Friday, 13 March 2015

13th - 15th March 2015

Sunday, 15th March: Cloudy with brief brighter periods, but with the prospect of heavy showers later. Still chilly, with a brisk NE wind force 4-5 dominating....

Selsey Bill: (0615-0920) (SH/IP/CRJ et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1W, 2os
Slavonian Grebe - 2E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W, 1os
Fulmar - 2E, 2W
Gannet - 11E, 3W
Brent Goose - 3E
Common Scoter - 2E, 2W
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - a5E, 8W, 10os
Common Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 1os
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp 3W, 2E
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Grey Wagtail - 1N

Red-breasted Merganser past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 16 Avocets this morning on the pool edge, and 60 Golden Plover and similar of Lapwing on the field, plus one Black-tailed Godwit and half a dozen Redshank. Still c70 Shoveler on the water, and 30 or so Brent Geese were in with c300 Wigeon at the back. (AH) Later a Green Sandpiper was at the back before flying off, and a Reed Bunting was present. (CRJ)

Avocets (above), Golden Plovers & Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Very little in the strong north-easterly wind - highlights were the Green Sandpiper at Park Farm, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea, one Bar-tailed Godwit in the harbour and a Snipe flew out of the first Severals and landed close to the concrete wall. (S&SaH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Pretty quiet in a stark north-northeast wind! One Spoonbill briefly appeared out in the middle, there were three pairs of Avocet and a dozen or more Gadwall on the Stilt Pool and a Green Sandpiper was in the creek opposite the flint barn. Around 20 each of Yellowhammer, Skylark and Meadow Pipit were around the banks, but that was about it. (AH/IP)

Avocet at Medmerry (AH)

Chichester Marina: A Nuthatch was in a private garden this morning between the Marina and Birdham Pool. (C&ME)

Runcton: A single male Reed Bunting was in my garden this morning. (CRJ)

Saturday, 14th March: Dry and cool with sunshine and cloud and a brisk NE wind 4-5....

Selsey Bill (06.10 to 09.00hrs) : Dry, cloudy with sun, wind cold NE 4-5 (Obs: SH/IP/PB)
Red-throated Diver - 2os

Black-throated Diver - 1W
Great Northern Diver - 8os
diver sp - 1E
Slavonian Grebe -  2os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W, 2os
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Brent Goose - 12W
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 8os
Sandwich Tern - 2os 
auk sp - 1W 
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Also, on a lighter note,.... I caught a few buses and went to the Bill for a change of scenery arriving there at 1215-1345hrs. There were 2 Chiffchaffs in the tamarisk along the beach and 6 Great Northern Divers on the sea (year tick), also one Eider in amongst them, plus 4 R/b Mergansers and 5 Cormorants all going E. It was very quiet but enjoyable and I hope to see you all in the spring. I was 70 on the 19th February and Margaret got me a new bike, so be warned I could become the new POM KING this spring! (Barry Collins)

Barry Collins in training for this year's Pom challenge... in your dreams Barry! (MaC)

Church Norton: A Spoonbill was feeding in the harbour close to the concrete spit. A Chiffchaff  along the shore by the first Severals was probably new in, whilst the regular Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail were at Park Farm (S&SaH}. To add to the above, a Red-throated Diver went south offshore, and there were a few Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel about, but otherwise quiet. (IP)

Spoonbill at Church Norton (SH above & IP below)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: There were 14 Avocets this morning (presumably the ones from the channel), plus eight Golden Plover amongst 50 or so Lapwing and 20 Brent Geese. There were still 300+ Wigeon, 70+ Shoveler and a few Shelduck and Teal. 
The Spotted Redshank was along Ferry Channel again with 30+ Redshank and a few Grey Plovers, and there were a few Reed Buntings and a Chiffchaff in the bushes. (AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Later on there were 70 Golden Plovers on the Ferry, and a Grey Heron was keeping out of the wind in the Discovery Area. There were a dozen or more Chiffchaffs in the hedges around the sewage farm, suggesting some inward movement, and a Cetti's Warbler there, too, whilst there were five Skylarks in the field opposite. (C&JM/C&ME)

Grey Heron in the Discovery Area! (JM)

North Wall/East side of harbour: Best bird was a Red Kite that drifted in from the west, mid-morning, before drifting away again over Owl Point. The Barnacle Goose, last seen on the Ferry, was in amongst a hundred Brent Geese behind the wall, and there were many hundreds more of the latter in the harbour, whilst on the Breech Pool there were three Snipe, up to 100 Black-tailed Godwits, a pair of Gadwall, a pair of Shoveler and many Wigeon and Teal. Passerines were few, though a Chiffchaff was in Owl Copse and a pair of Linnets and one or two Reed Buntings were seen. Also, a Fox was keeping low in the reeds, very close to the Mallards which seemed remarkably unconcerned by his presence. 
There was a Spotted Redshank in White's Creek and it, or another, was at the other end of the harbour, about four Bar-tailed Godwits were widely spread, and there were at least 200 more Black-tailed Godwits on the mud. There were a handful of Pintail about the harbour, along with a Red-breasted Merganser and five Great Crested Grebes, and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were amongst the Great Black Backs. (AH)
Red Kite (above), Barnacle and Brent Geese, Spotted Redshank, Snipe & Fox and Mallards from North Wall (AH)

Sidlesham Common: A Barn Owl went over the B20145 near the burnt-out tyre store (Brimfast Lane) at 4.30am (NH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - On the Stilt Pool  there were eight Avocets, busy pairing up and becoming aggressive and vocal. There were also a dozen Tufted Duck and Gadwall on the pools, and there were eight Yellowhammers, four Skylarks and 15 Meadow Piipits along the path, as well as a brief Sparrowhawk. Best of all - and finally - a male Wheatear along the beach. (S&SaH)
Wheatear at Medmerry (SH)

Ham Farm to Chainbridge - A Barn Owl was working its way slowly along the bank from Ham towards Greenwood Farm this afternoon, but the only Short-eared Owl put in a very brief appearance by Chainbridge Field before disappearing into thin air! It was quiet otherwise - a single Spoonbill was visible out on the reserve, but the wind kept small birds low, with barely half a dozen Yellowhammers and two or three each of Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Reed Bunting seen. (AH)

Barn Owl (above) & Short-eared Owl at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 13th March: Cloudy and cool, but dry, with a brisk and biting E/NE wind... we seem set for a few more days of easterlies, a bit of a pity to 'waste' them this early in the season, though a few migrants are sneaking in despite the weather...
Pagham Visitor Centre: We had a report yesterday of a black bird with a red tail next to the centre, so we thought that there could be a Black Redstart about... There was - it hopped out in front of the centre by the waste bins at about 08.15 this morning, and then promptly disappeared..... (PH)
Selsey Bill (0645 - 0815hrs): Very slow at first with just a Red-throated Diver, two Shelduck and four Curlew east in over an hour, plus at least four Great Northern Divers offshore,(JA/A&YF/AH); however a later watch was a little more productive, with several Sandwich Terns appearing:
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 8os
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E
Common Scoter - 1E, 4os
Red-breasted Merganser - 10 os
Auk sp - 2E
Additional watch (0945 - 1215hrs):(OM/JA}
Brent Goose - 16E
Common Scoter - 3E
Eider - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 3W (different birds!)
Meadow Pipit - 9N
Chiffchaff  - 1 in gardens
Also, at least 15 immature Herring Gulls on the beach including a ringed bird.

Flock of 16 Brent Geese passing the Bill, and a Sandwich Tern  - it is honest - behind a Black-headed Gull on the beach; moments later it was flushed by a dog and flew off east preventing a better shot ! (OM)

 Gathering of immature Herring Gulls at the Bill, including this ringed bird (OM)

Medmerry: Easton Line to the Stilt Pool - A cracking male Wheatear was on the fence by the Stilt Pool, plus two more around the area, and a newly-arrived Chiffchaff was feeding amongst the rocks by the beach. A Peregrine was seen flying east just offshore - they know it's migration time! On the pool itself were six Avocets, but no sign of the Little Ringed Plover, and there were three Green Sandpipers in the puddles opposite Marsh Farm. (AB/C&ME) 

Ham Viewpoint - There was another Wheatear just west of the viewpoint this morning, plus a singing Corn Bunting. (PH)

Chainbridge Field - I was very surprised to find a Firecrest in the trees alongside the play area this afternoon. There were also two Pied Wagtails, a Chiffchaff and two Long-tailed Tits in with a mixed flock, and just the one Short-eared Owl that was getting a lot of grief from a Rook. (SR) Later on, at dusk, a Barn Owl was hunting over the field, though no sign of any Short-eared Owls. (AH)

Short-eared Owl on Chainbridge Field (SR)
North Wall: There were also a Barn Owl and a Short-eared Owl hunting in the fields behind the wall this afternoon. (DSh)

Ferry Pool: Just one Green Sandpiper this morning, though there were two pairs of Avocets present. Otherwise, plenty of Wigeon and Shoveler still, plus four Redshank and 80 Lapwing, and a Kingfisher flew off up Ferry Channel. (AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: Very little to report - the birds always seem to disappear in an easterly wind. Still 30+ Shelduck, plus a few Wigeon and Teal in the harbour, a smart Little Egret showing off his new plumes in the creek opposite the horse field, and a few grumpy looking Brent Geese loitering on the beach. A walk round Greenlease Farm was effectively birdless, bar a flock of c200 Brent Geese on the arable fields. (AH)
Little Egret (above) & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

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