Thursday, 9 May 2013

9th - 12th May

Sunday, 12th May: I've been unable to get to the Bill this weekend (having torn a muscle in my leg which restricts mobility) - all very frustrating, but having just spoken to JA it seems I chose a good time to do it! A fresh WNW wind ensured that passage was minimal early this morning, the best on offer being a couple of Arctic Skuas offshore, c.50 Little and 100 Commic Terns likewise, a few Common Scoters and a small arrival of Swifts and Swallows. It's an ill wind that that blows nobody (sea-watching in the south that is) any good - needless to say it has a silver lining for others though, as observers in the far north-west apparently recently logged 600 Poms and a load of Long-tailed Skuas moving past the Western Isles. Happy watching !!

1100hrs - at home, just had news of a SERIN which flew in off the sea and went into Bill House garden...seen by several obs and photo'd, currently not showing........ UPDATE ................
I headed for the Bill but didn't arrive until about 1145hrs when it was too late... no sign of it by 1430hrs in the increasingly strong W wind despite a search of the area by several observers. (I also received a good deal of banter from the regulars as I hobbled about with my walking stick!!) As I understand it, the Serin was first picked up by Steve Hooper coming in off the sea and the bird was then observed to land in Bill House garden (very well done Steve). Thereafter it was seen on and off for an hour or more, sometimes feeding on the edge of the gravel carpark area, before flying off and returning a couple of times. I think it was last seen around 1030hrs, when it flew a short way inside the garden - it didn't give brilliant views most of the time but some photos were obtained - herewith...

Serin, Bill House garden Selsey, 12th May (both photos: Mike & Karen Galtry)

Sign of the times - beware everything whilst seawatching here!
(Photo: Mike & Karen Galtry) 

Selsey Bill: No detailed sea-watch log details available from this morning, though it was basically more of the same including a couple of Arctic Skuas, then events were upstaged by the Serin. Another couple of Arctic Skuas also passed whilst I was there this afternoon.
Evening seawatch: (1550-1830hrs): (Obs: SH et al)
Manx Shearwater - 8W together, within 300yds os
Fulmar - 1E, 3W

Dunlin - 1W
Arctic Skua - 2E
Kittiwake - 3W

Peninsula: At Pagham Hbr a Common Sandpiper and 43 Shelduck on the Ferry Pool, with Lapwings and a displaying Redshank in the field. Seemed to be good numbers of Sedge and Reed Warblers singing, also some Common and a Lesser Whitethroat. In the harbour itself, a loose flock of about 2-300 Dunlins and 40 Ringed Plovers, several summer-plumaged Grey Plovers, nine Bar-tailed Godwits, a Sanderling, a few Oystercatchers and Curlews and two Whimbrels. Opposite the path from the Church Norton car park 17 Sandwich, six Little and five Common Terns on the mud, and later as the tide flowed in at least ten Little Terns diving in the harbour mouth. Also singing Cetti's Warbler and Cuckoo. (SG/JD/DS). 
Chi GPs: Ivy Lake: 60 Common Terns and 90-100 Swifts  (S.Gilbert)

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Saturday, 11th MayCool again with a brisk SW wind, but some passage by 0900hrs, including several Arctic Skuas and 2 Bonxies, 5 Manx Shearwaters, a trickle of Common Scoters and c.200 Commic Terns moving or lingering offshore. Full details now available:-
Selsey Bill (0500 - 1030hrs):  Squally showers then sunny, wind SW5: (Obs: JA/SH/PB et al).
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 69E, 201W
Fulmar - 3E, 22W
Manx Shearwater - 1E, 4W
Brent Goose - 2E
Common Scoter - 181E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1W
Dunlin - 1W
Turnstone - 3ob
Oystercatcher - 2ob
Great Skua - 2E
Arctic Skua - 10E
Kittiwake - 6E, 3W
Sandwich Tern - 22E, 10 os,
Commic Tern - 111E, 50 os
Little Tern - 13 os
Razorbill - 1E, 4W
Auk sp - 14E, 32W
Swift - 44N
Swallow - 22N
House Martin - 6N
and one Bottle-nosed Dolphin offshore briefly.
additional report (1145-1320hrs): (Obs:M&C McKee)
Shearwater sp - 1W
Gannet - 16E, 17W
Auk sp - 2W
Arctic Skua - 4E
Little Tern 1W
Evening watch (1550-1830hrs)  Showers, SW5/6 (Obs: JA/SH et al)
Gannet - 34E, 117W
Fulmar - 13W
Manx Shearwater - 1E, 3W 
Common Scoter - 20E
Kittiwake - 27W
Little Tern - 9W
Also several Razorbills W and a few Swifts arriving N

Peninsula: It appears to be another of those slow days with no reports of interest received from anywhere, including Pagham Hbr. Even regular peninsula birders such as AH were to be found inland today, seeing very little! Migrants are certainly sparse this spring and we can only hope it will improve soon. No photos to display either today I'm afraid.
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Friday, 10th May: Early morning update (0500-0900hrs) is that there is little passage in a strong WSW wind, with just one distant Arctic Skua and a Bonxie logged and a few Swifts and Swallows arriving. Amazingly though, a count revealed eleven Great Northern Divers are  still present offshore - some now in superb summer plumage - surely exceptional on a national scale? Oh, the observers present also reported the non-avian highlight of a full-scale Lifeboat rescue of a yacht in difficulty off the Bill.  Further updates received show that it remained a decidedly slow day overall, as is so often the case here when a brisk wind from the west appears.

Selsey Bill (0500 - 1000hrs): Cloudy, windy, WSW6/7.  (Obs: JA/PB et al)
Great Northern Diver - 11os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 26E, 109W
Fulmar - 7W
Common Scoter - 64E
Dunlin - 9W
Great Skua - 1E
Arctic Skua - 1E
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 12W, 18 os
Little Tern - 7W, 4 os
Common Tern - 17W, 10os
C/A Tern - 16os
Razorbill - 3E
Auk sp - 1E, 6W
Swift - 23N
Swallow - 26N
Wheatear - 1ob.
(1000 - 1240hrs):   (Obs: GH et al).
Manx Shearwater - 2E
Common Scoter - 7W
Gannet - 25E, 21W
Fulmar - 2W
Arctic Skua - 1E
Swift - 3N
Swallow - 14N

Evening watch(Obs: SR/SH)
a couple of hours added a few more Gannets and auks, a few lingering Commic and Little Terns and several Swifts arriving, but nothing of significance.

Peninsula: A slow news day with no reports of interest.
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Thursday, 9th May: Two early Pomarine Skuas this morning started the day with a bang - but we so nearly missed them. I arrived at the Bill about 0630hrs as did Brian Coates; there was no-one else there and as we got out of our cars it was immediately obvious there was a strong SSW blowing. I casually decided to have a quick glance at the sea with bin's, before setting up or deciding where it was best to watch from for maximum shelter, whilst Brian did the same. There were a few Gannets but just then BC drew my attention to a bird straight out passing east over the shingle bar. Long story short - bit of a panic - then realised there was a second bird and they were Poms - then realised my scope was still in the car - after a while grabbed his scope but couldn't then couldn't get onto the birds - further brief view through bins, and they were gone. Must be a moral in there somewhere. After that we settled to another early morning flurry including a number of Arctic Skuas, before things slowed right down as the wind increased. Although sunny for most of the day, conditions deteriorated by early evening, to become wet and very windy (SW gale force 8); it did not however produce much, a Manx Shearwater being the only bird of note. Totals were:-
Selsey Bill (0630-1200hrs): Sunny, bright, dry. Wind SSW5-6, increasing 7. (Obs:OM/BC/CG et al)
Diver Sp - 1E
Brent Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - 20E
Manx Shearwater - 2W
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 60E, 190W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1W
Sanderling - 1E
Dunlin - 30E
Auk sp - 20E, 3W
Arctic Skua - 8E
Pomarine Skua - 2E (0633hrs)
Great Skua - 1E
Kittiwake - 5E, 1W
C/A Tern - 25E, 10W
Sandwich Tern - 16E, 3W
Little Tern - 20E, 11W
Swift - 4N
Swallow - 21N
Evening sea-watch (1700-1915hrs): Wind strong/gale SW 7/8. Rain later.  (Obs:JA/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 7 os
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Gannet - 8E, 11W
Kittiwake - 1W
Swift - 10N
Swallow - 3N

Peninsula: Generally very quiet with little of note today. At Chi GPs Ivy Lake 50+ Swifts this morning.

Of interest, the following was received from JA our trusty log-keeper:
5th May 2013, 05.15 to 20.20 (over fifteen hours, great log-keeping folks) – Commic Tern – 3,391 east.
Research still ongoing but I think this is a day record for the Bill, (previous was 2,808 east on 11/5/81).

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