Saturday, 16 April 2016

16th - 18th April 2016

Monday, 18th April: Another bright and breezy morning with a moderate and cool westerly, though clouding up as the day progressed.......

Selsey Bill: Very quiet again this morning, with the only highlights being a couple of Little Terns, a Yellow Wagtail and a few Swallows and Sand Martins in off the sea and a Green Woodpecker in the gardens. Full log below....
0615-1000hrs: (C&ME/OM/SR/CT et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 8E, 9W
Brent Goose - 4E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Common Scoter - 27E, 2os
Gadwall - 1W
Whimbrel - 2E, 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1W
auk sp - 2E
Green Woodpecker - 1 gardens
Little Tern - 2W
Common Tern - 8os
Sandwich Tern - 20E, 12os
Black-headed Gull - 20W
Yellow Wagtail - 1+ N
Sand Martin - 6N
Swallow - 19N
Linnet - 4N

(1715-1830hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 8W
Sandwich Ter
n - 2E, 3W, 22 os then pushed off by tide and flew off west

Warner Lane paddocks, Selsey: Just two Chiffchaffs and a Lesser Whitethroat to report this morning. (OM)

North Wall: Both the Cattle Egret and Long-eared Owl were showing again this morning in their usual respective locations, though it was quiet for new migrants. Among other species seen were a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps were along the hedges and several Sedge warblers were in the reeds, a Sand Martin and a Stock Dove went over, around 165 Black-tailed Godwits were on the Breach Pool and a few Whimbrel were calling in the harbour. (AH/PC/JDW et al)

Cattle Egret (above), Long-eared Owl, Lesser Whitethroat & Black-tailed Godwits from North Wall (AH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Nightingale was singing sporadically early on, as were a few Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, plus a Lesser Whitethroat on the cycleway and another on the Long Pool. There was just two Avocets, two Shoveler and a Shelduck on the Ferry, and on the Long Pool there were the pair of Gadwall, three pairs of Little Grebes and several singing Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings. (AH)

Gadwall (above), Blackcap, Reed Bunting & Pheasants around the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry (west side): There were 3 or 4 Yellow Wagtails amongst cattle in the middle of Medmerry at about 11.00 this morning, then flew west. On the Stilt pools, apart from the usual Avocets, Little Ringed Plovers, Black-headed Gulls etc there were 3 Dunlin, 1 Little Gull (1st winter) and 5 Mediterranean Gulls. One of the Med gulls (a 2nd winter) had a white ring with black letters on it but it was too far and too windy to read the letters!
(east side)Ham viewpoint: There were at least 4 singing Corn Buntings in the area. (PH)

Church Norton: Almost birdless this evening, but a big commotion in the trees by the concrete wall proved to be a Tawny Owl being mocked by Blackbirds and Song Thrushes before it retreated back into Priory Wood. (AH)

Ivy Lake: There were eight Common Terns, mostly sat on the buoys, this evening, and at least 200 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins and 20 House Martins feeding over the water. (AH)

Sunday, 17th April: After a frosty start, a very nice, bright and breezy day, but with the wind still in the wrong direction for sea-watching.....

Selsey Bill: A Hobby in off the sea early on was the highlight, with a Yellow Wagtail in off the sea and a Wheatear in the gardens being about the only other birds of note and sea-passage almost non-existent. Full log later. (JA/SH/IP/PB/AGB/JF et al)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 1E, 3W
Gannet - 7E, 14W
Shelduck - 2E
Common Scoter - 8W
Hobby - 1N (0640)
Curlew - 2E, 1W
Whimbrel - 14W
Great Skua - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 8E
Common Tern - 9E
Commic Tern - 3E

auk sp - 2W
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
Swallow - 1N
Wheatear - 1gardens
Willow/Chiff - 1gardens

North Wall: The Cattle Egret was again present, but being most unco-operative to the large gathered crowd, though it was at least still about, unlike the Long-eared Owl! A good number of observers came and went through the day, and with patience many got a view of some sort at least, with the luckier ones getting the bird showing nicely on top of the bushes for a while! Otherwise, two Spoonbills over was a surprise, but generally it was quiet along the Wall, with several Sedge Warblers and a Reed Warbler around the Breech Pool, a couple of Blackcaps, and singles of Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. A Common Tern drifted up to this end of the harbour and a flock of c.120 Black-tailed Godwits and 15 Curlew was around the pool and nearby fields, whilst half a dozen House Martins were distantly viewable. A Greenshank and six or more Whimbrel were in the harbour, with quite a few more Blackcaps along the bushes and a confiding Green Woodpecker was in the horse paddocks with several Swallows. (OM/AH/BI/C&ME et al)

 Cattle Egret flying in! (MP)

 Spoonbills, Common Tern and Curlew at the North Wall (MG)

Spoonbills (above), Blackcap, Greenshank and Redshank & hopeful Egret-spotters along the North Wall (AH)

Green Woodpecker in the horse paddock (OM)

West Wittering: At 13.30 this afternoon we had stunning views of an adult White Stork circling in thermals in brilliant clear sunshine just north of West Wittering. My daughter and I watched it for five minutes before it drifted off north. It was circling at about 200 or 300 feet. A large bird as the buzzard circling in the same thermal made clear. Fantastic. (GM per SOS)

Park Farm, Selsey: There was one (and possibly two) male Redstarts around the paddocks, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Common Whitethroat were in the nearby hedges and a male Wheatear was on the fields. (IP/RB) 
Later on, at least one Redstart and two Lesser Whitethroat were still present and a Swallow was singing by the stables. (AH/S&SaH)

Redstart (top two - IP), Lesser Whitethroat & Swallow (bottom one - SH) at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton:Garden Warbler was in the orchard near Greenlease Farm, there were plenty of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps were all over the place - at least in  double figures, but only one female, another male Wheatear was on the spit, and there were four Brent Geese and a drake Red-breasted Merganser in the harbour. (IP/RB)
Late this afternoon there were 19 Whimbrel and a Knot on the beach before flying off east, and the two Peregrines were on their island. (S&SaH)

Whimbrel at Church Norton (SH)

Ferry Pool: A Red Kite went high over mid-morning, but the only birds on the pool were a Green Sandpiper and a few Shoveler. (PB/AGB)

Nearby, the Nightingale was singing well early this morning, despite the frosty start. (PC)

Long Pool: A Cuckoo was showing well this morning, and there were also a Lesser Whitethroat, several Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers, plus the regular Cetti's Warblers and Reed Buntings along the hedges, and three pairs of Little Grebes on the water. (PB/AGB)

Also a Garden Warbler was present as well (C&ME/C&JM)
There were also two Spotted Redshanks in Ferry Channel. (AH/IP)

Spotted Redshank in Ferry Channel (AH)

Medmerry (West): There were 51 Avocets on the Stilt Pool, including several pairs with nests this morning. (S&SaH)
The Avocet count was up to 52 this afternoon, and there were also six Little Ringed Plovers and a first-year Little Gull on the stilt Pool and a Corn Bunting singing nearby. (CN)
Late this evening there were two Barn Owls hunting in the area. (GT)

Nesting Avocets at Medmerry (SH)

Ivy Lake: There were about a dozen Common Terns over the water this morning, and the White-fronted Goose was reported again (per Birdguides). (AH)

Common Tern at Ivy Lake (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were at least two White Wagtails and three Grey Wagtails around the settling tanks this evening, along with 20+ Reed Buntings and Chaffinches and 40+ Pied Wagtails, with 100+ Swallows and a handful of Sand and House Martins overhead.
Also the Little Owl was in its usual site nearby and three Yellowhammers were along the hedges. (AH)

Little Owl (above), White Wagtail, Grey Wagtails, Swallow & Yellowhammer at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 16th April: A changeable day with cloud, showers and brighter periods, but also a moderate NW breeze, never very conducive to good sea-passage in our part of the world.....

Selsey Bill: A pretty slow morning, though the Golden Plover and Common Sandpiper were a little unusual, as was the sight of three Wheatears together flying in off the sea. Full log below....
(0545-0930hrs) (SH/JA/PB/IP/AH/C&ME/SR et al)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 12E, 24W
Brent Goose - 11E
Common Scoter - 1E, 5W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Golden Plover - 1W
Common Sandpiper - 1W
Curlew - 1W
Great Skua - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 2os
Common Tern - 8E
Commic Tern - 1E
Swallow - 2N
Wheatear - 7 (inc 3 in off sea)
Willow/Chiff - 1N

Also 0930-1130hrs: (IL)
Gannet - 7E, 9W
Common Scoter - 2W
Little Tern - 1E, later 1W possibly the same
Sandwich Tern - 24E
Great Skua - 1W (1015)
Swallow - 11N  
Sand Martin - 1N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1N
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 1N

Gannet past the Bill (AH)

(1645-1730) (SH/JA)
Great Northern Diver - 8os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 3E, 1W
Curlew - 3W
Common tern - 2W
Sand Martin - 9N
Swallow - 3N

North Wall: The Cattle Egret was back along the North Wall this morning, and there was a Spoonbill there, too. (P&JW) Later the Long-eared Owl was again found roosting in a hedgerow, but the egret had disappeared again. (BFF/CEM).

Long-eared Owl, North Wall (BFF)

Church Norton: There were a total of nine Wheatears about this morning, including eight on the concrete spit. Among other birds seen were a Fulmar going west offshore, 20+ Swallows, two Sedge Warblers,10+ Chiffchaffs, 10+ Willow Warblers, six Blackcaps, six Cetti's Warblers, eight Sandwich Terns, two Mediterranean Gulls and three Buzzards. (S&SaH)
It appeared to be bereft of migrants in the cold breeze this morning, with just two Peregrine out in the harbour, a party of six Whimbrel and a single Red breasted Merganser on show. (BFF/CEM)

Ferry Pool area: Just a Green Sandpiper, two Avocets (early on only), two Teal and half a dozen Shoveler were present this morning.
The Nightingale was again singing along the Cycleway (per SR), and the Cuckoo was also present (per visiting birders), but most small birds were keeping low, though Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were all heard or seen. 
Also, seen from the Tramway, a Spoonbill came out of the far side of the harbour and flew across and dropped down near the North Wall,  (AH)

Long Pool: There were three Spotted Redshank present this morning along Ferry Channel, including one in almost full summer-plumage, plus 20 or so Common Redshanks.
A couple of House Martins and up to a dozen Swallows were over the pool, several Sedge Warblers, plus a Cetti's Warbler, a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff were singing along the hedges, with several Reed Buntings and Linnets also present, whilst on the water there were a pair of Gadwall and probably three different pairs of Little Grebe, and five Mediterranean Gulls went over early on. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks (above), Sedge Warbler, Mediterranean Gulls & Little Grebe around Long Pool (AH)

Chichester GP's: At Drayton Pits there were two singing Reed Warblers, a Common Tern and half a dozen Swallows. At Westhampnett pit, at least 150 Swallows and 50 Sand Martins over the water. (BI)

Medmerry (west side): A walk down the west side of Medmerry from the Easton Lane car park proved fairly quiet with just a few Swallows and 3 Wheatear. On the stilt pools the highlights were 40 Avocet, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Mediterranean Gulls and a single Common Sandpiper . (BFF/CEM)

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