Tuesday 29 April 2014

29th - 30th April 2014

Wednesday, 30th April: Glorious sunshine after early fog, not a breath of breeze at first and not a migrant to be seen....then after a warm clear spell, the fog rolled back in again at 0900, and apart from a couple of brief interludes the Bill was fog-bound and cool until early afternoon, to the despair of the few observers present , especially as the breeze had now picked up to ESE3! On a different note...a snippet of info just received regarding one of the colour-ringed Sanderlings seen at the Bill a couple of weeks ago... it was today seen in Denmark! (per Anne de Poitier - excellent; many thanks)
Medmerry: Earnley Flood Pools - Negative news (per Birdguides) that the Black-winged Stilt had not been seen this morning. (AH)
Selsey Bill (0620-1205hrs): Misty at first, but sunny to 0900, then dense fog patches until early pm.  (Obs: OM/CRJ/AH/BJ/DS). An Arctic Skua east, a flock of a dozen Eider on the sea and big feeding flock of terns was about it early on, whilst a search of the gardens failed to locate a single migrant this morning. (OM) Log below...
Great Northern Diver - 4 os
Shelduck - the 2 local birds spent most of the morning on the beach or just os
Great Crested Grebe -1E
Eider - 13 os (flock of 12 and a single)
Whimbrel - 2E
Arctic Skua - 1E
Little Tern - 2E, 20 os also gradually drifted off E
C/A Tern - c. 150 os, most appeared Commons, gradually drifted off E or N
Arctic Tern - 1 os amongst Commic flock (CRJ)
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 12 os gradually drifted off E
Med Gull - 1E
Swallow - 4N
Also of note, at least three Herring Gull nests were located on houses immediately behind the beach at the Bill (Seal Road) and it is quite possible there are more, which as far as I'm aware is a fairly recent development (unless anyone knows better). (OM).
Nesting Herring Gull at the Bill (Seal Road) and below a crazy pair of Shelduck that seem to have become temporarily resident, spending much time on the beach and shoreline (OM).
Common Terns at the Bill (above AH, below OM) 
A return visit to Selsey Bill at teatime produced no evidence of movement in the freshening southerly wind, save the terns returning to the shingle spit on the dropping tide, and the female Eider that seems to have taken up residence close inshore. (AH)
Eider at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: Quiet this morning - highlights were a Cuckoo and a number of singing Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats along the Severals, half a dozen Whimbrel in the harbour and a few Common and Little Terns towards the harbour mouth. (AH)
Sedge Warbler (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)
Ferry Pool: No sign of yesterday's Garganey, though 6 Gadwall, a female Wigeon and 3 drake Shovelers present along with 70 Black-tailed Godwits in assorted plumages. (AH)
Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Little evidence of an overnight migrant fall. Good news is that the pair of Great Crested Grebes have returned to the Breech Pool and the number of Tufted Ducks there has increased to 16, still squabbling. Three Greylag and 2 Canada Geese in back field. I counted 8 Sedge Warblers along the Wall. Cetti's Warblers have spread far and wide from their North Wall stronghold, they now feature in many locations across the fields. I recorded 14 this morning. A flock of 17 Whimbrel were feeding up near Honer Farm where there was a Cuckoo calling. Common Whitethroats are everywhere. A pair of Little Owls had found a sunny branch to sit out on. The Little Grebes and chick were seen last evening. (JW).

Little Owl (above) and Sedge Warbler, North Fields (JW)

Chichester Gravel Pits: This afternoon there were 38 Common Terns on Westhampnett Pit (14 dip-feeding & 24 sat on a raft), and a further 14 on Ivy Lake. (AH)
Tuesday, 29th April: Another generally windless day, grey to start, but brightening up and becoming quite warm; despite some dense cloud the predicted heavy showers did not appear and it remained dry. Slow at the Bill again and most of us still remain Pom-less despite events elsewhere. Sea passage remains minimal, but a few migrants were to be seen, then early afternoon brought news of the bird of the day - a Black-winged Stilt at Medmerry - thanks Paul!

Medmerry: Earnley Flood Pools - Paul Stent found a Black-winged Stilt, which after giving everyone the run-around, finally settled on the 'Avocet' Pool on the far south-west of the reserve. Also at least 6 Avocets, a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, several Wheatears, a Cuckoo and a Redstart (AH/OM).

Black-winged Stilt at Medmerry (AH)

Selsey Bill (0610-1510hrs) Sun and cloud, dry, wind light N1 eventually going round to ESE2-3. (Obs: OM/GJ/CRJ/MJ/DF/DS/JD/SR et al) Very little movement offshore, but a number of passerines were located in a search of the gardens. (OM) Log below....
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 4E, 5W
Grey Heron - 1 over gardens
Brent Goose - 5E
Eider - 1 os
Common Scoter - 8E
Gadwall - 3W
Curlew - 1W
Whimbrel - 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Oystercatcher - 2E
Sanderling - 1 ob
Turnstone  - 20E
Great Skua - 1E
C/A Tern - c.100 o/s, eventually drifted E or N,
Common Tern - 85E
Little Tern - 30E, 20 os
Sandwich Tern - 12E, 6 os
Little Gull - 2 os with terns, moved off E
Black-headed Gull - 48E
Jay - 2NE
Swallow - 34N
House Martin - 1E
Wheatear - 6N (early afternoon)
Yellow Wagtail - 1 on Oval field/beach early morning
Redstart - 2 gardens
Sedge Warbler - 1 gardens
Whitethroat - 4 gardens
Lesser Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Blackcap - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 6 gardens

Horse Paddocks, Warner Lane: 2 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Linnets, and 2 Red-legged Partridges. (SR)

Ferry Pool: a drake Garganey this afternoon (per IL).

Pagham Spit and Lagoon: The Iceland Gull still present and beginning to look like it might summer with the other immature gulls on the Lagoon.
A male Whinchat was the only migrant on the spit, and waders were few and far between, too - 20 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and half a dozen each of Whimbrel and Grey Plover being the total. Best of all, though, at least 20 Little Terns around the harbour mouth with similar of Common Tern and a few Sandwich Terns.(AH)

Iceland Gull with Herring Gull on the Lagoon (AH)
Little Tern in Pagham Harbour (AH)

North Wall: A Common Sandpiper in White's Creek before the tide came up. (PC)

Also 2 male Whinchats behind the Breech Pool, along with 2 Reed Buntings, several Reed and Sedge Warblers singing and 2 Greylag Geese. (AH)

Reed Bunting (above) & Whinchat on the Breach Pool (AH)

Chi GPs: Westhampnett Pit: Ten Common Terns this morning. (AH) Later, 21 were present (BI).

Sunday 27 April 2014

27th - 28th April 2014

Monday, 28th April: A light north-easterly appears to have put a temporary end to sea passage at the Bill, but still there were a few bits to see....
Selsey Bill (0530-1300hrs): Dry and mainly sunny with some heavy cloud. Wind NNE-NE2-3. (Obs: CN/OM/MJ/ES/AH/CRJ/SR/SH/DS et al). A good degree of coverage by those observers present today despite the slow going. Quiet on the sea bar a Bonxie east, but a Garden Warbler singing and showing in the bushes by the Oval Field early on, and a Hobby and a couple of Yellow Wagtails in off the sea were some consolation. Also an Eider on the sea, and a big build-up of terns - 85 Common, 12 Little and 8 Sandwich - feeding over the spit on the rising tide. Full log follows (AH/OM)..
Great Northern Diver - 10 os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 13E, 2W
Fulmar - 7W
Eider - 2 os
Common Scoter - 3E
Whimbrel - 1E
Oystercatcher - 2E
Sanderling - 15 ob
Hobby - 1N
Great Skua - 1E
Little Tern - 14E, 12 os
Common Tern - 31E
C/A Tern - c.85 os, most apparently Commons, eventually drifted E/N
Sandwich Tern - 37E, 8 os which later drifted off E
Black-headed Gull - 10E
Swallow - 20N
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
Wheatear - 2 ob
Garden Warbler - 1 singing/showing Oval field hedge 0615hrs was gone an hour later
Blackcap - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 3 gardens
Additional 1715-1900hrs: (Obs: SH/GH/AH)
Gannet - 9E, 1W
Shelduck - 1 pr present
Eider - 1 os
Curlew - 1E
Whimbrel - 2E
Little tern - 15 os
Common Tern - 78E, most feeding then drifting off east
Sandwich Tern - 10E

Eider (above) and Common Terns off Selsey Bill (AH)


Please excuse the nostalgia, but it's been a while since the four members of the 'Sunday club' have been together at the Bill, where it all began a good few years ago, though we're not quite so twitched-up now! Left-to-right are Mervyn Jones (on a visit, now resident in Wales),  Eric Soden (Surrey resident), Chris Janman and I (OM). 
Selsey, Northcommon Farm: Dead today; just a distant Whitethroat, a pair of Red-legged Partridges, a Great Spotted and a Green Woodpecker (SR/OM).
Medmerry: Not much to report from the West Sands end - a nice singing Corn Bunting, a couple of flighty Wheatears and just a single Grey Plover and Dunlin in all that lovely new habitat! (AH)

Corn Bunting at Medmerry (AH)
North Wall: Much more lively today. A Yellow Wagtail in the stable field and a lonesome Ruff in the flooded field north of the stables. Also 4 pairs of squabbling Tufted Ducks on Breech Pool and 2 Common Terns were fishing there for a while. A Greylag Goose in the field behind. There was birdsong all along the Wall - Reed,Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Common Whitethroat, Linnets and Chiffchaff. Lots of weird and wonderful sounds emanating from the Owl Copse Little Egret colony. The Little Grebe nest at Owl Point is almost submerged and I have not seen the previous occupants for several days. Pairs of Tufted Duck on Pagham and Bremere Rifes. Cuckoos at Honer and Halsey's Farms. (JW)

Yellow Wagtail at the North Wall (JW)
Church Norton: Little evidence on any inward migration today. Up to 10 Little Terns in the harbour and offshore - where there was also an Eider on the sea and a distant Gannet west, as well as 20+ Common and Sandwich Terns, and just a few Whimbrel evident on the high tide. Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Sedge Warblers were well represented, but all seemingly singing from their favoured territories. (AH)

Ivy Lake: At least 20 Common Terns present this afternoon. (PC)
Sunday, 27th April: The Big Day that never was! After yesterday's disappointments, there were high hopes for today, and the forecast of a fresh south-east wind with cloud and showers on a late April day would surely do the business in producing a good seabird passage. So it was that I and half a dozen others were in position at the Bill well before 0600, and by 0730 there were 24 of us. So everything looked good and we were all ready, expecting the 'Big Day'  - but it just didn't happen. The wind blew, heavy showers came and went, but birds were there few! An incoming Hobby, a few Arctic Skuas and a Little Gull were about the highlights, and a full log will appear later, but it would be fair to say that spirits were fairly low by the end of the morning - not helped by a final report of 11 Black Terns in the Solent at Stokes Bay (Hants), which failed to show at the Bill. It surely has to improve soon (OM). Full log below.....

Selsey Bill (0515-1315hrs): Cloud, frequent heavy showers, brighter later. Wind S5 at first, becoming SE4 later. (Many obs).
Great Northern Diver - 6 os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Fulmar - 4E, 12W
Gannet - 104E, 28W
Grey Heron - 1 over gardens, mobbed by gulls
Brent Goose - 15E
Eider - 2 os
Shelduck - 1 os
Common Scoter - 42E
Velvet Scoter - 2W
Whimbrel - 7E, 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Sanderling - 1E
Turnstone - 35 ob
Hobby - 1N
Razorbill - 1E
Guillemot - 1E
Auk sp - 1W
Great Skua - 2E, 1W
Arctic Skua - 5E
Little Tern - 23E
Common Tern - 20E
Arctic Tern - 1E
C/A Tern - 31E
Little Gull - 1 os moved E
Common Gull - 5E
Pied/alba Wagtail - 3E
Swallow - 4S, 2N
Additional hour  - to 1415hrs: (BJ/SR)
Sandwich Tern  - 4E
Commic Tern  - 5E
Gannet 2E, 4W 
Diver Sp  - 1E
Swallow  - 1N

Curlew  - 2E

And from1600 to 1900hrs. (SH/SR/CN/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated.Diver  - 1E, 1os
Gannet - 22E, 6W
Shelduck - 3p
Eider - 3os
Whimbrel - 2E
Grey plover - 13E
Arctic Skua - 3E all dark phase
Black Tern - 2E
Common Tern - 27E
Little Tern - 9os
Sandwich Tern  - 21E
Swallow 1N
Images of today's sea-watch...........

Arctic Skuas moving east (OM)

 Little Gull lingering offshore (OM)

 Common Terns (OM)
Bonxie (above) & Little Gull off the Bill (AH)
 Observers braving heavy showers  -  view from under my cosy umbrella! (OM)

A windswept Paul Bowley sees the funny side whilst behind him our determined log-keeper Justin Atkinson is busily scribing (OM)
Thanks Chris. Mr Janman returns my wrecked umbrella after borrowing it for a few minutes! (OM)
Who says seawatching isn't fun? (AH)
Selsey: Northcommon Farm: 1 female Redstart feeding along the fence line (SR)

Pagham Hbr: North Wall: The lack of activity at the Bill was reflected along the Wall. Plenty of Reed Warblers and a few Sedge but very little else. A Little Tern was over the Breech Pool. A pair of Tufted Duck on the small pond near Marsh Farm. Two singing Blackcaps along Church Lane (JW).

Church Norton: At least 10 Whimbrel still in the harbour today at high tide, plus a single Bar-tailed Godwit, 3-4 Little Terns, similar of Common Terns and a dozen Sandwich Terns, but the bushes were quiet. (AH)

Chi GPs: Westhampnett: Twenty Common Terns present this afternoon (BI).

Thursday 24 April 2014

24th - 26th April 2014

Saturday, 26th April: A promising-looking day for sea-watching, with a strong southerly-based wind and a weather front with early morning rain. The rain soon gave way to sunshine and cloud, staying dry until mid-afternoon when occasional showers returned. At the Bill there was once again a flurry of passage for the first few hours, before it disappointingly died away, to early afternoon at least. Ten Bonxies and five Arctic Skuas, plus about 150 Commic Terns, somehow seemed scant reward for the conditions and the morning's effort, not helped by news of a much larger movement at Dungeness. Other impressive totals from East Sussex showed that good numbers of birds either passed us here just too far out, or perhaps crossed over from mid-Channel, but either way we missed out on a good deal of excitement.... but our day will come! (OM).  Log follows below ...
Early morning gallery of observers at the Bill, sheltering at the 'south-east corner' (OM).
Selsey Bill (0530-1400hrs): Rain at first, then  dry/sun/cloud, wind S-SSW5-6, backing SSE3-4 later. (Obs: JA/IP/SH/PB/PM/JF/GH/CRJ/S.Hat/OM et al)
Great Northern Diver - 3E, 4os
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Red-throated Diver - 17E
Diver sp - 4E
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Fulmar - 5E, 15W
Gannet - 58E, 20W
Brent Goose - 65E
Shelduck - 1E
Eider - 4 os
Common Scoter - 71E, 2 os
Whimbrel - 13E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 44E
Turnstone - 16 ob
Auk sp - 2E, 1W
Great Skua - 10E
Arctic Skua - 5E
Little Tern - 7E, 2W
C/A Tern - 162E
Sandwich Tern - 144E
Little Gull - 1E
Black-headed Gull - 28E
Common Gull - 41E
Kittiwake - 3E, 6W
Wheatear - 1 ob
Swallow - 4N, 2 lingering
Ten Brent Geese passing close inshore (OM).

Selsey Bill (1515-1915hrs): Bright, southerly F5, veering south-easterly late on (JA/SH/AH/CN/GH/IP)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Gannet - 21E 19W
Manx Shearwater - 2W
Fulmar - 3E
Brent Goose - 44E
Common Scoter - 8E
Eider - 2os
Bonxie - 7E
Arctic Skua  - 2E 1W
Kittiwake - 1E 23W
Sandwich Tern - 14E 10 os
Common Tern - 17E 6os
Little Tern - 4os

Ferry Pool:  92 Black-tailed Godwits, many in summer plumage and one colour ringed, 2 Shoveler, 2 Teal, 5 Shelduck, 2 Mute Swans, 3 Redshank, 12 Lapwing (two mating), 1 Reed Bunting, and numerous singing Sedge Warblers (SR).
Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry Pool: (above) D. Mason and (below) S. Russell

Church Norton: On a regular walk to Norton, SH logged the following: a Wheatear, 5 Cetti's Warblers, 12+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 6 Swallows, 10+ Whitethroats, Reed and Sedge Warblers heard (SH).
This morning there was an Eider offshore and a Fulmar went west, close inshore, and in the harbour/ offshore 5+ Little Terns, 10+ Common Terns and 10+ Sandwich Terns were present. Also in the harbour there was a flock of 15 Whimbrel roosting together and similar of Bar-tailed Godwits. This afternoon 3 Greenshanks were in Ferry Channel and the same numbers of the previous species on the mud. (AH)

 Whimbrel (above) & Bar-tailed Godwit at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs: Ivy Lake: A Swift and 6 House Martins high over the lake this morning, and 11 Common Terns present (CRJ).
Friday, 25th April: What a difference 24 hours makes! Cool, very wet and dismal this morning, but not bad enough to put off a few hardy souls ..... though perhaps it should have done. (AH). I arrived at the Bill at 0715 to find a very wet JA huddled against the wall, having been there since 0525! Passage had been minimal and after nearly a couple of hours more watching, and a visit by AH, hopes that the continuous heavy rain would ease were dashed - if anything the rain got heavier. Both JA and AH left mid-morning, and so I found myself alone, but working on the theory that faint heart never won fair maiden, I decided to give it a bit of a go, despite the conditions and the NW wind. This involved watching from under an umbrella, or the car, so was it worth it? Well I lasted until 1255hrs (making an overall coverage time of some seven and a half hours!) and I wish I could report something good, but in truth it was fairly dire - the only highlight being a nice flock of 12 Little Gulls moving east. Otherwise the sea produced just a few Commic, Sandwich and Little Terns, a fly-by from the regular Long-tailed Duck and a mere handful of waders, whilst incoming migrants were non-existent save for a bedraggled Wheatear and a Willow Warbler in the gardens. Oh dear! But I'm home now, drying out and preparing to be back tomorrow, for things can only get better (OM).

Selsey Bill (0525 - 1255hrs): Overcast, heavy continuous rain. Wind calm to very light NE1 at first, then N/NW2 later.  (Obs: JA/OM/AH).
Great Northern Diver - at least 4 os
Fulmar - 2E, 5W
Gannet - 24E, 15W
Long-tailed Duck -1W
Whimbrel - 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 7E
Dunlin - 4E
Turnstone - 12 ob
Little Tern - 13E, 2 os
C/A Tern - 35E, 5 os
Sandwich Tern - 39E, 9 os
Little Gull - 12E
Auk sp - 1W
Wheatear - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens
Additional watch 1630 - 18.30hrs:  (Obs: SH/GH)
Great Northern Diver - 6 os

Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1 os
Shag - 1E
Gannet - 8E, 3W
Fulmar - 3W
Shelduck - 1E, 2os

Eider - 4 os
Common Scoter - 1E, 1W
Razorbill - 1E, 2W
Little Tern - 2 os
Common Tern - 32E, 2 os
Sandwich Tern - 9E, 7 os
Swallow - 4N
Also: JA/GH did an additional half-hour, which produced a noteworthy and unusual record of a Fieldfare, which was observed arriving from the sea, circling the playing field and then heading inland.

OM & JA braving the dire weather this morning at the Bill (AH)
Wheatear in the rain (above) & Fulmar at the Bill (AH) 
Church Norton: A quick stop in the pouring rain produced little, bar 8 Whimbrel and 4 Curlews on the spit in the harbour. (AH)
Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 24th April: A calm, still and slightly misty start this morning with little or no breeze ..... sunny and fairly warm later.

Selsey Bill 0710-1220hrs:Calm at first, light variable later. (Obs: CRJ/AH/GH/PC/C&ME)
Unsurprisingly the lack of wind killed sea passage early on - such as it was - with quite a few of the Common Scoters, Gannets, terns and waders actually going west! Log below:-
Great Northern Diver - 14 os counted at low tide c 1130-1200
Diver sp - 1W
Gannet - 20E,4W
Fulmar - 1E, 4W
Little Egret - 1W
Shelduck - 2E
Common Scoter - 49E, 28W
Oystercatcher - 1E, 4W
Curlew - 1E
Whimbrel - 13E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2E
Dunlin  - 60E, 70W
Turnstone - 20p
Great Skua - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 21W
Common Tern - 17E, 10W
Little Tern - 3E, 2W
Razorbill - 1E
Swallow - 29N
Wheatear - 8 (E) along beach 0755
Also: Grey Seal 1 os
Fox  - 2 present area.  

Additional watch 1220 - 1405 hrs: (Obs; C&ME)
R/b Merganser - 4E (drakes)

Gannet - 2E, 1W
Common Tern  - 5E        

Sandwich Tern  - 9E    
Swallow - 6N  
And from 1625-1840hrs: (JA/SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 15 os !
Red-throated Diver - 1 os
Gannet - 2E
Shag - 1 (summer-plumaged bird again) os
Eider - 18 os
Common Scoter - 12E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 11E
Whimbrel - 12E
Sandwich Tern - 5E, 20 os
Common Tern - 3E, 6 os
'Commic' Tern - 3E
Little Tern - 3E, 12  os

Church Norton had 8 Willow Warblers, 2 Common Whitethroats and 3 Sedge Warblers at the Severals, also a Cuckoo flying around the Priory (BFF/DIS/DM).
A late afternoon walk along the Long Pool produced a male Whinchat, a Reed Warbler, a Lesser Whitehtroat and several Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats, plus a Greenshank and a Kingfisher in the creek. (AH)
Medmerry (West Sands-Breach): The female Eider - presumably the one that has been lingering off the Bill and Church Norton recently - was in the breach mouth again this morning. Also 3 Wheatears, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Little Ringed Plover and a few Linnets and Meadow Pipits about, though the new pools were mostly frustratingly devoid of birds. (AH)

Female Eider at Medmerry (AH)
Pagham Lagoon & Spit: A visit to the east side of the harbour was quite productive this morning. Our old friend, the Iceland Gull, seemed in no hurry to head north from the Lagoon, and on the spit there were 3 Whinchats, including two stunning male birds, a Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat and 20+ Linnets. Two Little Terns and two Sandwich Terns were in the (old) harbour mouth and 3 Mediterranean Gulls flew over, but there were generally rather few waders in evidence. (AH)

Iceland Gull (above) on the lagoon & Whinchats on the spit (AH)

Monday 21 April 2014

21st - 23rd April 2014

Wednesday, 23nd April: At last a south-easterly at the Bill, but nobody told the birds..... although Poms are beginning to appear along the coast in East Sussex and beyond, so it must surely just be a matter of time (although I'd be grateful if they could hang on just a day or so until my commitments are clear!) Meanwhile, today I received some welcome feedback on the blog, as it seems information we provided on 12th April was picked up and has led to the provision of data for the Sanderling ringing scheme.... with a number of colour-ringed birds seen at the Bill on 12th April being identified, most having been originally ringed at Hayling Is, Hants and wintering in the general area. However, three of these birds had also been tracked further afield.... one being sighted on several occasions in France, whilst two others were located in Iceland in June. News on further Bill sightings on 15th April is awaited. Thanks to Anne de Poitier, Pete Potts and J.W.H.(Jeroen) Reneerkens. (OM).
More info, and some background information about the Sanderling project can be read here: http://www.waderstudygroup.org/res/project/sanderling.php
Selsey Bill 0548-1700hrs: Cloud, showers/light rain, wind SE 3-4. (Obs: CRJ/AH et al)
Very similar to yesterday - a few Bonxies and an Arctic Skua and a slow trickle of terns and Common Scoters was about the size of it. Full log below......
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Diver sp - 3E
Gannet - 37E, 7W
Fulmar - 2E, 5W
Grey Heron - 1 p (early)
Shag - 1 os (s/plum)
Brent Goose - 29E
Common Scoter - 161E
Oystercatcher - 7E,1W
Curlew - 5E
Whimbrel - 9E
Turnstone - 2 ob
Great Skua - 11E
Arctic Skua - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 98E
Comic Tern - 265E (probably all Commons but some distant)
Little Tern - 10E, 4 os,
Kittiwake - 7E, 3W
Common Gull - 29E
Razorbill - 1 os
Auk sp - 3W
Swallow - 5N           
Additional watch 1700 to 1920hrs (Obs: SH)
Gannet - 8E, 2W
Little Tern - 4 os
Common Tern - 92E
Sandwich Tern - 16E
Kittiwake - 7W
Turnstone (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)
Northcommon Farm: 1 Female Redstart feeding at the dung heap beside the stables, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 5 Red-legged Partridges. (SR)

Selsey Warner Lane: 1 Male Wheatear, and the usual two Red-legged Partridges. (SR)

Ferry Pool: 2 Little Gulls briefly dip-feeding this morning. Also a Cuckoo at the back and 23 Black-tailed Godwits. (G&RH) The summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank was in Ferry Channel this morning (G&RH) and a Kingfisher was there this evening. (AH)

Church  Norton: After the Lord Mayor's show today! Still a dozen each of Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel in the harbour, plus a couple of Sandwich Terns, but the bushes were pretty quiet - a few Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs, plus a couple of Lesser Whitethroats seemed to be it. (AH)

A classic Whitethroat pose at Church Norton (AH)
Westhampnett Pit: A first-summer Little Gull at lunchtime today, plus a few Swallows. (AH)
Little Gull on Westhampnett Pit (AH) 

Medmerry: A female Eider inside the Breach Channel today and a Yellow Wagtail at Earnley yesterday. (PH)

Tuesday, 22nd April: Rain overnight and into the morning, with a change of wind direction to SW. The damp (and early) start found me, one other brave soul and a certain Mr Janman wandering around the area of the Tramway hoping to locate yesterday's Subalpine Warbler - to no avail and all very disappointing - whilst everyone else was presumably and perhaps sensibly waiting on news (still no sign by early afternoon). Meanwhile a quandary arose when a message from Matt at Seaford informed me of Poms passing that location; in the end CRJ stayed put looking for the warbler whilst I headed to the Bill, where there was already a small gathering of regulars. No Poms for us I'm afraid, but once again an early flurry of passage gave false hope before things quietened down considerably, although there was a notable influx of Wheatears at various sites (OM).

Selsey Bill (0730-1130hrs): Cloudy with rain, easing fairly early on. Wind SSW2-3, then increasing SW3-4 mid-morning. (Obs: DF/JW/DS/AH/OM/JD/BFF/DIS/DM/C&ME).
Great Northern Diver - 6 os
Red-throated Diver - 5E
Fulmar - 6E, 5W
Gannet - 83E, 26W
Brent Goose - 45E
Common Scoter - 267E
Gadwall - 2E
Redshank - 1 ob
Whimbrel - 9W
Great Skua - 4E
Little Tern - 8E, 4 os
C/A Tern - 52E
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 16W
Auk sp - 4W
Wheatear - 7 (5N, 2ob)
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Swallow - 13N
Linnet - 2N
Blackcap - 2 gardens
Chiffchaff - 5 gardens
Willow Warbler - 7 gardens
Evening watch 1705 to 1900hrs: (Obs: SH)
Gannet - 25E, 8W
Brent Goose - 7E
Common Scoter - 7E, 2W
R/b Merganser - 8E
Razorbill - 1E
Arctic Skua - 6E
Great Skua - 1 os
Common Tern - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 8E, 5 os
Kittiwake - 3W
Swallow - 3N

Selsey: Warner Lane (Horse Paddocks): 4 Wheatears, 2 Stock Doves, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Linnets, 4 House Martins overhead (but no sign of the Ring Ouzel). (SR).
Northcommon Farm: Late this afternoon a pair of Redstarts, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Green Woodpecker, and 1 Red-legged Partridge (SR).  
Pagham Hbr: Visitor Centre area: No sign of the Subalpine Warbler although plenty of Whitethroats and Blackcaps. A Cuckoo in Yeoman's Field, and 5 calling Whimbrel overhead heading east (CRJ/OM/SR) Also a late report of a Grasshopper Warbler briefly singing near the Discovery area yesterday (per JD).

Whitethroat near Visitor Centre (S.Russell)

North Wall: A really splendid male Whinchat in the stables field. Reed and Sedge Warblers could be seen/heard all along the Wall. Linnets nest building. Just a pair of Tufted Ducks and Teal on the Pool. The Little Grebes at Owl Point have a single chick, well disguised on parents back (JW). Also a report of 2 possible Common Cranes drifting NW over the Visitor Centre around 13.00 (IL)  

Church Norton: A Redstart in the churchyard (IL). At Church Norton we sat on the bench on the Inner Beach and counted at least 25 Wheatears nearby, with another birder having 25 on the beach by the Severals and 8 more counted in the fields along Norton Lane; we therefore estimated 58 just around Church Norton! From the Inner beach we found a large flock  of 420 Dunlin feeding on the mudflats. In with this flock we had a winter plumage Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling and 6 Knot, with at least 30 Bar-tailed Godwits  and 12 Whimbrel feeding in the harbour. Hearing of a Ring Ouzel along the west side of the harbour we walked up and found 2 Ring Ouzel around the bushes north of the dry reed bed; also 3 Common Redstarts, a calling Cuckoo, a Lesser and 3 Common Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler. Scoping the feeding Dunlin flock from the gorse bushes we had a much closer view of the feeding Curlew Sandpiper, but at around 1300 hrs they all took off flying out of the harbour (BFF/DIS/DM).

 Ring Ouzel on West side of Pagham Hbr, and Wheatear at Church Norton (D. Mason)

Medmerry: West Beach & West Street - Breach  9 Wheatears, 1 Whinchat (Coastguard Field), 1 Kestrel, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 poss. White Wagtail, 7 Linnets, 2 Meadow Pipits, 4 Gadwall, 9 Shelduck, 15 Lapwings, and a muddy Brown Hare (SR).

Easter Monday, 21st April: A hint of south-east in the wind, and a small flurry of early passage at the Bill raised hopes, but ultimately birds continued to trickle through rather than stream by...three Bonxies and an Arctic Skua early on, plus a couple of hundred Common Scoters proved a bit of a false dawn, but there were also a few Velvet Scoters, the Long-tailed Duck and a bit of wader and tern passage to witness.  Meanwhile the largest gathering of observers so far this spring were delighted to be offered a slice of freshly-baked and delicious Easter cake by Karen Galtry - on behalf of us all, well done and many thanks Karen!
Late afternoon news of a Subalpine Warbler at Pagham Hbr along the tramway path near the first path towards the Visitor centre. Found by Doug Robertson, a Hampshire birder, it disappeared as the sun went behind the clouds and was not relocated by 7pm, despite a growing crowd of searchers. We will see what the morning brings..... (AH)
Selsey Bill 0520-1300hrs: Starting cloudy SE3, then sunny, then more cloud, wind E2.
(Obs: JA/SH/IP/PB/M&KG et al...many obs today)
 Full log below....
Great Northern Diver - up to 8 os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Diver sp - 1E, 1os
Shag - 1 os (s/plum crested bird) later flew W
Grey Heron - 1W
Fulmar - 5E, 6W
Gannet - 31E, 26W
Brent Goose - 7E
Shelduck - 1W, 4S, 1os
Common Scoter - 206E
Velvet Scoter - 7E
Eider - 4E
R/b Merganser - 2E, 1 os
Long-tailed  Duck - 1 os - the regular bird which later flew E
Curlew - 4E
Whimbrel - 7E, 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 24E
Great Skua - 5E
Arctic Skua - 2E
Little Tern - 9E, 2 os
C/A Tern - 31E
Common Tern - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 70E, 12 os
Little Gull - 5E
Kittiwake - 2E
Auk sp - 3E
Meadow Pipit - 4N
Swallow - 107N
House Martin - 5N
Goldfinch - 3N

The gathered crowd at the Bill, full of anticipation.....(AH)
Whimbrel (above), Long-tailed Duck & Bar-tailed Godwits passing the Bill (AH)

Additional watch: 1600 to 1830hrs: (Obs: SH/JA/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Gannet - 16E, 4W
Fulmar - 1E
Brent Goose - 72E
Common Scoter - 69E
Eider - 8E, 1W
Great Skua - 1E (1715hrs) - a very pale bird.
Sandwich Tern - 11E
Kittiwake - 2E
Med Gull - 2E, 2W
Auk sp - 1E
Swallow - 2N 
Red-throated Diver past the Bill (AH)
Warner Lane, Selsey: The Ring Ouzel still present for its eighth day (SR)  

Medmerry: (West Sands - Ham Farm)
Little Egret (2)
Grey Heron
Tufted Duck (12)
Shelduck (4)
Shoveler (2)
Mallard (10+)
Kestrel - 1
Little Ringed Plover (4)
Avocet (6)
Cuckoo (2) - both seen
Swallow (1 in off sea)
Wheatear (male) in rough ground on right of path just before pools
Common Whitethroat (6+)
Corn Bunting
There were also numerous Linnets and Skylark in the area. (IP)

Ferry Pool: Still 3 Avocets, 5 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon and a single Wheatear at the back this morning. (AH)

Church Norton to Long Pool: Very quiet around the churchyard/hide area - a single Willow Warbler singing - but a bit more along the west side. Another female-type Marsh Harrier flew over at 9.40 (different to Saturday's bird, ie no feathers missing), and along the path a Lesser Whitethroat, 5+ Common Whitethroats and 10 Linnets. More Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, a single Reed Warbler, 5+ Sedge Warblers and 2 Reed Buntings were along the Long Pool, and at least 15 Whimbrel, 20 Curlew and 5 Black-tailed Godwits were in the harbour. (AH)
Lesser Whitethroat (above) & Sedge Warbler at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham Spit: News from Trevor Guy's Pagham Birder blog of a Short-eared Owl flushed from the spit this morning. (AH)