Saturday, 31 October 2015

Redstart re-run

A few from Medmerry rocks and caravan park today plus Pagham Lagoon & Spit, pretty quiet in general though but four Black Redstarts at Medmerry nice to see. The Slavonian Grebe that eluded me for pretty much all of its last visit eluded me today as well!

Black Redstart, adult male:

Black Redstarts, juv/female types & a Wheatear (out of focus but I liked the three together!):

Stonechat (Pagham Lagoon):

Reed Bunting (Pagham Spit):

Friday, 30 October 2015

Black Redstart

Spent a while tryng to get a half decent Black Redstart shot at Medmerry and pretty much failed though a male and juv/female type were present around the rocks; should have gone straight to Climping where a male was showing nicely on the sea wall:

Black Redstart:

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Medmerry East & West

Missed the Snow Bunting (by about a minute!) & Little Auk at Selsey today but some small recompense were three Black Redstarts at the rubble Medmerry east side and another at Coatsguards. Not much else in poor weather conditions except a Wheatear or two and a few Meadow Pipits.

Black Redstart:


A few from Medmerry west side the other day:




Bar-Headed Goose:

Bar-Headed Geese:

Grey Seals (nostrils don't meet unlike Common Seals):

Monday, 26 October 2015

Acronym Day

Not often you get to see LTB, WRS and SEO all in the same day!

I'd been after the Long-Tailed Blue at Beeding for a while and hearing that one had been seen on for a few days there I went up there on Sunday morning to check it out. On arrival I found 12 other butterfly enthusiasts gathered around a clump of Everlasting Pea and sitting on the top of it was a female Long-Tailed Blue! After an impromptu camera lesson from Dave Potter, I managed a few half decent shots. After I'd left a male was found so I may go back up for that time permitting.

On the way home I popped into Waltham Brooks to try to find the Great Grey Shrike that Lee Beadell had found earlier in the day but no luck for me although it was seen subsequently. Whilst mooching around, a Birdguides alert went off saying that there was a White-Rumped Sandpiper at Farlington Marshes, a good bird for the south coast so off I went. On arrival at the marsh I went to where I thought the bird was, only it wasn't...fortunately I spotted Steve who seawatches at Selsey and he pointed me in the right direction. This was on the other side of the a route march later and no bird as it had flown out with the other waders on to the mud. I sat down and took a few snaps and generally chilled as it was such a nice day when someone shouted that it had flown back in. The juvenile White-Rumped Sandpiper subsequently gave great views!

My last jaunt of the day was up to Barnham Brooks to see if the Short-Eared Owls were back which they were. At least two and maybe three present from 16:30 onwards. I'm looking forward to seeing them a few times over the winter months. No photos as it was a bit too dark, next time...

Long-Tailed Blue:

Video here: Long-Tailed Blue

White-Rumped Sandpiper:

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Two and a half Shrikes

A Great Grey Shrike is back at Iping Common and I went up there on Friday to try to get a look at it. Bizarrely for me, success at the first attempt. A quick skirt round the common by MTB found the Shrike showing well from the lower path from the car park on the left hand side; it could also be viewed (by scope) from the top path. Also plenty of Fieldfares, Redwings, Goldcrests, Stonechats and Tits various as well as a flyover Crossbill. I popped into Ambersham on the way back and had what was almost certainly another Great Grey Shrike fly over me but I didn't get the bins on it in time so goes down as a "half-chance"; I'll bet one's reported there sometime soon though. Just as I pulled into the drive at home the phone went off and it was PH telling me of a Great Grey Shrike at Ham viewpoint at Medmerry so off I went again. The bird showed after about ten minutes and after an impressive low fly-by sat on the fence by Ham pools for a while before ironically being disturbed by a cyclist.

Great Grey Shrike, Iping Common:

Great Grey Shrike, Ham pools:

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Golden Plovers & Irrigation Systems!

After a dismal day around Selsey & Lidsey yesterday and generally a poor week, I've cheered up a bit now after visiting roughly the same areas and doing a bit better! Also did my bit for the public good today in Rectory Lane, the road to Church Norton. On the way back a tractor was towing a Briggs irrigation system down the lane but unfortunately he was too wide to get through and was blocking the traffic and demolishing the hedges with the irrigator support wheels out wider than the tractor itself. Finally stuck fast in the hedge, the poor fellow attempted to reverse. I'd already noticed that there was an adjustment wing-nut on the irigator so popped out of my van and showed the hapless driver how to reduce the width of the support wheels. Somewhat slimmer he could now carry on his journey and the traffic could move again!

Here's a few pictures from yesterday & today, the details of the two days can be seen here:

Green Woodpecker, Friday, Church Norton:

Chiffchaff, Church Norton:

Green Woodpecker, CN spit:

Wigeon, The Severals:

Stonechat, The Severals:

Comma, Church Norton:

Snipe, Ferry Pool:

Lapwing & Golden Plovers, Ferry Pool:

Golden Plover, Ferry Pool:

White-Fronted Goose, Medmerry (didn't awaken whilst I was there!):

Wheatear, Easton sluice:

And the highlight of the day was a Honey Buzzard that drifted over Barnham Brooks late afternoon and for which the record has been submitted.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Blues...

I have to agree with Owen Mitchell's rant on the Selsey Blog...where is everything in West Sussex/East Hampshire? A record year for Yellow-Browed Warblers and not one for us? The best we can muster at the moment seems to be a Ring Ouzel! And yes I do know there is/was the Pallid Harrier at The Burgh but if you compare that to other parts of the country then it's a pretty poor show. And it's not for want of trying of course. How many man/woman hours have been spent searching? But if there's nothing to find then it can't be found! Take a look at some of the old news pages from SOS for this time a few years them & weep! Dusky Warbler, Sabine's Gull, 290 Divers, Sooty Shearwater, OK not major rares but enough of interest I write this in my mind there is still hope, however, that something interesting might turn up...not a bird but a Long-Tailed Blue! Update: Bird Alerts today in West Sussex by 19:30: 0!

Monday, 12 October 2015

West Dean & Medmerry

A speculative run up to West Dean didn't provide much this morning, just  a bit too early in the year it seemed. A few Jays, Great Tits, a Nuthatch and a Red Kite being my lot there. And so it was back to Medmerry where it was a whole lot better. Really good numbers of Stonechats from the car park all the way down to Stilt pools, four-six Wheatears including a possible Greenland type with a gammy leg, a  Peregrine in the reserve, a Kestrel or two, a probable but distant Merlin and the White-Fronted Goose on the pools. A Common Sandpiper was on the reserve side sluice pool and there were plenty of Meadow Pipits about as you might expect.


Greenland Wheatear:

Certainly more Grey/brown above and peachy below, upright stance even with a dodgy leg, prominent black tail band so could be?

Meadow Pipit:

European White-Fronted Goose:

Common Sandpiper: