Monday, 13 April 2015

13th - 15th April 2015

Wednesday, 15th AprilAnother glorious, bright and still day after a misty - rather than foggy- start...then becoming very warm with a gentle E/NE breeze.

Ferry Pool: The Black-winged Stilt re-appeared this morning but had gone missing again later on. Also a Yellow Wagtail and a Wheatear were present at the back, two Whimbrel and c150 Black-tailed Godwits were on the field and a Cuckoo and a Blackcap were towards the visitor centre. (AH/AB/IP/PH et al) Later a Little Ringed Plover (MP).

Black-winged Stilt on the creek in Ferry Field (SaH)

Black-winged Stilt in the mist (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH) and lower - Little Ringed Plover (MP).

Long Pool: A female Marsh Harrier was along the west side this evening (S&SaH)

Marsh Harrier from Long Pool (SH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane west - Early this morning there were a pair of Grey Partridges by the poplars, and a Cuckoo was also seen calling from the top of one of them. A Corn Bunting was opposite the Marsh Barn pools, with a Wheatear nearby, and there were a few Whitethroats about. There were 22 Avocets on the Stilt Pools but no sign of any Stilts! Also, there were three Hares in the field. (PLS)
Later on there was also a Short-eared Owl hunting along the banks by the Stilt Pool and one or two Blackcaps and Willow Warblers about. (A&YF) Also a Redstart and 2 Whinchats from Easton viewpoint (per PH).

Selsey Bill (0700-1330hrs)Unsurprisingly quiet, given the calm and almost windless conditions, with a few Common Scoter, Brent Geese and Sandwich Terns going east, but only in small numbers. It felt like something really should have happened - and a resilient few observers put in a good shift - but there were few rewards today to repay the effort......but during the long periods of inactivity and with the fine weather conditions, idle discussions turned to thoughts of Poms! Perhaps tomorrow...??!!
Full log below (OM/GH/C&ME/JD/DS/DSh et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar -1E, 4W
Gannet - 2E, 2W
Brent Goose - 28E
Common Scoter - 71E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Turnstone - 60E
Whimbrel - 12E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 61E, 5W
Swallow - 11N

Fortunately the sea-defence works at the Bill should soon be finished, and the tidying-up today included some welcome levelling of the path and shingle removal from behind the Wall... but it was a bit disconcerting for a while for those of us just the other side! (OM)
Selsey, Northcommon Farm: Just three Wheatears and a Kestrel there today... and no sign of yesterday's Ring Ouzel (SR)
A Hobby was in the fields at the end of Golf Links Lane this morning. (MP)

Hobby at Northcommon Farm (MP)

Horse Paddocks, Warner Lane: A male Redstart, a Whitehtroat, eight Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs and eight Linnets present this morning, with a pair of the latter seen nest building. (SR)

Medmerry: Breach/Chainbridge/Ham Farm - At the Breach there were a Little Tern, a Sandwich Tern (with 5+ offshore), a first-summer Mediterranean Gull, a Sanderling, four Knot, c50 Grey Plover and similar of Dunlin on the high tide. Also four Whimbrel went over, with another five on the pools, a Yellow Wagtail went over, and a Wheatear, a couple of Corn Buntings and 50+ Linnets were also present. Also a Fox was on the rocks.
There were also nine Wheatear along Medmerry Cliff.

Little Tern, Sanderling and Knot (above), Sandwich Tern and Grey Plovers & Fox at Medmerry Breach (AH)

A Cuckoo and a Whitethroat were at Ham Farm, along with further Corn Buntings and Skylarks, four adult Mediterranean Gulls went noisily over and a couple more Wheatears, a couple of Reed Buntings and a few Linnets were along the banks. (AH/GH)

Wheatear (above) & Mediterranean Gull from Medmerry Bank (AH)

Church Norton: There were three Whimbrel in the harbour with c100 Black-tailed Godwits and c50 Grey Plovers, five Sandwich Terns came and went, one or two Chiffchaffs were singing, as were two or three Sedge Warblers along the Severals, where there were also a couple of Reed Buntings and 20+ Linnets. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting & Chiffchaff at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: Just two Wheatears along the wall and a pair of Little Grebes on Owl Water were the hihghlights. (MP) 

Wheatear (above) & Little Grebe from North Wall (MP)


Tuesday, 14th April: Dry with sunshine but with thick fog hampering things.... then came news of a Hoopoe on the far side (of course!) of the Medmerry reserve (PLS)...though by 0930 it could not be re-located....

Medmerry: Easton Lane west - A Hoopoe was near the flint barn early this morning, but was lost in the dense fog (and the huge amount of suitable and inaccessible habitat!) 
Not much else could be seen in the fog - no sign of any Black-winged Stilts on the pool, but plenty of Linnets and Skylarks and a few Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings. (PLS/AH/BI/C&ME)
The Hoopoe was calling at 1427 for about three minutes, and also a Cuckoo called twice there at this time, but we never saw either!! (AB/CRJ)

Walking from Easton Lane down the west side to the beach proved to be productive....4 Yellowhammers, 4 Corn Buntings,10 Common Buzzard, a calling Green Sandpiper and a singing Common Whitethroat. On the stilt pools were 2 pairs of Little Ringed Plover and 7 pairs of Avocet. Hunting around the rough grassland along west edge of the pools a delightful Short-eared Owl sat up a couple of times on fence posts and 3 Spoonbills were roosting amongst a group of 10 Little Egret out in the salt marsh, although not easy to pick out in the heat haze! On the walk back we found a Little Owl sitting on the roof of the barn at Marsh Farm and 2 Common Redstarts in the hedgerows (BFF/C.Messer).
Later on a Barn Owl was hunting along the banks, there were three Wheatears present and numbers had risen to 19 Avocets and six Little Ringed Plovers on the Stilt pool. (SH/SaH/IP))

Barn Owl at Medmerry (SH)

Whitethroat & Stock Doves at Medmerry (AH)
Medmerry  - Breach viewpoint via the caravan site. Once again the fog was hanging around rendering the scope useless, but 2 singing Corn Buntings, 8 Meadow Pipits and 40 Linnet were feeding around the rough ground south of the viewpoint and a Whimbrel  was calling in the murk! (BFF/C.Messer)

Skylark lurking in the morning fog at Medmerry (AH)

Selsey, Northcommon Farm: There was no sign of any flycatchers this morning, though a Ring Ouzel in the same hedge opposite the golf course was some compensation. Also a single Redstart and Whitethroat there and a Little Owl by the farm. (JD/DS/DF/AH/C&ME)
There was a handsome male Pied Flycatcher this morning, along the footpath towards the Ferry at the back of Selsey Golf Club. Presumably this was one of the birds from yesterday. (JW)
Ring Ouzel at Northcommon Farm (AH)

Medmerry: Old House Farm (Ham Lane) - A couple of singing Yellowhammers here, plus a Blackcap and a couple of displaying skylarks. Also seven Buzzards thermalling together in the glorious late morning sun. (AH)

Yellowhammer (above) & Buzzards over Ham Lane (AH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: Less Shovelers - barely 30 - this morning, plus similar of Shelduck on the pool. Early morning in the fog at least three Sedge Warblers were singing along the Long Pool and there were still plenty of Willow/Chiffs in the hedgerows. (AH) Later, on the Ferry there were 3 Avocets and single Green Sandpiper (BFF/C. Messer)
A Short-eared Owl showed very well along the West side this afternoon, and the Spotted Redshank was in Ferry Channel. (AB)

Short-eared Owl (above) & Spotted Redshank from the Long Pool (AB)

Church Norton; 2 Little Terns resting in the harbour, a calling Whimbrel and 2 Mediterranean Gulls were the highlights. On the first Several 3 Sedge Warblers belting out their song (BFF/C. Messer)

Monday, 13th April: A bright start, with a light breeze and some sea-fog. A Black-winged Stilt - hopefully one of 'ours' - was briefly on the Ferry and there was the first real and notable fall of passerines of the spring.....including four Pied Flycatchers on the west side of Selsey....thanks to all finders for the news and updates (OM/AH).

Selsey Bill (0715-0930hrs): Sunny, dry, sea calm, wind light N1-2 becoming more E later. (Obs: AB/OM/BFF/AH/C&ME et al). Nothing much happening on the sea, but a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling intermittently from the gardens and at least seven Wheatears were along the beach.... then news of the Stilt at the Ferry caused a mass departure of observers!
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 8E, 5W
Brent Goose - 1E
Shelduck - 3 beach/gardens
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Common Scoter - 26E
Gadwall - 2W
Common Sandpiper - 1E
Common Tern - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 13E
Swallow - 7N
Wheatear - 5ob, 3N
Grasshopper Warbler - 1 gardens
Blackcap - 3 gardens
Chiffchaff - 3 gardens
Wheatear and Starling gathering nest material at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Black-winged Stilt dropped in this morning, though it had not been there early on and disappeared by late morning. We can only hope that this is one of the Medmerry birds. Otherwise, a Reed Warbler was in the reeds, at the front a pair of Avocets and three Gadwall were present, plus four Wheatears and a few Willow/Chiffs. (IL/TG-P et al)

Black-winged Stilt (BI) (above) & Gadwall on the Ferry (AH)

Selsey, Northcommon Farm: There were at least four Pied Flycatchers this morning - two at the very end of Golf Links Lane (GH) and another two just down Paddock Lane opposite the Golf Club (C&ME), and there were at least half a dozen Redstarts scattered about the area, plus a good number of Willow Warblers, 5 Buzzards and 11 Curlew. (GH/C&ME/OM/BFF/AB/AH)
All four Pied Flycatchers and at least half a dozen Redstarts were still present early evening. (AH et al)

Pied Flycatchers (above), (AH top three & BI) & Redstart at Northcommon Farm (AB top & AH)

Two of Sussex's pre-eminent birdwatchers (OM & BFF) showing a range of winter and summer plumage whilst staking out a Redstart! (AH)
The lure of a Pied Flycatcher leads you where you shouldn't go! (CRJ)

Warner Lane produced 4 Wheatears, several Willow Warblers and a pair of Red-legged Partridge (OM/BFF).

Long Pool: Another Redstart was here, plus a briefly reeling Grasshopper Warbler. (AB/C&ME) Also a Whinchat reported later (CRJ) .
Early evening there were two Short-eared Owls present along the west side, a Sedge Warbler in the Long Pool and up to 200 Willow/Chiffs along the hedges. The whole length of the Long Pool was thick with them and impossible to accurately count, but 200 was a probably a conservative estimate. (AH/S&SaH/IP/P&NB)

Willow Warbler (above) & Short-eared Owl from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: The poor relation - masses of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, but not many other migrants, bar a fleeting Redstart and a couple of Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers along the Severals.(A&YF) Also a Grey Partridge on Greenlease Farm and a Mistle Thrush in the Priory. (AH/AB)

North Wall: A Blackcap and 2 Stock Doves in my Pagham garden and another Blackcap along Church Lane. A Whinchat was on the back fence of the horse field at Welbourne and 3 Swallows in and out of the stables. Very little on the Breech Pool - a few Mallard and single pairs of Gadwall, Teal and Canada Geese. A Willow Warbler was along the Wall and Chiffchaffs were calling at several locations; however a succession of sea frets made viewing difficult. Blackthorn coming into flower was one of the highlights (JDW).

 Sea fret over the harbour and Blackthorn in blossom on the North Wall (JDW)

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