Tuesday, 19 April 2016

19th - 21st April 2016

Thursday, 21st April: Another day with a fairly brisk north-easterly wind, but a little lighter and a little less chill as it gradually eased to the ENE....

Much of the effort today was focused on the Bill, for obvious reasons, so apologies to all if the round-up of info from other sites is a little less detailed than usual......

Selsey Bill: Highlight undoubtedly was the group of nine Pomarine Skuas that went by close in at 9.14am, about 30 minutes after ten were reported passing Stokes Bay (Gosport).
The news was quickly put out and they were later tracked at other sites further east, including Shoreham and Seaford. Another distant one about ten minutes later could have been the tenth, but it was too far out to be certain. Much later, a tenth Pom did pass, but otherwise there followed a steady passage movement throughout the day, which gradually clocked up the totals, producing a good range of species including a Black Tern and some Balearic and Manx Shearwaters. The  frustrating Serin flew over again, calling loudly several times, but could not be found, whilst a Hobby, a Swift, several Yellow Wagtails and a steady stream of all three hirundine species were in off the sea. Many thanks to all those observers who contributed today, for it certainly required a team effort to record and log the following. Full log below......
0645-1730hrs: (Obs: C&ME/OM/AH/SR/PC/SH/BI et al.....) 
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar - 4E, 3W
Gannet - 78E, 18W
Manx Shearwater - 47E
Balearic Shearwater - 9E
Common Scoter - 41E, 24os
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 6W
Shoveler - 2E
Teal - 4W
Curlew - 2W
Whimbrel - 118E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 45E
Knot - 12E
Grey Plover - 2E
Turnstone - 12E
Oystercatcher - 3E, 5w
Hobby - 1N
Kestrel - 1N
Little Tern - 6E, 2os
Black Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 49E
Commic Tern - 23E, 30os
Sandwich Tern - 260E
Kittiwake - 10E
Arctic Skua - 5E (1d/p, 4l/p)
Pomarine Skua - 10E (flock 9 @ 0914hrs, 1 @ 1623hrs)
Great Skua - 2E, 1W
Skua sp - 1E
Swift - 1N
Sand Martin - 3N
House Martin - 14N
Swallow - 125N
Meadow Pipit - 5N
Yellow Wagtail - 4N
Goldfinch - 18N
Linnet - 3N
Blackcap - 1 gardens
Serin - 1 heard calling overhead several times though not seen
Also: 1730-1930hrs: (JA/SH) highlights...
Manx Shearwater - 8E
Whimbrel - 12E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)

 Pomarine Skuas and Whimbrel passing the Bill (DM)

Pomarine Skuas (above), Arctic Skua, Hobby, Whimbrel, Great Northern Diver & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Long Pool: In Ferry Channel there were two Spotted Redshank, three Greenshank and at least 25 Whimbrel, along with 40 Redshank, whilst along the pool a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff and several Sedge Warblers were calling, but mostly keeping low. (AH)

Greenshank (above), Spotted Redshank and Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Whimbrel and Redshank & Whimbrel in Ferry Channel (AH)

Ferry Pool: Nothing bar a few Redshank and Shoveler on the pool this morning. A male Marsh Harrier was over the Tramway late morning (and later the Ferry per IL), but the bushes were fairly quiet, though there were several Whitethroats singing. (AH)

Marsh Harrier over Tramway (AH)
Church Norton: There were 12 Sandwich and 2 Little Terns were in the harbour, plus a single Peregrine. Also a male Marsh Harrier flew high over the harbour going east inland (BFF/DM)

Marsh Harrier at Church Norton (DM)

North Wall: A Whinchat was in the horse paddock at Welbourne plus Linnets collecting horse hair for nesting. Also a Cuckoo along Pagham Rife and a Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the same location - heard but not seen. Reed Warblers are now in residence along the Rife. Eleven Yellowhammers were in the recently harrowed field at Honer and still 46 Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool. (JDW)
 Cuckoo at Pagham Rife (JDW)

Chi GPs - Ivy Lake; The female Red-crested Pochard was present and 12 Common Terns. (BFF/DM) Later on there were 30+ Swifts overhead and 23 Common terns over the water. (AH)

Medmerry: west - Today there was a Swift, a Yellow Wagtail and two Bar-tailed Godwits over over, a Greenshank and between 40 and 50 Whimbrel about the reserve and a couple of Swallows and two Little gulls at the Stilt Pool. (PH)

Chainbridge Field - A Short-eared Owl was out hunting this afternoon. (PH)
Wednesday, 20th April: A bright and sunny day, but with a strong and chilly easterly wind taking the edge off things....

Selsey Bill: A little bit of early sea-passage, including a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua, 100+ Commic Terns and 40+ Sandwich Terns going east, plus a number of Fulmars toing and froing (including four together), and at least four Great Northern Divers on the sea. However, what a difference a day makes - frequent checks of the beach and gardens failed to produce a single grounded migrant this morning, though the first Swifts of the year, plus a Yellow Wagtail and some hirundines were in off the sea. Full log below......
0600-1230hrs: Sunny, ENE 4-5. (Obs: JF/AH/C&ME/OM et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 3E, 12W
Gannet - 36E, 6W
Brent Goose - 15E
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 7W
Common Scoter - 1E
Teal - 1E
Whimbrel - 9E
Sanderling - 5E
auk sp - 2E, 1W
Little Tern - 4E
Commic Tern - 122E
Sandwich Tern - 42E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Great Skua - 1E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Meadow Pipit - 10N
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
Swift - 2N
Sand Martin - 15N
House Martin - 2N
Swallow - 40N
Linnet - 4E

Fulmars (above) & Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)

Northcommon Farm: A Barn Owl was out hunting this morning. (A&YF)

Barn Owl at Northcommon Farm (AF)

Medmerry (west): The first-year Little Gull was still on the Stilt Pool. (PH)

Ferry Pool: Just a Green Sandpiper and two Avocets on the pool this morning. (AH) Around the Tramway the Nightingale was singing again (A&YF), one and possibly two Cuckoos were about, and there was plenty of assorted warbler song, though most birds were keeping low. (AH/IL)

Cuckoo (above) & Green Sandpiper around Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Not much on show in the windy conditions, bar the odd Willow Warbler and Reed Bunting, but there were two Spotted Redshank and two Greenshank in Ferry Channel, along with 40+ Redshank and four Gadwall, and a Swift went over, along with a few Swallows. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks (above), Greenshanks and Redshanks, Swift & Willow Warbler from Long Pool (AH)

North Wall:  A generally disappointing day probably spoilt by the chilly east breeze. Swallows are back at Welbourne stables, whilst a Green Woodpecker and a White Wagtail were in the paddock. White's Creek was completely devoid of birds, but on the Breech Pool were 66 Black-tailed Godwits and a few Mallard, and nearby a pair of the latter with 11 ducklings were along Pagham Rife. There were no birds actually on Honer reservoir but there were 3 Common Whitethroats and 8 Yellowhammers in that vicinity. Also a pair of Little Owls and a Lesser Whitethroat near Bramber Farm. (JDW/MP)

 Mallard ducklings at Pagham Rife (JDW) 
Green Woodpecker and Swallows at Welbourne stables paddocks, and Sedge Warbler on the North Wall (MP)


Medmerry: Porthole Farm - A pair of Grey Partridges tucked in along the hedge in Ham Lane was a nice surprise but otherwise it was quiet, save several hundred Swallows, with a few House and Sand Martins among them, and a couple of White Wagtails among 40 or so Pied Wagtails. The Swallows were feeding low over a newly cultivated field and often settled on the ground among the wagtails, but the House Martins did just occasionally and the Sand Martins not at all. (AH)

Grey Partridges (above), White Wagtail & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

Tuesday, 19th April: A still, mostly grey day, but warmer when the sun peeked through and producing a fall of commoner migrants across the peninsula.....

Selsey Bill: A Serin - possibly last week's bird - circled briefly in flight over the wall whilst calling, but was not re-found. Also, a Short-eared Owl arrived from the sea, as did 70+ Swallows and there were four Redstarts, three Wheatears and a few Willow/Chiffs around the gardens. By contrast, not much was on the move at sea, bar three Bonxies and a few Sandwich Terns east, and there were five Great Northern Divers offshore. Full log below.....
0600-1200hrs: Cool NW 1-2, veering east late morning. (Obs: JF/ML/C&ME/OM/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 4E, 12W
Shelduck - 2E, 1W
Common Scoter - 61E, 27W
Curlew - 1W
Whimbrel - 19E, 2W
Short-eared Owl - 1N (0958hrs)
Little Tern - 7E
Commic Tern - 23E
Common Tern - 4os
Sandwich Tern - 58E
Great Skua - 3E
Sand Martin - 4N
Swallow - 71N
Wheatear - 3N, 1ob
Redstart - 4 gardens
Chiffchaff - 5 gardens
Willow Warbler - 5 gardens
Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Serin - 1 calling/circling high above the wall flew in N (1025hrs) (JF/ML/C&ME)

 Record shots of the Short-eared Owl heading off over Bill House having arrived from the sea - sorry Andy as usual I wasn't ready with the camera! (OM)

Redstarts (above), Wheatear & Great Northern Divers at the Bill (AH)

Warner Lane paddocks: Two fine male Whinchats were on the bramble clumps this morning, along with several Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat, plus 2 Sparrowhawks . (AH/OM/C&ME at al)

Whinchats at Warner Lane (AH)

  Sparrowhawk at Warner Lane (DM) 

Northcommon Farm: There were at least four Redstarts around the hedges by the Country Club, along with numerous Willow/Chiffs (the vast majority of which were likely to be Willow Warblers) and Blackcaps, but no other migrants. (AH)

Redstart (above) & Willow Warbler at Northcommon Farm (AH)

Church Norton: A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling, and even showed briefly, near the hide this morning, and there were plenty of Willow/Chiffs and Blackcaps in the bushes, but nothing but very many Goldfinches in the churchyard. In the harbour there were half a dozen Sandwich Terns and at least a dozen Whimbrel, two Gadwall were in the creek by the horse field, but there was not much else to report. Also there were Peregrines out in the harbour with 45 Grey Plover and single Bar-tailed Godwit. (AH/OM/BFF et al))

Whimbrels (above) & Goldfinch at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: The Cattle Egret was again present, but not the Long-eared Owl, plus a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling near Owl Copse. Overhead at least 15 Whimbrel flew north and we heard a Yellow Wagtail going over, and there were plenty of migrants around the area with 2 Lesser Whitethroats singing and a Cuckoo just audible from the North Wall.(BFF/DM/DIS/CEM)
Also, another  Grasshopper Warbler was reeling in Halsey's Farm. (IL)
On the Breech Pool there were 150+ Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper, with both Reed and Sedge Warblers present in the reeds., and Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were singing in Owl Copse. 
A Red-legged Partridge was close to Bremere bridge, at least 10 Common Whitethroats were along Honer Lane and on Honer reservoir there were 4 Tufted Ducks and 9 Mute Swans. A pair of Mute Swans were nest building along Pagham Rife, as were two pairs of Reed Buntings, and I heard Cetti's Warblers at eight different locations this morning. (JDW)
The Long-eared Owl was showing again this afternoon in the same area as before. (DF)

 Cattle Egret at Owl Copse, North Wall this morning (DM)

Mute Swan & Reed Bunting from North Wall (JDW)

Chi GP's - Ivy Lake: A male Pied Flycatcher was around the southern end late this morning. (GH) It was still present this afternoon by the house in the middle of the lakes, and the drake Red-crested Pochard was showing well on New Lake. (AH/AB/DF et al)

Pied Flycatcher (above) & Red-crested Pochard at Chichester GPs (AH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: On the Ferry there was a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper, plus a few Shoveler, whilst along the Long Pool there were 30-40 Willow/Chiffs (mostly Willow Warblers) and a handful of Blackcaps and Whitethroats, along with several Sedge Warblers and the usual Linnets, Reed Buntings and Cetti's Warblers. Also four Gadwall flew over. (AH)
Nearby, the Nightingale was in full song this morning behind the visitor centre and briefly showing well. There were also 3 Lesser Whitethroat down the cycleway.(IL)
This evening a Marsh Harrier was hunting along Ferry Channel. (AB)

Greenshank (above) & Green Sandpiper on Ferry & Whitethroat along Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry (West): A Short-eared Owl was hunting around the stilt Pool area, and nearby was a Wheatear, a Chiffchaff and ten Whimbrel, and the first-year Little Gull was still on the pool. (AB)

Ham Farm to Chainbridge to Northcommon Farm - A look round early this evening produced another smart male Whinchat and a male Wheatear on the path to Ham, and there were half a dozen Corn Buntings, a couple of Reed Buntings and at least 30 Yellowhammers in the same area.
It was difficult to estimate, but there must have been 100 Willow Warblers, especially in the hedges between Chainbridge and Northcommon Farm, and there were still a couple of Redstarts present as well. Also, 16 Mediterranean Gulls went over high to the east. (AH)

Whinchat (above), Wheatear, Corn Buntings,Willow Warbler & Mediterranean Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

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