Saturday, 10 May 2014

10th - 13th May 2014

Tuesday, 13th May: A real mixed morning, bright and warm then cool and windy, but the westerly wind continues to keep migration to a minimum.... (AH)
Selsey Bill (0640-0940hrs): Sunshine and showers, wind W/NW 3, gusting 4 later. (Obs: OM/DF/JD/AH et al).  As quiet as might be expected - nothing much moving, but still at least 4 Great Northern Divers and plenty of Common and Little Terns offshore. A few migrants around the gardens included a Spotted Flycatcher.
Great Northern Diver - 4 os (immaculate s/plum)
Great Crested Grebe - 3W
Gannet - 1E, 7W
Dunlin - 4W
Oystercatcher - 4W
Auk sp - 3W
Little Tern - 7 os, later moved off E
Common Tern - 40+ os later moved off E/NE
Sandwich Tern - 5os moved off E
Swift - 4 p
Whitethroat - 2 gardens
Willow Warbler - 3 gardens
Spotted Flycatcher - 1 gardens

Selsey: Northcommon Farm: A Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Buzzards and 2 Red-legged Partridges (OM). Later this afternoon two Spot Fly's there (SR).

Warner Lane: Very quiet this morning; a couple of Whitethroats, several Swallows and a single Sand Martin were all that could be found (OM). 
North Wall: 3 Spotted Flycatchers at Welbourne early on. On the flood field north of the stables just 26 Black Tailed Godwits this morning. A few Swifts were moving NE first thing. No change on the Breech Pool a handful of Tufted Ducks and a single Great Crested Grebe who were joined for a while by a pair of Common Terns. A Cuckoo calling towards Halsey's Farm. Hawthorn trees have exploded into blossom - Owl Copse looked as if there had been a snowfall. (JW) Later up to 7 Spotted Flycatchers and 3 Whinchats were reported in the area (ARK per SOS).
Great Crested Grebe (above), Common Tern and Hawthorn blossom at the North Wall (JW)

Church Norton: Seemed pretty quiet (apart from the noisy antics of the Oystercatchers!), with the breeding Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Sedge Warblers all in place, and only a dozen or so Whimbrel, 50+ Dunlin and a few Little and Common Terns to be seen in the harbour. (AH) Later, a nice group of 3 Whinchats on the fences by the horse field, then up to 3 Spotted Flycatchers by the concrete wall and behind the Hide, plus a single Wheatear nearby. Surprise of the day was the 'regular' Iceland Gull roosting out in the harbour with other gulls near to Tern Island; now looking considerably whiter than it's first appearance in winter, it was first picked out by JD, much to the delight of New Zealand birder Phil Hammond (who was accompanying OM today) as it was a lifer for him (OM/JD/DF/A&YF).

Strange Oystercatcher rituals (above) & Thrift just coming into flower at Church Norton (AH) 
Ferry Pool: Very quiet - a roosting flock of 85 Black-tailed Godwits and a couple of Gadwall was about it. Sadly it would seem that the early broods of Lapwing, and possibly Redshank too, have been badly hit by the recent spell of cold, wet weather.(AH/IL)
Roosting Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)
Chichester Gravel Pits: Approximately 35 Common Terns on Westhampnett Pit this morning, and a further 15-20 on Ivy Lake (AH). Later, a 1st-sum Little Gull in amongst the terns at the latter location, plus 25 Swifts, 5 House Martins, a Cuckoo over and 2 vociferous Cetti's Warblers (OM/PH).

 Medmerry: An early evening look around the area to the north of Ham Farm produced 4 Whinchats, a Spotted Flycatcher, a singing Corn Bunting, a pair of Stock Doves, a Cetti's Warbler and several singing Blackcaps & Whitethroats.(AH)
Spotted Flycatcher & Whinchat at Ham Farm (AH)
At the Earnley Flood Pools, the first 4 Avocets chicks have hatched, and there were 8 adults present, too, along with a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin, a Wheatear on the beach, a Little Owl at a traditional spot, plus a Brown Hare. (S&SaH)

A lot of legs! A mother Avocet protecting her chicks at Medmerry(SH)

Monday, 12th May: A fairly bright morning but with a fresh wind still firmly stuck in the west........ however later in the week there is a promise of something warmer, perhaps even with a hint of easterly, although experience has taught us not to bank on such a forecast this far ahead!

Selsey Bill: A brief watch (7.45-8.15) produced no movement bar a Sanderling and a Dunlin west and a Bar-tailed Godwit east. There were a few birds offshore, including 2 Great Northern Divers, a big (but distant) flock of 30-40 Common Scoter and 5-10 Eider and around 10 Little and 20 Common Terns feeding beyond the spit. (AH/SR)

Church Norton: The Spoonbill was briefly present along the west side before flying off westwards. Most of the waders seem to have moved off - just 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Plover and 2 Dunlin could be found.
Along the Long Pool, a Cuckoo over, 4 or 5 pairs of Reed Buntings and several singing Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats. Also a pair of Lapwings and a pair of Buzzards on the cropped fields and a pair of Coots with 4 youngsters on the Small Pool. (AH)
Whitethroat (above), Coots, Cuckoo and Sedge Warbler along the Long Pool (AH)

There was a bit more about this evening - 3 Wheatears on the concrete slabs, Cuckoo and Willow Warbler heard, a Peregrine on their island, 3 female Eiders on the sea, and in the harbour 4 Sanderling with at least 400 Dunlin, 12 Grey Plovers and 75 Black-tailed Godwits. (S&SaH/AH)

Two Sanderling and a Dunlin (above) & two of the three Eider at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: In the flooded field north of the stables were 102 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Lapwing and 2 Stock Dove. On the Breech Pool were 14 Tufted Ducks and 1 Great Crested Grebe whilst above were 14 Swallows, 2 Swifts and 1 House Martin. A Cuckoo was calling at Honer and Skylarks were displaying in that area. There was a Common Sandpiper at Honer Reservoir. Otherwise very quiet apart from Common Whitethroats and Cetti's Warblers calling at many locations (JW).

Medmerry: There and back to Earnley Pools from Easton were a pair of displaying Ringed Plover, 3 Buzzard, 5 singing Skylark, a pair of Meadow Pipits, 12 Swift and 10 Swallows north, along with 5 Fallow Deer. On the pools were 2 pairs of Tufted Duck, 10 Avocet, a pair of summer-plumaged Turnstone, a Little Ringed Plover, 14 Dunlin and a pair of Little Terns. (CRJ).

Ivy Lake: At least 200 Swifts overhead this afternoon as the dark cloud gathered, plus 50+ House Martins and a few Sand Martins and Swallows.(AH)
Sunday, 11th May: The wind had moved round to the west with bright clear conditions prevailing, a combination that is usually the death knell for sea-passage in this part of the world; predictably the Bill was quiet, but even so there were still a few bits to be seen....
Selsey Bill (0530 to 0900hrs): Bright and clear with a strong westerly wind 6-7, gusting almost gale 8 on occasions. (Obs: JA/SH/PB/OM/SR/PC/AH et al). Very little moving, but there was still a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua east and a few Gannets, Fulmars and terns to be seen, most of the movement again being westerly.. Full log follows...
Great Northern Diver - up to 9 os (of which 8 in full s/plum)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 20E, 25W
Fulmar - 8W
Eider - 1 os
Common Scoter - 8E
Auk sp - 1E, 1W
Dunlin - 7W
Arctic Skua - 1E
Great Skua - 1E
Common Tern - 2E, 3W
C/A Tern - 6E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 11W
Swift - 18N
Swallow - 59N
House Martin - 2N

Additional sea-watch 15.45 to 17.30 (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Gannet - 7W 8E
Kittiwake - 1W
'Commic' Tern - 1e
Common tern - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 6W 10E

Selsey: Northcommon Farm: One (and very probably two) Spotted Flycatchers still here this morning, plus 2 Whitethroats. (OM)

Warner Lane Horse Paddocks: One Wheatear present this morning. (SR)
Church Norton: Surprisingly, all of yesterday's Spotted Flycatchers seem to have departed, but some consolation was had with a Spoonbill in from the east at 10.15, that flew down the harbour and settled off the North Wall. Otherwise, similar numbers of waders to yesterday, including 11 Knot, 21 Bar-tailed Godwits, and 15+ Whimbrel, and Common, Little and Sandwich Terns about the harbour; the latter of which were again displaying and mating. Very little of note in the bushes, but good to see that four of the baby Moorhens in the moat by The Mound are nearly full-grown. (AH/OM/JD) Also a 1st-sum Little Gull offshore this afternoon, and a Whinchat on the beach (A. Payne).A Fulmar flew west this afternoon. (S&SaH)
Spoonbill (above), Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit, & young Moorhens at Church Norton (AH)
North Wall: Still a persistent westerly wind; 20 Swallows and 8 Swifts over the Breech Pool. Also there 22 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall , 2 Teal and 2 Black-tailed Godwits. The muddy field north of the stables had 4 Lapwing and 3 Dunlin (JW). Also a male Garganey and a Whinchat reported early morning (A. Payne) 

Ferry Pool: 90+ Black-tailed Godwits feeding at the front of the pool midday, alongside c.30 Dunlin looking very smart in their summer plumage. Also 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Tufted Ducks, 4 Gadwall, 2 Mute Swans, 4 Shelduck, and 4 Swifts overhead, one screaming (SR).

Saturday, 10th May: Much as yesterday weather-wise; another blustery cool morning, with rain and a strong wind WSW 6 and westerly passage again pre-dominated. Despite the weather, Spotted Flycatchers have appeared at last, with well over ten around the peninsula.
Selsey Bill 0530 to 1000hrs): Showers then sunshine and cloud. Wind WSW6 (Obs: SH /JA/CRJ/AH/IL)
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Gannet  - 1E, 148W
Fulmar - 25W
Common Scoter - 16E, 10W
Sanderling - 12W
Dunlin - 15W
Whimbrel - 2W
Razorbill - 15W
Guillemot - 13W
Auk sp - 83W
Arctic Skua - 3E
Little Tern - 2W
Common Tern - 6E, 24W
Sandwich Tern - 9W
Kittiwake - 9W
Swift - 29N
Swallow - 72N
Gannets passing the Bill (AH)
Additional seawatch 1600 to1830: (SH/JA/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Gannet - 6W, 9E
Fulmar - 6W
Bonxie - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 13W
'Commic' Tern - 2E
Common Tern - 1W, 1E
Little Tern - 2W

Swift - 6N

Selsey: Northcommon Farm: Two Spotted Flycatchers here late morning. (IP/SR)

Warner Lane Horse Paddocks: A Spotted Flycatcher here too, plus 1 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Linnets, 4 House Martins, 2 Red-legged Partridges & 1 Kestrel (SR)
Church Norton: As many as nine Spotted Flycatchers this morning, along the sheltered hedges by the harbour. Also similar numbers of Willow Warblers (including some song), but not much else that might have appeared this morning, bar a brief House Martin. In the harbour Knot numbers had risen to 11, plus 15-20 each of Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits. Also there were 18 Sandwich Terns sat out on the mud - the most here for several weeks - and there was quite a bit of courtship activity going on. (AH/IP/S&SaH)
A pale-phase Arctic Skua was offshore this morning. (IL)

Spotted Flycatchers (above) & Willow Warbler at Church Norton (AH)

Yeoman's Field, Pagham Harbour: 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Cetti's Warbler & 1 Blackcap (SR)

Chichester GPs:

Westhampnett Pit: 35 Common Terns, 100 Swifts, 25 House Martins
Ivy Lake: 20 Common Terns, 200 Swifts, a few House Martins & Swallows, 1 Black Swan
Drayton Pits: 100 House Martins, 50 Swifts, a single Common Tern & 3 drake Pochard (BI)

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