Saturday, 23 May 2020

23rd - 25th May 2020

Bank Holiday Monday, 25th May: A very warm and sunny morning with just a light and variable breeze.....


Selsey Bill: An Arctic Skua went east, then back west, chasing the terns as it went, nine Fulmars went west and a flock of 20+ Common Scoter went east this morning, whilst plenty of terns were offshore. Full log later. (SH/PB/BI/AH/SR/IP)

Ferry Pool: There were five Dunlin on the pool this morning, along with a dozen Avocets, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, five Redshank and to Lapwings, plus a pair of Gadwall and c20 shelducks. (AH)

Church Norton: Most of the waders appeared to have moved off from the harbour, with just two Sanderling, a Grey Plover and a handful of Ringed Plovers present. along with plenty of terns.
Also, a few Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus the odd Whitethroat were along the front and a Sparrowhawk was seen sat on a nest. (IP)

North Wall: A lovely morning, but quiet on the bird front. Stock Doves were feeding young at Pagham Church, whilst on the Breech Pool were four pairs of Tufted Ducks, a few Mallard and a Little Grebe. 
The usual Warblers were along the Wall - Reed, Sedge and Cetti's, and also present were Reed Buntings, Linnets, Whitethroat, Wrens and Blue Tits, the latter two seen feeding young. Also, a Cuckoo was calling from Owl Copse and pair of Roe Deer were in Honer 3 field. (JDW)


Sunday, 24th May: After a cloudy start, another bright and sunny morning, with the breeze remaining fresh and from the west.....

Selsey Bill: There were a number of interesting things this morning, despite the unpromising conditions, including a Long-tailed Duck going through with a flock of Common Scoters, four Arctic Skuas going east together, pausing to have a collective go at the terns, a Black-tailed Godwit (surprisingly rare here) going west and another late eastbound Red-throated Diver. Full log later. (SH/BI/AH/IP/JA/SR)
(0530-0900hrs) (W, F5-6)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 16E, 35W, 15os
Common Scoter - 12E, 9W
Long-tailed Duck - 1E
Kestrel - 1
Black-tailed Godwit - 1W
Arctic Skua - 4E (together)
Sandwich Tern - 37os
Common Tern - 3os
Little Tern - 1os
Razorbill - 3W
Guillemot - 2W
auk sp - 2E, 5W
Swift - 20
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 7

Fulmar (above), Common Tern, Sandwich Tern & House Martin at the Bill (AH)




Ferry Pool: There were c40 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with 16 Avocets, a Little Ringed Plover, five Redshanks and c20 Shelducks, whilst later 15 Dunlin dropped in and 3 Lesser Whitethroats were singing along the Tramway. (AH/SH/CRJ et al)
Also, the Tawny Owl was back in its box this morning. (IL)


Little Ringed Plover (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)


East Head: Good news to report from Snowhill Creek, where at least five, and possibly up to ten, pairs of Avocets have successfully nested, with up to ten chicks of various sizes now out and feeding. (GM/PH/MR)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - At least 50 Swifts were over the sewage farm this morning, with a family of Great Tits being fed in the nearby hawthorns. (A&YF)

Medmerry Trail - Stilt Pools: The Stonechat family with 3 young was near Ham Farm and along the path were a Corn Bunting and a Sparrowhawk. At the Stilt pool there were just 2 Avocets and 2 Ringed Plovers; whilst in the rifes tadpoles were numerous - presumably from Marsh Frogs. Dragonflies included Four-spotted Chaser. (S&SaH)


 Corn Bunting, Little Grebe, Marsh Frog and Four-spotted Chaser around Mermerry. (S&SaH)




North Wall: There was some Swallow activity at the stables this morning and a Pied Wagtail was busy nest building there, too. About 30 Ringed Plover and 40 Dunlin were out on the mudflats and a Lesser Whitethroat called in the hedgerow by Whites Creek.  
A Yellowhammer was present along the Wall, a Cuckoo called near Halsey's where two House Martins were also flying and there was also the regular appearance of a Common Tern by the Breech Pool.  (IH/TH)

Church Norton: The Curlew Sandpiper couldn't be found this morning, though at least 25 Sanderling were with c40 Dunlin and c50 Ringed Plovers in the harbour, along with a lone Bar-tailed Godwit.
There were a lot of Little and Sandwich Terns in the harbour, with another 80 of the latter and 20 Common Terns, plus a couple of Gannets, offshore.
Also, a Spotted Flycatcher was behind the hide, one or two Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats sang sporadically and several Skylarks were along the spit. (AH/PC/JW/MP et al)


Spotted Flycatcher (above), Little Tern, Skylark, Sanderlings & Sanderlings, Ringed Plovers and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)






The Curlew Sandpiper re-appeared with the dropping tide, having been absent this morning, though it could still be elusive, among similar to earlier numbers of Sanderlings, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. Also a juvenile Mistle Thrush was behind the hide. (IL/AH/RP)



Curlew Sandpiper (above), Sanderling, Sanderlings and Dunlin, Dunlin (AH) & Mistle Thrush (RP) at Church Norton







Saturday, 23rd May: A bright and sunny morning, but with the west-south-westerly breeze approaching gale force at times.....

Selsey Bill: It was fairly quiet, though a Red-throated Diver, a couple of Bonxies and Arctic Skuas and 100+ Gannets went east and a couple of Fulmars went west. Full log below.....
(0515-0900hrs) (WSW, F6)  (SH/BI/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 3E, 3W
Gannet - 135E, 10W
Little Egret - 1E
Common Scoter - 6E
Sanderling - 3 ob
Turnstone - 3W
Little Tern - 2 os
Common Tern - 8 os
Sandwich Tern - 21 os
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Great Skua - 2E
Swift - 5 os
Swallow - 5W
House Martin - 6

Fulmar (above) & Gannet at the Bill (AH)


(1530-1700hrs) (SH)
Fulmar - 5W
Gannet - 10E, 7W

Arctic Skua - 1E (i/p)
Sandwich Tern - 16os
Common Tern - 2os
Little Tern - 5os
Swallow 1
House Martin 3


Ferry Pool: Six Dunlin dropped in briefly but otherwise it was much as other recent days, including 20 Avocets, 12 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover, four Gadwall and 15 Shelducks. (AH)


Black-tailed Godwit (above) & Dunlin at the Ferry (AH)


This evening, one of the Tawny Owlets was showing well in the box in the Discovery Area. (SR)



Tawny Owlet at the Visitor Centre (SR)

Northcommon Farm: One of the Little Owls was sat out at dusk this evening. (SR)

North WallThe strong wind hampered viewing but a Cuckoo near Halsey's Farm, a Common Tern, three Swifts, a Greenfinch, a Song Thrush and about 12 Ringed Plover were all noted. (IH/SP/TH)

Church Norton: The summer-plumaged Curlew Sandpiper was out on the mud again this morning, among a loose flock of 16 Sanderlings, c50 Ringed Plovers and c75 Dunlin, whilst a Grey Plover and six Turnstones were on the far side of the harbour and there was still plenty of tern activity, whilst two Fulmars went west offshore.
There were also two Spotted Flycatchers behind the hide, with another along the path between the Severals, though otherwise passerines were limited to one or two Blackcaps and a handful of Swallows. A newly-fledged Chaffinch was also being fed by its parents in an oak tree along the shore path and an adult and a young Stoat ere on the sleepers by the hide. (AH/SR/S&SH/BI/IP/AB et al)



Curlew Sandpiper with Dunin and Sanderlings (above), Little Tern & Spotted Flycatchers at Church Norton (AH)



 Recently fledged Chaffinch and Spotted Flycatcher at Church Norton (SR)

Stoat at Church Norton (AB)


The Curlew Sandpiper wasn't showing late this afternoon, though most of the morning's birds were, including up to a dozen Sanderling among the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers and plenty of Little and Sandwich Terns. (AH)



Sanderlings (above), Little Tern & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)










Wednesday, 20 May 2020

20th - 22nd May 2020

Friday, 22nd May: A much cooler, grey and blusteryday, with a few specks of rain early on, as the breeze freshened to a brisk south-westerly....

Selsey Bill: An Arctic Skua and 28 Common Scoter east and a Great Northern Diver and nine Fulmars west were the highlights this morning. full log below. (JA/BI/AH/HR/SR)
(0530-0815hs) (SW, F5-6)
Great Northern Diver – 1W
Fulmar – 9W
Gannet – 33E, 21W, 1os
Common Scoter – 28E
Turnstone – 2W
Arctic Skua – 1E
Mediterranean Gull – 2E
Sandwich Tern – 14os
Common Tern – 6os
Little Tern – 1os
Razorbill – 3os
Guillemot – 2W
auk sp - 2E, 12W
Swift – 4N, 5os
Swallow - 2


Great Northern Diver (above), Gannet & Fulmars at the Bill (AH)




(1630-1730hrs) (S&SaH)
Gannet – 11E, 3W
Sandwich Tern – 30os
Common Tern – 5os
Little Tern – 2os
Guillemot – 1W



Ferry Pool: The Avocet count had risen to 22 today, but there is no evidence of nesting as yet. Also about were three Little Ringed Plovers, a Lapwing, eight Redshank and a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, plus four Gadwalll and ten Shelducks. (AH/AW)


Little Ringed Plover and Shelduck (above) & Avocets on the Ferry (AH)


Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: A pair of Grey Partridges were in the field by Macrocarpa Copse this morning, six Cattle Egrets were near the farm and a Raven was at the dairy. (BI)

Church Norton: A Spotted Flycatcher was behind the hide, along with a couple of Blackcaps, Mistle Thrushes and Song Thrushes, whilst the Cuckoo was still calling from Priory Wood and several Skylarks and Linnets were along the start of the spit.
There were plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns in the harbour, plus a few feeding offshore, whilst waders comprised of two Whimbrel two Curlew, three or four Grey Plovers and Dunlin and a dozen or so Ringed Plovers and Turnstones. (AH/BI et al)


Spotted Flycatcher (above), Mistle Thrush, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)





This afternoon, a summer-plumage Curlew Sandpiper was in the harbour before being displaced by the tide (per Birdguides) and it was back again later on, though it flew off up the harbour with c50 Dunlin and similar of Ringed Plovers. (CM)
Also about later were a Cuckoo showing well, a dozen Sanderling and several displaying pairs of Little Terns (AH)


Little Tern (above), Sanderling, Ringed Plovers, Curlew & Cuckoo at Church Norton (AH)





West Wittering: The Reed Warbler had moved on this morning, but a Cuckoo was calling nearby and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was on the feeders. (GM)


Great Spotted Woodpecker at West Wittering (GM)

Selsey: A Lime Hawk-moth was in the trap this morning. (SH)


Lime Hawk-moth in a Selsey moth-trap (SH)




Thursday, 21st May: Another pleasantly warm and sunny morning, with a moderate south-westerly breeze.... 

Selsey Bill: A pod of up to a dozen Bottle-nosed Dolphins, a Bonxie, a Great Northern Diver and ten Common Scoters going east and a feeding flock of terns offshore were the highlights of a quiet morning. Full log below..... 
(0630-0930hrs) (WNW F1-2 - WSW F2-3)  (AH/SR/OM/IP et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Gannet - 8E, 2W
Common Scoter- 10E
Little Tern - 2 os
Common Tern - 6 os
Sandwich Tern - 40 os 
Kittiwake - 2E
Great Skua - 1E
Swallow - 4N
House Martin - 4 (local)
Dolphins (presumed Bottle-nosed) - c.12 os drifted E


Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern and House Martin at the Bill (AH)



Ferry Pool: It was an action replay of yesterday, with two Little Ringed Plovers, a Lapwing, 16 Avocets, six Redshank and c20 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, plus a handful of Gadwall and Shelducks. Also, a Great Spotted Woodpecker dropped in briefly. (AH/OM)
Later there were 24 Avocets present, with a Red Kite circling over the Hide and Discovery area around 1230hrs. Also, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Cetti's Warbler were singing along the Tramway and a single Cattle Egret flew over Yeoman's Field. (PJ)

Avocet (above), Little Ringed Plovers, Lapwing & Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Ferry




West Wittering: Hot on the heels of yesterday's Turtle Dove came a Reed Warbler in full song, buried in the bamboo in the corner of my West Wittering garden. (GM)

Church Norton: Tern numbers were unchanged from yesterday, though there are two Mediterranean Gulls on the island, whilst waders included 14 Sanderlings and a Grey Plover that flew out of harbour as the tide rose, with another of the latter, two Lapwing, and a full summer plumage Turnstone, plus the usual Oystercatchers and Ringed Plover also about.
A Cuckoo was heard calling early on, too. (IP)


North Wall: A count in Owl Copse by the RSPB revealed five Cattle Egret nests, along with 24 Little Egret nests and 11 Grey Heron nests. This is the first time Cattle Egrets have nested on the Peninsula, and indeed, as far as we are aware the first time in Sussex.
Otherwise it was quiet, though there were still a couple of calling Cuckoos, plenty of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Reed Buntings and Whitethroats about, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps singing at Halsey's Farm and a few Swallows and a couple of Sparrowhawk went over.
A Whimbrel in White's Creek was about the only wader present, whilst the Breech Pool held just a few Gadwall, Mallards and Tufted Ducks. (IL/AH/JDW/PC/TG et al)
Also, a Grey Partridge at Macrocarpa Copse, whilst at Marsh Farm three Common Buzzards and a Red Kite were quartering a recently mown hay field, a Little Owl and a Green Woodpecker were at Bramber Farm and Long-tailed Tits were feeding young at Honer. (JDW)


Cattle Egret (above), Little Egret and Grey Heron, Whimbrel, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff & Tufted Duck at the North Wall (AH)







South Mundham: A pair of noisy Mistle Thrushes were about along with a Jay, two Buzzards, eight Swallows, four Whitethroats and a calling Chiffchaff.
I found the correct field for the Redstart along Bowley Lane, but didn't have any luck finding it. (SR)


Mistle Thrush at South Mundham (SR)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Ham Viewpoint - This evening, I walked from the Easton Lane car park to the Ham view point. A Barn Owl was seen between the last house ant Ham and Wilson's Farm this evening. It then flew almost towards the car park before heading back east keeping north of the track and disappearing. 
Also, in the field next to the car park there was a Brown Hare and I could hear a Cuckoo calling somewhere beyond the Poplars. (CE)


Barn Owl at Medmerry (CE)


Wednesday, 20th May: A very warm and sunny morning, with the light breeze shifting round from north to south as the morning progressed.....

Selsey Bill: A Bonxie west and an Arctic Skua, 200+ Common Scoters and 17 late Brent Geese east were the highlights of a quiet morning. Full log below....
(0545-1400hrs)  (W2 - variable - SSE 2)   (PB/AH/OM/IP/CBC&MC et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1os
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 34E, 3W
Shag - 1W
Brent Goose - 17W
Common Scoter - 204E
Oystercatcher - 5E
Sanderling - 4E
auk sp - 1W
Little Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 3 os
Sandwich Tern - 25 os
Great Skua - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E
Swallow - 4
House Martin - 4
Willow Warbler - 1 Bill House garden

(1700-1800hrs) (S&SaH)
Great Crested Grebe - 3os (together)
Sanderling - 25E (in one flock), 9W
Sandwich Tern - 12os
Common Tern - 2os
Little Tern - 2os

Sandwich Tern (above), Sanderlings,  House Martins & Cormorant at the Bill (AH)




PB practising good social distancing as he has one last go at retaining the Pom-King trophy! (AH)
...and Barry Collins tries out his new super-size spectacles! (OM)

Ferry Pool: There were two Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Avocets, six Redshank and c40 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, plus the usual half a dozen Gadwall and c25 Shelducks. The pool looks ideal for migrant waders at present, but they seem very few and far between! (AH/PB)


Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

South Mundham: A male Redstart was seen along Bowley Lane today, carrying insects in its bill, as though taking food to a nest. (CRJ)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were just a Lapwing, a Pied Wagtail and a Red-legged Partridge in the fields to report this morning. (IP)

Church Norton: There were plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns  feeding in a full harbour, whilst waders included ten Sanderling, lots of Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover (including a newly fledged youngster), two Dunlin, a Grey Plover and a summer-plumaged Knot. (IP)

North Wall: The usual suspects were all present at the Wall this morning - Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers,  Reed Buntings, Common Whitethroats, with Swallows at the stables and an occasional Swift over, plus two calling Cuckoos. 
A walk along Honer Lane yielded pairs of Yellowhammers and Goldfinches, Chaffinches and a Greenfinch, plus a Buzzard and Kestrel.  (IH/TH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Four Egyptian Geese (looking like this year's birds) were on the bank of the new reservoir, whilst the family of Stonechats, with at least four juveniles, were on the bank opposite, with another female by the Stilt Pool.
The Stilt Pool itself held just two Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, a Lapwing and 14 Avocets, with two or three pairs behaving as though they had nests, but no other waders, whilst a pair of Canada Geese had five young goslings with them.
The banks held plenty of Linnets, Whitethroats and Skylarks, plus a few Swallows, but Yellowhammer numbers do seem well down on recent years. Also, a Common Blue butterfly was on the wing. (AH)



Egyptian Geese (above), Avocet, Stonechats, Whitethroat, Canada Goslings & Common Blue at Medmerry (AH)







Chichester Marina: A Cuckoo was calling here this morning, with another at nearby Birdham Pool. (MR)

East Head: A pair of Ringed Plovers with a newly hatched youngster were on the dunes this morning. (MR)


Ringed Plovers at East Head (MR)


West Wittering: A Turtle Dove was just sitting on the ground in front of my garden office with a couple of Collared Doves this morning. Unfortunately, as soon as I reached for the cameras they were off! (GM)

Turtle Dove at west Wittering (GM)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - There were three families of Stonechats out this evening, totalling about eight juveniles between them.
Also a Corn Bunting was along the bank, with another towards the breach, and there were also a couple of singing Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings, a pair of Meadow Pipits, up to five Whitethroats and numerous Linnets and Skylarks present, along with a family of four very young Fox cubs. (AH)




Stonechats (above), Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer & Fox cub at Medmerry (AH)