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:
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)

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