Tuesday, 28 September 2021

28th - 30th September 2021

Thursday, 30th September: Showers early and late with a force five SW wind throughout the day...

Editorial note: All submissions for the blog to be sent to bart.ives@talk21.com this week

Selsey Bill:  (0700-1035hrs) (SWF5) (CRJ/SR/IP/AW et al) A blustery day at the Bill with four Manx Shearwaters heading west at 0834hrs followed shortly after by a summer-plumage Red-throated Diver. Full log below:
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 87W, 30os
Manx Shearwater - 4W 0834hrs
shearwater sp. - 4W 1014hrs distant
Brent Goose - 29W
Common Scoter - 5E, 2W
Wigeon - 1W
Turnstone - 8E, 20W
Dunlin - 2W
Ringed Plover - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 11E, 13W
Sandwich Tern - 10W
auk sp. - 16W
Swallow - 37W
Pied Wagtail - 10W
Meadow Pipit - 470W
Linnet - 16W

(1645-1800hrs) (SW7 (SH)
Gannet - 23E 1W
Kittiwake - 1W
Shag - 2W

Pied Wagtail sheltering at the Bill (SR), Brent Geese & Common Scoter (AW)

Ferry Pool/Channel: There were 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 45 Lapwing, 28 Teal, three Wigeon, two Shoveler and four Shelduck on the pool whilst a Grey Heron and a Stonechat were out in Ferry Field. Ferry Channel was like a wind-tunnel and all that could be found were c.50 Redshank, c.100 Teal and a lone Curlew. A Devils' Coach Horse beetle was also along the path here. (SR)

Teal and Devil's Coach Horse beetle at the Ferry (SR)

Church Norton: Two Spoonbills were in the harbor this morning, also viewable from the Tramway. Also in the harbour were four Bar-tailed Godwits, a Knot and 48 Mediterranean Gulls. (TB/RJS/CRJ et al)

North Wall: The Breech Pool held 24 Black-tailed Godwits and the short-billed Greenshank was back in White's Creek this afternoon. (AW)

Black-tailed Godwits & Greenshank at the North Wall (AW)

Wednesday, 29th September: Dry and sunny today with a force 4-5 WNW wind...

Editorial note: All submissions for the blog to be sent to bart.ives@talk21.com this week please.

Selsey Bill:  (0650-0845hrs) (NWF5) (IP/MOW/AW/BI)
Some Meadow Pipits & Wagtails were on the move today but it was generally quiet offshore.
Full log below:
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 8W
Turnstone - 7E, 2W
Kittiwake - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 1W, 2os
House Martin - 7W
Swallow - 105W
Pied Wagtail - 24W
Yellow Wagtail - 3W
Grey Wagtail - 1 
Meadow Pipit - 154W
Wheatear - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Linnet - 19W

Grey Wagtail, Wheatear & Meadow Pipit at the Bill (AW)

Ferry Pool:
 There was no immediate sign of the hybrid Harrier this morning and the main pool itself was quiet with just 12 Black-tailed Godwits, 18 Lapwing, two Shelduck, two Egyptian Geese and a handful of Wigeon & Teal present. (BI)

Egyptian Geese on the Ferry (BI)

Pagham/Honer: There was no sign of the Purple Heron this morning but there were a few other sightings including a mixed flock of Long-tailed & Great Tits, eight Chiffchaffs feeding with a Dunnock, a hunting Kestrel and one each of Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker. On the reservoir were a few Coots and Tufted Ducks and a Marsh Harrier and Buzzard  flew over west. (GHi)

Chiffchaff, Dunnock & Buzzard at Pagham (GHi)

Church Norton:- A short visit this evening on the falling tide, most birds could only distantly be made out having been flushed from the shore by anglers at the benches. The short-billed Greenshank was out on the mud, the first time I've seen it from this side, and there was also 8 Grey Plover, 19 Dunlin, 7 Pintail, 12 Wigeon with 7 Chiffchaffs around the hedges and 6 Red-legged Partridge along Rectory Lane. (SR)

The short-billed Greenshank at Church Norton (SR

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - Total this evening were as follows: four Kestrels, ten Cattle Egrets, one Kingfisher, five Wheatear, three Stonechat, four Yellow Wagtail, 200+ Meadow Pipits, 100+ Goldfinch & 11 Egyptian Geese, ten of which were on the Stilt Pools. (S&SaH)

Tuesday, 28th September: Forecast to be dry with light southerly winds but turning out to be F7 SSW with heavy showers...

Editorial note: All submissions for the blog to be sent to bart.ives@talk21.com this week please.

Selsey Bill:  (0650-0845hrs) (SSWF5) (SR/CRJ/IP et al)
A number of Gannets moved west this morning and there was still some "viz-mig" with Swallows and Meadow Pipits passing overhead. Full log below:
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E, 108W, 20os
Brent Goose - 7W
Common Scoter - 2E
Wigeon - 2W
Turnstone - 6W
Oystercatcher - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 10W
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 1W
Swallow - 15E, 148W
Yellow Wagtail - 2W
Meadow Pipit - 61W
Chiffchaff - 1

Brent Geese & Mediterranean Gulls at the Bill (SR)

Later on, a short sea-watch produced the first Great Northern Diver of the autumn and three Balearic Shearwaters all going west. (KJ)
(0930-1030hrs)( SSW, F8)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Balearic Shearwater - 3W

This evening a Manx Shearwater went west and eight Long-tailed Tits, not common at the Bill, were present.
(1645-1800) (SSW, F6) (SH)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 5W
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Turnstone - 2
Shag - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 19W
Sandwich Tern - 24W
Long-tailed Tit - 8

Pagham Spit/Lagoon: The highlight here was a ringtail Hen Harrier, presumably yesterday's bird, that was flushed from the spit by a dog-walker and headed rapidly towards the east side. Also along the spit were a number of Meadow Pipits and Linnets as well as a Wheatear. Two Greenshanks, a Little Egret and a Ringed Plover were on the remains of Little Lagoon but the  main lagoon was again quiet with just a Great Crested Grebe, a few Tufted Ducks and Wigeon and a raft of Little Grebes of note. (BI)

Little Egret, above, & Little Grebes at Pagham (BI)

North Wall: A quick look here found a Ruff on the Breech Pool and another Ruff with c.40 Black-tailed Godwits on Honer one field. (BI)

Church Norton: There were 13 Blackcaps and 12 Chiffchaffs in the churchyard and behind the hide whilst 40 Swallows were grounded by the heavy showers on the ploughed fields with 30 Linnets also nearby. (CRJ)

Ferry Pool: The Hen Harrier was present here from 1305hrs, taking occasional excursions towards the solar farm before showing well over the pool and was seen to hunt and catch a Red-legged Partridge at one stage. (KJ/AW/SR et al) 
Update! This bird is provoking a great deal of controversy - it appears to show the classic five "fingers" of a Hen Harrier and yet has the pronounced collar of a Pallid Harrier. A hybrid Hen X Pallid such as the one previously in Norfolk has been suggested by a number of sources and that seems (at the moment!) the definitive ID....

Presumed hybrid Hen X Pallid Harrier at the Ferry (AW)

Saturday, 25 September 2021

25th - 27th September 2021

Monday, 27th September: After a very wet and windy start, eventually a bright and very breezy morning as the wind shifted west.....

Selsey Bill: There wasn't too much this morning, with an Arctic Skua, 16 Brent Geese and a few Swallows west being the most notable. Full log below. (SR/AH)
(0730-0900hrs) (SSE, veering SW, F8)
Gannet - 57E, 20W
Brent Goose - 16
Dunlin - 7W
Turnstone - 9
Arctic Skua - 1W (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 1W
Swallow - 25W
Meadow Pipit - 5W

(0950-1100hrs) (W, F7) (BI)
Red-throated Diver - 1os
Gannet - 26E
Great Skua - 1W
Kittiwake - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 1W
auk sp. - 1E
Swallow - 18W
Meadow Pipit - 13W
Pied Wagtail - 1E
Chiffchaff - 1

(1640-1740hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 1E, 29W
Shag - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 5os
Sandwich Tern - 3W

Sandwich Terns (above) (AH), Brent Geese & Meadow Pipit (AW) at the Bill

Ferry Pool: A Spotted Redshank flying through the channel opposite was the only bird of note, though five Wigeon and two Shovelers were among the c40 Teal on the pool, which also held four Shelducks, 16 Black-tailed Godwits and c25 Lapwings. (AH)

Lapwing (above) & Wigeon and Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Church NortonTwo Greenshanks, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a dozen Grey Plovers and eight Dunlin were the most notable waders in the harbour, whilst two Sandwich Terns (an adult and a juvenile) and a few Mediterranean Gulls were among the 300+ Black-headed Gulls present.
Half a dozen Chiffchaffs were in the sheltered hedges and similar of Swallows went over, but that was about it. (AH)

This afternoon at 1600hrs, a ringtail (presumably) Hen Harrier was inadvertently flushed from the west side path and flew out south across the saltmarsh. (RBe)

Greenshank (above), Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gull & Chiffchaffs at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 26th September: Another  overcast and rather grey start with some light drizzle late morning and a light SW breeze force 2-3, gradually becoming brighter by early afternoon.....

Selsey Bill: There were six Balearic Shearwaters west this morning - all singles between 0720-0850hrs - plus a Bonxie and a Dolphin pod heading east. Full log below. (SH/BI/SR/IP et al).
(0615-0900hrs) (SSW F3-4)
Balearic Shearwater - 6W
Gannet - 170os
Wigeon - 3W
Common Scoter - 2E, 2W
Great Skua - 1E
Black-headed Gull -c.1000 os
Mediterranean Gull - 62 os
Herring Gull - c.1000os
Great Black-backed Gull - 15 os
Sandwich Tern - 11 os
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 2W
Swallow - 140W
Meadow Pipit - 205W
Pied Wagtail - 4W
Chiffchaff - 2

Gannets (above) & Wigeon passing the Bill (BI)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Turtle Dove was on the roof of Park Lane cottages early this afternoon (IP) and later on a Marsh Harrier drifted over. (SH)

Turtle Dove at Park Farm (IP)

Church Norton: At least 1000 Swallows, with three House Martins among them, were passing through this morning as were c.500 Meadow Pipits, all heading south. Two Sparrowhawks and four Buzzards were also overhead. A Kingfisher was on the metalwork in the harbour and in the vicinity were four Bar-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank and 30 Dunlin whilst a Wheatear was to be found at the end of the spit. 
Seven Gadwall went east over the sea before heading back to the second several where there were also five Shoveler. Other sightings included a Spotted Flycatcher behind the hide, two Yellow Wagtails in the horse field and three Sandwich Terns loitering offshore. (IP/HB)

Ferry Pool/Channel: Early on there were four Spotted Redshanks on the main pool but these had moved into the channel area by mid-morning leaving two Snipe, a Dunlin, 109 Lapwing, four Shelduck, a Shoveler, two Teal, six Black-tailed Godwits and a Grey Heron remaining. Also along the channel were 80 Teal, a few Wigeon with a rather pale Shoveler, seven Black-tailed Godwits & five Blackcaps Two Chiffchaffs were in the bushes, two Yellow Wagtails went over and a Buzzard and a Cetti's Warbler were nearby. (SR/BI)

Snipe (above) & Shoveler at the Ferry (SR)

Pagham/Honer: There was no sign of the Purple Heron this morning in the Summer Lane area, with only Grey Herons reported (and note there is a certain amount of disturbance in the general area due to ongoing works).
The reservoir held c.6 Wigeon in with the Coots and Tufted Ducks but bar a few Chiffchaffs in the hedges there was little else of note. (BI et al) The Purple Heron reappeared this afternoon in the same area as yesterday, by the metal footpath gate near the rife. (SaH/SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools - The two Ravens were again present today as were four Kestrels and 11 Cattle Egrets. Three Yellow Wagtails were about, as was a Pied Wagtail, four Chiffchaffs were in the scrub and c.100 Meadow Pipits, c.50 Goldfinches and c.75 Swallows were overhead and along the banks. 
On the Stilt Pools were ten Egyptian Geese and also a Little Stint. (SaH/SH)

Saturday, 25th September: A still, overcast and rather dank morning with some light drizzle at times and virtually no breeze early on, gradually becoming SW1-2 and brightening up by afternoon.

Editorial note: A quick look at the blog today will reveal a distinct lack of photo's amongst the text - largely due to the fact that our 'photographic editor' AH is away for the weekend! This temporary situation will soon return to normal upon his return - but there may well be some further temporary adjustments over the next week or so. The two main editors (OM and AH) are away on a jolly to the Shetlands for a week, so our Deputy Editor Bart Ives will be stepping in to hold the fort during our absence, therefore please ensure any reports are sent to him (see title page).

We are very grateful and fully aware he has to work for a living too, so please be understanding if there are some difficulties during our absence. And you can be sure there will be an air of trepidation 'up north' whilst we're away - but there surely couldn't be another Nighthawk-type mega this year, could there??  (Eds) 

Selsey BillNot a great deal of movement today, but there were some interesting highlights, with a Balearic Shearwater offshore, a Green Sandpiper and a Kingfisher moving west and some big gull flocks yet again. Full log below....(JA/SH/IP/BI) Later, a Guillemot was close inshore. (AW)
(0645-0900hrs) (Calm)
Diver sp - 1 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Gannet - 17E, 28W
Balearic Shearwater - 1 os (0845hrs)
Little Egret - 2E
Brent Goose - 1W
Mallard - 1
Common Scoter - 5E
Green Sandpiper - 1W
Kingfisher - 1W along beach
Black-headed Gull - 1325 os
Mediterranean Gull - 50 os
Herring Gull - 829 os
Great Black-backed Gull - 70 os
Sandwich Tern - 15 os
Meadow Pipit - 5E
Pied Wagtail - 2W
Yellow Wagtail - 1
Sand Martin - 1
House Martin - 6

Swallow - 300

Little Egret (BI) (above) & Guillemot (AW) at the Bill

Pagham: Persistence paid off early this morning (0640hrs)  - at least for one observer  - when the juvenile Purple Heron flushed at point blank range from the rife at Summer Lane, c.100yards south of the bridge, the bird flying off in the direction of the sewage works (BI). Late this afternoon the Purple Heron was re-found in the first field alongside the rife and was showing well. (SR/TB et al)

Purple Heron at Summer Lane (SR)

Medmerry: East side to breach - A Spoonbill was present this morning at about 0920hrs as were two Greenshanks and the regular mix of Gulls and c.25 Cormorants. 
There were few passerines around the new caravans but a flock of c.30 Linnets was hanging on in the area and there were c.7 Sandwich terns offshore. (BI) 

Greenshank (above) & Spoonbill at Medmerry Breach (BI)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt pool - The open areas held a variety of species, including three Buzzards, two Sparrowhawks, four Kestrels, 11 Cattle Egrets, a Snipe and 49 Swallows, whilst along the banks were a Wheatear, ten yellow Wagtails, 11 Stonechats, 100+ Meadow Pipits and 200+ Goldfinches.
On the Stilt pool were a Little Stint, a Ringed Plover, two Snipe, an Avocet and 11 Egyptian Geese. (S&SaH/AW)

Cattle Egrets at Medmerry (AW)

Church NortonChiffchaffs were fairly numerous this morning, with ten at Greenlease Farm and another ten around the brambles by Norton beach, plus others scattered about.
The harbour had just a small number of waders, which included a Bar-tailed Godwit feeding on the mud near tern island and there was a Kingfisher on the metalwork. Numbers of Teal, Wigeon and Pintail continue to grow in the harbour and the second Several held five Shoveler and nine Gadwall and a Common Gull was on the shingle opposite. There were also six Sandwich Terns offshore. (IP)

Park Farm, Selsey: The fields held a pair of Stonechats and a Kestrel, ten Swallows were overhead and a Reed Bunting was in the rife. (IP)

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

22nd - 24th September 2021

Friday, 24th September: Another bright and breezy day, with plenty of sun and a moderate westerly breeze......

Selsey Bill: There a few Meadow Pipits, Swallows and wagtails over, with a 'diver sp' and 100+ Gannets west, and there were still lots of gulls offshore. Full log below. (BI/IP/AH)
(0700-0815hrs) (W, F3-4)
diver sp - 1W
Gannet - 125W
Turnstone - 2E
Great Black-backed Gull - c40os
Herring Gull - c1000os
Black-headed Gull - c2000os
Mediterranean Gull - c40os
Sandwich Tern - 2os
Swallow - 7E, 7W
House Martin - 4W
Meadow Pipit - 39W
Yellow Wagtail - 3W
Grey Wagtail - 5W
Pied Wagtail - 4W
Chiffchaff - 4

This evening’s numbers were as follows: (1730-1855hrs) (SW F3) (BI)
Gannet - 55os
Turnstone - 1W
Great Black-backed Gull - 30os
Herring Gull - 957os
Black-headed Gull - 1808os
Mediterranean Gull - 66os
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Meadow Pipit- 3W

Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

North Wall: The juvenile Purple Heron was reported from the Summer Lane area this morning, around willows c.500 metres from the bridge, (per KJ/Birdguides). However, two good searches of the rife and north fields later on failed to find the Purple Heron but there were two Spotted Flycatchers along Summer Lane, a few Chiffchaffs in the willows and c.6 Buzzards thermalling overhead. (CS/BI)

Ferry Pool: A Snipe and two Spotted Redshanks were on the pool, with four more of the latter in the channel opposite. The pool itself was otherwise quiet, with just 20 Black-tailed Godwits, c60 Lapwings, two Shovelers and a dozen Teal on it, with c50 of the latter in the channel opposite. (AH) A Kingfisher was on the Discovery Area pool this afternoon and a Water Rail was in Ferry channel. (MP)

Spotted Redshank (above), Snipe and Teal around the Ferry (AH)

Church NortonIt  was quiet again, with a Whitethroat, half a dozen Blackcaps and a dozen Chiffchaffs in the sheltered hedges, c20 Swallows over and little in the harbour beyond the regular Curlews and Redshank, a few Wigeon and Pintail and 14 Great Crested Grebes in the main channel. (AH/AW) 

Whitethroat (above), Blackcap & Chiffchaff at Church Norton (AH)

Hunston: This afternoon an Osprey was seen heading southwards over the general area of the golf course. (KJ)

Thursday, 23rd September: A shift round to a brisk westerly, in bright sunshine....after a clear and moonlit night.

Selsey Bill: There was an even bigger gathering of gulls - apparently feeding on Whitebait - off the beach this morning, but it was otherwise very quiet for lingering coastal migrants, unsurprisingly given the weather conditions!  Full log below. (AH/SR)
(0700-0815hrs) (W, F4-5)
Gannet -42W
Turnstone - 2W
Great Black-backed Gull - c40os
Herring Gull - c2000os
Black-headed Gull - c3000os
Mediterranean Gull - c80os
Common Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 1os
Swallow - 32W
House Martin - 1W
Meadow Pipit - 17W
Grey Wagtail - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 1W
Chiffchaff - 1

Meadow Pipit (above), Common Gull, Mediterranean Gulls & mixed gull flock at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were six Spotted Redshanks in the channel opposite this morning, along with a few Redshanks and  c80 Teal, but the pool was quiet, with just a Snipe, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, c80 Lapwing, a Shoveler and c25 Teal present. (AH)

Snipe (above) & Spotted Redshanks around the Ferry (AH)

Selsey East Beach: There were just three Chiffchaffs and two Meadow Pipits around the pond and 37 Turnstones on the beach this morning. (SR)

Church NortonIt  was very quiet here, with a Whitethroat and a handful of Chiffchaffs along the sheltered hedges and c30 Swallows and a House Martin over being the only migrants seen.
The harbour was quiet, too, with c50 Dunlin and a few Grey Plovers out distantly on the mud and c50 Pintail and 100+ Wigeon around the main channel. (AH/PC)

Whitethroat and Red Admiral (above), Swallow & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Breach area - A Spoonbill was reported from the tidal areas today. (per Birdguides)

Medmerry: Eston Lane to the Stilt Pools - A Hobby, a Marsh Harrier, three Buzzards, four Kestrels and two Ravens were all seen over the reserve this evening, whilst seven Cattle Egrets were on the fields and a Wheatear, two Stonechats 50+ Meadow Pipits were along the banks.
The Stilt Pools were quiet, with just a Greenshank, a Ringed Plover and two Black-tailed Godwits of note. (S&SaH)

Wednesday, 22nd September: After a cool and misty start, another lovely warm and sunny morning in a very light north-easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There was little in the way of migrants beyond a couple of Wheatears and Chiffchaffs, and just a few Swallows and wagtails over, but there was a huge feeding flock of 2000+ mixed gulls just off the beach before they slowly dispersed. Full log below. (AH/SR)
(0700-0815hrs) (NNE, F1-2)
Gannet - 5W
Turnstone - 4
Great Black-backed Gull - c80os
Herring Gull - c600 os
Common Gull - 5os
Black-headed Gull - c1500os
Mediterranean Gull - c40os
Swallow - 107E
House Martin - 1E
Yellow Wagtail - 1E
Grey Wagtail - 1E
Pied Wagtail - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 3E, 4W
Wheatear - 2
Chiffchaff - 2
Jackdaw - 15E (in one flock)
Linnet - 18E

Wheatear (above), Swallow, Common Gull & gull flock a the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper was on the pool this morning, along with four Spotted Redshanks, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, c120 Lapwings, six Shelduck and c30 Teal, whilst a few Swallows went over east.
A Kingfisher flew through the channel opposite, where another 50 Teal were present, but the tramway circuit just held half a dozen or so Blackcaps and a dozen Chiffchaffs. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above), Spotted Redshanks, Chiffchaff & Blackcap around the Ferry & sunrise over Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: A Spotted Flycatcher was along the Severals this morning. (AW)

Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (AW)

Medmerry: Stilt Pools - The two Little Stints were reported again from the pools. (per Birdguides)

North Wall: There were still at least 100 Yellow Wagtails around the cows at Owl Point, with two Wheatears and a handful of Meadow Pipits there, too, but the wall was quiet for migrants, beyond a Lesser Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler, two or three Blackcaps and a few Chiffchaffs, plus 50 or so Swallows over.
There were still at least ten young juvenile Cattle Egrets in Owl Copse, with another 20 birds scattered around the fields, whilst the three Ruff were among c80 Black-tailed Godwits and 30 Curlews in Honer 3 field before a Peregrine disturbed everything, but the harbour was quiet beyond plenty of Wigeon and a few Pintail. (AH)
This evening the Ruff count behind the wall had risen to five in Honer 1. (AW)

Yellow Wagtails (above), Peregrine, Lesser Whitethroat, Wheatear & Cattle Egrets at the North Wall (AH)