Sunday, 29 October 2017

29th - 31st October 2017

Tuesday, 31st October: Dry and mainly cloudy, though notably milder than yesterday, with a light-moderate westerly breeze.......

Selsey Bill: Three Great Northern Divers moved west this morning, but the most notable feature was a movement of auks, with over 300 recorded. Interestingly, a Black Swan was offshore for a while (with a couple of Mutes); how long will it be, one wonders, before this introduced species is finally accepted as a BOURC Category C bird and thus formally added to the British list (given that it now breeds on the Peninsula and fairly widely elsewhere in the UK!)
0700-1045hrs:  (C&ME/DF/DS/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 3W
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Gannet - 26E, 45W
Shag - 2E
Mute Swan - 2os
Black Swan - 1os
Brent Goose - 5E, 33W
Common Scoter - 3E, 7W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 3W
Common Gull - 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 12W
Guillemot - 2E                        
Razorbill - 27E, 8W, 1os
Auk sp - 304E, 5W
Woodpigeon - 55E
Stock Dove - 12W
Swallow  - 1W                           
Starling - 1N
Pied Wagtail - 14W
Meadow Pipit - 3W
Goldfinch  - 63W                   
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens

North Wall: The water level in the Breech Pool has dropped somewhat - a welcome change - with the effect that 55 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Snipe and 2 Kingfishers were present. At least 6 Water Rails were calling from various spots along the wall, whilst along the trees and hedgerows were 7 Song Thrushes, a Bullfinch, 6 Chiffchaffs and 10 Goldcrests. (OM/BFF/CRJ)
Earlier, a flock of 20+ Snipe flew out of the Pool area and dispersed into the harbour (IH et al).

On Honer Reservoir were 2 Shelduck and the Cape Shelduck thing, whilst either on the water, or on the field adjacent under plough, were c200 Black-headed Gull and c150 Herring Gull. Also on the walk from the North Fields to Runcton were 9 Mute Swan, 2 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 4 Stonechat, a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, and 2 Redpoll over. (CRJ)

Cape Shelduck thing on Honer reservoir (CRJ)

Pagham Lagoon: A drake Goldeneye (first of the autumn) and a female Shoveler were on the Lagoon this morning amongst the regular wildfowl, whilst along the damp margins and hedgerows were a calling Water Rail, 2 Cetti's Warblers, a Firecrest, 6 Goldcrests and 3 Chiffchaffs. (OM/BFF)

Drake Goldeneye and female Shoveler on Pagham Lagoon (OM)

Medmerry: Toe End - Quiet today, with just one Black Redstart and one Stonechat about. (SH)

Long Pool: A Water Pipit was briefly at the end of Ferry Channel at first light this morning, but could not be re-found. Also, a Dartford Warbler and two Stonechats were along the hedgeline, plus at least a dozen Reed Buntings, whilst in the harbour/channel were at least 48 Avocets, a Spotted Redshank and 8 Knot and 30 Skylarks flew over west. (BFF/AH)

Water Pipit (above), Stonechat, Reed Bunting & Avocets around the Long Pool (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper was present this morning, along with six Snipe, two Black-tailed Godwits, eight Shelduck, c75 Teal and c150 Wigeon, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was outside the Visitor Centre.. (AH/BFF)

Snipe (above), Wigeon & Great Spotted Woodpecker around the Ferry (AH)

Monday, 30th October: Another beautiful day, after a frosty start, with just a light northerly breeze and almost unbroken sunshine....

Firstly, some info from the RSPB concerning the area around the Visitor centre and Ferry, where a new hide and other works are due to begin shortly.........I'm sure we all wish the project(s) well. And those of you who have purchased the new Guidebook will also have already contributed, as all sales go directly to supporting this work. (Eds)

"As you know we are due to be replacing Ferry Hide and upgrading the Discovery Area. As such the path between the Visitor Centre car park and Ferry Channel will be closed to public access while work is ongoing. The work is due to start 06 November 2017 and the path will re-open early 2018. Access from the Visitor Centre to Ferry Channel / Church Norton will be via the path between the Visitor Centre and classroom leading past Red Barn Ditch to the harbour's edge / Tramway. " (Roy Newnhan, RSPB) 

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of visible migration first thing, including four Bramblings, a couple of Swallows and a few Lesser Redpolls, but the sea was quiet apart from a steady trickle of Brent Geese west. However, perhaps the most unusual occurrence of the morning involved Long-tailed Tits...... at least 48 were logged, including a single flock of 25 'high-flying' (in the manner of dispersing Bearded Tits). It was hard to estimate the total numbers involved without duplicating counts of flocks already seen - but it is conceivable that if every flock was different the total could actually be around 100!   Full log below........ 
0635-1035hrs:  (AH/GH/C&ME/OM et al)
Diver sp - 3W
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Gannet - 6E, 12W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 216W
Shelduck - 1W
Common Scoter - 1E, 7W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 2W
Sparrowhawk - 2 gardens/area
Woodpigeon - 600 W
Stock Dove - 110 W
auk sp - 27E, 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2 gardens
Skylark - 1W
Swallow - 2E
Meadow Pipit - 5W
Pied Wagtail - 4W
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Redwing - 2W
Long-tailed Tit - 48+ area, moved all directions/high-flying
Goldfinch - 325W
Lesser/Common Redpoll - 8W
Chaffinch - 2W
Brambling - 4W
Linnet - 3W
Reed Bunting - 1W
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens
Goldcrest - 2 gardens

Stock Doves (above), Long-tailed Tit & Red Admiral at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Snipe and two Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, which was dominated by c150 Wigeon and c80 Teal, plus five Shelducks, and there were 200+ Lapwings on the field. (AH)
Nearby, at the Visitor centre, a confiding Lesser Redpoll made a number of visits to the feeders through the day, to feed on niger seeds. (IL) 
Also, another four Lesser Redpolls flew over the centre. (S Allday)

Lesser Redpoll on feeders  at the Visitor centre (IL)

Snipe (above) & Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall/Halsey's Farm: There were seven Spotted Redshank in White's Creek this morning, along with 100+ Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwing, with at least 500 Brent Geese, c40 Pintail and lots of Wigeon and Teal out in the harbour, along with fair numbers of Dunlin and Grey Plover.
A Red Kite drifted high over the wall, heading west, but the Breech Pool was still full of water, though two Snipe and a handful of Black-tailed Godwits were among the Teal and Mallard, and the Egyptian Goose and the Cape Shelduck both flew out from the back into the harbour, as did a few Shoveler and Gadwall.
The bushes and reeds along the wall were quiet beyond a couple of pairs of Stonechats and 20+ Reed Buntings, and around the hedges on the farm there were just a couple of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests whilst there were four Little Grebes in Owl Water and c100 Wigeon in the creek at the western end. (AH/MO-W)
At the Slipe Field a Coal Tit was in the hedgerows (IL)

Red Kite (above), Spotted Redshanks and Pintail, Pintail, Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Geese, Reed Buntings, Snipe and Teal, Stonechat, Cormorant, Egyptian Goose & Cape Shelduck around the North Wall (AH)

Fishbourne Creek/Dell Quay: A fairly brief visit - on the low tide -  failed to find anything out of the ordinary.  There were 3-400 Wigeon plus average numbers of the common wildfowl and waders, the only noteworthy birds being 3 Greenshank and 2 Rock Pipits. (OM)

Medmerry: Chainbridge - Ham Viewpoint - I covered this area this morning and had two Dartford Warblers, one in the gorse at the Ham Viewpoint and the other in the scrub near to where the track to Earnley splits off, and also a Lesser Redpoll and at least one Brambling went over. (J.Palmer)

Medmerry: Toe End - There were two Black Redstarts at the far end this morning, and also about were four Stonechats, a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard, with 40 Brent Geese out on the reserve. (SH)

Church Norton: There was a large flock of 250+ Brent Geese in the harbour this morning and small flocks of Goldfinches, Siskins, Lesser Redpolls, and a few Greenfinches and Chaffinches were moving about too. Also, a Green Woodpecker was an unusual sight right out on the spit, and a pair of Great Crested Grebes were displaying in the harbour. (AW).
Later, along the west side, there was a Dartford Warbler showing. (S Allday)

Brent Geese (above), Green Woodpecker & Great Crested Grebes at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 29th October: Other than one huge bank of black cloud and a fairly brief, but heavy, downpour it was a pleasant and bright morning, despite the brisk northerly....

Firstly, a couple more pictures of the Great Grey Shrike from 27th October, courtesy of the finder, Alison Playle. (Eds)

Great Grey Shrike at Medmerry (A Playle)

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of visible migration again, including a couple of Lesser Redpolls and a few Siskins, with a few Brent Geese and a Red-throated Diver going west, and a few Gannets, auks and Common Scoter about, too. Full log below....... 
0645-1000hrs:    (PB/AH/IP/OM/SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Gannet - 2E, 16W
Brent Goose - 43W
Eider - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Common Scoter - 18E, 4W
Turnstone - 25 ob
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Guillemot - 1E
Razorbill - 3W
auk sp - 11E, 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Common Gull - 7W
Pied Wagtail - 25W
Meadow Pipit - 5W
Goldfinch - 80W
Siskin - 20W
Lesser Redpoll - 2W
Goldcrest - 2 gardens
Chiffchaff - 4 gardens

Red-throated Diver (above), Common Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers & Brent Geese past the Bill (AH)

(1445-1600hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 6E, 22W
Brent Goose - 6W
Kittiwake - 1E
Common Gull - 1E, 6W
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 4E, 1W

Ferry Pool: There were still four Snipe on the pool, along with two Black-tailed Godwits, c150 Lapwing, c80 Wigeon, c50 Teal and five Shelduck, with a dozen Stock Doves in the field at the back. (AH/PB)

Snipe (above) & Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: It was fairly quiet this morning, though there were plenty of Long-tailed Tits, plus a few Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests in the sheltered hedges, and there were 20 Meadow Pipits on the spit. plus a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk over. 
In the harbour there were several Common and Mediterranean Gulls, plus a Bar-tailed Godwit, c30 Grey Plovers and c100 Brent Geese. (AH/AF/RJS)

Later, there were 2 Buzzards, a Kingfisher, 3 Stonechats and a single Swallow (S&SaH)

Also, at 10.30am a Red Kite flew into the trees, being harried by the locals crows, and remained there for the next fifteen minutes, the second Several held a pair of Gadwall and three Tufted Ducks, a flock of 74 Stock Doves flew North over Church Norton, a Peregrine was in the harbour and there were plenty of Sparrowhawks and a couple of Buzzards about, too. (IP)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Grey Plovers, Common Gulls & Long-tailed Tits at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: The Egyptian Goose and the hybrid/Cape Shelduck were present on the Breech Pool, whilst on the mudflats a Spoonbill was roosting. There were c40 Pintail amongst the Wigeon, and 100+ Lapwing, 48 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Little Egrets, whilst along the edges a couple of Stonechat, 3 Cetti's Warblers and a Buzzard were noted. (PB)

Park Farm, Selsey: This morning a Grey Wagtail flew over the farm, there were over 30 Curlews in the field awaiting development just north of the village and six Pied Wagtails were around the buildings and a pair of Stonechats in the fields. (IP)
There were 2 Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard, a Grey Wagtail and a Stonechat, plus a Clouded Yellow butterfly this afternoon. (SH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were two Barn Owls hunting the rough fields around the farm at dusk this evening. (AH)

Barn Owls at Medmerry (AH)


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