editorial adjustments in my absence!  (OM)

Selsey Bill: Very quiet offshore, with just a handful of Kittiwakes and Gannets moving, and the wind keeping any small birds down. The strong southerly and sea conditions felt right for a decent bit of passage, but as has happened all too often this autumn it quickly proved to be disappointing.....
Full log below....
0730-1030hrs:   (Obs: OM/DS/DF/CRJ)
Gannet - 30E, 11W
Common Scoter - 1E
auk sp - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 3E
Kittiwake - 7W
Meadow Pipit - 4W
Swallow - 2E
and that was it!!

Selsey: East Beach pond - at least six Chiffchaffs were the only birds of interest. It was a similar situation at Northcommon farm, with four Chiffchaffs in the trees and c.50 Meadow Pipits in the long grass. (OM)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: Still just the single Black-tailed Godwit present on the pool, plus three Shelducks and 15 Teal and a Grey Wagtail over. Surprisingly, when the flock took to the air, there proved to be 80-100 Yellow Wagtails among the cows, having looked liked barely a dozen on the ground.
A Spotted Redshank was with a dozen Redshank in Ferry Channel, but the tide was too high for anything else bar 100 Teal. (AH)
A walk around the circuit from the hide - tramway - back of the Visitor centre produced 14 Chiffchaffs and 5+ Blackcaps; also a few Wigeon and 40 Teal in the channel. (OM)

Yellow Wagtail (above) & Spotted Redshank, Redshank and Teal around the Ferry (AH)

Wigeon in Ferry channel, right up by the sluice gates (OM)

Church Norton: Nothing much of note, with the wind ripping through, with just the odd Chiffchaff and Goldcrest heard and glimpsed, whilst in the harbour there were up to three Whimbrel, half a dozen Knot and 40 Grey Plover among the roosting waders. A few Swallows and Meadow Pipits were going west over the beach and a couple of Gannets were far offshore. (AH/BFF/DM/DIS)

Whimbrel (above), Grey Plovers & with Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

Monday, 26th September: A fairly grey and breezy day, though still quite mild....with some brightness and a light-moderate SW wind. Despite it being late September - a traditionally good time for migrants with many a rarity nationally - we seem to have entered that frustrating time in our little corner of the world when there's little on offer yet for us and we just have to wait. Rumour has it that there's another outbreak of the dreaded Scad  (= Sussex coast autumnal doldrums!)

Selsey Bill: Quiet again this morning, with little of note over the sea and just a few Mediterranean Gulls moving offshore. Migrants were few,  with just a trickle of Meadow Pipits and Swallows on the move and a measly five Chiffchaffs in the gardens! Full log below...
0715-1015hrs: (Obs: SR/OM)
Gannet - 2E, 6W, 3os
Wigeon - 4W
Auk sp - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Mediterranean Gull - 7W
Meadow Pipit - 42SW
Swallow - 54E, 15W
House Martin - 10E
Goldfinch - 30 p
Chiffchaff - 5 gardens

Selsey: East Beach & Pool: Six Chiffchaffs and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were present this morning. (OM)
Northcommon Farm: At least 100 Meadow Pipits were in the grassy fields and 3 Chiffchaffs in the trees, but it was generally very quiet. (OM)
Ferry Pool: Just two Dunlin, a Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Lapwing and eight Teal on the pool, and nothing in the channel on the high tide early on, whilst along the adjacent hedges there were half a dozen Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, but no other migrants. (AH)
This afternoon a Coal Tit was near Ferry Small Pool moving northwards towards the Visitor Centre. (IL)

Coal Tit near Ferry small pool this afternoon (IL)

Church Norton: The Osprey was over the harbour again before drifting off, and there were a few birds along the stretch from the hide to the beach, including a Spotted Flycatcher, 20+ Blackcaps and 20+ Chiffchaffs, plus a couple of Whitethroats and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
A Whinchat and three Stonechats were with a dozen Meadow Pipits along the creek by the horse field, but only a couple of Whitethroats and one or two Chiffchaffs were to be seen along the front. Around 150 Swallows, 50 House Martins, 30 Meadow Pipits and three Pied Wagtails went west along the beach, and a Sparrowhawk disturbed plenty of waders in the harbour, including 50 Grey Plover, five Bar-tailed Godwits and many hundreds of Dunlin. (AH/A&YF)
Nearby at Park farm this evening there were 10 Chiffchaffs, a Sparrowhawk and a single Swallow! (SH)

Whinchat (above), Spotted Flycatcher, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker & Grey Plover and Redshanks at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: A Hobby was present this afternoon, putting up the many Goldfinches on the bank on the east side; also  3 Wheatears and a Stonechat there. (PH)
Breach Viewpoint to Chainbridge: 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 Greenshank, 9 Grey Plover, 25+ Dunlin, c30 Ringed Plover, 5 Canada Geese, 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, c25 Meadow Pipits, 5 Stock Doves. (SR)

Sunday, 25th September: Some rain overnight, giving way to a fairly pleasant morning with sunshine and some cloud, but also a fairly brisk westerly wind taking the edge off the temperature along the coast.....

An item of news from 18th September...... a Swallowtail butterfly was seen and photographed (pm) just west of the Pagham Spit car park by MW (per JDW)

Swallowtail butterfly, Pagham Spit car park 18th September (MW)

Selsey Bill: (0645-0930hrs):

Gannet - 14E, 9W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 1E
Wigeon - 10W
Sanderling - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W, 5os
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 1W 
Razorbill - 2W 
auk sp - 1W 
Swallow - 223W 
House Martin - 4W 
Meadow Pipit - 6W 
Pied Wagtail - 3p
Wheatear - 1p

Mediterranean Gull past the Bill (AH)

(1630-1730hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 3W
Probably the worst hour of sea watching I've ever had at the Bill!

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a Stonechat, a Blackcap, a Green Woodpecker, a Grey Wagtail and a Sparrowhawk about this morning. (S&SaH/AH/IP)

Green Woodpecker at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: At least six Curlew Sandpipers were present this morning, plus 20 Dunlin and the usual Redshank and Teal numbers. There was nothing much on the pool beyond 26 Lapwing, 15 Teal and a single Black-tailed Godwit. 
This evening there were definitely two, and possibly three, Kingfishers in the channel, plus two Greenshank and five Grey Plovers, and a Grey Wagtail over. (AH)

Kingfisher (above), Curlew Sandpipers and Redshank & Teal around Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: An Osprey was again fishing over the harbour this morning, whilst migrants included a Whinchat and five Stonechats in the horse field and a Hobby over, plus one or two Whitethroats, but not much else.
In the harbour there were at least eight Bar-tailed Godwits plus a few Knot among the Dunlin and Grey Plovers, and a few Pintail among the Wigeon. Also two Gannets and a Sandwich Tern were offshore. (AH/IP/S&SaH/A&YF/RJS)

Osprey (above), Bar-tailed Godwit & Grey Plover and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: Fairly quiet today with most of the birdlife around White's Creek which held numerous Wigeon and four Pintail, plenty of Redshanks & Black-tailed Godwits, two Bar-tailed Godwits and five Grey Plovers; the Kingfisher was also here around the sluice. On the Breech Pool, good numbers of Teal, six Snipe and similar of Dunlin but little else of note. Along the fenceline were two Stonechats whilst the flock of Yellow Wagtails were once again with the cattle. On the hedges were just a few Reed Buntings, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat but there did seem to be more Meadow Pipits than recently over the fields. (BI)

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