Wednesday, 13 April 2016

13th - 15th April 2013

Friday, 15th April: A cloudy start with a few hints of brightness and a light-moderate SW wind 3-4, but with the prospect of rain by late morning, perhaps lasting several hours.....

Selsey Bill: Just two observers this morning to hold the fort, with few rewards overall. Two Little Terns were the first of the season here, but otherwise a couple of Little Gulls, a single Bonxie and three Great Northern Divers were about the best.
(0550-1000hrs): S-SW, cloud, showers, then rain. (Obs: JA/AH)   Full log below...
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 1E, 7W
Gannet - 25E, 22W
Brent Goose - 40E
Shelduck - 5E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W
Common Scoter - 16E
Turnstone - 6ob
Great Skua - 1E
Little Gull - 2E
Common Gull - 17E
Little Tern - 2E
Common Tern - 34E
Commic Tern - 15E
Sandwich Tern - 82E
Swallow - 5N
Chiffchaff - 3 gardens
Also 1530-1630hrs: SSW5-6 rain (JA)
Gannet - 11E
Common Scoter - 3E
Common Tern - 33E
Commic Tern - 12E
Sandwich Tern - 15E
Little Gull - 1E
Swallow - 1N

Ferry Pool: There were just a single Green Sandpiper, a Common Gull and eight Shovelers on the pool this morning.

Around the Tramway/Visitor Centre there was plenty of song, including the Nightingale again, albeit briefly, Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. (AH)

Common Gull (above) & Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were two Spotted Redshanks in Ferry Channel, along with 30 Redshank, and there two Gadwall on the pool, several Sedge Warblers in the reeds and plenty of Reed Buntings and two or three each of Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Cetti's Warblers in the hedges. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks (above), Reed Bunting & Gadwall along Long Pool (AH)

Late this afternoon the moulting Spotted Redshank was showing well and a few Swallows and Sand Martins were feeding along the channel. (AH)

Spotted Redshank on Ferry Channel (AH)

North Wall: No sign of either the Long-eared Owl or Cattle Egret in a quick look this morning, and not much sign of much else beyond a dozen Swallows and two or three Sedge Warblers around the Breech Pool. (AH)

Swallows over the Breach Pool (AH)

Ivy Lake Complex: There were two Little Gulls present this morning - an adult and a first-year bird - and up to a dozen Common Terns feeding over the main lake this morning, along with 100+ mixed hirundines, of which most were Sand Martins, though there were a few Swallows and a couple of House Martins among them.

The drake Red-crested Pochard appeared briefly, and there were four Gadwall, four Shoveler, six Pochard, 20 Tufted Duck, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a dozen Great Crested Grebes on the water and a Reed Bunting and several Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in the bushes. (AH)

Red-crested Pochard (above), Little Gulls, Common Tern & Great Crested Grebes at Ivy Lake (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - A very bright Yellow Wagtail and three Grey Wagtails were on the settling tanks at the sewage farm this evening, along with 20+ Reed Buntings, Pied Wagtails and Chaffinches, but only a handful of Swallows. 
Nearby a Whitethroat was singing and the Little Owl was in its traditional haunt. (AH)

Little Owl (above), Yellow Wagtail & Grey Wagtails at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 14th AprilYet another pleasant sunny day, with some low cloud early on and just a light south-easterly breeze...though it proved to be fairly quiet at the Bill after the last couple of days' excitement. It was a day that started slowly but improved considerably later, with Pagham Harbour claiming the spoils, producing a Cattle Egret, a Crane, and both Long-eared and Short-eared Owls!

Church Norton: At 10.30 we spotted a large bird flying at some distance to the west. We were able to get the bird in the scope and realised it was a Common Crane. We spoke to another person later in the day who had seen the bird circling over Church Norton. The harbour itself was very quiet although we managed to find a small flock of about 30 Grey Plover and about 40 Dunlin. There were many Chiffchaffs singing and a few Willow Warblers but we only managed two Sedge Warblers. (D&J Killick/IL)
Very little about, bar a few Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, (A&YF), plus a couple of Whitethroats at Park Farm, Selsey. (SR)

North Wall: The Cattle Egret was present again this morning in Owl Copse, showing occasionally but disappearing from view for lengthy periods. (BFF/DM) Nearby, along the hedgerow just north of the Breech Pool, a splendid Long-eared Owl was discovered roosting, by four visiting birders (thanks and well done to the 'Berkshire Boys.')

The summer-plumaged Cattle Egret at Owl Copse (North Wall) (DM)

The Long-eared Owl remained in the same bush until well into the evening, at least, but the Cattle Egret didn't re-appear. Also a Short-eared Owl was hunting in the field by Owl Point, at least 100 Black-tailed Godwits were on the Breech Pool and later in the harbour, there were several singing Sedge Warblers along the reed-beds and a pair of Stock Doves were at Halsey's Farm. (AH/AB/RN et al)


Long-eared Owl (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Short-eared Owl and Carrion Crow *& Stock Dove around North Wall (AH)

Selsey Bill There was an early flurry of sea passage with an Arctic Skua and a steady movement of Common Scoter, Sandwich and 'Commic' Terns going east, but it quickly died away after the first couple of hours, except for two Bonxies. Half a dozen Great Northern Divers were on the sea, but nothing worth a mention in the gardens. Full log below....
0630-1200hrs: (Obs: JF/ML/OM/C&ME/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Great Northern Diver - 6 os
Great Crested Grebe - 3E
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 13E, 8W
Brent Goose - 28E
Shelduck - 3E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Common Scoter - 60E
Gadwall - 1W
Redshank - 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 30E
Whimbrel - 2E
Common Tern - 25E
Commic Tern - 122E
Sandwich Tern - 131E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Great Skua - 2E
Swallow - 12N

Arctic Skua (above), Whimbrel & Common Scoters past the Bill (AH)

(1540-1720) (JA)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Common Tern - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 6E
And that was it, despite the promising conditions!

Church Norton: Very little about, bar a few Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, (A&YF), plus a couple of Whitethroats at Park Farm, Selsey. (SR)

Ferry Pool area: There were two Green Sandpipers present this morning, plus a Snipe, four Redshanks, six Shoveler and six Shelduck. (AH) Also the Greenshank was present. (D&J Killick)
A Cuckoo was calling from the Tramway area, and a Nightingale was heard along the cycleway - hopefully last year's bird returning, plus a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, half a dozen Whitethroats, a couple of Willow Warblers, a Sedge Warbler and a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps around the circuit. (AH/IL/PH/A&YF et al)

Blackcap (above) & Chiffchaff near Pagham Visitor Centre (AH)

Long Pool: There was a stunning breeding plumage Spotted Redshank looking south down Ferry channel. (D&J KIllick) 

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt pool - A Yellow Wagtail went over early this morning. (PH)
Also around were a flock of 25 Linnets, Goldfinches and Yellowhammers feeding in the fields next to the car-park. Along the banks were male and female Reed Buntings, male Whitethroat, more Yellowhammers, a Grey Heron, and several Little Egrets, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. Three Little Ringed Plovers were among the usual Avocets and Black-headed Gulls on the Stilt pool, but there was nothing on the sea. (T. Roe)

Yellowhammer (above), Meadow Pipit & Grey Heron at Medmerry (T. Roe)

Wednesday, 13th AprilAnother beautiful, bright and sunny day, with some cloud early on and still hardly any breeze at all.....only picking up slightly by afternoon.

Selsey BillAnother good bird today - in the form of a smart male Serin around the gardens, though typically it only showed briefly once more during the morning. Initially I flushed it (0745) from the ground at the entrance to one of the gardens, together with a couple of Goldfinches, when it briefly perched in a bush then flew off high to the NE. Further searches were made during the morning, one of which produced a Nightingale in the gardens, along with a Whitethroat and four Wheatears. Eventually two observers briefly re-located the Serin in a nearby garden, though it again proved elusive and soon disappeared.... but they did manage see it together with the Nightingale and Whitethroat nearby!! Otherwise seabird passage was fairly light, with just a single Arctic Skua, 50+Sandwich and a few Common Terns going east and up to seven Great Northern Divers on the sea. (OM)  Full log below....
0650-1230hrs: Sunny, calm, some early mist offshore. (Obs: OM/C&ME/SR/et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 7os
Diver sp - 1W
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 10E, 6W, 3os
Brent Goose - 15E
Shelduck - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3os
Common Scoter - 28E, 7W
Whimbrel - 6E
Grey Plover - 2ob off E
Knot - 6ob off E
Red-legged Partridge - 2 gardens
Common Tern - 28E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 55E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1N
Swallow - 51N
Wheatear - 4 ob/gardens
Nightingale - 1 gardens
Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Serin - 1 gardens
Goldfinch - 5 gardens/area

At the Bill this morning: Red-legged Partridge, Wheatear, and two Grey Plovers with Knot (OM)

Selsey, Crablands Meadows - Unable to find any migrants early this morning but a patch tick in the shape of a pair of Reed Buntings in the Drift Lane area. Other than that there were two Linnets, two Song Thrushes, a Mistle Thrush and a Red-legged Partridge, whilst the caravan site opposite held two Green Woodpeckers. (SR)
Selsey, Northcommon Farm: A White Wagtail was present here in the horse field near the Golf course, but otherwise just a couple of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were in the hedgerows, whilst a pair of Stock Doves appear to be nesting and a pair of Buzzards were mewing and displaying. (OM)

White Wagtail at Northcommon Farm (OM)

Warner Lane Paddocks: There were two male Wheatears in the paddocks around midday. (BI) Later, a look around produced three Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and another White Wagtail around the stable compound area.(OM)

Wheatear at Warner Lane (BI) and below, White Wagtail in the horse paddocks (OM)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two male Redstarts around the paddocks this evening. (S&SaH)

North Wall: I was at the North Wall today (arrived about 1pm) and was taking some photos of the Little Egret and Grey Heron colony when I saw a bird that didn't look 'right'. Viewed through my 500mm lens it showed itself as a Cattle Egret. I only got one shot before it flew over into the trees behind. 
If you look closely at the bottom of the Grey Herons pic you will see the head and neck of one of the young. I waited for over an hour but the Cattle Egret failed to show again, but some Linnets put in an appearance and a Hare in the adjacent field went run-about. (M. Rose)
Also, this evening a Short-eared Owl was hunting in the area. (PC)

Cattle Egret (above), Grey Herons, Linnet & Brown Hare from North Wall (M. Rose)

Ferry Pool: There were three Green Sandpipers early on, along with four Redshank, four Avocets, six Shoveler and eight Teal. (AH)

Green Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A Sedge Warbler was showing well at the far end, and there were several Cetti's Warblers, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, plus Reed Buntings and Linnets along the hedges. Both the Greenshank and the Spotted Redshank, plus 40 Redshank were in Ferry Channel. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above), Greenshank & Reed Bunting from Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Not much today around the Stilt Pools, though very calm - among birds seen were four Reed Buntings, three Yellowhammers, a Whitethroat, a couple of circling Buzzards, the usual Avocets and a Red-throated Diver just offshore. (T. Roe)
There were two Whitethroats singing at Medmerry this afternoon, and another on Ham Lane. (PH)

Avocets & Reed Bunting at Medmerry (T. Roe)

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