Monday, 28 September 2015

Mullet & Breams

An email from Adrian Thomas about the progress at Medmerry arrived today, of particular interest to me were these snippets:

 A survey by IFCA (Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority) revealed large numbers of juvenile fish using the intertidal creeks, including Sea Bass, Flounder, Plaice, Sand Smelt, Golden Grey Mullet, gobies, and Gilt-head Bream.
·         Breeding birds: 16 pair of Avocet raised an exceptional 24-25 young (perhaps 25% of the Sussex population); 16 pairs of Lapwings raised 4-5 young; there were seven pairs of Redshank, six pairs of Ringed Plovers, and six pairs of Little Ringed Plovers (perhaps 30% of the Sussex population).

How interesting to see that Golden Grey Mullet & Gilt Head Bream are doing well here. Golden Grey Mullet have traditionally been found further down the coast on the Ferring/Goring beaches where they can be found close inshore, as in 20 feet close, in July and August; Worthing Pier could occasionally also be productive for a glimpse of these. Gilt Head Bream can be found more in Hampshire, Pennington sea wall being a favourite location, though they also turn up around Worthing and up as far as Lancing. I've seen Couch's Sea Bream from Pagham so maybe they'll be next on the list for a spot of Medmerry colonisation!

The bird stats speak for themselves with hopefully more to come.

Today, no Osprey for me at the east side of the breach but PH pointed out a Spoonbill and there were a few cold looking Wheatears about too:


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Two days at Medmerry

A busy week at work with our annual organic farm inspection to get through and a driver off on holiday but we got there in the end as we usually do.

At Medmerry on the west side on Friday, plenty of local birders about so good coverage of the area. For my part, the two Garganeys were still on Easton pool and around Marsh Barn, good numbers of both Whinchat and Stonechat.

I've been walking from the stilt pools to the breach recently and whilst this area hasn't produced much so far surely its time will come; reminds me so much of Pennington/Keyhaven or Hollesley with pools just the other side of the shingle. It may take time but I'm convinced that something good will be found here (not by me obviously!!). Fingers crossed. On Friday, approximately twenty Wheatears along the fenceline and on the beach, Meadow Pipits, a constant passage of House Martins & Swallows and an Osprey sat in the middle of the reserve. The Osprey was still there viewable from the east side later in the day.

On the way back I stopped at Ivy Lake on the Chichester Gravel Pits complex to see if the Black Tern, unreported for a couple of days, was still there. Happily it was.



Osprey (honest-heat haze & distance an issue!):

Black Tern, juvenile:

On Saturday I repeated Friday's route. The Garganey were still there but there were fewer Whinchat, Stonechat and only one Wheatear. At the sea defence rocks I spotted something splashing about as if having a bath and it turned out to be a first Winter Razorbill, I did wonder if it was OK, maybe oiled etc., but it turned up later at the breach looking fine.

Razorbill, having a wash:

Meadow Pipit:

I'd put the Black Tern out on the SOS website (not everyone reads blogs!) and it was good to see a few people there today checking the bird out including one fellow who took his time, bless him, to pontificate on the bird and to show me a photo of it just so I knew it was the correct photo from the Selsey Birder blog as it happened, I didn't let on but did have a little silent chuckle I admit!

Black Tern:

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) juvenile at Ivy Lake, Chichester whilst most of the birding community was watching a tyrant flycatcher sp in Kent, oh the joys of actually having to work for three days ;-)

Black Tern:

Saturday, 19 September 2015

A few from Selsey Peninsula today:





Common Sandpiper:


Friday, 18 September 2015

Grey Phalarope Video

The Grey Phalarope was still delighting all-comers today, here's a video of it:

Grey Phalarope

Grey Phalarope:

And a few from Church Norton:

Reed Bunting:

Green Woodpecker:

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Grey Phalarope in Grey Drizzle

A Grey Phalarope was on the Ferry Pool on Tuesday morning, I saw it in foul weather unfortunately but got the news out on Twitter & Facebook at 9:30 and got some people on the bird.

Grey Phalarope:

Wheatears & Wagtails

A couple of Wheatears on Saturday, one at Medmerry & one at Church Norton:


There have been lots of Yellow Wagtails at North Wall over the last few days and a Ruff was on the pool there too as were some Snipe:

Yellow Wagtails:



Yellow Wagtails on Sunday:

Two Garganey on Easton Lane pool on Monday:

and a Pied Flycatcher at Church Norton:

Monday, 7 September 2015

Spotted Flycatcher, Church Norton

Spotted Flycatcher, 7.9.15:

Little Stint & Tawny Pipit

A cycle down to Medmerry Stilt Pools was fairly productive: Little Stint, two Curlew Sandpipers, two Ruff, several Green and Common Sandpipers, two Bar- Headed Geese, a Black Swan, a few Dunlin and a good number of Wheatears. I say "fairly" as the walk to the breach itself was disappointing with not a lot on show apart from a decent shoal of  Bass on the out-going flow.

Bar-Headed Geese having a preen:

Little Stint:

I suppose they may well have been more than two Curlew Sandpipers on the pools as as I was counting them a text came through to advise me of a Tawny Pipit at Hayling Island. And so after a wander around a golf course, discovering that I could've parked two miles closer and the bird disappearing for an hour, it eventually showed really well and it was a cracker as all Tawny Pipits are. Also great to see some good numbers of Clouded Yellows out and a few friendly faces too, always good.

Clouded Yellow:

Tawny Pipit:

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Medmerry Wryneck

Decided to go to Medmerry more for the bike ride than anything on Monday afternoon. Fortunately the Wryneck at Marsh Barn out in an appearance for the assembled throng of four accompanied by a Redstart. On the Stilt Pools, a Ruff, two Green Sandpiper, a dozen Yellow Wagtails (maybe my first this year, can't remember!), a Black Swan & 100s of Canada Geese:

Black Swan with Canada Geese:

Redstart & Wryneck: