Saturday, 6 April 2013

6th - 10th APRIL

Wednesday, 10th April: Murky offshore with some sea mist restricting visibility to barely a mile. Dry and cloudy for most of the day with some sunshine in the morning; remaining cool with rain by late afternoon. Wind ENE 2. A much quieter day for passage than the last few days although there was early promise when another two s/p Black-necked Grebes drifted past. A few Velvet Scoters were otherwise the best at sea, although a few newly-arrived migrants were present and an incoming Robin off the sea passed just overhead and only inches above the top of the wall.
Selsey Bill (0710-1200hrs): (Obs: SR/CRJ/OM/GH/JD/DS et al):
Great Northern Diver - 3 os
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 1W (the latter close in but heavily oiled on underparts)
Diver sp - 4E
Slavonian Grebe - 1 os flew off E
Black-necked Grebe - 2 (in full s/p) drifted E offshore; initially quite close but moved out.
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1 os
Brent Goose - 279E, 2W
Shelduck - 2E
Common Scoter - 43E, 3W, 60 os
Velvet Scoter - 8E
R/b Merganser - 4E, 8W
Eider - 4E
Curlew - 2E, 1W
Sanderling - 3E
Oystercatcher - 1E
Turnstone - 40 ob
Gannet - 1E
Fulmar - 1W
Heron - 1 p
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Common Gull - 108E
Med Gull - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 19E, 1W
C/A Tern - 7E
Meadow Pipit - 10N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1N
Swallow - 2N
Robin - 1N
Wheatear - 2N, 3 ob
Black Redstart - 1 gardens
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens

Voodoo omen or jetsam art? We arrived on the wall this morning to find this offering placed in the prime watching spot. The artist is unknown, but I risked bad luck and soon cleared the whole masterpiece away!  Could it have been those Seaford boys on a scouting mission on how to run the Log properly!                                           (photo: Sarah Russell)
Pagham Hbr: Sidlesham Ferry: a smart Yellow Wagtail in the field, 45 Shoveler on the pool (CRJ) but at Church Norton nothing more interesting than 6 Chiffchaffs reported.
Northcommon Farm, Selsey: A flock of 30 Redwings and 48 Curlews feeding in the horse paddock fields, and at least 3 Goldcrests, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the trees.
Ivy Lake (Chi GPs): A fine s/p Red-throated Diver was showing well for a while but seemed to disappear (AH). Sadly the photo doesn't tell the whole story as the underparts of this bird were coated in thick black oil. This was the second such bird of the day (see sea-watch log above); let us hope this does not indicate a pollution incident somewhere in the Channel.
                                                                         oiled Red-throated Diver, Ivy Lake (photo: Andy House)
Tuesday, 9th April: Rain for the first time in some while with an E wind looked to be promising for passage, and so it turned out to be. The trouble was, for me it co-incided with the start of a period of grandad duties and commitments and I couldn't be there! As it happened, CRJ arrived by 0740 and was then joined by others, so coverage was achieved. His text mid-morning cheered me up no end! Some days you don't want to miss and this was one of them....
Selsey Bill (0740-1400hrs): (Obs: CRJ/JD/DS/GJ/AH//RJS et al). Cloud and rain, dull and cool. Wind E 3-4 - NE 4 later. Totals given below, all passage E unless otherwise shown:-
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Black-throated Diver - 4
Red-throated Diver - 31
Slavonian Grebe - 2 os
Black-necked Grebe - 6 os (one flock; 2 s/p birds, dropped os and drifted by close-in 0925hrs)
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Brent Goose - 240
Eider - 1
Common Scoter - 2530
Velvet Scoter - 3
R/b Merganser - 46
Shoveler - 49
Teal - 13
Wigeon - 6
Pintail - 5
Mallard - 2
Gannet - 24
Fulmar - 1
Grey Heron - 1N
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2
Curlew - 3
Grey Plover - 5
Knot - 3
Sanderling - 2
Turnstone - 60 ob
Arctic Skua - 5
Med Gull - 3
Little Gull - 17
Kittiwake - 2
Sandwich Tern - 134
Common Tern - 70
C/A Tern - 5
Little Tern - 1 N in from sea, over Bill House, then headed W (first of year)
Meadow Pipit - 44N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1N
Swallow - 5N
Chiffchaff - 2N
Wheatear - 4N onto beach
Stonechat - 1 male N, later 1 on beach (possibly same?)
Black Redstart - 1 gardens
Goldcrest - 1N (a tiny wet thing arrived from the sea landing around the feet of the observers, before it dived into a nearby pile of garden rubbish. It later showed well on the sea wall).
AH reports the following:-
"Attached is the bad best of a very bad lot of pics of the Black-necked Grebes. Interestingly the 5 they had at Seaford must have been a different lot from the timings. This evening Sam & I did an hour [at the Bill] he's got the figures, but pretty quiet - 9 GN Divers & 6 Slavonian Grebes offshore, 1 Swallow in off the sea, 2 Common Terns, 10 Sandwich Terns and a few Common Scoter, Brent Geese and RT Divers east."
(photo: Andy House).
Chi GPs: At Westhampnett GP yesterday's Little Gull was still present plus about 4 each of Swallow and Sand Martin. Also Ads  Bowley reported 2 Little Gulls & a Common Tern on Ivy Lake this afternoon, but not present at 1745hrs (per AH).

Monday, 8th April: Firstly a correction; due to a breakdown in communications the male Redstart reported yesterday behind the Selsey centre was actually a Black Redstart.
In case of any doubt, this is the bird seen behind the Selsey centre yesterday; the early spring this year has seen a good number of birds of this species on the Peninsula. (photo: Sam Hill).

Selsey Bill (0645-1330hrs): Dry but still cold, cloud with hazy sunshine. Wind E 3-4.
(Obs: GH/CRJ/OM/SR/AH/CBC/MaC et al). The promised south-easterly didn't actually materialise and it was colder than anticipated, but there was a steady flow of passage all morning without anything outstanding. A couple of Arctic Skuas were noteworthy, as was the variety of ducks which provoked much lively debate at times, leaving the ID of a couple of small flocks unresolved. Totals:-
Great Northern Diver - 3 os
Black-throated Diver - 3E
Red-throated Diver - 26E
Diver sp - 3E
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 3E, 1W, 2 os
Brent Goose - 425E
Shelduck - 1E
Common Scoter - 751E, 150 os
Velvet Scoter - 1E
R/b Merganser - 22E, 2W
Shoveler - 15E
Pintail - 5E
Gadwall - 3E
Mallard - 6E
Wigeon - 2E
Teal - 2E
Gannet - 72E, 7W
Manx Shearwater - 1W (0704hrs)
Fulmar - 1W
Auk sp - 2E
Curlew - 1E, 1W
Turnstone - 32 ob
Teal - 2E
Grey Heron - 1p
Sandwich Tern - 64E
Common Tern - 1E, 1W
Great Black-backed Gull - 52E
Med Gull - 2E
Kittiwake - 1E
Arctic Skua - 2E (1 d/p, 1 l/p)
Meadow Pipit - 24N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 2N
Swallow - 1N
Wheatear - 1N
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Not much other information forthcoming today. Sidlesham Ferry was again quiet with just 2 Avocets, 45 Shoveler and 50 Wigeon, whilst at Westhampnett N Pit (Chi GPs) AH came up with an adult Little Gull (see photo), though no hirundines present.                 (photo: Andy House)

 Sunday, 7th April: I didn't arrive until 0740 this morning, when I thought it must be Pom week due to the number of observers and parked cars already there! It was another day of good movement that included plenty of Red-throated Divers, Brent Geese, 6 Velvet Scoter, several Little Gulls and a Red-necked Grebe. Most observers left by late morning, but I stuck it out until 1430hrs (assisted by CRJ until 1230). Selsey Bill (0600-1430hrs): Dry, sunny with some cloud. Wind cool ENE 3-SE3 later. (Obs:JA/PB/SH/CRJ/OM et al). Totals:-

Observers on the wall, 7th April.
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 5 os
Red-throated Diver - 136E, 2W
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Diver Sp - 19E, 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 1 os
Red-necked Grebe - 1W (1345hrs) eventually settled os
Brent Goose - 730E
Shelduck - 4W
Common Scoter - 454E, 80 os
Velvet Scoter - 6E
R/b Merganser - 49E, 12W, 9 os
Tufted Duck - 2E
Shoveler - 2E
Mallard - 3 p
Gannet - 13E, 5W
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Auk sp - 4E, 1W
Oystercatcher - 2E, 3W
Curlew - 5W
Turnstone - 38 ob
Dunlin - 1E
Little Gull - 6E
Kittiwake - 5E
Common Tern - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 127E
Common Gull - 32E
Black-headed Gull - 24E
Med Gull - 7E
Pied Wagtail - 3N
Wheatear - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 14 N
Linnet - 2N
Swallow - 1N
Carrion Crow - 2N
Sparrowhawk - 1 p
Black Redstart - 1
Also, a Black Redstart (male) in area behind the Selsey centre (SH).
             Brent Geese on the move off the Bill, 7th April
evening watch 16.30-2000hrs (obs SH/SR)
Brent Goose - 500 E, 2W( on e flock 400 )
Sandwich tern - 17E, 10 os
Red-throated Diver - 6E
Diver sp - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Common Scoter 26E, 100 os
Gannet - 10 E, 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1 os
Common Gull - 12 E
Shelduck - 4E
R/b Merganser - 2E, 8os
Ringed Plover - 1N
Blackcap - 2 in gardens

How does this thing work? Chris Janman gets to grips with the new technology, in between counting divers and geese!
Saturday, 6th April: The day the Brent Geese finally moved! An amazing total of over 4000 flew east past the Bill this evening between 4pm & 7pm, with almost 3000 of them passing in the last hour. Sometimes birdwatching isn't about rarities! Well done to SH for covering the late shift, ably assisted by AH.
Selsey Bill  (0600 - 1150hrs): Dry, mainly sunny, wind N3: (Obs: JA/PB/SH/GH et al).
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 6 os
Red-throated Diver - 8E
Diver sp - 10E, 5W
Great Crested Grebe - 2W, 1os
Brent Goose - 729E
Eider - 8W
Wigeon - 73E, 4 os
Pintail - 10E
Common Scoter - 73E, 80 os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 11W, 10 os
Gannet - 7E, 11W
Auk sp - 10E, 1W
Whimbrel - 5E
Grey Plover - 8E
Black-headed Gull - 91E
Common Gull - 34E
Med' Gull - 4E, 4os
Sandwich Tern - 86E, 10os
Meadow Pipit - 2N, 1W
Woodpigeon - 2N
Carrion Crow - 16N,
Jackdaw - 5N
Starling - 28N
Great SpottedWoodpecker - 1 over gardens
Brent Geese moving E off Selsey Bill (photo:Andy House)
Selsey Bill (1600- 1900hrs) (Obs:SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 4 os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Diver sp - 2E
Slavonian Grebe - 4 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1os
Brent Goose - 4035E, 3W
Common Scoter - 10E, 80 os
Wigeon - 212E
R/b Merganser - 2E, 6W, 7 os.
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 6 os

At Pagham Hbr, a Water Rail in the creek by the Tramway, and at Sidlesham 40 Fieldfares & 12 Redwings in the paddocks along Ham Lane this evening.
        Redwing, Sidlesham (photo: Andy House)
 At Chi GPs (Ivy Lake) 10 Chiffs around the lake this morning; also 3 Chiffs and 4 Med Gulls over at Merston.
Common Chiffchaff, Ivy Lake, 6th April (photo: Chris Janman)

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