Sunday, 10 May 2015

10th - 12th May 2015

Tuesday, 12th May: Yet another brisk, cloudy and breezy start, with the wind firmly in the west, though it became a bit more south-westerly later and the sun did appear as the morning progressed, even becoming quite warm at times. However, none of this could hide the fact that it was a fairly dire morning for migrants.... the sea-watching was just abysmal for the second week of May and there were very few newly-arrived birds on the land; sorry, tried to be upbeat but in the end decided to be realistic! (OM)

Selsey Bill (0730 - 1230hrs): WSW4 - SW3-4: (Obs: DF/OM/GH/BFF/DM/DSh/IB et al) No eastward migration at all bar a small flock of Scoter, though a few terns and Gannets were offshore, mainly going west....Log below...
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Gannet - 14E, 10W
Fulmar  - 1W
Common Scoter - 10E
Auk sp - 1E, 1W
Little Tern - 8 os
Common Tern - 5E, 12W, 30os
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 14W, 10os
Swallow - 5N
Selsey; Northcommon Farm: A Spotted Flycatcher and a Great Spotted Woodpecker this morning, near 'flycatcher corner'. (OM)

North Wall: There were three Spotted Flycatchers this morning around the stables at the east end. (PC) By lunch time there were as many as five present, plus a male Wheatear in the field. (AB)

Spotted Flycatcher at the North Wall (AB)

Ferry Pool area: A Greenshank was roosting at the back early on and a Cuckoo was calling in the distance (OM). Later on there were nine Avocets, the flock of c70 Black-tailed Godwits and five Gadwall present. There were a number of Whitethroats and Blackcaps around the Tramway/Visitor Centre area, plus a single Lesser Whitethroat, and there were a couple of Whimbrel and c20 Shelduck in the harbour. (AH)

Shelduck (above) & Whimbrel from the Tramway (AH)

Church Norton: Very quiet in the bushes, though a Cuckoo was present early on. Still c100 Dunlin and half a dozen Whimbrel in the harbour, and offshore four Little Terns and six Common Terns were feeding, plus a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea. (OM/AH)

Common Terns off Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge Field to Ham - One or two Sedge and Reed Warblers, plus Whitethroats, were around the hedges and ditches of the field, and along the banks were a couple of Corn Buntings and numerous Skylarks and Linnets. A pair of Cuckoos were skulking in the copse east of the farm, but little was evident on the reserve bar a couple of Ringed Plovers and a couple of Curlews. (AH)

Skylark (above), Linnet & Whitethroat at Medmerry (AH)

Porthole Farm - Many hundreds of Swallows and House Martins were over the sewage works this evening, plus at least 100 Swifts, and there were several Whitethroats and Reed Buntings in the hedges. (AH)

Swifts (above) & hirundines over the sewage works at Porthole Farm (AH)

Monday, 11th MayA fairly cold and grey start, though brightening as the day progressed, but the wind remained more to the west of south than was predicted... and what happened to the hint of south-easterly originally forecast only a couple of days ago?

Selsey Bill (0620 - 1100hrs):  Cloudy, some hazy sun, WSW then SW 3-4: (Obs: (OM/CRJ/AH/SR/TR/GH) A Great Skua and a few Common Scoters  east was about the only movement early on, though a few terns began to appear as the tide dropped. Full log below - if you can call it full - I guess there have been slower springs with less passage, but I concede that I cannot remember when! (OM)  
Great Northern Diver - 3 os
Fulmar - 1E, 7W
Gannet - 30E, 21W
Brent Goose - 1W
Common Scoter - 38E
Guillemot - 1E, 2W
Auk sp - 1E, 12W
Great Skua - 1E
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 1E, 11W
Sandwich Tern - 9E, 5W
Kittiwake - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Swallow - 22N
House Martin - 3p
(also a Painted Lady butterfly arrived and settled on shingle near the obs bench)

Great Skua past the Bill (AH)
Newly-arrived Painted Lady on the shingle at the Bill, and a bit of drama as yet another yacht gets stuck on the shingle bar, resulting in the inshore lifeboat attending (OM).

Church Norton: A Turtle Dove appeared briefly on the beach, by the footpath sign between the Severals, before flying towards the wall, landing briefly in a birch and then disappearing into the Priory. Otherwise, not much other evidence of migration in the bushes. In the harbour there were two Sanderling and a few Ringed Plovers in with 100+ Dunlin, and at least half a dozen Whimbrel were still in attendance. A pair of Grey Partridges and a pair of Lapwings were in the cultivated field along Rectory Lane. Also a Painted Lady was along the path to the beach.  (AH)
Norton Churchyard:  This afternoon a Raven posed well on a headstone but by the time I'd found my camera it had gone; also a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Blackcap.  Along Rectory Lane Skylarks were singing, 3 Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler, a Red-legged Partridge and two Grey Partridges (SR).

Distant (!) Turtle Dove (above), Whimbrel, Reed Bunting & Grey Partridge at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Cuckoo was calling near the sluice before flying over the pool towards the sewage works at 0610hrs (OM). The Kingfisher flew across the road into Ferry Channel, and on the pool there were seven Avocet, four Gadwall and c70 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst a Swift went over. (AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Breach area - Still no waders, bar a fly-over Whimbrel and Curlew, though a pair of Little Terns were feeding along the channel to the breach, and one of the Corn Buntings was back on its favourite post, having been absent for a day or two. (AH)

Corn Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

Chichester Marina: On the marsh there were 2 pairs of Canada Geese (one with young), 2 Gadwall, 3 Shelduck, 3 Tufted Duck and 4 Pied Wagtails, whilst 2 Mediterranean Gulls flew over calling and 5 Swallows and a Sand Martin also passed through. A nesting pair of Mute Swans is also present there, plus a further 2 nesting pairs nearby, at either end of the old canal (and a further pair at the nearby Birdham Pool). The canal pair near the yacht club now has young and has left the nest, allowing an opportunist Coot to nest right alongside (OM).

Coot nesting adjacent to a now-deserted Swan's nest on the old canal, Chi Marina (OM)

Runcton: A huge flying flock of Honey Bees in my garden today, gradually all settled onto side hedge. (Seems, like Turtle Doves they aren’t quite extinct in West Sussex).(CRJ).

Swarm of Honey Bees at Runcton (CRJ) 

Sunday, 10th May: Cloudy but dry, with a moderate-fresh WSW wind due to shift more to the S/SE for a while later and some afternoon sunshine...

Selsey Bill (0520-0930hrs): SSW3-4 Sea passage remains slight, though there were a few Arctic Skuas and Sanderling past, whilst at least three Great Northern Divers and the feeding tern flock remain offshore. Full log below... (JA/IP/PM/AB/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Diver sp - 1W
Fulmar - 2E, 19W
Gannet - 36E, 85W
Little Egret - 1W
Brent Goose - 2E
Shelduck - 2 p
Common Scoter - 21E
Dunlin - 7W
Sanderling - 12W
Ringed Plover - 1W
Oystercatcher - 7W
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Guillemot - 1W
Razorbill - 9W
Auk sp - 2E, 22W
Arctic Skua - 3E (d/p)
Little Tern - 4W, 6os
Common Tern - 4E, 12W
Arctic Tern - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 13E, 6W
Kittiwake - 1W
Black-headed Gull - 10W
Mediterranean Gull - 6W
Pied Wagtail - 1S
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
Swift - 4N
Swallow - 14N
House Martin - 2 over gardens
Additional (1350-1800hrs): SSE3 - SW3 (JA/CRJ/GH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Gannet - 9E
Guillemot - 1W
Auk sp - 1W
Arctic Skua - 2E (l/p)
Great Skua - 1W
Little Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 11E, 11W
Commic Tern - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 20E, 5W
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Swallow - 5N

Arctic Skua (above) & Great Northern Diver from the Bill (AH)

Great Black-backed Gull (above) & a glimmer of sunshine over the Bill (AB)

The Selsey Log-keeper enjoying an improvement in the weather, if not the bird-watching! (SR)

Selsey:  At East Beach Pond the Mute Swans now have nine cygnets, but little else of interest, and a  nesting Moorhen and a family of young Coots was about it.  A pair of Great Black-backed Gulls are nesting on a roof in Lingfield Way; I've not noticed any nesting locally before (SR).

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - The first-summer Little Gull was still with the Common Terns this morning and the two Black Swans were still present. (PH)

Ferry Pool: A female Marsh Harrier went over south-east this morning at 0840hrs. (PH)
Otherwise there were still c70 Black-tailed Godwits, seven Avocet, five Gadwall, one Redshank and c30 Shelduck about the pool. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A few bits of interest this morning, including a Whinchat on the first Several, a Wheatear on the concrete slabs, two Little Terns and two Common Terns offshore, half a dozen Whimbrel and a couple of Curlew in the harbour, and a Spoonbill which flew through late morning. 
The Cuckoo was being active along the west side, upsetting the local Meadow Pipits, and warblers were a bit more notable, including three singing Lesser Whitethroats, and a pair of Lapwings were on the - so far - uncultivated fields . Also a visitor reported a Kingfisher along the rife beyond the Long Pool - about the fourth sighting in the vicinity of the Ferry in the last couple of weeks. (AH)

Whinchat (above), Cuckoo, Spoonbill, Lapwing, Linnet & Little Egret at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool area - A Curlew Sandpiper was out on the reserve this afternoon. (PH) A look later on failed to refind it - or any other waders on the reserve, but there were still one or two bits about, most notably four Sanderling which dropped in on the beach and two immature Ravens in the grass fields before flying off seawards. 
There were 10+ Little Terns, 10+ Common Terns and 20+ Sandwich Terns feeding close inshore and there were two pairs of Little Ringed Plovers and c10 pairs of Avocets around the pool, but no Spoonbills were on show. (AH)

Sanderlings (above), Ravens, Sandwich Tern & Little Terns at Medmerry (AH)

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