Sunday, 24 March 2013

24th - 28th MARCH

Thursday, 28th March: Selsey Bill (0645-1145hrs): Dry and cold, cloudy with lengthy sunny spells. Wind NE 2-3. More of the same today weather-wise, but it was a pleasure to sit on the wall this morning, sheltered from the cool wind and with the sun shining. Once again the Sandwich Terns were lingering and there was a steady arrival of Meadow Pipits, but the first Swallow of the season also arrived, then  GH spotted a distant raptor arriving which turned into a smart male Marsh Harrier. (Obs: GH/C&ME/OM et al) Full details of the watch are as follows:-
Sandwich Tern - 10E & 37 o/s
Shelduck - 2E & 3W
R/b Merganser - 4E & 3 o/s
Gt Northern Diver - 3 o/s
Gt Crested Grebe - 2E & 1 o/s
Red-throated Diver - 14E & 1W
Diver sp - 11E & 4W
Slavonian Grebe - 3E & 1 o/s
Common Scoter - 10E
Gannet - 3E & 2W
Med Gull - 1 o/s
Guillemot - 1 o/s
Fulmar - 1W
Auk Sp - 6E
Marsh Harrier - 1 male, N from sea (1045hrs)
Swallow - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 845N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 2N
Peregrine - 1 N
Woodpigeon - 5N
Common Gull - 3E
Oystercatcher - 1W
Wheatear - 1 o/b
Skylark - 1 in gardens

loafing Sandwich Terns at the Bill, 28th March (photo: Andy House)


Black Redstart, Medmerry, 28th March (photo:Sarah Russell)
At Medmerry  a superb male Black Redstart at the caravan park at lunchtime, just where the park ends and the new Bunn Leisure sea defence work starts. No sign of the usual famale and nothing else of note apart from a Buzzard, a few Meadow Pipits and two Pied Wagtails. Oh, and perched on the wall of 'Farthings' (former home of Patrick Moore) in West Street were two Red-legged Partridges! Earlier at Ivy Lake (Chi GPs) Chiffchaffs were very much in evidence, at least 24, some of which were singing. Nothing much else of note apart from 3 newly hatched Coots being carefully tended by their proud parents (Sarah Russell). At Westhampnett pit at least 25 Sand Martins still present (CRJ). Not much of note either at Pagham Harbour whilst I was there; the Ferry Pool held about 65 Shoveler, 150 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall and a few Teal, but no sign of any Avocets early morning, whilst at the North Wall/Breech Pool c.300 Brent Geese were still present this afternoon plus 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and several Chiffchaffs, but no sign of anything more exciting. AH called there in the morning and re-located the Black Redstart and a Wheatear; he also had a Goldeneye in the channel and two more on Pagham Lagoon, where 220 Med Gulls were also present.

Wednesday, 27th March: Selsey Bill (0645-1230hrs): Again dry, cold and cloudy, but with a little hazy sunshine later. Wind lighter than of late, NE 2-3. Surprise of the day was a fairly close drake Goosander E, but otherwise it was fairly standard fare, with a gathering of 32 Sandwich Terns resting on the groynes and apparently in no hurry to leave, and a small arrival of Meadow Pipits. (Obs - GH/CRJ/AH/M&CE/OM et al).  Totals were:-
Gt Northern Diver - 2 o/s
Fulmar - 2E & 4W
Med Gull - 4E & 3N
Common Scoter - flock c.95 o/s moving about, 62E & 36W
Diver Sp - 5E & 10W
Red-throated Diver - 11E & 9W
Auk sp - 7E & 3W
Sandwich Tern - 32 o/s & 28E
Rook - 1N (flew in low over the sea from way out)
Gt Crested Grebe - 2E & 1 o/s
Gannet - 10E & 12W     
Oystercatcher, Selsey Bill, 27th March
R/b Merganser - 11E & 3W
Goosander - 1E (m, 0929hrs)
Peregrine - 1N
Brent Goose - 10E
Shelduck - 3W
Wheatear - 1 o/b
Chiffchaff - 2,
Pied Wagtail - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 267N
Oystercatcher - 1 walked E past us at close range along the beach; a species rarely ever featured yet usually only  seen  in  small numbers at the Bill.
Sidlesham Ferry Pool held 60 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 12 Teal and c.200 Wigeon, whilst at Church Norton 7 Avocets flew up the harbour, Peregrine over the beach, 1 Chiffchaff by second Several and 80 Mediterranean Gulls along the beach. This evening at Ivy Lake (Chi GPs) a single Sand Martin and a male Marsh Harrier (AB). Also 30 Sand Martins Westhampnett pit (CRJ).

Tuesday, 26th March: Selsey Bill (0645-1150 hrs): Dry, cloudy, cold. Wind cool NE 4. Still wintry.
Gt Northern Diver - 3 o/s, Red-throated Diver - 2E & 6W, Diver Sp - 1W, Gt Crested Grebe - 1 o/s, Gannet - 6E & 5W, Med Gull - 2E ,7 o/s & 2W, Sandwich Tern - 27E, 9 o/s & 2W, Auk sp - 6E & 4W, Common Scoter - 36E, 23W & 67 o/s, R/b Merganser - 31E & 4W, Turnstone - 35 o/b, Meadow Pipit - 10N, Great Skua - 1E (1108hrs), Little Gull - 2W, Shag - 3E (2 s/plum), Razorbill - 1W, Kittiwake - 1E, Common Gull - 6E & 3W, Peregrine - 1 out  to sea (CRJ, GH et al)    On Sidlesham Ferry Pool c.200 Wigeon and 50 Shoveler.

Cormorant (poss sinensis?) Selsey Bill 25th Mar (photo: A.Bowley)
 This Cormorant was photo'd at the Bill yesterday - judging by the angle of the gular patch it appears a possible candidate for a sinensis bird, but not certain.

Med Gull, Selsey Bill, 25th Mar (photo: A. Bowley)

Another bird photo'd at the Bill yesterday by Ads Bowley.As will be seen this is a ringed bird; he couldn't get the details and nor can I by enlarging the photo - can anyone do better?
Monday, 25th March: Selsey Bill (0700-1030hrs):  Dry and cloudy, very cold wind NE4-5. A quieter morning at the Bill today:- Wheatear - 1, Meadow Pipit 68N, Great Northern Diver 2 o/s, Black-throated Diver 2 o/s, Red-throated Diver 7W, Gannet 3E&1W, Fulmar 1E&1W, Great Crested Grebe 1o/s, Common Scoter 40o/s, Shelduck 2E, Red-breasted Merganser 17E, Med Gull 6E, Sandwich Tern 6E, Curlew 1E, Golden Plover 2N, Carrion Crow 5N. (CRJ/AH/Ads Bowley)
At Pagham Harbour North Wall stables the Black Redstart together with a cracking male Wheatear, a flighty flock of 27 Avocets in White's creek and ca. 600 Brent Geese north of the Breech Pool. I stopped on the way back to look at the flooded field between Bowley and Lagness where there were 42 Shelduck and a Common Buzzard (CRJ). Kingfisher and c.40 Linnets at Ivy Lake (Chi GPs) plus 17 Golden Plover N over S.Mundham floods (GH)                  (The Pom King section has now been updated -OM)

Sunday, 24th March: Selsey Bill (0545-1215hrs): Dry, dull and cloudy with a raw wind, NE 5.
Paul Bowley started the sea-watch at silly o'clock this morning, but I arrived at the Bill some three hours later and so missed much of the better passage including three Garganey and the first Common Terns; even so I caught up with a few Wheatears, and then later when I finished keeping the log I did a final check of the beach, which paid off with a fairly unobliging Black Redstart around the garden of the rest home/beach near the depleted tamarisk  bushes. Totals for the sea-watch were as follows (all East unless shown otherwise):-           
Fulmar - 1W, Eider - 3 (1m 2f), R/b Merganser - 41 & 12 o/s, Med Gull - 2, Slavonian Grebe - 1 & 2 o/s [1 nearly in s/plum], Common Scoter - 146, 41W & 40 o/s, Red-throated Diver - 1W & 1 o/s,  Black-throated Diver - 1 o/s, Common Tern - 2, Dunlin - 1, Brent Goose - 9, Turnstone - 2, Gannet - 26 & 5W, Velvet Scoter - 2, Peregrine - 1 (with Moorhen in talons),  Sandwich Tern - 16, 5W & 10 o/s, Sparrowhawk - 1 along beach, Little Egret - 1, Chiffchaff - 3N (one landed on wall by log-keeper!), Garganey - 3 (1m, 2 f), Tufted Duck - 1,  Gt Crested Grebe - 1, 1W & 1 o/s, Meadow Pipit - 315N,  Wheatear - 11N (some stayed on beach),  Diver Sp - 3, Gt Northern Diver - 1,  Teal - 2, Razorbill - 1W, Pintail - 2, Pied Wagtail - 3N  and Little Gull - 5.        (Observers: PB/IP/SH/Paul Matson/RJS/AF et al).    
It was great to see visible migration - willing the Wheatear to make landfall and watching it catch its breath once on terra firma - spotting a small passerine over towards the Mile Basket and watching it flying ever closer until it almost landed on the other Paul's arm - Meadow Pipits flooding in, in various group sizes and giving us a call as they passed closeby/overhead - the Peregrine plucking its kill in flight - the two Velvets that almost sneaked by and the three Garganey that flew past knowing that Justin wasn't there again (hope your back is better soon)!! If you haven't been seawatching yet - come on down as they use to say, we'll make a space for you and watch the drama unfold - its not everyones cup of tea, but once in the blood sea watching is the best of the lot. (Paul Bowley, Sam Hill, Ian Pitts, Paul Matson). Afterwards, I was treated to a female Brambling feeding in Sam Hill's garden as I enjoyed coffee and toast - cheers bud. (contributed by Paul Bowley).
Black Redstart, Pagham North Wall (photo: Andy House)
Peninsula round-up: Brambling in Selsey garden (see above). At Fishbourne Creek a Whimbrel, 2 Avocets, a drake Goldeneye, a Rock Pipit and c.110 Black-tailed Godwits (George Heath). Selsey West Fields held a Chiffchaff, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 4 Wheatears and a fem-type Black Redstart (Sarah Russell). At Pagham Harbour 13 Avocets in the channel and 94 Med Gulls counted on Church Norton beach between the Severals (IP) and in the afternoon a Marsh Harrier and a Barn Owl (S&SH). The North Wall produced another Black Redstart (see pic) and a Wheatear (C&M Eames, AH)

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