Monday, 10 March 2014

10th - 12th March 2014

Wednesday, 12th March: A bright, but hazy, morning with a light northerly and little evidence of any migration, either in or out.... Meanwhile, an update on the Nuthatch sightings at Church Norton, where it seems the bird has been present in the private woods of the Priory since last December, so may perhaps be encountered again on the Reserve in future (per Ivan Lang).
Selsey Bill (0740-0820hrs): Light N wind
Nothing moving at all, but a Sandwich Tern was on one of the triangles, the Chiffchaff was still in the tamarisk, and 3 Great Northern Divers and 6 Red-breasted Mergansers were on the sea.(AH)

Sandwich Tern (above) and Chiffchaff at Selsey Bill (AH) 
Medmerry: The female Black Redstart and male Wheatear both still present around the rubble heaps this morning, though fairly elusive at times, along with half a dozen Meadow Pipits and the displaying Ringed Plovers. (AH & SR)
Wheatear at Medmerry (AH)

Black Redstart & Wheatear at Medmerry (SR)
Ferry Pool: Five Avocets were present this morning, and there were several pairs of displaying Lapwing and Redshank. (AH) Later, 9 Avocets on the Ferry (IL).

Park Farm, Selsey: A Chiffchaff here this afternoon (IP)
Ivy Lake: The drake Scaup was reported at 8am on Birdguides, but PC couldn't find it shortly afterwards (as indeed neither could I, later on) but he did find a pair of Goldeneye and a pair of Bullfinches as consolation. (AH)
Tuesday, 11th March: First off, just a quiet mention that this blogsite is one year old today (although the first live blog actually included a bit of back-dated info to 3rd March 2013). We've had a couple of name and format changes along the way, but thanks to all contributors and readers for your support, suggestions and kind comments.
One late snippet from last week - Graham Jenner & Dave Francis reported seeing & hearing a Nuthatch on the edge of Priory Wood from Church Norton, so worth keeping eyes and ears open for this peninsula rarity.
A cold grey start today with a brisk NNE  wind, but improving as the day wore on. Early migrants are now beginning to appear, and today's haul included Wheatear, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Sand Martin, Swallow and Sandwich Tern....though I think the Red-legged Partridge flushed from the beach might be pushing it a bit! (OM&AH).

Selsey Bill (0630-1000hrs): Grey, quite cool, dry; wind NE4. (Obs: SH/OM/SR/DF/DS et al)
Red-throated Diver -  8E, 2W
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
Diver sp - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 2 os
Brent Goose - 27E
Common Scoter - 12E, 6 os
R/b Merganser - 16 os moving back and forth
Gannet - 3W
Fulmar - 2W
Avocet - 1E (0900hrs)
Curlew - 1E
Turnstone - 10E
Razorbill - 1E, 1 os
Auk sp - 2E, 2W
Red-legged Partridge - 1 flushed from beach vegetation - into gardens!
Sandwich Tern - 5E
Kittiwake - 1W
Starling - 8N
Chiffchaff - 1 beach/gardens
Additional watch (1140-1300hrs): (Obs: OM/RJS)
Red-throated  Diver - 5E, 1W
Shoveler - 2W
Sanderling - 1 ob
Med Gull - 1W

Emergency repairs to sea-defences following storm damage between the Bill and the Lifeboat station. Note the shingle thrown up by the sea now extending all the way to the housing line on the old Pontins estate. I recall giving evidence that this would happen, at the public enquiry prior to the estate being developed, but alas the Council/developers knew best and the result was a foregone conclusion (OM).

Medmerry: At the end of the caravan park, around the rubble piles, this morning there was a smart male Wheatear and a female Black Redstart. Also 10+ Meadow Pipits, 2 Linnets and 5+ Pied Wagtails there, a pair of displaying Ringed Plovers overhead, and 50 Brent Geese dropped onto the otherwise empty pools.(AH)
Easton Lane to Bracklesham: 1 Kestrel, 2  Buzzards, 28 Curlew, c30 Skylarks, 8 Linnets, 3 Pied Wagtails, 17 Tufted Ducks, 18 Teal, 31 Shelduck, 2 Avocets  (SR).

Black Redstart (above) and Wheatear at Medmerry (AH)

Ivy Lake: A drake Scaup and a drake Goldeneye present early on, and at least one Swallow and one Sand Martin present. (Pete Hughes)

Ferry Pool: The Avocet population had risen to eight birds today.(AH)

Monday, 10th March: A beautiful spring morning with hazy skies and a light north-easterly wind, more reminiscent of May than March. Highlight of the morning was 2 Spoonbills east past the Bill at around 9am; well picked up by Mich & Colin Eames a fair way out and almost along the bar line, they had already passed the straight-out point, so presumably came in from further out before turning east. However, as M&CE managed to get us all onto them, Sam Hill was observed to become very animated - punching the air, repeatedly chanting "Bill tick" and even kissing the finder!" Ah the excitement of birding!
Selsey Bill (0630-1100hrs): Sunny, becoming quite warm. Wind light NE 1-2.
Red-throated Diver - 5E
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
Great Crested Grebe - 2 os
Greylag Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - 57E, 10 os
R/b Merganser - 4E, 12 os
Mallard - 2 p
Gannet - 2E
Fulmar - 2E, 2W
Spoonbill - 2E (0900hrs)
Grey Plover - 30E
Oystercatcher - 2E
Auk sp - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 1E
Med Gull - 1E
Woodpigeon - 3N
Meadow Pipit - 56N
Pied/alba wagtail - 1N, 1 ob
 Church Norton: Quiet still - a few Linnets along the west side, and many of the resident species starting to sing - but not much evidence of migration. A pair of Lapwings were displaying over the farmland along Rectory Lane.(AH) Later another Wheatear was briefly located on the beach opposite the Severals, the Peregrine was on its island and the Spotted Redshank was still present (TR).
Later, at 1600hrs, S&SaH did their regular walk from Selsey to Church Norton, and found 2 Common Buzzards, 3 Kestrels, a Stonechat and a Yellowhammer. SH comments' My local fisherman friend at Park Farm reports a Swallow there this afternoon and less welcome news of at least 50 dead auks offshore yesterday including a Puffin.'

Ferry Pool: Now 6 Avocets present, along with a pair of Gadwall, 20 Teal and the usual Shelduck, Shoveler and Wigeon flocks, though there were considerably less Brent Geese than in recent days. A couple of pairs of Lapwing were displaying here, too. (AH)

Brent Geese (above) and Teal at the Ferry (AH)
North Wall: An early afternoon visit to the Breech Pool failed to produce any spring migrants, but there were 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 1 Snipe, a Sparrowhawk, about 80 Teal and 30 Wigeon. I also checked out the flooded field behind the stables and could find little except another 40 Teal, a few more Wigeon, 14 Shelduck, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and small numbers of Lapwing; the habitat here looks good though for ducks and waders in coming days. (OM). 
I rode down to Honer mid-day, 49 Mute Swans on fields north of the farm, a pair of Buzzards courting at South Mundham and a further pair towards Lagness, although i scanned all the fields in-between, no Wheatears seen, (CRJ).
Medmerry: Happy to say I've seen my first Wheatear of the year, a superb male on the boulders at the rough ground just after the caravan site at Medmerry.(SR).
Ivy Lake, Chi GP's: A quick lunchtime visit failed to produce any early hirundines and in fact there was little to report - the usual wildfowl in diminishing numbers including a few Gadwall, several Great Crested Grebes and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls being all I can remember! (OM)

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