Sunday, 20 March 2016

20th - 22nd March 2016

Tuesday, 22nd March: A beautiful day - bright and still after a chill start....with a light N/NE breeze.

Selsey Bill (0700-1500hrs): Sunny, dry, N/NE 1-2 (Obs: C&ME/C&JM/OM/SH/IL et al) Little moving on  the flat calm - just a few Brent Geese and Common Scoter going east, c.50 Meadow Pipits in off the sea and just a couple of Great Northern Divers offshore. There were however two notable mass panics mid-morning... The first was when I was taking a walk along the beach and all the local gulls went into a noisy frenzy; there was no obvious reason why for some time, until a Red Kite soared in from the north, high up, then soared off west presumably heading towards Medmerry. The second big panic happened soon after, when yours truly received a text from CRJ; squinting at my mobile in the sun with no glasses on I passed on the message to the assembled gallery..."kp at the Stilt Pools"..... cue a mass scramble and in no time observers were packing their gear away and at least two cars were on their way.... then a further squint as I prepared to leave when I asked IL to double-check the message again for actually said LRP (in lower case)!! Ah - Oops! Hasty calls and the disappointed wanderers returned, when I took a bit of stick! Sorry all; I promise to wear my glasses more and I've now increased the font size on my phone! (OM)
Full log below:
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 6W
Gannet - 8E, 1W
Brent Goose - 23E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 28E, 1W, 7os
Common Scoter - 32E, 3W
Wigeon - 2E
Pintail - 1E
Grey Plover - 30E
Common Buzzard - 1 over area
Red Kite - 1 from N drifted W high
Sandwich Tern - 2E
Great Skua - 1E (1210hrs)
Pied/alba Wagtail - 6N
Meadow Pipit - 61N

Red Kite soaring high over the Bill... heavily cropped and blurry, but the ID can just about be made out (OM)

Ferry Pool: The Green Sandpiper was present early on, along with four Avocets and a few Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank. Also a Peregrine was sitting on the fence-line at the back. (NB) 
(Interestingly, this was not one of the pair from the harbour, as they were on their island at the same time). (AH)

Church Norton: Very quiet this morning - the highlight being a Redwing on one of the oaks on the Mound. There were two or three Chiffchaffs singing in the vicinity, but few other passerines about. Also, the two Peregrines were on their island - see above.
Offshore there were five distant Slavonian Grebes, along with six Great Crested Grebes and four Red-breasted Mergansers, and there were three of the latter in the harbour, along with a couple of Pintail and a few Brent Geese, Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck. There were a dozen Black-tailed Godwits on the rising tide, plus a few Grey Plovers and Dunlin, but not much else of note. (AH/NB)
Later on, a Black-necked Grebe moulting into s/plum was offshore off the Severals but away from the three Slavonian Grebes present, and the Whimbrel was present. (BFF/DIS)

Redwing (above), mismatched pair of Peregrines, Pintail, Wigeon & Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: Two Avocets were briefly on the Breech Pool this morning, before flying off north, and a Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek. (NB)

Ivy Lake: A quick look this morning produced the usual suspects plus two Black Swans (pretty sure they are not migrants!), a few singing Chiffchaffs and a very obliging Cetti’s Warbler. (PH)

Medmerry: (west side) Stilt Pool - A Little Ringed Plover was on the Stilt Pool. (CRJ) (Not a KP !! OM)

(east side): Ham Farm area - Very quiet, with just a few Skylarks and Stock Doves about, plus a single Reed Bunting, a Sparrowhawk and a pair of displaying Buzzards. (AH) Two Corn Buntings singing near the viewpoint (per PH)

A Corn Bunting was singing from next to Breach viewpoint this afternoon, plus a male Red-breasted Merganser on one of the pools. (PH) Also, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers and 7 Great Crested Grebes offshore and a single Common Scoter. Around the rock sea wall the female-type Black Redstart was present. (BFF/DIS et al).

Sparrowhawk at Medmerry (AH)

Chichester Marina: The marsh and reed-bed is still well flooded and held 25 Snipe busily feeding, plus a pair of Canada Geese, 20 Teal, a pair of Wigeon and 40 Curlew. Along the hedges were 10 Redwings and a pair of Long-tailed Tits and a noisy Cetti's Warbler. A pair of Buzzards were soaring and mewing, whilst a Great Crested Grebe was in the yacht basin (OM).
Not quite the first Osprey of the year, but a Great Crested Grebe in the yacht basin (OM)
Birdham Pool: Nothing out of the ordinary; 6 Teal, 4 Shelduck, 2 Little Egrets, 4 Grey Herons, 8 Little Grebes and a singing Chiffchaff (OM)

Pagham Spit/Lagoon: A lovely spring morning. On the Lagoon there were 14 Mute Swans, 16 Tufted Ducks, 3 Great Crested Grebes, a pair of Pochard and the usual Coots, Moorhens and Little Grebes. Along the spit Skylarks were singing and Ringed Plovers displaying. 
The high tides of last week have opened up the breach half way along the new spit and built up the 'cliffs' towards the eastern end. (JDW)

Ringed Plover on Pagham Spit (above) & its ever-changing nature (below (JDW)

Monday, 21st March: An altogether better day, with a light north-westerly and some sunshine after an overcast start....feeling more like spring but still with a nippy wind!

Medmerry (West): At last, the first Wheatear of the year! Honours go to BI for finding one on the beach opposite the Stilt Pools. (AH)

Not as quiet as yesterday with more singing Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Yellowhammers about on the way to the Stilt pools, a few Buzzards overhead and a Kestrel on the fence line. On the pools, half a dozen Avocets, a Ringed Plover and noticeably less Wigeon than yesterday, and also a few Pied Wagtails and Reed Buntings around the compound area. 
And, the Wheatear was, at last, on the beach by the sea defence rocks. (BI)

The Wheatear was along the beach near the Stilt Pool, a Sanderling and 18 Brent Geese were along the shore, 9 Great Crested Grebes and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore and 205 Brent Geese flew up the Solent heading east.  The Stilt Pool held 13 Avocets, the Common Sandpiper  and a Kestrel alongside a few Teal, Wigeon and Tufted Ducks. (SR)

Wheatear (above) & Kestrel at Medmerry (BI)

Selsey Bill (0715-1230hrs): Dry, cloud and sun, light NW2. (Obs: C&ME/C&JM/SR/AH/OM et al). Brent Goose passage was the feature of the day, with up to 500 east by mid-morning, many coming up the Solent and passing close inshore. Not too much else was on the move though, with just a few Common Scoter, a nice flock of nine Eider (five males) and four Red-throated Divers going east, and a steady arrival of Meadow Pipits - but virtually all the passage had fizzled out by late morning, Full log below...
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Grey Heron - 1W
Brent Goose - 537E
Eider - 9E
Red-breasted Merganser - 15E, 3W, 14os
Common Scoter - 40E, 4W
Mallard - 2 p (local birds)
Curlew - 2E
Grey Plover - 5E
Red-legged Partridge - 1 gardens
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Pied/alba Wagtail - 4N
Meadow Pipit - 302N

Brent Geese passing the Bill (above AH, below OM)

A brief visit this morning by that seasoned campaigner Chris Janman - accompanied by his new passion, namely his little doggie Albert, on his first trip to the Bill (poor thing). I daresay though that when the Pom season starts Albert will have to take a back seat for a while! (OM)
Red-legged Partridge in gardens at the Bill (CM)

Ferry Pool: Still very empty - just four Avocets, a single Black-tailed Godwit, four Redshank, six Shelduck and ten Teal. (AH/OM)

Church Norton: A quick look in the harbour produced the Whimbrel, but not much else of note, though offshore there were a total of nine Slavonian Grebes, three Great Crested Grebes and five Red-breasted Mergansers. (AH/CRJ)

Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Coastguard Station to the Breach - Still no Wheatears, though a few Meadow Pipits were coming in, and there were a couple of Rock Pipits among the Meadow Pipits at the end of the caravan park, where there was also a White Wagtail and the Black Redstart, still present, but as flighty as ever.
Offshore around 85 Brent Geese went east in three flocks, whilst on the sea there were two Great Northern Divers, two Common Scoter and eight Red-breasted Mergansers. There were another four Red-breasted Mergansers on the pools, but not much else bar 30 Grey Plover and a few Teal and Shelduck. (AH)

White Wagtail (above), Rock Pipit, Black Redstart, Common Scoter, Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Mergansers & Herring Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall: Very quiet bird wise along the Wall. In the Harbour were 1000 plus noisy Brent Geese, whilst on the Breech Pool were 120 Teal, 74 Black-tailed Godwits and 3 Common Snipe. Along Pagham Rife were 70 Wigeon, a pair of Shoveler and 2 Green Woodpeckers, and on Honer reservoir were 9 Tufted Ducks and a pair of Shelduck, with several Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers and 3 Stock Doves in this vicinity. Greater Stitchwort was in flower along Honer Lane and on the wing were Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks and Brimstones. Finally a singing Chiffchaff was at Owl Copse. (JDW)

Teal at the Breech Pool, Greater Stitchwort and Small Tortoiseshell (JDW)

Sunday, 20th March: Despite it being the Spring Equinox, it felt much more like winter this morning, with a chill north-easterly wind and heavy cloud cover....

Selsey Bill (0615-1300hrs): Dry, cloudy, NE4  (Obs: JA/IP/C&ME/SR/AH/OM/RJS et al) Oddest record of the day was a Wren seen to come in off the sea, pause briefly on the beach and swiftly depart inland. Otherwise there were 150+ Common Scoter and a few Brent going east, but little else on the move, and there were 11 Great Northern Divers on the sea. Full log below....
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 11os
Diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 3E, 2os
Gannet - 19E, 2W
Brent Goose - 72E
Red-breasted Merganser - 32E, 12os
Common Scoter - 165E, 11W
Avocet - 1E
Dunlin  -1W
Auk sp - 7W
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 1W
Pied Wagtail - 2N
Wren - 1N

Ferry Pool: Not much to report - a Snipe was present first thing before flying off, but otherwise it was the usual four Avovets, two Redshank, six Shelduck and ten Teal, and that was it! (AH)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The two Black Redstarts were at Park Farm, Selsey again this morning, a Chiffchaff was nearby and a Snipe came out of the horse field. A dozen or more Meadow Pipits were on/over the farmland, as were three Lapwings, and a couple of Reed Buntings were behind the Severals. 
There were one or two more Meadow Pipits and a Stonechat along the beach, whilst offshore a long line of 60+ Brent Geese went east far out to sea, and there were a Great Crested Grebe and three Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea, plus a pair of the latter in the harbour. (AH/IP)

Black Redstarts at Park Farm, Selsey (above) & Great Crested Grebe, Brent Geese & Great Black-backed Gulls off Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: (West side) Very quiet! Just a few singing Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits on the way down to the pools from Easton Lane and on the pools themselves 34 Avocets, a few Teal, Wigeon and Tufted Ducks, plus the Common Sandpiper, but nothing along the beach. (BI)

Chichester GP's: A Sand Martin was reported this afternoon at Westhampnett Pit (per BI)

Long Pool: Early this evening there were three or four Chiffchaffs and a couple of Goldcrests flycatching along the hedges, and a pair of Gadwall and a pair of Shoveler on the pool, with another four or five pairs of the latter at the far end of Ferry Channel. Also in the channel were 30+ Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank and 50+ Wigeon and Teal. (AH)

Gadwall (above) & Shoveler on the Long Pool (AH)

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