Sunday, 19 April 2015

19th - 22nd April 2015

Wednesday, 22nd April: Very clear, but the cold, nagging north-easterly is still with us, though a change is apparently imminent...... just as well, for a touch of frustration and impatience is beginning to develop in the camp. Sea-watching in particular has been hard work; plenty of hours put in with comparatively few rewards, whilst the land has fared little better with a paucity of migrants on most days. April is whizzing by now and the merry month of May will soon be with us.... it's all down to the weather I know, but a big day very soon would be much appreciated by all ! (OM)
Message from Pete Hughes, RSPB Medmerry.... could all please note:
Ham Lane is a private road and please act responsibly by respecting this – unauthorised vehicles are not permitted. Access to the eastern side of Medmerry is best via public rights of way from Sidlesham or Selsey.

Selsey Bill (0715-1345hrs): Bright, dry, sunny; wind cool NE5, E4-5 later. Another slow start, with highlights being one Arctic Skua and a few Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits east, a Peregrine and a few Sand Martins and Swallows in off the sea, and a few Sandwich and Common Terns feeding offshore before drifting off. Also a splendid tall ship, bearing a Russian flag, was heading up the Solent, though there was no evidence that our navy was obviously concerned! (OM/AH/GH/C&ME et al). Log below...
Black-throated Diver - 1E (s/p)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 3os
Fulmer - 2W
Gannet - 15E, 7W
Brent Goose - 9E
Common Scoter - 17E
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E
Gadwall - 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 35E
Whimbrel - 28E
Peregrine - 1 os
Kestrel - 1N
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Common Tern - 12os
C/A Tern - 10E
Sandwich Tern - 43E
Auk sp - 1E
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1N
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
Swallow - 25N
Sand Martin - 4N
Goldfinch - 26N
Linnet - 6N
Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens
Peregrine (above) & tall ship at the Bill (AH)

 Small flocks were the order of the day at the Bill: Bar-tailed Godwits (above) and Brent Geese (OM)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - At least five Swifts went over early this morning. (IP) There were still three present later on, plus a Sand Martin and around ten House Martins amongst the Swallows. (AB)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A massive rarity this morning (locally, at least!) – a drake Mandarin in the pools near Marsh Barn. Also, a flock of 23 Grey Plover flew off high to the north from the central part of the reserve, there were seven or eight Whimbrel scattered about the reserve and at least 20 Avocets on the Stilt Pool.
There was a Lesser Whitethroat and about 10 Yellowhammers near Greenwood Farm. (PH)
This evening, there were four Spoonbills and a Wheatear present on the pools and three Greenshank in the tidal area by the poplars. (IP)
Breach area - A female Merlin was upsetting the waders early this morning, a Yellow Wagtail went over and a Wheatear was on the beach. A flock of 18 Whimbrel were on the beach before setting off east, in the pools there were c80 Grey Plover and c150 Dunlin, plus a Great Crested Grebe, whilst around the viewpoint there were two singing Corn Buntings and a dozen Linnets. (AH)
Merlin (above), Whimbrel & Grey Plover and Dunlin at Medmerry (AH)

Four Spoonbills at Medmerry (IP)

North Wall: It felt even chillier than ever this morning along the wall, with not a single bird along White's Creek, and on the sad looking Breech Pool were just 50 or so Teal and single Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit and Little Ringed Plover. 
The Water Pipit appeared very briefly before returning into the reeds, but there was very little birdsong along the wall, though several Chiffchaffs were singing in Owl Copse. There were small groups of Whimbrel at several locations but the best was a flock of 19 in the field immediately west of Bremere Bridge. There have been also been six Lapwing present in the field south of the rife for the last two weeks and, hopefully, they may be breeding. (JDW) 
Swallow from North Wall (JDW)

Ferry Pool: A Common Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover were at the back, along with three Avocets and c60 Black-tailed Godwits, but the Shoveler numbers had dropped to a mere half dozen. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits over the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Barely a bird in the harbour, bar a couple of Whimbrel and a few Shelduck, and quiet around the bushes, save the odd Chiffchaff and Blackcap, and of course the four lawn-mowers and two strimmers going in the churchyard!! (AH)

Tuesday, 21st April: Another bright and breezy day, with high pressure and the stiff north-easterly persisting  - but keeping new birds at a premium....

Selsey Bill (0715-1400hrs): Sunny, dry, NE - E4. Nothing much really moving again, though the tern flock offshore built up as the tide rose, and included a few Little Terns. Full log below (Obs: GH/OM/AH/C&ME/BFF/DM/IL/DSh et al)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 3E
Gannet - 20E, 6W
Brent Goose - 12E
Eider - 2E
Common Scoter - 46E
Gadwall - 2E
Dunlin - 1p finally headed NW
Common Sandpiper - 1W
Whimbrel - 11E
Little Tern - 7E, 2os
Common Tern - 5E, c.40os, gradually drifted off mainly E on rising tide
C/A Tern - 10E
Sandwich Tern - 47E, 20os drifted E
Little Gull - 7E
Rook - 1N from way out, then coasted off E
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens
Goldfinch - 12N
Linnet - 15N
Swallow - 29N
Additional (17.30 - 19.00hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 13E

Brent Goose - 47E
Turnstone - 12E
Knot - 18E
Whimbrel - 1E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 12E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Common Tern - 13E
C/A Tern - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 18E, 4os 
Swallow - 1N
Warner Lane Paddocks: A Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the hedges and ten Linnets were in the fields. (OM/BFF/DM)

Chainbridge Field: At least 3 Whitethroats present and apparently on territory, plus singles of Kestrel, Sedge Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. (OM/BFF/DM)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover, a Green Sandpiper, a pair of Avocets and c30 Black-tailed Godwits were the highlights. (AH/OM/DF)

Black-tailed Godwits over the Ferry (AH)

This evening a Common Sandpiper was on the pool, along with the Knot, a Spotted Redshank, two Little Ringed Plovers and an Avocet. (AH)

Common Sandpiper on Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A pair of Mistle Thrushes were in the first arable field and there were a few Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers along the hedges, plus a few Reed Buntings and plenty of Linnets.
A Knot and two Whimbrel were in Ferry Channel, along with 20+ Redshanks. (AH)

Mistle Thrush (above), Knot & Little Grebe from the Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: The persistent north-east wind was making it chilly along the Wall. In the horse field Linnets and Goldfinches were collecting horse hair for nesting material, whilst on the Breech Pool there were 23 Teal, two Tufted Ducks, seven Black-tailed Godwits and two Little Ringed Plovers, and there were four Whimbrel with 11 Curlew in Honer 2 field. 
Reed and Sedge Warblers were along the Wall but not singing very much, unlike the Cetti's Warblers, and there were pairs of Stock Doves at four locations. 
The very pale Short-eared Owl was sitting besides the Breech Pool, before flying off towards the Slipe Field, a Greenshank was heard but not seen, and two male and a very pregnant female Roe Deer were tucked away behind the pool. (JDW/AH)

Short-eared Owl (above) & Little Ringed Plover from North Wall (AH)

Linnet, spoilt for choice of nesting material (above) and view along the footpath through Owl Copse (JDW)

Pagham Spit: At lunchtime today there were a dozen Wheatear along the spit, along with a pair of really well camouflaged Ringed Plovers, a Skylark and several flocks of Linnets moved through. Also three Sandwich Terns were feeding in the harbour mouth. (RHa)

Wheatears (above) & Ringed Plover on Pagham Spit (RHa)

Medmerry: A male Redstart was along the fence-line of the bank between the Breach and Chainbridge. (GH)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - Three Common Terns and a Lesser Black-backed Gull were present this evening. (AH)

Monday, 20th April: A much better day than yesterday, with the wind lighter, if still from a mostly north-easterly direction....becoming more easterly later. 

Selsey Bill 0700-1430hrs): Not  heaving through, but a bit of passage again this morning...  Common Tern numbers built up towards 50 feeding and lingering, with several Little Terns among them, before they started to drift off east on the rising tide. Whimbrel - well over 50 - and Bar-tailed Godwit with a few Knot - were obviously heading east also, and a steady flow of Swallows were seen coming in off the sea.  (AH/OM/GH/M&CE/B&MaC/DSh et al) Log:
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 4os
Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Gannet - 10E, 4W
Brent Goose - 9E
Eider - 3os
Common Scoter - 21E
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 1W
Dunlin - 2E, 1W
Knot - 9E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 32E
Whimbrel - 60E
Oystercatcher - 8E
Turnstone - 15E
Hobby - 1N
Arctic Skua - 3E (2d/p, 1 l/p)
C/A Tern - 20E, also 50 os which gradually drifted E
Little Tern - 1E, 3os drifted W then E
Sandwich Tern - 42E
Little Gull - 9E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Sand Martin - 1N
Swallow - 140N
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
Meadow Pipit - 4N
Additional  (17.40-19.00hrs)   (Obs: SH)
Gannet 8E, 1W

Shelduck - 3E
C/A Tern - 28E, 24os
Sandwich Tern - 36E, 16os
Swallow - 4N

Bar-tailed Godwits (above), Little Tern, Common Terns & Linnets at the Bill (AH)

More views of the Bill this morning... Whimbrel on the beach, the late shift in action (almost!), and Barry and Margaret Collins birding - apparently in holiday mode! (OM)

Ferry Pool: No sign of the Black-winged Stilt this morning, though two Greenshank dropped in early, a Little Ringed Plover, a Spotted Redshank, two Snipe, two Avocets and c40 Black-tailed Godwits were around the pool and two Whimbrel were on the field. A Spotted Redshank seen in the channel early morning was probably the same bird as above. (AH/PH/OM)

Greenshank (above) & Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Very little evidence of migration, with just a handful of Whimbrel and Teal and around 30 Grey Plovers being about the only birds in the harbour, and a few singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, plus a few Swallows over, being the only 'summer' birds on the land-side. Of most interest was a Chiffchaff gathering nesting material in the car-park.(AH)

Chiffchaff gathering nest material at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: The highlight this morning was a Short-eared Owl quartering the reeds behind the Breech Pool. On the now very muddy Pool were 26 Teal, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper and a Common Snipe, and the stable Swallows were taking advantage of the abundant mud to renovate their nests. 
On Honer reservoir there were a few Coot and Tufted Ducks and in that vicinity were 9 Yellowhammers, 3 Common Whitethroats and a pair of Green Woodpeckers. There was a slow but steady movement of northward bound Swallows and a single House Martin. At the Macracarpa Copse were pairs of Buzzards and Green Woodpeckers, whilst Cetti's Warblers were very abundant and I counted 8 on my circuit. Also, the Bluebells are out now and two Roe Deer were in the field behind the Breech Pool. (JDW)

Bluebells (above), Roe Deer & Moorhen from the North Wall (JDW)

Early this evening there was a Water Pipit on the Breech Pool, but it flew off at around 5.30pm. Also a summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank in the channel opposite Halsey's Farm. (RH)
Later on the Short-eared Owl hunted across the harbour from Owl Point to the North Wall and there were at least 20 Whimbrel in the harbour. (AH/RH) And later still, there were two Short-eared Owls together behind the Breech Pool (IB)

Water Pipit (above) & Spotted Redshank from North Wall (RH)

Short-eared Owl (above) & Whimbrel from North Wall (AH)

Medmerry: The first Hairy Dragonfly of the year (a female) was seen today. (PLS)
Easton Viewpoint:  A Cuckoo gave good scope views from the bench, it was in the trees opposite but only called every so often.  The Stilt Pool:  A large section of the pool is now protected by an electric fence and four pairs of Avocet seemed settled there, all we need now are the Stilts!  There were 14 Avocets, many of them either courting or nest-building, a Little Ringed Plover was present and a Corn Bunting was singing.  Other birds included 1 Gadwall, 4 Teal, 2 Swallows, 10 Tufted Ducks, 2 Pied Wagtails, a Kestrel and a pair of nesting Mute Swans.  From the beach:  Two feeding Spoonbills and a Little Ringed Plover, plenty of Skylarks and Linnets. (SR).

Sunday, 19th April: Another bright, sunny and dry day with a rasping and cool NE wind 5-6; if only the wind would drop to a gentle breeze......!

Selsey Bill: (0545-1030) (SH/JA/PB et al) 
Great Northern Diver - 7os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 32E, 10W
Brent Goose - 1E

Tufted Duck - 2E
Common Scoter  8E
Rd-breasted Merganser -  5os
Hobby - 1N
Curlew - 1E, 2W
Whimbrel - 12E

Great Skua - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Kittiwake - 1E

Sandwich Tern - 80E
Little Tern  - 2E

Common Tern - 9E
Commic Tern - 4E
auk sp - 1E, 2W
Swift - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 16N

Pied Wagtail - 1N
Yellow Wagtail - 3N
Swallow - 31N

House Martin - 3N
Willow/Chiff - 1N
Linnet - 3N
Goldfinch - 15N
Reed Bunting - 1N

Hobby in off the sea (above) & Sandwich Tern being chased by a Herring Gull at the Bill (AH)

(1540-1800) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Gannet - 8E, 5W
Curlew - 2E
Whimbrel - 8E
Turnstone - 36E
Dunlin - 4E

Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 25E, 8os
Commic tern - 6os
Swallow - 1N
I then started counting Herring Gulls, got to 500 and thought what am I doing here and went home!!! (SH)

Northcommon Farm: A male Black Redstart was in the paddocks opposite the golf club this morning. (GH)

Warner Lane Paddocks: Just a pair of Blackcaps, a Swallow and a few Linnets this morning. (SR)

Chichester GP's - Drayton pits: A bit of a surprise this morning on a short visit, when a Tundra Bean Goose was found swimming amongst a group of Greylag and Canada Geese. This is presumably the same bird that was present on the Ivy lake/East lake complex earlier in the year; it is not doing its credentials any good with the company it is keeping, although it doesn't necessarily mean it should be considered plastic - yet anyway - but it needs to disappear soon if it is to maintain its credibility! Several pairs of Greylag (one with young) and Canadas were present, and other species logged included 50 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochards, 4 Gadwall, 2 pairs of Great Crested Grebes, 10 Little Grebes, 4 Reed Warblers, at least 2 Cetti's Warblers, a Jay and a displaying Goldcrest. A good number of Cowslips also brightened the morning. (OM).

Tundra Bean Goose (above with Greylag Goose), Greylag Goose with young, and Cowslips at Chi GPs Drayton (OM)

Ferry Pool & Visitor Centre: Highlights included the Black-winged Stilt on the pool, a brief Water Pipit there and nearby a male Pied Flycatcher in the trees near the VC. (IL/PH/RI/A&YF)
Also on the pool there was a Spotted Redshank in almost full summer-plumage, a Green Sandpiper early on, 30+ Redshank and 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, and later on five Little Ringed Plovers appeared. Also a Knot was swimming in among the godwits, causing a few scratched-head moments! (AH/IP/S&SaH)

 Pied Flycatcher near the Visitor Centre and Black-winged Stilt on Ferry Pool (IL)

Black-winged Stilt (above), Spotted Redshank with Black-tailed Godwits & Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Water Pipit with Black-tailed Godwit (DM)

Long Pool: Plenty of Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats this morning, and a visitor reported a female-type Redstart along the hedges. Also 10+ Reed Buntings and 50+ Linnets present. (AH/IP)

Whitethroat (above) & Sedge Warbler along Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - Ham area -  There were 20+ House Martins and 50+ Swallows over the sewage works this morning. (A&YF) There were similar numbers this evening, plus a few Whitethroats and Reed Buntings, and four Whimbrel went over. Also a Cuckoo called a few times from the Ham Farm area.(AH)

Earlier, from Ham viewpoint a singing Corn Bunting, a Kestrel, a Buzzard, two Avocets, a handful of Linnets and Skylarks were noted, and the five Spoonbills could be distantly seen through the heat haze in their usual pool. (SR)

House Martin & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

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