Sunday, 20 May 2018

20th - 22nd May 2018

Tuesday, 22nd May: Another very pleasant morning, with plenty of sunshine and a moderate north-easterly breeze............

Selsey Bill: There were two more Pomarine Skuas east this morning - at 0715 and 0750hrs - but none after that in an otherwise quiet morning, though there was a most unusual sight of three Barnacle Geese (origins unknown) that flew in over the houses from the west, circled round and then carried on east. Full log below.......                             

0615-1230hrs, (PB/C&ME/OM/AH/CRJ et al)
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 126E, 32W
Barnacle Goose - 3E
Common Scoter - 24E, 2W
Whimbrel  - 1E
Turnstone  - 27W
Little Tern - 3E
Common Tern - 4os
Sandwich Tern  - 22E
Kittiwake  - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Arctic Skua  - 1E 
Pomarine Skua - 2E (0712,0750)
Guillemot  - 1W
Razorbill - 2W
Auk sp - 4E, 2W
Swift  - 3N
Swallow  - 23N
House Martin  - 1N, 6p
Whitethroat  - 1 gardens

Barnacle Geese (above), Sandwich Terns & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Little Stint was at the back of the pool early this morning, and there were also a Common Sandpiper, the pair of Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Avocets, eight Redshank and c120 Black-tailed Godwits present, plus five Ringed Plovers that dropped in and flew straight out again, and a visiting birder reported the Wood Sandpiper as present later on, though it was not on view late morning.
Also of note on hte pool were a pair of Lapwings with three well-grown chicks, the Shelduck family and four Gadwall, but there wasn't much around the Tramway circuit beyond the usual Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and whitethroats. (AH/OM/BI et al)

Little Stint (above), Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plovers, Lapwing chicks & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There wasn't much to report this morning, though it seems as though two pairs of Swallows might use the hide, whilst out in the harbour sandwich Terns were displaying and mating and Little Terns were busy around the island.
The little flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers were still present, but no other waders were evident. (AH)

Swallow (above) & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Monday, 21st May: After a fairly chill start, a very pleasantly warm and sunny morning, with just a light easterly breeze........

Selsey Bill: There was very little on the move this morning beyond a few Gannets, Sandwich Terns and Common Scoter, plus a Fulmar and a Swift. Full log below.....
0630-1200hrs..  (C&ME/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 3E, 1os 
Fulmar- 1E, 3W
Gannet  - 40E, 5W
Eider - 4E
Shelduck - 2 ob 
Common Scoter  - 62E
Turnstone  - 10E
Bonxie  - 1E
Little Tern - 5os 
Common Tern  - 6os 
Sandwich Tern  - 15E
Swift  - 1N
Swallow - 36N

Sandwich Tern (above) & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

(1730-1845hrs) (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 61+E (a flock of 21, followed by a flock of 40+ east just after 1800hrs)
Gannet - 14E, 9W
Whimbrel - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 5os
Common Tern - 2os
Swallow - 3N

Ferry Pool: A Wood Sandpiper was on the back of the pool this morning, and there were also a Little Ringed Plover, seven Avocets, six Redshank and c120 Black-tailed Godwits (of which all bar 25 appeared to have decamped to Church Norton). The Shelduck family and four Gadwall were also still present. (AH/BI)

Wood Sandpiper (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There was nothing too unusual along the pool, though there were plenty of singing Reed and Sedge warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, several Whitethroats and two or three Reed Buntings and Linnets.
There were a couple of Little Grebes and Gadwall on the pool, but not much beyond a Lapwing and a few Redshank and Shelduck in Ferry Channel. (AH)

Reed Warbler (above), Whitethroat & Linnet along the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: There were a  Bar-tailed Godwit, a Knot, a Grey Plover and a Whimbrel in the harbour along with 85 Black-tailed Godwits, a dozen Ringed Plovers and Dunlin, a Little Egret and the usual suspects around the island, including at least 20 Little Terns and Mediterranean Gulls.
On the landside, a Cuckoo was calling from the front of Priory Wood, the Swallows were still nest-building in the hide, a Blackcap was singing near Greenlease Farm, a Cetti's Warbler showed well along the Severals, where the Reed and Sedge Warblers were still singing and a Red-legged Partridge was on the roof of the old barn along Rectory Lane. (AH/AW)

Cetti's Warbler (above), Swallows, Mediterranean Gull, Red-legged Partridge (AH), Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Blackcap & Little Egret (AW) at Church Norton

Selsey: An Oak Hook-tip, another species for the garden - was in the trap this morning. (SH)

Oak Hook-tip in a Selsey moth-trap (SH)

Sunday, 20th May: A surprisingly cold morning, with heavy cloud cover and a fresh easterly breeze, though warming a little as the day progressed....

Selsey Bill: The highlight was undoubtedly the first Roseate Tern of the spring, that went east with a flock of 'Commic' Terns at 8.24am. Otherwise, a Pomarine Skua went through early (6.09am), and there was also one Arctic Skua, 75 'Commic' Terns, 84 Common Scoter and a few Bar-tailed Godwits going east and a bit of local movement from the regular species. Later in the day another four Pomarine Skuas went east. Full log below. (JA/JF/SH/AH/OM/MJ)
Black-throated Diver  - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Gannet - 78E, 5W
Common Scoter -167E
Grey Plover - 1E
Ringed Plover - 1E
Sanderling - 20E
Whimbrel - 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 17E
Pomarine Skua - 1E (d/p)
Arctic skua - 4E (l/p)
Kittwake - 4E
Roseate Tern - 1E 
Sandwich Tern - 37E
Little Tern - 2E, 3os
Common Tern - 24E, 1os
'Commic' Tern - 78E
Razorbill - 4E
auk sp - 4E
Swallow - 20N
House Martin - 1N
Whitethroat - 1p

Kittiwake (above), Fulmar, Bar-tailed Godwit, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Herring Gulls waiting to share JA's breakfast & Common Seal at the Bill (AH)

(1300-1400hrs) (JA/JF)
Gannet - 4E
Common Scoter - 37E
Pomarine Skua - 2E (1305hrs)
Sandwich Tern - 8E
Swallow - 2N
(1430-1800hrs) (JA/SH/C&ME)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 5E, 6W
Mallard - 2p
Sanderling - 5W
Pomarine Skua - 2E (l/p at 1641 & d/p at 1658hrs)
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 18E
Common Tern - 2E
Guillemot - 1E
Swallow - 2N
House Martin - 3p

Ferry Pool: There were six Avocets, eight Redshank, three Lapwing and c110 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, though all the ducks, save a few Mallard, seem to have departed. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was not much to report from a cold and windy harbour beyond a lone Bar-tailed Godwits, a dozen or so Ringed Plovers and Dunlin, a handful of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns and 30+ Mediterranean Gulls, whilst the bushes were quiet save the odd Blackcap and Chiffchaff. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above), Dunlin & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester Gravel Pits: Not many birds about beyond a couple of feisty looking Great Crested Grebes, but there was plenty of dragon- and damselfly activity at the pits today, with lots of Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damsels about and a single Common Emerald Damsel too, along with three Hairy Dragonflies and, best of all, a Downy Emerald on the second pit on the right - new for me here. (AB)

Great Crested Grebe & Downy Emerald at Chichester Gravel Pits (AB)

West Wittering: A Broad-bodied Chaser was on the garden pond this afternoon. (GM)

Broad-bodied Chaser at West Wittering (GM)

Thursday, 17 May 2018

17th - 19th May 2018

Saturday, 19th MayA warm, bright and sunny day again, with high pressure dominating, but with a slightly chilly edge to the moderate SE-SW breeze....

Selsey Bill: It was pretty quiet again this morning, though an Arctic Skua went by close in and there were a few Common and sandwich Terns and two Great Northern Divers offshore.  Full log below. (JA/SH/PB/C&ME/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 2E, 1W
Gannet - 53E, 8W
Shelduck - 4p
Common Scoter - 22E
Whimbrel - 7E, 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Bonxie - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 14E, 8os
Little Tern - 8os
Common Tern - 11E, 8os
'Commic' Tern - 7os
Razorbill - 5E

Swallow - 14N

Arctic Skua (above) & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

(1620-1720hrs) (JA/AH)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 5E, 5W
Arctic Skua (1E (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 3E

Arctic Skua at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Avocets on the pool along with six Redshanks and c40 Black-tailed Godwits early on, though the Avocets seemed intent on clearing everything else off! There were no ducks, either, save the family of Shelducks. (AH)

Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There were two Cuckoos along the wall, plus a few Reed and Sedge Warblers in the reeds, but not too much else was about this morning. (BI)
Also, three drake Wigeon were at the back of the Breach Pool today. (E Dowding)

Church Norton: Very little to report this morning other than a Hobby flying from west to east over the harbour. (AW)

Heavily-cropped image of the Hobby over Church Norton (AW)

A bit later on a Wheatear was on the beach and a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Curlew were in the harbour, plus the usual Little ad Sandwich Terns and a dozen Mediterranean Gulls. Also, the pair of Swallows were busy nest-building in the hide and there were a couple of Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats along the Severals. (AH)

Wheatear (above), Swallows, Bar-tailed Godwit & Sedge Warbler at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were at least three lots of chicks and 50+ Avocets around the Stilt Pool, along with a couple of pairs of Little Ringed Plovers, a pair of Wigeon, two drake Shovelers, a dozen Gadwall and two families of Canada Geese, but the only migrant waders seen were two Bar-tailed Godwits in the channel opposite and a Whimbrel near the poplars.
There were a good scattering of Yellowhammers, Skylarks, Linnets, Whitethroats and Meadow Pipits, plus a Reed Bunting, a Lesser Whitethroat, a couple of Reed Warblers and a few Stock Doves along the banks, with a House Martin and half a dozen Swallows overhead. (AH)

Avocet family (above), Little Ringed Plover, Skylark & Wigeon at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 18th May: A very pleasant morning, with plenty of sun, though kept a little cool by the moderate E/NE breeze....

Editorial: Just a short note on the subject of emails to the editors......We occasionally get emails from persons unknown to us purportedly requesting help on birding matters (e.g. ID issues, site info, etc)....sometimes with photos attached and other times with links. I/We do get a good deal of spam each week - no doubt some of it malicious - so we rarely open messages from unknown or previously untrusted sources, especially if it just asks us to open a link. If your message has been ignored please understand this and try to offer some info/ID about yourself to confirm your birding interest and re-assure us. I have ignored two recently for the above reasons though they may have been genuine...if so please re-try and follow the above advice. Thank you. (OM/Eds)

Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning, with a dearth of migrant passerines following a clear night and little on the move offshore. The big gathering of terns offshore had also seemingly moved on as well, though a few Little and Common remained, a single Arctic Skua eventually passed through......and at least Common Scoter passage reached three figures to maintain any sort of interest! Full log below...... 
0600-1300hrs:  (JF/C&ME/DM/JA/SH/OM/CRJ/AH/MJ)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 2os eventually departed E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 69E, 5W
Shag - 1W
Shelduck - 4p
Common Scoter - 122E, 12W
Whimbrel - 1E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 4E
Sanderling - 17E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Little Tern - 3E, 15os
Common Tern - 8E, 5os
Commic Tern - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 42E
Kittiwake - 5E
auk sp - 6E, 1W
Swift - 6N
Swallow - 48N
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens

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

(1610-1800hrs) (JA/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 12E, 12W
Common Scoter - 31E
Whimbrel - 1E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Kittiwake - 12E
Sandwich Tern - 14os
Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 1os
Swalllow - 1N

Ferry Pool: The were a pair of Little Ringed Plovers on the pool this morning, indulging in a bit of display-flighting, but beyond that there were just six Avocets, five Redshank, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Gadwall and a family of Shelducks, including eight tiny ducklings. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Shelduck family & Avocet and Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: Church Farm Lane - A Barn Owl was at the far end of the lane at 8.30pm this evening, a pair of Grey Partridges were heard calling and the pair of Stonechats were in still the fields to the south. (S Allday)

Chichester Marina: A Corn Bunting sang briefly this morning, near the car-park by the reed-beds. (PH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - One Corn Bunting was singing here, but otherwise very quiet. (BI)

Church Norton: Early this morning there was a Spotted Flycatcher in the churchyard and two male Blackcaps in the hedges near the Mound. There was also a Buzzard sitting on the Priory wall with a Kestrel nearby and two Swallows were nest building in the hide and there were five more perched in a tree along the Severals. (AW)

Spotted Flycatcher (above), Blackcap & Buzzard at Church Norton (AW)

There was no sign of the Spotted Flycatcher later on, though it was quiet alround, with just the odd bit of Blackcap, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting song along the front. There didn't seem to be many terns about the harbour, though there were a few more Mediterranean Gulls than of late, and the only waders seen were a lone Curlew and a little mixed group of a dozen or so each of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers, which were presumably a migrant flock. (AH)

Dunlin and Ringed Plovers (above), Sedge Warbler & Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 17th May: The cool north-easterly breeze persists, but it was a fairly pleasant, sunny morning after another cold start....and pleasantly warm in sheltered spots.

Selsey Bill: There was a Bonxie east and one west, with 30+ Whimbrels and 50+ Commic/Common Terns going east this morning, plus a dozen Swifts in and at least 25 Little Terns feeding offshore. Full log below.......
0610-1300hrs:  (JF/C&ME/OM/DM/AH)......though after the morning crew had signed off having put in a good shift, it seems a couple of Poms decided to sneak through in the afternoon for the late/evening and weekend team yet again - more of that later!!
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 2W
Manx Shearwater - 2W
Gannet - 111E, 18W
Common Scoter - 36E, 3W
Whimbrel - 36E, 3W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Great Skua - 1E, 1W
Little Tern - 4E, 25os
Common Tern - 18E, 10os
Commic Tern - 44E
Sandwich Tern - 54E
Kittiwake - 7E
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 5E
Swift - 12N
Swallow - 14N
House Martin - 1N, 4p
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens

Little Terns (above) & Common Terns at the Bill (AH)

After two of the sea-watchers decided to bring their dogs along this morning, CE clearly felt left out, so he decided to take his dog substitute for a walk.....a toy (poodle) perhaps?  (OM)

(1400-1815hrs) (PB)
Manx Searwater - 1E
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 72E, 19W
Pomarine Skua - 2E (1 d/p at 1420hrs & 1 l/p at 1525hrs)
Arctic Skua - 2E (1d/p & 1 l/p)
Kittiwake - 9E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 20E
Little Tern - 9W
'Commic' Tern - 3E
Auk sp - 4W
Swallow - 1N

Ferry Pool: The water level has risen and consequently there were very few waders present on the pool - just three Avocets, a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and four Redshanks. There were a pair of Shovelers at the back (the first sighting of a/the female for a while), along with eight Gadwall and four Shelducks, with at least two singing Reed Warblers by the road.
The Tramway circuit was pretty quiet beyond the regular Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Whitethroats, and a flock of c30 Grey Plovers and a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits that dropped into the harbour, but there was some good news from the nest box in the car-park, where the nesting Kestrels have now hatched three youngsters. (AH/IL)

Avocet (above), Shovelers & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

CCTV image of the Kestrel nest-box (IL)

Long Pool: There were plenty of Sedge Warblers and one or two Reed Warblers, Whitethroats, Linnets and Reed Buntings along the hedges, two Gadwall drakes and a couple of Little Grebes on the water and up to half a dozen Swifts went over.
A pair of Lapwings had two young chicks on the newly tilled ground west of the pool, whilst there were 20+ Mediterranean Gulls among those following the plough one field over and at least four Buzzards were about. The only waders in Ferry Channel were a Curlew and a Redshank, plus a flock of 82 Black-tailed Godwits that flew over, whilst there was also a pair of Canada Geese with six goslings present. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Gadwall, Swift, Black-tailed Godwits & Canada Geese family along Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: Much the same along the Wall, everything keeping down in a brisk NE wind. On the Breech Pool were 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Little Grebes, 3 pairs of Tufted, a Gadwall, a Common Tern fishing, 2 Cormorants and 3 Sand Martins overhead. Along the Wall were Cetti's,Reed and Sedge Warblers, whilst a Cuckoo was at Owl Copse and another was calling towards Halsey's Farm. Also, Long-tailed Tits were nesting in brambles close to the sluice gates. (JDW)

East Head: There were 16 Whimbrel and five Bar-tailed Godwits roosting on the spit at Ella Nore at high tide today, along with 190 Oystercatchers and four Sandwich Terns were fishing along the shoreline. (PH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were still a dozen Swifts, a handful of Sand Martins and c100 House Martins and c300 Swallows feeding over the fields and settling tanks this evening, whilst there were two pairs of Lapwings around the newly sheeted fields and four Yellowhammers along Ham Road. (AH)

House Martin (above), Yellowhammer & Yellowhammer at Porthole Farm (AH)