Sunday, 13 October 2019

13th - 15th October 2019

Monday, 14th October: Still overcast and gloomy but with the wind moving to the east...


Selsey BillAbsolutely nothing was moving over the sea early on but as the wind backed to the north visible migration picked up with a good selection recorded including five calling Woodlarks and three close Lesser Redpolls, full log below. 

(0710-0930hrs) (Wind E4, backing ENE3  later) (BI/AM/IP):
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Shag - 20E
Brent Goose - 2W
Common Scoter - 1E
Turnstone - 9ob
Mediterranean Gull - 4E, 2W, 3os
Sandwich Tern - 5W
Swallow - 52E
Meadow Pipit - 447W
Skylark -  6E
Woodlark - 5E
Pied Wagtail - 6E, 3W
Mistle Thrush - 1N
Linnet - c.45
Lesser Redpoll -3E
Goldfinch - C.50



Sandwich Tern, above, & Shags at the Bill (BI)

A good look around the Bill this afternoon for yesterday's Grey Phalarope resulted in no sign of the bird. (CRJ)

Ferry Pool: Little to report today with just 100 Lapwings and many Black-headed Gulls present on the pool and surrounding fields. (AM) Six Shovelers were on the main pool later in the day and five Snipe came off the hidden pool whilst three Swallows and a Common Buzzard went over. (AW/CRJ)


Snipe at the Ferry (AW)


Church Norton: The churchyard held a Firecrest at the start of the morning and later, briefly, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Redstart could be found there whilst in the harbour there were 28 Pintails. (IP/AW) This afternoon four Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Mistle Thrush, a Goldcrest and a Green Woodpecker were in the churchyard. (CRJ)



Redstart, above, Spotted Flycatcher & Pintail at Church Norton (AW)



East Head: There was plenty of overhead migration here as well today with hundreds of Meadow Pipits moving north-east in a constant stream along with C.35 Swallows and at least 10 Skylarks. There were a dozen more Skylarks on the saltmarsh as well as a large flock of Linnets, probably 150 birds, whilst three Ringed Plovers, two Curlew and 12 Dunlin were also present here. In the creek were 250 Brent Geese, two Pintail flew over north and along the beach were three Wheatears and a Stonechat. (BI/DB)



Wheatear & Brent Geese at East Head (BI)


Sunday, 13th OctoberAn overcast start to the day with gusty southerly winds and scattered showers...

Selsey Bill: The highlight this morning was a Grey Phalarope being pursued by a Herring Gull very close in along the shoreline at 0947 and there was also a Pomarine Skua offshore then heading west...full log below...
(0700-1030hrs) (Wind S6-7, veering SSW7 later) (SH/PB/IP/BI/AM/CRJ):

Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 2E, 191W, 30os
Shag - 23E
Brent Goose - 5W
Shoveler - 5W
Common Scoter - 19E, 8W
Peregrine - 1
Merlin - 1W
Sanderling - 25E
Turnstone - 6ob
Grey Phalarope - 1W
Pomarine Skua - 1os then W
Arctic Skua - 4W, 2os
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Kittiwake - 26E, 18W
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 3W
Auk sp. - 5E, 20W
Guillemot - 2W
Razorbill - 5W
Swallow - 16E
Meadow Pipit - 56S
Skylark  3E
Pied Wagtail - 2E
Goldfinch - 22

(1330-1430hrs) (SW6) (SH/AM):

Gannet - 6W, 20os
Great Skua -1W
Sandwich Tern - 6W
Auk sp. - 1W
Razorbill - 1W

(1500-1630hrs) (SW5) (SR/AM):

Gannet - 4E, 5W, 30os
Shag - 4W
Common Scoter - 1E
Sandwich Tern  1E, 7W
Guillemot - 1os (see below)
Swallow - 10W





Sandwich Terns, above, & Meadow Pipit at Selsey Bill (BI) 

This afternoon the Guillemot was close inshore being harassed by Herring Gulls and unfortunately appears to have some white line coming from its bill. (SR/AM)

Guillemot offshore at Selsey (SR)


Ferry Pool: Singles of Greenshank and Spotted Redshank were present this morning along with seven Shovelers, c.30 Teal, 6 Wigeon and a few dozen Lapwings. (IP/BI)

Church Norton: A Common Sandpiper was on the old breakwater mid-morning roosting with the Dunlin & Knot and was still present this afternoon along with two Whimbrels. A Rock Pipit was on the flooded field whilst along the spit were three Wheatears, two Stonechats and c.10 Meadow Pipits. (CRJ/AW)



Rock Pipit, above, Wheatear & Meadow Pipit at Church Norton (AW)



Runcton: The female Redstart was still present in the line of oaks in Saltham Lane this afternoon and five Chiffchaffs were noted in the same area. (CRJ)

Chichester Canal: A Mistle Thrush was along the canal near Donnington and a Goldecrest was with a mixed Tit flock at mid-day. (AW)


Mistle Thrush at the canal (AW)

Thursday, 10 October 2019

10th - 12th October 2019

Saturday, 12th OctoberAnother morning of leaden skies and persistent drizzle, but with the wind having dropped to a flat calm.....

A short note to say that for the next week or so our Deputy Editor Bart will be holding the fort and running the blog single-handedly, whilst the other two of us swan off to Scilly. This is no mean task given that he has to work for a living and spend some time with the family - but as he coped so well last year so we've little doubt he will do just fine this time around. Please make allowances and your support will be appreciated. Our thanks to Bart.....but we hope you don't go seeing us off !!!. (Eds) 

Selsey Bill: A generally quiet morning, though a Firecrest was among a few Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs around the Bill House garden and the Great Northern Diver was again offshore. (SH/IP/BI/AM/AH)
(0700-0930hrs) (Flat calm)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 6E, 5W, 30os
Shag - 18E
Little Egret - 1E
Brent Goose - 2W
Common Scoter - 18E, 13W
Turnstone - 18
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 87W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 5W, 2os
Swallow - 68W
House Martin - 6W
Meadow Pipit - 8W
Rock Pipit - 1
Chiffchaff - 5
Firecrest - 1
Goldcrest - 3
Greenfinch - 4


Sandwich Tern (above), Chiffchaff & Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)



Selsey, Park FarmJust two Stonechats and a Chiffchaff present this morning. (SH)

Ferry Pool: A Great White Egret went over heading north at 8am this morning, whilst around the pool later there were a Greenshank, at least three Spotted Redshanks, four or five Redshanks, at least five Snipe,  14 Black-tailed Godwits, c60 Lapwing, 12 Shoveler, nine Shelducks, c40 Wigeon and c60 Teal. (AH/AM)


Great White Egret (above), Greenshank, Snipe & Teal & Spotted Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)





North Wall: Three Grey Wagtails were flitting about at the Sluice Gates this morning and six Pintail and about 60 Black-tailed Godwits as well as some 20 Wigeon, 10 Teal and a Little Grebe were visible on the incoming tide, whilst Dunlin and Knot could be seen distantly and six Swallows flew over. (IH)

Church Norton: The Whimbrel was in the harbour again, along with about 40 Dunlin and a few Redshanks, Grey Plovers and Curlews, whilst a dozen or so Swallows went over.
Six Stonechats were along the beach this morning, with at least half a dozen Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs around the Severals, with a few more of each around the hide, where there were also half a dozen Jays and a Green and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, plus 10 Swallows and a Wheatear on the concrete spit. (AH/IP/AM/SH)

Whimbrel (above), Stonechat & Blackcaps at Church Norton (AH)




Chi.GPs - Drayton House pits: Nothing out of the ordinary on my WeBS count, the best being 13 Snipe, 110 Pochard, 20 Chiffchaffs and 7 Cetti's Warblers. (OM)

Medmerry: Path from the Visitor Centre towards Ham - There was a male Ring Ouzel along the track to Medmerry, not far from the car park, just before noon. It showed well but briefly on top of a tree before disappearing into the undergrowth. Despite the drizzle, a Vapourer moth was also flying around. (AM)
There was no sign of the Ring Ouzel late this afternoon, though at least 100 Swallows and a handful of House Martins were feeding low and the bushes held a few Chiffchaffs, a Cetti's Warble and a Reed Bunting. (AH/AW)


Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Coastguards to the Breach - By the rocks was a high tide roost of waders, consisting of 29 Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin and 6 Turnstones; also 26 Swallows flew mainly west, as did 2 House Martins. Two Pied Wagtails and 5 Sandwich Terns were also logged and a couple of Meadow Pipits came in off the sea. 
At Breach Viewpoint was a flock of around 30 Ringed Plover, 12 Grey Plover and 15 Knot, whilst 9 Sandwich Terns and 11 Mediterranean Gulls were also around, the family of 5 Great Crested Grebes were on the lagoon and a single Wheatear was around the caravans. (SR)


Dunlin and Ringed Plovers on Medmerry (east) beach (SR)




Friday, 11th OctoberA thoroughly miserable wet and windy day, with leaden skies, showers or longer periods of rain and a gale force SW wind....and the prospect of similar unsettled conditions through the weekend!

Selsey Bill: And so it goes on........the current lengthy spell of unsettled weather, with rain and strong westerly winds piling in off the Atlantic, looks set to continue for some while yet, leaving sea-watching as the only decent prospect of finding something worthwhile....or at least that's the theory! A Great Northern Diver and four Arctic Skuas were about the best today, although a distant shearwater - possibly a Sooty - was just too far out to be sure. Full log below....
0710-1200hrs:  (Wind SW7-8)  (BI/AM/AH/IP)
Great Northern Diver - 1os (s/plum)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Shag - 2E 
Shearwater sp. - 1W (1138hrs)
Gannet - 10E, 48W
Brent Goose - 1E, 4W
Common Scoter - 8E, 2W
Turnstone - 6 ob
Razorbill - 1W
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 6W
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Kittiwake - 8W
Mediterranean Gull - 9W
Arctic Skua - 4W (3 d/p, 1 l/p)
Pied Wagtail - 2W
Swallow - 19W


Great Northern Diver (above) & Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)



1500-1600hrs: An hour's seawatch with the highlight being two drake Velvet Scoters flying west at 15.37hrs, quite close inshore....(AM)
Gannet - 60 W
Velvet Scoter - 2 W
Common Gull - 1W
Razorbill - 1W
Kittiwake - 8W


1625-1725hrs(SW7)  (SH/AH)
Gannet - 3E, 13W, 20 os
Shag - 3W
Common Scoter - 2W
auk sp - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Kittiwake - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W

Northcommon Farm: A very confiding Buzzard was present this afternoon. (SH)


Buzzard at Northcommon Farm (SH)

Ferry Pool: Eight Spotted Redshanks and a Greenshank were roosting on the pool this morning, whilst more usual fare of 50 Lapwings, 15 Shelduck, 40+ Teal and 20 Wigeon were also present. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks and Greenshank (above) & Greenshank on the Ferry (AH)



Church Norton: Nothing much to report in the blustery conditions; the harbour held a single Sandwich Tern, 50 Redshanks, 30 Grey Plovers and two Bar-tailed Godwits, but precious little else. (AH/AW)

Bar-tailed Godwits and Redshanks at Church Norton (AH)






Thursday, 10th October: A dry and fairly bright morning, with sunshine and scattered cloud and a fairly strong W/SW wind....though cloud and wind strength increasing by afternoon with the threat of heavy showers later....

We apologise once again for the lack of full reports (and photos) from across the Peninsula, but due to continuing internet problems beyond our control in the Chichester area it has not been possible to acquire the relevant data (and don't ask AH about BT internet at the mo!) If your report has not been included you'll know why, but we will be back to normal a.s.a.p. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: The persistent westerlies continue to offer little to us in the way of passerine migrants - and not a great deal on the sea either! A fairly mundane selection was logged this morning, though Mediterranean Gull, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail numbers were of interest, with an Arctic Skua being the only real highlight. Full log below....
0645-1030hrs:  (Wind W/SW 5, increasing 6-7)   (C&ME/AH/IP/AM/PC)
Gannet - 280W
Shag - 5W
Brent Goose - 14W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Common Scoter - 7E, 2W
Dunlin - 32W
auk sp - 8E
Razorbill - 10E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 11W
Mediterranean Gull - 83W
Common Gull - 7W
Arctic Skua - 1W (l/p)
Sparrowhawk - 1
Skylark - 2N
Meadow Pipit - 268W
Pied/alba Wagtail - 188W
Swallow - 75W
Linnet - 12W



Sandwich Terns (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)


1640-1740hrs:  (SW6)  (SH)
Gannet - 3W, 16os
Kittiwake - 6W, 20os
Shag - 17W
auk sp - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 1W
Arctic Skua - 2os (d/p)
Great Skua - 1os



North Mundham: The Redstart was still along Salthams Lane at 2pm, plus a Clouded Yellow. (MJ)


Church NortonIn the bushes by the hide a juvenile Ring Ouzel was skulking , whilst  a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and c40 Grey Plover were in the harbour and a Peregrine was hunting. There was also plenty of Red Admiral and Painted Lady butterflies around the Ivy bushes. (GHo)


Painted Lady at Church Norton (GHo)


Four Sandwich Terns, five Brent Geese and 10 Mediterranean Gulls were also in the harbour, plus 10 Stonechats and a small number of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests along the paths in front of the Severals and a dozen Swallows passed through. (AH/A&YF)


Stonechats (above) & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)


North Wall: At about noon, 3 Cetti's Warblers and a Wheatear were present, whilst at White's Creek a big flock of c.200 Wigeon was noted and a Buzzard and a Kestrel flew over. (GHo) A female Goosander was present in the harbour today. (PMu)

Ferry Pool: Four Snipe were present this morning but otherwise it was all very routine, with 100 Lapwings, two Shoveler, 40 Wigeon and 40 Teal. (AH/IP)




Snipe on the Ferry (AH)




Monday, 7 October 2019

7th - 9th October 2019

Wednesday, 9th OctoberVery heavy, torrential showers overnight and into early morning, clearing by around 0800 hrs to give sunny periods with heavy cloud and a brisk westerly wind, whilst remaining generally unsettled.....

Apologies for the somewhat reduced information at present - largely due to a defective internet service in the Chichester area, which is beyond our control and seriously affecting AH!  (Eds) 

Selsey Bill: A bit of a mixture this morning, though nothing outstanding, the highlights being a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua, a Little Gull heading west close in, three Eider and a reasonable showing of Meadow Pipits and Swallows still moving through. Full log below......
(0740-1140hrs): (Wind W 5-6)  (OM/AM/AH/C&ME)
Gannet - 205E, 50 os
Shag - 3E
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Mute Swan - 1W
Brent Goose - 5W
Shelduck - 3W
Eider - 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Common Scoter - 4E, 2W
Dunlin - 40W
Sparrowhawk - 1 Oval field
auk sp - 1E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 4W
Little Gull - 1W (juv)
Kittiwake - 4W
Common Gull - 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 22W
Great Skua - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1W (l/p)
Meadow Pipit - 174W
Pied/alba Wagtail - 33W
Swallow - 84W
Chiffchaff - 2
Goldfinch - 130W
Linnet - 30W



Little Gull (above) & Eider at the Bill (AH)

1635-1735hrs:  (Wind W5) (SH)
Gannet - 3E,4W
Shag - 16W (It appears that most birds seem to move east in the morning and return west in the evening - but where are they going to/coming from we wonder?)
Pied Wagtail - 1W
Swallow - 5W


Ferry Pool: There were four Snipe present this morning, along with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and 100+ Lapwings. (AH)

Snipe on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Up to ten Stonechats were along the front, but few other migrants were seen beyond a few Swallows. (AH)

Stonechat at Church Norton (AH)



Tuesday, 8th OctoberDry and cloudy with some brightness later and a moderate westerly wind....though with the risk of a shower never far away.

Selsey Bill: (0700-1030hrs) (WSW F5) (C&ME/AM/AH)
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 460W
Shag - 8E
Brent Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - 5E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Shelduck - 2W
Wigeon - 4W
Merlin - 1 os
Turnstone - 7 ob
Arctic Skua -2W l/p
Auk sp. - 1W
Razorbill - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 12E, 25W
Kittiwake - 9W
Common Gull - 11W
Mediterranean Gull - 39W
Pied/alba Wagtail -  44W 
Meadow Pipit - 81W
Swallow - 25W

1630-1730hrs:  (Wind WSW 7)  (SH)
Gannet - 1E, 30os
Shag - 21W
Razorbill - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 7W
Kittiwake - 9W
Arctic Skua - 1W (d/p)


Merlin (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Sandwich Terns & Gannets at the Bill (AH)




Pagham Churchyard: A rather elusive juvenile-type Ring Ouzel was associating with Blackbirds in the yew trees at the back of the churchyard this morning and four Goldcrests were also present. (OM)

North Wall: A number of Pintail & Wigeon were in White's Creek at midwater and there were also a number of Wheatears along the path. (PMu)
Also,the Salt House area this morning on the falling tide and a wealth of birds there was including ca. 300 Wigeon and 138 Pintail, while waders included 82 Black-tailed Godwit and 10 Knot, 10 Grey Plover, two Bar-tailed Godwit, a Golden Plover, a Greenshank and three Spotted Redshanks. Also there were four Yellow-legged Gulls, 13 Shelduck and 30 Mediterranean Gulls present and a juvenile  Hobby flew west at 12.20 and three Cetti’s Warbler were heard along the North Wall. (HB/ARK per SOS).


Runcton: A female Redstart was frequenting the line of oaks in Saltham Lane today. (CRJ)


Ferry Pool: The Australian Shelduck was again present, but otherwise there was no real change from recent days, with 30 Wigeon, 150 Lapwings, 30 Teal, 6 Shelduck and 12 Black-tailed Godwits present this morning. (AH)


Australian Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)


Church Norton: A Merlin was resting up on the fence-posts on Tern Island this morning, before flying off into the harbour. Waders present included 6 Knot, 100 Dunlin and 50 Grey Plover, whilst c.50 Swallows flew through and 6 Blackcaps and a few Chiffchaffs were in the bushes. (AH)


Merlin (above), Dunlin (AH) & Sparrowhawk (AW) at Church Norton




On the non-avian front, the Ivy blossom along the hedgerows between the beach and the Severals were filled with butterflies in the morning sunshine. At least 40 Red Admirals were joined by about 8 Painted Ladies and a couple each of Peacock and Comma. Also a few Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters about. (AM)


 Painted Lady (above), Peacock (centre) and Red Admiral (lower) at Church Norton (AM)




Monday, 7th October: A variable morning, initially gloomy and with intermittent drizzly rain in a light north-westerly before brightening as the breeze picked up and shifted south-west, though with the forecast of more rain later.........eventually becoming wet and windy from mid-afternoon, with a stiff south-westerly making it rather unpleasant!


Tern Island: The first project of the winter was successfully carried out by brave group of volunteers today at Pagham Harbour and despite the rain and a little wind, staff and four volunteers spent two hours starting the important work of clearing vegetation. This was also an opportunity to see the Harbour from a totally different perspective and have a positive experience in helping one of Pagham Iconic species. This is just the start of the winter work, so if you wish to help out the next project is on 9th October, meeting at Church Norton Car Park at 14.15, finish about 3hrs later. Please bring with you wet weather gear, Wellington's, a garden fork If you have one and a smile.

Also if anyone has lost a black birder's notepad, one was handed in today at the Visitor Centre at Pagham.  With thanks,  Ivan Lang, RSPB Warden


Selsey Bill: There wasn't much other than local movement this morning, though quite a few Pied Wagtails and Swallows were moving west. Full log below......
0700-1030hrs:  (Wind NW2 ~ SW4-6) (C&ME/BI/OM/AH/IP) 
Gannet - 187W
Shag - 3E
Grey Heron - 1W
Brent Goose - 88W
Common Scoter - 29W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Teal - 3W
Turnstone - 25 ob
Razorbill - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 42E, 22W
Common Gull - 5W
Mediterranean Gull - 14W
Pied/alba Wagtail -  65W (inc. 28 Oval Field which flew off)
Meadow Pipit - 28W
Swallow - 552E
Chiffchaff - 8
Goldcrest - 3
Goldfinch - 60


Sandwich Terns (above), Chiffchaff & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)



(1640-1740hrs) (SSW6) (SH)
Shag -12W (11 in one flock)
Brent Goose - 14W
Common Scoter - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 3W

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Marsh Barn - There were 16 Corn Buntings together atop the gorse opposite the footpath to Earnley Concourse this morning. (GT)

Ferry Pool: A Common Sandpiper and a few Wigeon were on the pool early this morning. (IP)
Later on there were four Shovelers, along with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, c200 Lapwings, six Shelduck and c50 Teal. (AH)


Shovelers, Lapwings, Shelduck and Black-headed Gull on the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: Eight Cattle Egrets were near Marsh Farm late morning. (TG-P) 

Church Norton: Five Eider, flying west offshore late this morning, was the only notable sighting on a generally quiet morning.
The bushes along the front were quiet, but there were a couple of Stonechats, a couple of Reed Buntings and half a dozen Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs seen, whilst at least 100 Swallows and a handful of House Martins and Meadow Pipits moved through overhead.
The harbour held three Knot, four Common Gulls, a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits, c20 Grey and Ringed Plovers, a few Dunlin and the wintering Whimbrel, back in its familiar haunts, along with 20+ Pintail, and a couple of Sandwich Terns and 14 Brent Geese went west offshore. (AH/IP)


Eider (above), Knot, Whimbrel, Common Gulls, Blackcap, Meadow Pipit & Swallow at Church Norton (AH)







Late on, a Guillemot flew west offshore. (AW)



Guillemot at Church Norton (AW)