Sunday, 30 March 2014

30th - 31st March 2014

Monday, 31st March: Grey and hazy with a light ESE wind, but remaining dry through the day. Another interesting session at the Bill - this morning's highlights being 2 summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebes drifting east on the sea, the first Common Terns of the year and the first 3 Velvet Scoter of the spring, plus another Arctic Skua and a steady passage of Brent Geese, Common Scoters and Sandwich Terns. On the North Wall at Pagham Hbr the Water Pipit was also briefly present. 

Selsey Bill 0645 - 1415hrs:  Grey but mild with hazy cloud, and a light ESE breeze 1-2.
(Obs: GH/OM/AH/SR/TR/C&ME et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 8 os
Diver sp - 1E
Black-necked Grebe - 2 os, (s/plum) eventually drifted E
Fulmar - 2E, 2W
Gannet - 2E, 5W
Brent Goose - 679E
Shelduck - 2W
Common Scoter - 290E
Velvet Scoter - 3E
R/b Merganser - 30E, 12 os
Shoveler - 9E
Oystercatcher - 5E
Turnstone - 30W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 112E
Common Tern - 2E
Little Gull - 12E
Black-headed Gull - 15E
Common Gull - 5E
Med Gull - 2E
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Linnet - 6E
Brent Geese were again on the move today; many passed fairly close to the shoreline (as above), whilst (below) this squadron chose to move over the beach itself, passing above the observers (OM).
Church Norton: Quiet this morning - a handful of singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps being the only migrants in evidence. (AH)

Ferry Pool: Still 6 Avocets here, though the Shoveler flock looks to have decreased a little. Also the Sedge Warbler was still singing along the Long Pool (per TR). (AH)
North Wall: Still quiet: 24 Redshank along White's Creek. On a muddy Breech Pool were 67 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 1 Water Rail, 16 Tufted Duck and 32 Teal. Cetti's Warblers all along the Wall. Little Grebes sitting at Owl Water, 3 Chiffchaffs and 1 Blackcap in Owl Copse. (JW) At 1155hrs the Water Pipit showed well for 2 minutes then flew off high to the North (TR/Rod Shepherd).
Three Spotted Redshanks on the Breech Pool (JW)

Medmerry: (Easton Lane to Bracklesham) An early evening walk produced a few things - last (at nearly 7pm) but not least, a single Swallow flew over, at least 40 Fieldfare were still in the area along with several singing Yellowhammers, two flocks of Brent went east offshore - totalling 58 birds - and a Sandwich Tern went west. Also there were at least 6 Mediterranean Gulls were in the gull roost, and there was a very pale, sandy/beige-coloured small finch that I only saw briefly, with what I took to be a Linnet, and which I can only presume was a leucistic bird. (Though if it turns out to be something more exciting I'm taking half the credit!) (AH)

Sunday, 30th March: Sunny with hazy cloud and another fresh E/SE wind - what a pity this prolonged period of favourable winds isn't happening a month later! Even so it has started to produce the goods bird-wise and with the start of British Summer Time today the pace should now quicken. At the Bill a record count of 15 Great Northern Divers was made (confirmed by several obs) of which most if not all were fairly close. A good selection of birds also passed including a single flock of 37 Eider - although surprisingly no skuas were logged, in the first few hours at least. A late morning update from Gareth Hughes reports that the Water Pipit is again present on the Breech Pool; I also forgot to mention yesterday that GH reported the Iceland Gull was still present on Pagham Lagoon, feeding on apple pie! And an Arctic Skua did eventually appear - in the afternoon!
Selsey Bill 0640-1130hrs: Cloudy, becoming sunny. Wind SSE3, becoming more E/SE later. (Obs: JA/GJ/DS/JD/RJS/AF/AH/SR et al)
Great Northern Diver - 15 os
Red-throated Diver - 11E, 1 os
Black-throated Diver - 1E (settled briefly os)
Diver sp - 4E, 2W
Fulmar - 6E, 2W
Gannet - 5E, 3W
Brent Goose - 260E
Eider - 48E (inc flock of 37), & 6W
Common Scoter - 268E
R/b Merganser - 28E, 9 os
Shoveler - 6E
Curlew - 1E
Turnstone - 5W
Sandwich Tern - 36E
Kittiwake - 2W
Little Gull - 10E
Common Gull - 17E
Black-headed Gull - 28E
Med Gull - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 6N   
Additional watch 1300-1430hrs: (B&M Collins). 
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Gannet - 2W
Brent Goose - 105 E
Common Scoter - 65 E
R/b Merganser - 5 E
Arctic Skua - 1 dark phase E at 1347
Common Gull - 9 E
Black-headed Gull - 16 E
Sandwich Tern - 5 E

Rather distant Eider (above) and Brent Geese passing the Bill (AH) 
Selsey Northcommon Farm this afternoon: 1 Kestrel, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Curlews, c60 Jackdaws, c75 Rooks, and c40 Carrion Crows (SR).
Pagham Harbour: A selection of news from around the harbour - Gareth Hughes & Kevin Tubb both reported a summer-plumaged Water Pipit on the Breech Pool, a singing Sedge Warbler reported on the Long Pool (per IL/Birdguides) and a singing Willow Warbler and several Blackcaps were around Church Norton churchyard (AH et al). There were also up to 10 Red-breasted Mergansers and 60 Brent Geese in the harbour and a flurry of at least a dozen Chiffchaffs along the west side, with similar numbers of Linnets. A late afternoon walk from Halsey's Farm to the North Wall failed to locate the Water Pipit, but  there was a Spotted Redshank near Owl Copse, and 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Teal and 2 Reed Buntings along the Breech Pool.(AH)
Linnet along west side of Pagham Harbour (AH)
Spotted Redshank from the North Wall (AH)
Sidlesham: A pair of Bullfinches along our lane on the west of the village this morning, and 10 Fieldfares flew over this afternoon. (AH)

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