Friday, 29 October 2021

29th - 31st October 2021

Sunday, 31st October: A mild, but very windy morning, starting with a southerly gale and heavy, then squally, rain before brightening as the wind swung south-westerly.......

Selsey Bill: The most notable activity was 63 Kittiwakes west, in small flocks, whilst a couple of Red-throated Divers and a few Gannets went west, in the odd moments of respite from the rain. Full log below. (SH/BI/SR/AH)
(0650-0850hrs) (S, F8)
Red-throated Diver - 2W
Gannet - 19W
Brent Goose - 2W
Turnstone - 20
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Common Gull - 6W
Kittiwake - 63W
Razorbill - 1W

Kittiwakes (above), Common Gull & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Later, a Bonxie was offshore, then west, a Great Northern Diver went east, with another three Red-throated Divers and 101 Kittiwakes (including a flock of 23) also west, and the interesting, but impossible to definitively identify grebe went west, too. Full log below. (BI/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 3W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
grebe sp - 1W
Gannet - 6W
Common Scoter - 1E
Turnstone - 12
Great Skua - 1os, then W
Mediterranean Gull - 6W,10os
Common Gull - 4W
Kittiwake - 101W
auk sp - 4W
Pied Wagtail - 1W
Linnet - 7W

Great Northern Diver at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The 16 Avocets were again on the pool this morning, along with a Spotted Redshank, c30 Lapwings, c50 Shoveler and Wigeon and at least 100 Teal. (AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey. The fields held a covey of five Red-legged Partridges, a Grey and a Pied Wagtail, plus two Skylarks, this afternoon. (IP/S&SaH)

Church Norton: There wasn't much to see in the harbour this morning, though at least 100 Brent Geese were near the mouth, and a dozen Great Crested Grebes and a few Curlews, Grey Plovers, Wigeon and Teal were sheltering in the vicinity of the concrete spit.
Two Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull and four Brent Geese went west offshore, whilst a few Linnets and Meadow Pipits were on the beach, but that was about it. (AH)

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

Later on, a first-winter Common Tern was feeding in the harbour - the second latest record this century after one on 11th November 2007.
Also seen were a Little Grebe along the channel with seven Great Crested Grebes, c75 Teal, c30 Wigeon, nine Brent Geese, 82 Grey Plover, 51 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, four Turnstones, two Bar-tailed Godwits, the regular Whimbrel, c60 Curlews, 30 Lapwings and 43 roosting Great Black-backed Gulls.
Also a Red-breasted Merganser was close to Tern Island, a Buzzard went over, the Dartford Warbler was still opposite the first Several and a Chiffchaff was calling from the hedges. (IP/SR/S&SaH/AH)

1st-winter Common Tern (top two SH, lower two SR) (above) , Whimbrel and Grey Plover & Bar-tailed Godwit (AH) at Church Norton

Saturday, 30th October: The unsettled spell continues, with heavy overnight rain eventually giving way to a blustery and showery, if mild, morning and sunshine by midday.....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of activity, although mostly distant, including a Great Northern Diver east and an Arctic Skua, six Brent Geese and a few Kittiwakes and auks west. Also, a very distant grebe, that might have been a Red-necked, dropped in on the sea. Full log below. (SR/BI/SR/AH/JG/AFi)
(0740-1200hrs) (SSW, F7)
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 2W, 1os
grebe sp - 1os
Gannet - 3E, 38W, 50os
Brent Goose - 6W
Teal - 2E
Common Scoter - 6W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Turnstone - 8
Arctic Skua - 1W (d/p)
Great Skua - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 26W
Common Gull - 3W
Kittiwake - 26W
Guillemot - 2W
Razorbill - 2E, 26W
auk sp - 1E, 35W
Linnet - 10W
finch sp - 80W

Gannet (above) & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

(1550-1700hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 9E, 12W, 50os
Shag - 1W
Wigeon - 29W
Common Scoter - 11E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Turnstone - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 39W
Common Gull - 18W
Kittiwake - 3W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1W
Linnet - 5W

Ferry Pool: There were 16 Avocets roosting on the pool this morning, but otherwise there were just c40 Lapwings, c50 Shovelers, c80 Wigeon and c120 Teal, plus a lone Shelduck, whilst a Buzzard was at the back and a Sparrowhawk went over. (AH)

Avocets (above), Sparrowhawk, Buzzard & Teal and Wigeon around the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey wagtail, two Pied Wagtails, two Skylarks and 50+ Meadow Pipits were around the farm this morning, whilst a Buzzard, a Kestrel and two sparrowhawks went over. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There wasn't a lot going on this morning, though c40 Pintail and c100 Wigeon were in the harbour and c60 Brent Geese were in the harbour mouth.
Waders just comprised the usual mix of Grey Plovers, Dunlin, Redshanks and Curlews, whilst the only birds of note in the hedges were a couple of Goldcrests. (AH)

Pintails and Shelduck (above) & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Later on, the Dartford Warbler was between the Severals again and a Greenshank and a Bar-tailed Godwit were in the harbour, near the concrete spit, whilst c50 Mediterranean Gulls were offshore. (S&saH)
Also, at around 1215hrs, two Lesser Redpolls were in the trees along the path to the harbour, whilst three Siskins also went over and a Bar-tailed Godwit was in the harbour. (JG/AFi)

Late this afternoon a Swallow flew east along the beach. (AH)

Dartford Warbler at Church Norton (SH)
Lesser Redpolls at Church Norton (JG)

Friday, 29th October: Another very blustery day, with heavy rain earlier, though clearing, and a near gale-force southerly blowing.....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of variety again this morning, including a first-winter Little Gull, a few Kittiwakes, a Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver west, and a couple of Bonxies and an Arctic Skua were about, too. Full log below. (BI/SR/AH)
(0745-0945hrs) (SSE, F6-7)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Gannet - 14E, 14W
Common Scoter - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 8W
Turnstone - 17
Great Skua - 2E, 1W
Arctic Skua - 1os
Little Gull - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 28E, 1W
Common Gull - 8E
Kittiwake - 2E, 12W
Sandwich Tern - 1os
Guillemot - 1E, 2os
Razorbill - 7E, 4W, 5os
Grey Wagtail - 2W
Pied Wagtail - 1W

(1005-1105hrs) (BI)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Gannet - 34W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Common Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 2E
Guillemot - 1W
Razorbill - 1E, 3W
auk sp - 1W
Song Thrush - 1E

Arctic Skua and Mediterranean Gull (above), Kittiwake, Gannet, Common Gull & Sea Slater at Selsey Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Six Avocets were on the pool this morning, along with c40 Lapwings, c40 Wigeon, c50 Shovelers and c100 Teal. (AH)

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

Church Norton: There was a mix of waders about this morning, including a Greenshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, the regular Whimbrel, a few Ringed Plovers and Turnstones, , c50 Grey Plovers, c200 Duniln and the usual Curlews and Redshanks, whilst a few Wigeon and Pintail were out in the main channel.
A couple of Chiffchaffs and a Jay were the only land-birds seen. (AH)

Greenshank (above), Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Ringed Plover & Grey Plover at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

26th - 28th October 2021

Thursday, 28th October: The spell of mild and windy conditions continues, with a moderate southerly pushing through lots of heavy cloud...........

Selsey Bill: There was a reasonable selection again this morning, including Red-throated and Great Northern Divers, Arctic Skua, Bonxie and a few auks, all going west. Full log below. (AH/P&LH/SR/GSh)
(0745-0930hrs) (SSW, F6)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 2E, 49W
Shag - 1W
Common Scoter - 7W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4W
Turnstone - 9W, 28 present
Great Skua - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 41W
Common Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 2W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 62W, 12os
auk sp - 42W
Pied Wagtail - 3E
Linnet - 26W

(1330-1500hrs) (P&LH)
Gannet - 6W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 1W
Arctic Skua - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 5W
Guillemot - 4os
Razorbill - 1os

Guillemot (above), Razorbill, Red-breasted Mergansers & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool:  The variety of species on the pool remains largely unchanged, with just c100 Lapwing, c20 Wigeon and c50 Shoveler and Teal present. (AH)

Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

West Itchenor: There was no sight or sound of the Nuthatch  this morning, with four Bar-tailed Godwits and six Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour the only birds of note. (IP)
Also, at 0800hrs, three Redwings went over north-east. (PH)

Medmerry: Stilt Pools - The Spoonbill was present again this morning on the reserve, opposite the Stilt Pool, and also, two Golden Plovers went over. (P&LH)

Church Norton: A look along the west side of the harbour produced 15 Great Crested Grebes, c30 Pintail, c200 Wigeon, c100 Teal, c150 Dunlin and a few Grey Plovers and Turnstones, plus a couple of Grey Herons and a handful of Little Egrets.
A pair of Stonechats were along the path, with two Reed Buntings and a handful of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits going over, whilst two Jays were the only birds around the churchyard/hide area. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Jay, Meadow Pipit, Pintails & Wigeon and Teal at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 27th October: Another mild, though blustery and mainly overcast morning, with the wind still from the west.....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of westward movement this morning, including an Arctic Skua, three Bonxies (with another east), nine Kittiwakes and a slight, but steady, stream of auks. Full log below. (AH/SR)
(0745-0915hrs) SW, F6)
Gannet - 11E, 15W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W
Great Skua - 1E, 3W
Arctic Skua - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 18W
Common Gull - 4W
Kittiwake - 9W
Guillemot - 2W, 1os
Razorbill - 31W, 1os
auk sp - 2E, 67W
Pied Wagtail - 7W
Linnet - 23W
Goldfinch - 20

Bonxie (above), Arctic Skua, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill, Red-breasted Merganser & Common Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool:  There were c150 Lapwings on the pool, but otherwise just a handful of Wigeon and c50 Teal and Shovelers, with a couple of Skylarks over the field. (AH)

Lapwings (above) & Teal and Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

West Itchenor: A Nuthatch was calling again around Park Copse/Chalkdock this morning. (PH)

Medmerry: Stilt Pools - A Spoonbill was present this morning on the Stilt Pool until flushed by a kite-flyer! (M Stevens)

Church Norton: There were very few waders in the harbour beyond 50+ Redshanks, with just a few Dunlin, Grey Plovers and Turnstones among them, with more of the latter three species, plus a Knot and a few Mediterranean Gulls, along the beach.
The bushes were equally quiet, with just a couple of Chiffchaffs seen, though a visiting birder reported a Firecrest, too. (AH)

Knot and Turnstones (above) & Grey Plovers and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 26th October: Another mild, though blustery and overcast morning, with the wind still from the west.....

Editorial: if you think it's been a slow autumn - especially lately - you're right, as this set of stats from our very own Statto (IP) indicates....."There have been no additions to the year list in the last 38 days, when I last updated the figures - a true bit of SCAD for you (= South Coast Autumn Doldrums). Indeed, there has never been a 'no October additions' in the Blog era, with the least number being four.....this October is also five birds lower currently than 2016 which was the only time we failed to reach 150 species in the current month!
Also of the departing Autumn migrants that are tracked, no less than seven species departed on their earliest date this century (51 species tracked, 22 years being monitored). Curlew Sandpiper was 13 days earlier than ever recorded before !!! Little Tern was ten days earlier and the previous earliest date was just last year (is this a trend?)."
 Mmmm, interesting isn't it?

Also on the stats theme, plus the recent input from the early generation of 1960's Selsey observers, it has become apparent some of our info pages need updating! This is particularly true of the bird checklist and the history of the Bill; work is underway to correct this in due course. (Eds/OM)

Selsey Bill: There was little on the move, save nine Brent Geese and three Little Egrets west, but the morning was enlivened by a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua, two Guillemots and eight Razorbills lingering on the sea.
The Bonxie appeared to crash land on an immature Herring Gull on the water and proceed to drown it before feasting on it, as they drifted east. Full log below. (SR/AH/IP)
(0750-0905hrs) (W, F5)
Gannet - 6W
Little Egret - 3W
Brent Goose - 9W
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Turnstone - 18
Great Skua -1os
Arctic Skua - 1os
Black-headed Gull - 2000os
Mediterranean Gull - 20os
Common Gull - 2os
Kittiwake - 6W
Guillemot - 2os
Razorbill - 8os
auk sp - 2E
Rock Pipit - 2
Meadow Pipit - 1
Pied Wagtail - 10W

Bonxie (above), Arctic Skua, Guillemot, Razorbills, Red-breasted Merganser, Rock Pipit & Little Egrets at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool:  There were just the usual mix of species this morning, including c40 Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwits, eight Wigeon, c50 Shovelers and c80 Teal.
Also, two Cattle Egrets were among the cows in the fields behind and three Jays went over the channel opposite, where there was a Little Grebe, too. (AH)

Wigeon and Teal (above) & Little Grebe around the Ferry (AH)

This evening there were ten Avocets on the pool, whilst a Sparrowhawk and seven Brent Geese went over. (AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Around the hide area this morning were a Firecrest, a male Blackcap, two Chiffchaffs, two Jays and a Chaffinch, whilst along the beach were two Cetti’s Warblers in each of the Severals reedbeds, two Jays, and a pair of Stonechats.
Also, in the area around the southern end of Grange Lane were six Chiffchaffs, a Sparrowhawk, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Red-legged Partridges. (CRJ)

Stonechat (above), abandoned yacht & autumn leaves at Church Norton (CRJ)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: It was very quiet this morning, with 30+ Cattle Egrets in the fields around the buildings the only thing of note, with just an handful of Skylarks and Linnets over the fields in Church Farm Lane and literally nothing in the hedges or the churchyard. (AH)

Cattle Egrets at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

Chichester Canal: There were still two family groups on the canal - a Little Grebe with two juveniles and a pair of Coot with a begging youngster in tow, whilst two flocks of chattering Long-tailed Tits were in the hedges along with three Chiffchaffs, a Stonechat, a Song Thrush and a Grey Heron, with a calling Skylark and four Pied Wagtails overhead. (SR)

Little Grebe on Chichester Canal (SR)