Friday, 1 April 2016

1st - 3rd April 2016

Sunday, 3rd April: Another brisk but pleasant morning, with the wind still from the south to south-east, but clouding up as the day progressed....

Selsey Bill: A bit of 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' today, with relatively little moving, though there were still a couple of dark-phase Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie and a few Little Gulls going east, along with some Red-throated Divers and Common Scoter. Also, the two Ravens dropped in again, with one even landing on the Bill House tower!.
0620-1220hrs: S3-4 - SSE4 - SE4 (Obs: JA/SH/C&ME/SR/IP/CN/OM/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 26E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 13E, 4W
Brent Goose - 51E
Shelduck - 3E
Mallard - 3 p (local)
Red-breasted Merganser - 22E
Common Scoter - 98E
Shoveler - 2E
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Red-legged Partridge - 1 gardens
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Great Skua - 1E
Common Tern - 3E
Commic Tern - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 39E
Little Gull - 19E
Black-headed Gull - 38E
Swallow - 1N
Skylark - 2N
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Chiffchaff - 3 gardens
Yellowhammer - 1 gardens
Raven - 2 over Bill House

Also 1630 to 1800hrs: (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 7E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Gannet - 10E, 1W
Common Scoter - 18E
Common Tern - 17E
Sandwich Tern - 8E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)

Raven about to land on the Bill House tower (DM)

Raven (above), Red-throated Diver & Arctic Skua at the Bill (AH)

 A second dark-phase (or dark-morph for the purists) Arctic Skua passing the Bill, and some of this morning's gathering of observers (OM)

Three of the locals arrive for the spring in the Bill-tip gardens (OM)

Northcommon Farm: There were two Willow Warblers in the hedge by the kissing gate and 28 Curlew in the nearby field. (BI)

Selsey; Warner Lane: A female Redstart and a smart White Wagtail were in the horse paddocks, and nearby were 3 Linnets and a Green Woodpecker. (OM)

Medmerry (West): The Little Gull, a Mediterranean Gull, a White Wagtail, and double figures of Little Ringed Plovers and Avocets were on the Stilt Pool, a Wheatear was on the beach and another was by Marsh Barn, two Red legged Partridges were near the car-park in Easton Lane and two gadwall were on the first pool. Also there were a few Reed Buntings on the gorse there, with Yellowhammers, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Linnets being generally about. (BI/PH)

Little Gull (above), Wheatear & Red-legged Partridges at Medmerry (BI)

Medmerry (East): On the Saltmarsh/bombing range area early this morning there were 7 or 8 Redshank, c.20 Snipe, 9 Lapwings, 2 Oystercatchers and a male Wheatear. 
Offshore there was a Great Crested Grebe, a few passing Common Scoters and Red-throated Divers, a Fulmar and a flock of ca.80 Black-headed Gulls that were roosting on the sea about 300m off-shore at 06.00, that then got up and went east as soon as it was light. (PH)

Ferry Pool: A Ruff and a Greenshank dropped in with half a dozen Redshank early on, and at the lunchtime the former was still there with two Green Sandpipers also present, along with six Avocets and c30 Shoveler and Teal. (AH/OM)

Greenshank (above) & Ruff on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: This afternoon there were two Spotted Redshanks and a Greenshank in Ferry Channel, a pair of Wheatears along the path and two Sand Martins and a swallow over. (IP)
Later on, there were three Spotted Redshanks along Ferry Channel. (AH)

Spotted Redshank in Ferry Channel (AH)

Ivy Lake complex: A visit to Ivy Lake gave us the three Little Gulls and all three hirundine species. The biggest surprise was a Brambling in a small group of Chaffinches. (M&KG)
Church Norton: A Ring Ouzel was found, but not widely seen, late morning (DM/DIS)
A fine male Redstart was around the moat by the Mound this morning, but other evidence of migration was hard to find, though there was a singing Blackcap and singing Willow Warbler behind the Severals.
There was not much unusual in the harbour, though the two Peregrines were in residence, along with four Red-breasted Mergansers (and another offshore) and large numbers of Ringed Plovers, whilst a few Linnets were back along the beach.
The two Ravens seen earlier at the Bill then appeared at Park Farm, Selsey and again on the beach by the second Several. Also, at Park Farm were a Swallow and several Chiffchaffs, plus a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the new pond by the housing development. (AH/IP/CN)

 Ring Ouzel at Church Norton (DM)

Redstart (above), Blackcap & Linnet at Church Norton, Lesser Black-backed Gulls & Jackdaws at Park farm, Selsey (AH)

Sidlesham: Churchyard - 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Kestrel and 2 Green Woodpeckers.
Chalder and Marsh Farms - A pair of Stock Doves seem to have taken over the Owl/Raptor box, 38 active Rook nests in the lane, 2 Yellowhammers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Swallows, singing Skylarks and 14 Curlew. (SR)

Pagham/North Wall: in my Pagham garden there was a male Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaffs and 2 Jays. On the Breech Pool were 44 Black-tailed Godwits and 24 Teal, whilst in the Honer fields were 86 Curlew and a lone Brent Goose. Little Egrets were back nest prospecting in Owl Copse, I counted 5. A male Kestrel was catching earth worms in the horse paddock at Welbourne. (JDW)

Kestrel at Welbourne, North Wall (JDW)

Saturday, 2nd April: A bit of genuine south-easterly wind this morning, in a lovely chill but bright spring morning....

Selsey Bill: A fair bit of activity this morning, including four Bonxies and a couple of Arctic Skuas, a Black-throated Diver, 50+ Red-throated Divers, a Velvet Scoter, 200+ Common Scoter, 11 Little Gulls, 70+ Sandwich Terns and a few Common Terns, all going east. Much of the movement occurred before 1000hrs and it slowed considerably thereafter. Full log below....
0620-1400hrs: Dry with sunshine then cloud, S3 - SSE4, cool in the wind. (Obs: JA/SH/IP/BI/PM/PB/AB/AH/C&ME/C&JM/OM et al)
Red-throated Diver - 57E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Diver sp - 11E
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 17E, 7W
Brent Goose - 44E
Red-breasted Merganser - 17E, 6W, 4os
Velvet Scoter - 1E
Common Scoter - 231E
Sanderling - 1W
Oystercatcher - 10W
Curlew - 2E
Great Skua - 3E, 1os
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Common Tern - 1E
Commic Tern - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 80E, 3W
Little Gull - 11E
Common Gull - 30E
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 7E, 3os
Auk sp - 1E
Swallow - 3N
Meadow Pipit - 5N
Wheatear - 1 gardens
Chiffchaff - 1N, 1 gardens
Also: 1545 to 1800hrs: (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 3E

Great Northern Diver - 5os
Diver sp - 1W
Gannet - 37E
Common Scoter - 10E
R/b Merganser - 1E
Arctic Skua - 4E (all d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 17E
Common Tern - 6E
Little Gull - 3E
Common Gull - 9E

Common Scoter (above) (AH) & Brent Geese (BI) past the Bill

Selsey: Park Farm: The highlight was the first Redstart of the spring - a cracking male - and also present were a Black Redstart and 6 Chiffchaffs (S&SaH)

 Redstart and Black Redstart at Park Farm (SH)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover was flying about and calling early on but didn't settle. (OM) There were also four Green Sandpipers more or less together at the back, four Avocets, and c30 Shoveler and Teal present. (AH)

Green Sandpipers on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The Greenshank and Spotted Redshank were both in Ferry Channel again early on, whilst along the pool there were at least one Willow Warbler, several Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers and half a dozen Reed Buntings, plus five or six Sand Martins went over. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank, Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: There were 2 Wheatears on the beach, 2 Common Terns at the Severals and 10+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk around the area (S&SaH) 

Ivy Lake complex: All three differently-aged Little Gulls were present again this morning, along with the White-fronted Goose and a couple of singing Blackcaps. (AB)
This evening there was a singing Willow Warbler and c20 Swallows and c10 Sand Martins over the lake. (CN)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - Most of the action was around the Stilt Pool, where one first-year Little Gull was still showing well, along with a Ruff, at least half a dozen busily displaying Little Ringed Plovers, the Common Sandpiper, five Dunlin and 30+ Avocets. 

A couple of Wheatears were along the beach/rocks, as was a White Wagtail, seven Sanderling were along the strandline, a Sandwich Tern drifted over the Stilt Pool and eight Brent Geese went east, with another straggler on one of the small pools.

There were still plenty of Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits along the banks, plus a group of nine Linnets and a Reed Bunting. Also three Gadwall were in the first small pool and a pair of Mediterranean Gulls went over Easton Lane. (AH/BI)

Little Gull (top AH & BI) (above), Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, Sanderlings (AH), White Wagtail, Wheatear & Lesser Black-backed Gull (BI) at Medmerry

Friday, 1st April: A mainly fine and sunny day in prospect with a light-moderate S/SE wind.... keep your fingers crossed for a bit of decent passage!

Early news this morning of yet another oddity at the Bill..... an 'eastern' Raven was found and photo'd by a visiting birder (AL) near Bill House. This rare form  (sometimes known as small Raven) is a potential split and well worth seeing, so keep your eyes open. A further update will follow later.....(OM)

'eastern' (small) Raven (Corvus corax ludicrossii) at the Bill...note the heavy bill, glossy mantle but smaller form than Common Raven. This potential split is well worth looking for (A. Lirpaloof)
Update: Well, did he catch anyone out? If so, look at the date and just keep it to yourself! The bird depicted is of course the common or garden Carrion Crow! Seems like that wicked Mr Lirpaloof has been up to his old tricks again, but at least we won't be troubled by him again for at least another year....!

Back to the more serious business at hand, and an update on the figures from our score-keeper - IP - after the first quarter 2016, shows the Peninsula year-list standing  at 155. Last year we did not reach 150 until 3rd April, with, oddly, the 150th bird both years being Common Tern.
Also the past two days have each produced a bird that was not seen during 2015 (Marsh Tit and Ring-necked Parakeet) bringing that total to four (joining Egyptian Goose and Glaucous Gull) for the year. (That total has already risen to five - see below.)

Selsey Bill: A partial summer-plumaged Black Guillemot went through east early on this morning, and a Short-eared Owl came in off the sea a bit later on, but sea passage was almost non-existent, with just a few Common Scoter and Sandwich Terns heading east and four Great Northern Divers offshore. Full log below....
0615-1200hrs: (Obs: JA/C&ME/C&JM/SR/OM/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1os
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 8E, 4W
Brent Goose - 33E
Eider - 1E
Shelduck - 4E, 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 7W, 9os
Common Scoter - 48E, 2W
Short-eared Owl - 1N (0807hrs)
Black Guillemot - 1E (JA/CE 0705hrs - partial s/plum)
auk sp - 3W
Red-legged Partridge - 2 gardens
Sandwich Tern - 24E, 2W
Kittiwake - 2E
Common Gull - 41E
Mediterranean Gull - 3E, 1os
Meadow Pipit - 6N
Linnet - 1E
Chiffchaff - 4 gardens 

Short-eared Owl arriving from the sea at the Bill: above - look hard, top left! below - heavily cropped image from the above (CM)

Common Scoter past the Bill (AH)

Selsey : One Swallow heading NE over York Road, and a Sparrowhawk nearby this afternoon. (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were three Green Sandpipers first thing this morning, plus four Avocets, half a dozen displaying Redshank, a pair of Shelduck, 20 Teal and now 42 Shoveler. (AH)
Also a pair of Grey Partridges flew across the road near 'Knight Fencing' early this morning.(IP)

Green Sandpipers (above) displaying Redshank & Shelducks around the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: At the far end of Ferry Channel there were a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank among 40+ Redshanks and a few Curlew and Teal. On the Long Pool itself there were a pair of Gadwall, two pairs of Little Grebes and a dozen Tufted Ducks, whilst in the bushes there were a couple of singing Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, plus half a dozen Reed Buntings. (AH)

Greenshank (above) & Spotted Redshank in Ferry Channel (AH)

Willow Warbler (above) & Gadwall on the Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry (West): There were two first-summer Little Gulls this morning on the Stilt Pool, along with the Common Sandpiper and six Little Ringed Plovers. (RJS/M. Rose)

Little Gulls (above), Little Ringed Plovers & Skylark at Medmerry (M. Rose)

Medmerry (East): Very quiet between the Coastguard Station and the Breach, though a first-summer Little Gull was among the Black-headed gulls at the back of the big pool (possibly the third of yesterday's three from yesterday on the other side?) Beyond that, there were just a handful of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits, a couple of Curlew and Shelduck, and half a dozen Lapwing displaying over the fields on the far side. (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Chainbridge Field - Highlight of an early evening look was a very close encounter (barely 10 feet between us!) with a Little Owl at a traditional site, and among other birds seen were a Grey Wagtail and c50 Pied Wagtails at the sewage farm, a Wheatear on the reserve near Ham Farm and a few Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Linnets along the way. (AH)

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

Ivy Lake Complex: There were just two Little Gulls early this afternoon - the adult and the first-year bird. Also the pair of Red-crested Pochards appeared out of their usual hiding place and flew off eastwards, the White-fronted Goose and pair of Egyptian Geese were still about, as was a Black Swan and a couple of pairs of Pochard and at least ten Greylag Geese, whilst there were at least two singing Blackcaps and several singing Chiffchaffs. (AH)

White-fronted Goose (above), Red-crested Pochards, Little Gull and Blackl-headed Gull, Pochard & Greylag Goose at Ivy Lake (AH)

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