Tuesday, 25 April 2017

25th - 26th April 2017

Wednesday, 26th April: Very similar to yesterday, with another fairly bright but cold morning, with the strong north-westerly persisting......

Selsey Bill: Nothing was moving this morning, though there was a good flock of feeding terns, including up to six Little Terns, c25 Sandwich Terns and c40 Common Terns, before they all drifted off east. (AH/SH)

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern & Sandwich and Common Terns at the Bill (AH)

East Beach:  A Great Northern Diver got itself onto the Breeding Bird Survey this morning, as did two Wheatears, but surprisingly there were no Turnstones. (SR)

Great Northern Diver (above) & Wheatear at Selsey East Beach (SR)

Ferry Pool: A large pipit - very likely a Tawny Pipit - was in the fields behind the Ferry, though it could not be refound later on. (IL)

putative Tawny Pipit at the Ferry (IL)

More usual fare included three Little Ringed Plovers and six Shelduck on the pool, a Grey Wagtail that dropped in behind the pumping station and up to a dozen Whimbrel off the Tramway, though birdsong was restricted to a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. (OM/AH)

Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: In Ferry Channel there were two Greenshank and c60 Black-tailed Godwit, and there was plenty of song in the hedges and reeds, including several Reed and Sedge Warblers, a couple of Whitethroats and Reed Buntings, plus a few Linnets, and a Sparrowhawk was also about. (AH/OM)

Greenshank with Black-headed Gull (above), Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat around Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm -There was a big mixed hirundine flock over the fields by the sewage farm this morning, including a couple of Swifts c300 Swallows and c100 each of Sand and House Martins, all upset by a passing Sparrowhawk. A couple of Whitethroats and Reed Buntings were in the hedges and a pair of Lapwings were displaying over the bare fields. (AH)

Easton Viewpoint: A Hobby passed over going north as we sat at the viewpoint. (R&GaH) 

Swift (above), Sand Martin, House Martin & Sand Martin, House Martin and Swallow at Porthole Farm (AH)

North Wall: A Cuckoo was calling at Welbourne, whilst White's Creek was like a wind tunnel and only 3 Black-headed Gulls braved the conditions! Very little was on Breech Pool either - just 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Gadwall, a Swan and a few Mallard and Teal. The cold wind kept things very quiet, but there had been a recent arrival of Reed Warblers as they were singing from most reedy habitats. On Honer reservoir were 8 Tufted Ducks, but the highlight was a flock of 37 Whimbrel feeding in a field SW of Marsh Farm, in company with a Brown Hare. A Song Thrush was demolishing a snail along the track north of Marsh Farm.... when I walked past the site I could see that it was a happy hunting ground for the thrush as there were broken snail shells everywhere. (JDW)

At the North Wall/fields this morning: Whimbrels, Brown Hare and evidence of a Song Thrush snail-fest (JDW)

Church NortonThere were 2 Peregrines, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Sandwich Terns and 50+ Mediterranean Gulls this afternoon. (SH)
Earlier there was a Redstart in the churchyard, still present after all the gardeners had finished strimming and 'tidying' etc. Also a  male Wheatear out in harbour on the concrete blocks and a Cuckoo calling from priory. (R&GaH)

Male Redstart in the churchyard at Church Norton (GaH)

Tuesday, 25th April: A very bright but cold morning, with the strong north-westerly making conditions unpleasant on the wrong side of the hedges......

Selsey Bill: Unsurprisingly quiet, though half a dozen Little Terns were offshore and two  Brent Geese went west. Full log below. 
(0540-0630hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2E
Gannet - 11E, 10W, 10os
Curlew - 3W
Little Tern - 6os 
Sandwich Tern - 17E, 6os 

Common Tern - 11os
Chiffchaff - 1 in gardens

(0730-0845hrs(AH/JDW/DM et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
diver sp - 1E
Gannet - 20os
Brent Goose - 2W
Whimbrel - 1E
Little Tern - 6os
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Commic Tern - 1W (probably an Arctic Tern)

Sandwich Tern (above), Little Tern, probable Arctic Tern & Brent Geese past the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least six Little Terns, four Common Terns and 20+ Sandwich Terns in the harbour this morning, but barely any Mediterranean Gulls. 
There were also c30 Grey Plover and c40 Dunlin on the mud, plus at least a dozen scattered Whimbrel and a Peregrine, but the bushes were quiet, with just the calling Cuckoo on the edge of the Priory and a scattering of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps to be heard, if not seen! (AH et al)

Sandwich and Little Terns (above) & with Common Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just a Little Ringed Plover and eight Shelduck on the pool, and c30 Black-tailed Godwits and c15 Whimbrel were in the channel opposite.
Around the Tramway there were a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and a handful of Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, though they were all keeping low. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A generally quiet morning with a deceptively chilly breeze, despite the sunshine. Three Common Terns were briefly over the Breech Pool, where there was little else on offer..... just 2 Gadwall, 10 Teal, 28 Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, 3 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers, and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats nearby. A Cuckoo was doing the circuit of the bushes behind the pool, whilst 4 Whimbrel were on the mudflats opposite.
At White's Creek there were 5 lingering Wigeon and a single Brent Goose, plus a few Grey Plover and 15 Redshank, whilst in the bushes were a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and a couple each of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. (OM)
Nearby at Pagham Churchyard there was nothing of interest except a single Blackcap singing and the pair of Stock Doves which seem to have taken up residence in the louvre slats of the steeple. (OM)
Stock Dove at Pagham church (OM)
East Head: A smart Bar-tailed Godwit was in the harbour between Snowhill and East Head this morning. (MR)

Bar-tailed Godwit at East Head (MR)
Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: Signs of breeding activity around the pits this morning, with two pairs of Greylag and one pair of Canada Geese already with young, and other agitated pairs of both indicating they won't be alone. There were also 9 Pochard (of which 6 males), a pair of Mute Swans, 2 Great Crested Grebes and at least 6 pairs of Little Grebe (one of which already has young). A Common Sandpiper was present around the lake edges, and there were at least 12 singing Reed Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Cetti's Warblers and 3 Reed Buntings, plus 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the water..... and lots of Cowslips now coming into flower. (OM)
Little Grebes with young, and below, Canada Geese with young, Greylag Geese with young, and Cowslips coming into flower (OM)

Lesser Black-backed Gulls on Drayton Pits; left ssp. graellsii, and right presumed ssp. intermedius (OM)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

22nd - 24th April 2017

Monday, 24th AprilA fairly sunny start to the morning, with a light westerly, though clouding over and getting windier as the day progressed......

Selsey BillThere was not too much moving this morning, and mostly it was decidedly distant, but it included two Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, a flock of 30 Brent Geese, two Greenshank, over 200 Common Scoter..... and a few unidentified wader flocks!! Full log below......
0540-1230hrs: (SH/JF/C&ME/OM/CRJ et al)
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Gannet - 55E, 25W
Greylag Goose - 3W
Brent Goose - 30E
Shelduck - 3W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 263E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 1W
Greenshank - 2E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 50E, 1W
Whimbrel - 55E, 1W
Curlew - 4W
Oystercatcher - 6E, 2W
auk sp - 4E, 1W
Little Tern - 1W
Common Tern - 6W
Sandwich Tern - 36E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 4W
Arctic Skua - 2E
Great Skua - 1W, 1os
Swallow - 55N
Wheatear - 1N, 3 gardens
Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 2 gardens

Also 1640-1800hrs: (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 13E, 8W
Common Scoter - 3E
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 4os
Sandwich Tern - 5E, 12os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Swallow - 3N

Brent Geese passing the Bill this morning, Wheatear in the gardens and Eider offshore (avoiding AH's camera for a change!) (OM)

Common Scoter (above) & Grey Seal off the Bill (AH)

Selsey: In a garden to the north of the town, a Common Cockchafer was found in a moth trap this morning......!  (SH)

Common Cockchafer in a Selsey moth trap. (SH)

North Fields: Late this afternoon a Cattle Egret was reported from Marsh Farm (J. Edwards, per IL)

Ferry Pool: There were just a Wheatear, a Little Ringed Plover and six Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, with 20 of the latter also in the channel opposite. (AH)

Church Norton: A Redstart was along the path behind the churchyard, and along the west side there were a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, half a dozen Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, a Reed Bunting and 20+ Linnets about.
There were a pair of Chiffchaffs in the car-park, two more Lesser Whitethroats and several Whitethroats along the path to the beach, and three Wheatears and a couple of Skylarks around the concrete blocks. 
There was a single Little Tern, two Common Terns and a dozen Sandwich Terns in the harbour, along with 50+ Mediterranean Gulls, 20+ Whimbrel, 100+ Grey Plover and 100+ Dunlin. (AH et al)

Whitethroat (above),Chiffchaff, Whimbrel & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Early this beautiful still morning there was no sign of the Spoonbills, though Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Linnets, Yellowhammers, three Reed buntings, two Reed Warblers , a Sedge Warbler, a single male Wheatear and a shy Whinchat were all along the path from Easton Lane, with two Kestrels and a Buzzard watching from the trees.
All the usual Avocets, a few Black-tailed Godwits, a couple of Little Ringed Plover and four Dunlin were around the Stilt Pool. (TRo)

Whinchat (abiove), Wheatear, Avocets & Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin at Medmerry (TRo)

East Head: There were seven Great Crested Grebes offshore this morning. (MR)

Great Crested Grebes off East Head (MR)

Sunday, 23rd AprilAfter a cold and grey start, a pleasant day with a brisk SSE breeze 2-3....later veering more SW.

Selsey Bill: The promising wind and weather conditions brought about a good turnout of observers, all full of anticipation......but the birds hadn't read the script and there was rather little happening, especially for the first few hours. As a result, there were some rather disconsolate birders to be found (or should that be grumpy?) - though ultimately there were some rewards for the more persistent. There were 11 Bonxies and four Arctic Skuas east, though again tern passage was limited, but did include several Little Terns, whilst a few hirundines were arriving off the sea. Later a Grasshopper Warbler and a Sedge Warbler were reported from the gardens, but with most observers having departed and just three observers left, the highlight of the morning came when the  first two Pomarine Skuas of the season went east at 12.08pm (OM/C&ME), well inside the shingle bar line.  And there were two more late in the afternoon. Full log below...... 
0520-1345hrs: (JA/SH/JF/C&ME/PM et al - many obs)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 4os
Diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Fulmar - 4E, 10W
Gannet - 99E, 28W
Brent Goose - 1W
Shelduck - 2W
Eider - 1E
Common Scoter - 159E, 33W
Shoveler - 2E
Dunlin - 3E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 10E
Hobby - 1N
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Razorbill - 1E, 3W
auk sp - 1E, 29W
Little Tern - 4E, 2W
Common Tern - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 52E
Kittiwake - 6E, 10W
Common Gull - 5E
Mediterranean Gull - 31E, 4W
Great Skua - 11E
Arctic Skua - 4E
Pomarine Skua - 2E (1208hrs)
Swift - 2N
Sand Martin - 6N
House Martin - 4N
Swallow - 82N
Wheatear - 2ob
Grasshopper Warbler - 1 gardens
Sedge Warbler - 1 gardens

Fulmar passing the Bill (DM)
Bonxie (above), Eider, Fulmar & Great Crested Grebes past the Bill (AH)

Some of the early morning's gathering of observers, feeling a tad on the grumpy side due to good winds and few birds! (OM)

(1510-1800hrs) (JA/SH/IP/BI/CN)

Red-throated Diver - 2E

Fulmar - 1E, 1W

Gannet - 19E, 3W

Whimbrel - 1E

Great Skua - 3E

Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Pomarine Skua - 2E (one at 16.45 & one at 17.33pm)
Little Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull- 5E
Kittiwake - 1E
Little Tern - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 47E
Common Tern - 6E, 1W
Commic Tern - 5E

auk sp - 2W

Selsey: A Slow-worm was in our garden today. (S&SaH)

Slow-worm in a Selsey garden (SH)

Long Pool: A Ring Ouzel was along the hedges this morning. (B Stevens)

Ferry Pool: Just a Little Ringed Plover, six Black-tailed Godwits and four Shelduck were on the pool this morning. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Quieter than yesterday, though a male Redstart was in the first Several, the Cuckoo was calling well from the edge of the Priory, three or four Wheatears were along the beach, two Firecrests and a Lesser Whitethroat were around the churchyard, and a few hirundines went over, including a Sand Martin.
A couple of Eider were offshore, and at least two Common Terns, six Sandwich Terns and 100+ Mediterranean Gulls were in the harbour, though waders were hard to find on the high tide. Also a Swift was over the back of the Severals. (AH/IP/P&JW/PC/AGB et al)

Cuckoo (above), Wheatear & Sedge Warbler at Church Norton (AH)

 Firecrest and Goldfinch at Church Norton churchyard (DM)

Medmerry (west side): There were 3 Spoonbills on the saltmarsh (east of the Stilt pools) at around 0930...but about ten minutes later they all took off and headed away high to the north. On the pools there were a few passage waders....2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 22 Dunlin and 6 Whimbrel (PH/BO'D). 
Later in the day, a Hobby was around Easton Farm and there was a Reed Warbler in a nearby ditch, two Corn Buntings were near Marsh Farm with a few Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings and at least three Yellow Wagtails were with the cattle. Up to four Whinchats were also on the far fenceline near the livestock. A Spoonbill reappeared on the saltmarsh later as well and there were two Little Ringed Plovers, two Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper and two Little Terns on the pools. On the beach were three Wheatears and six Swallows flew over. (BI/JD/DS/J.McCulloch/S.Ferguson)

 Corn Bunting (above) & Yellow Wagtails at Medmerry (BI)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - This evening there were c200 Swallows, c50 House Martins and c25 Sand Martins over the sewage farm, two Whimbrel and six Mediterranean Gulls flew over west and a couple of Whitethroats were in the hedges. (AH)

House Martin (above), Sand Martin, Swallow & Whimbrels over Porthole Farm (AH)

Saturday, 22nd AprilA dry and mainly bright day with a moderate north-westerly breeze....

A good variety of migrants today, including some scarcer species, though some proved to be elusive, escaping the attentions of the majority of observers despite their best efforts......

Selsey Bill (0540-1000hrs)    (SH/PM/JA/IP et al)     A bit of variety; full log below.....
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 8os
Fulmar - 1E, 12W
Gannet - 24E, 26W
Brent Goose - 15E
Common Scoter - 171E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Teal - 2E
Dunlin - 14E
Knot - 30E
Grey Plover - 49E
Sanderling - 11E, 2W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 20E
Whimbrel - 16E
Little Tern - 1W
Common Tern - 4W

Sandwich Tern - 30E
Arctic Skua - 1E
Great Skua - 2E
auk sp - 1E, 6W
Swift - 4N
Swallow - 16N
Sand Martin - 16N
Meadow Pipit - 24N
Yellow Wagtail - 6N
Chiffchaff - 1N, 2 gardens

Willow warbler - 10 gardens
Willow/Chiff spp. - 10N

(1530-1900hrs) (JA/SH/CNGH)
Great Northern Diver - os
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 14E, 17W
Common Scoter - 7E
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Whimbrel - 6E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 13E
Arctic Skua - 2E (1 l/p, 1d/p)
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Common Tern - 9E, 2W
Arctic Tern - 1E
Commic Tern - 10E
auk sp - 1E
Swallow - 13N

Northcommon Farm:  A male Redstart swooped out from the poplars as I drove along Golf Links Lane this morning, but promptly vanished.  Also a female Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Song Thrush were in the same trees, a Red-legged Partridge was nearby and it was good to see the Green-winged Orchids just coming into flower. (SR)

Park Farm, Selsey: At least 20 Wheatears were around the farm this morning. (S&SaH)

Wheatear at Park Farm (SH)

Church Norton: A busy morning here today with the highlight being a well found Wood Warbler along the path at the back of the church (PM) which unfortunately appeared not to linger. There were also two Grasshopper Warblers by the benches, a Garden Warbler in the same area and at least three Redstarts along the hedges & back of the hide. A Firecrest was singing in the churchyard, a Lesser Whitethroat was calling by the church sheds as was a Cuckoo and there were Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs along the hedges. On the concrete and along the beach were up to 12 Wheatears, there were a number of Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour and also flying over, and a Swift and a dozen Swallows also went over. In the harbour were at least six Whimbrel and a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits. (PM/OM/BI et al)
Also this morning four Yellow Wagtails flew in off the sea, including three together, and a Fulmar went west along the strandline. (IL/AH)

Wood Warbler at Church Norton - an increasingly difficult species to get on the coast - a good find, but seen by just a single fortunate observer (PM)

Redstarts behind the hide at Church Norton; (above PM, below BI) 

This afternoon the Hoopoe was reported again by a visiting birder, flying over Rectory Lane towards Greenlease Farm. (per IL)

This evening one Grasshopper Warbler was still reeling half-heartedly at the bottom of the path to the beach, and a Cuckoo was calling nearby, whilst in the harbour there was a Common Tern, at least 100 Mediterranean Gulls, a group of about 20 migrant Ringed Plovers and Dunlin and three Bar-tailed Godwits. (AH)

North Wall: There were three Ruff present on the Breech Pool today, and a Common Sandpiper, in with 142 Black-tailed Godwits, plus 20 Teal, two Gadwall and four Sedge Warblers in the reeds. In White's Creek a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank were present amongst Common Redshanks, viewable from the sluice. The hedgerows held half a dozen Willow Warblers, a couple of Chiffchaffs, at least four singing Blackcaps and two Cetti's Warblers.(OM/BI)

A later report follows.....
Three singing Sedge Warblers were along the Wall, whilst another 2 were along Pagham Rife plus my first Reed Warbler. At Honer reservoir were 7 Tufted Ducks, 2 Shelduck, 4 Coot and 2 Little Ringed Plovers. Fields were being harrowed behind Honer and had attracted over 200 Black-headed Gulls and at least 55 Mediterranean Gulls. On return at 1100 the 3 Ruff were still with the Godwits on Breech Pool and there were 3 Greenshank and 4 Whimbrel along White's Creek. (JDW)

Black-tailed Godwit & two of the three Ruff on the Breech Pool, and Sedge Warbler in the reeds. (BI)

 Little Ringed Plover and Sedge Warbler at the North Wall (JDW)

Ferry Pool: This morning a Little Ringed Plover and six Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool, a Cetti's Warbler was by the road and a dozen Whimbrel were in the channel opposite. (AH)

Cetti's Warbler at the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Two Purple Herons arrived in off the sea at Medmerry this afternoon - the finder's description follows - I was sitting on the beach at the bottom of the Stilt Pool track, scanning the sea with my scope, counting around 60 Common Scoters offshore, when three large slowly flapping birds caught my eye some way offshore, I watched them fly in, not the best viewing conditions with a very bright sea & sky. They were clearly herons, with one  much bulkier & larger, and as they approached the beach, gaining height and starting to circle along to the east, I could clearly see the larger bird was a Grey Heron, whilst the smaller two showed a rich russetty brown on the neck & back, and were much thinner & scrawnier in appearance than the Grey Heron, and I realised I was watching two Purple Herons. (I've seen a number before in France & Spain, but never in the UK before).
They continued to circle east, though the heat haze shimmer was now making meaningful observation more difficult, until they all went down together behind a green bank, somewhere over towards the main channel & the Breach area. (And were not subsequently refound). (C & J Holter)

This morning the Spoonbill was still present, and a male Whinchat and at least a dozen Wheatears were along the banks, with several Whitethroats and a Willow Warbler also about. Two Corn Buntings were among several Reed Buntings and at least a dozen Yellowhammers around their favourite hedge, and at least 200 Mediterranean Gulls were on the vegetable fields.
At the Stilt Pool there were two Common Sandpipers, a Bar-tailed Godwit, several Little Ringed Plovers, a few Swallows and plenty of Avocets seemingly on nests. (AH et al)

Spoonbill at Medmerry (MR)

Whinchat (above), Corn Bunting, Common Sandpiper, Whitethroat & Avocet seeing off a Canada Goose at Medmerry (AH)