Friday, 22 April 2016

22nd - 24th April 2016

Sunday, 24th April: Once again a somewhat drier day than originally predicted; cloudy with sunny spells but also a cool and fairly brisk northerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: A much quieter morning with three Bonxies being about the only highlight.....
0530-0930hrs:  (Obs: SH/JA/IP/PB/et al)

Great Northern Diver - 3E
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 14E, 89W
Little Egret - 1E
Brent Goose - 3E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Common Scoter - 27E, 2os
Turnstone - 5E
Dunlin - 2W
Whimbrel - 1E 
Great Skua - 3E 
Kittiwake - 3E
Little Tern - 11os
Common Tern - 13E
Sandwich Tern - 9E
auk sp - 2W
Yellow Wagtail - 2N 
Whitethroat - 2 gardens
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 1N
Linnet - 3p

Just a short editorial note here - which I genuinely hope doesn't sound too patronising - to say well done to the sea-watchers for the lengthy coverage currently being achieved. As if to prove the point, yesterday's coverage in fairly unpleasant conditions stretched from early morning's first light until early afternoon, then again from later afternoon until the evening, scooping up the numbers of terns and skuas and culminating in 28 Black Terns that might otherwise have gone unrecorded.... a great team effort! (OM)

Selsey Bill: There were no skuas seen by mid-morning, but all six regular British terns species were recorded, including a couple of Black Terns, and a Roseate Tern and a couple of Arctic Terns among a more general movement of Common and Sandwich Terns, plus a few Little Terns. Beyond the terns, though,  there wasn't much moving, and very little came in off the sea. Full log below....
(0530-0930hrs) (Obs: JA/SH/PB/IP/JF/ML/AH/SR et al) 
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 23E, 9W
Common Scoter - 19E
Kestrel - 1N
Whimbrel - 18E
Mediterranean Gull - 9E
Sandwich Tern - 103E
Roseate Tern - 1E (0710hrs)
Arctic Tern - 2E
Common Tern - 328E
'Commic' Tern - 46E
Little Tern - 10E
Black Tern - 2E
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Swallow - 3N
Linnet - 1N

Common Terns & Mediterranean Gulls past the Bill (AH)

(1630-1830hrs) (SH/JA/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Manx Shearwater - 10E
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 29E, 6W
Brent Goose - 20E
Common Scoter - 2os
Whimbrel - 12E
Sanderling - 1E
Turnstone - 5E
Pomarine Skua - 5E (1745hrs)
Great Skua - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 10E
Little Tern - 10E, 5os
Common Tern - 31E, 32os
auk sp - 3W
Swallow - 1N

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Ferry was almost birdless - with just a pair of Avocets and a pair of Redshank early on, and later just a pair of Shelduck which also soon departed! 
There were four Greenshank and up to ten Whimbrel with the Redshanks in Ferry Channel, whilst along the Long Pool there were singing Sedge warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler, though most remained unseen in the strong wind. (AH)

Greenshanks and Redshanks (above), Whimbrel & Sedge Warbler from Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: A pair of Garganey were seen on the Breech Pool early evening (IB per PC), but could not be refound subsequently. (PC)

Church Norton: Both the harbour (where there were just a few Shelduck and Oystercatchers), and the hedges (with just one or two singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps) were fundamentally bird-free this morning in the biting north-easterly. (AH)
Later, a Merlin was high up over the harbour mobbing a pair of Buzzards this morning. (IL)

Westhampnett Pit: Late afternoon there were 200 Swallows, 150 Sand Martins, 20 House Martins and six Common Terns over the water. (BI)

Medmerry (west side): On the Stilt Pools this afternoon were 2 Little Gulls, 44 Avocets, 10 Little Ringed Plovers and 3 Yellow Wagtails. A half hour watch over the sea from the Stilt Pools produced a single Great Northern Diver just offshore for 10mins, a Little Tern moving towards the Bill, an Arctic Skua (dark phase at 13.30) unusually heading in to the Solent, 6 Common Scoter, an Osprey crossing the coast around Hayling and heading in to Chichester Harbour and 2 Bonxies far out heading east. (IL)

 Little Gulls at Medmerry (IL)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - This evening there were three Yellow Wagtails (two males and a female), a Grey Wagtail, five Reed Buntings and 20+ Pied Wagtails and Chaffinches on the settling tanks at the sewage farm, and several hundred Swallows, 50+ House Martins, a handful of Sand Martins and a single Swift overhead. Not much else was to be seen about the hedges and fields - just a Whitetroat, a Chiffchaff, a Yellowhammer and a few Stock Doves. (AH)

Yellow Wagtails (above), Grey Wagtail, Swallow & House Martin at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 22nd April: A generally unpleasant day, with a cold north-easterly, heavy drizzle and dark cloud......with more persistent rain later.
The following update from Simon Linington was posted on the SOS website today and will be of interest to the sea-watchers.....
"By my rough calculations, the flock of nine Pomarine Skuas seen on 21 April along the Sussex coast flew at a fairly steady 21-22 mph between Selsey Bill and Shoreham and again between Shoreham and Seaford. Obviously, the moderate north east breeze will have had an influence on their speed and it is assumed that they did not stop on the way. With many thanks to the communication network starting at Selsey that allowed some of us to catch up with this species after a nil return in 2015."   (Thanks Simon. Eds)
Selsey Bill: There were two early Pomarine Skuas east (at 6.25am) and several Bonxies east and west, but passage was slight apart from 100+ Sandwich Terns and a few Common Terns and Common Scoter heading east. There was a steady presence of Gannets, five Great Northern Divers on the sea and nine Yellow Wagtails came in over, but that was about it.
This evening a total of 28 Black Terns went east.
0540-1345hrs: (Obs: JA/C&ME/JF/AH/OM/SR et al)
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
Fulmar - 5E, 3W
Gannet - 259E, 26W
Manx Shearwater - 2W
Little Egret - 1E over gardens then N
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Common Scoter - 117E, 30os
Turnstone - 5E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2E
Whimbrel - 42E
Oystercatcher - 5W
Peregrine - 1 hunting os then area
Razorbill - 1 os
auk sp - 12W
Little Tern - 3E
Common Tern - 48E
Arctic Tern - 1E
Commic Tern - 132E
Sandwich Tern - 198E
Arctic Skua - 2E
Great Skua - 5E, 4W (inc 3W together)
Common Gull - 16E
Yellow Wagtail - 9N
Swallow - 20N
Goldfinch - 63N
Linnet - 11N
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Light-phase (or morph!) Arctic Skua passing the Bill (BI)

Fulmar (above), Gannet & Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)

 Common Scoter and Seal off the Bill (G. Wilkerson)

(1645-1900) (SH/JA/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Gannet - 57E, 2W
Brent Goose - 93E (in one flock!)
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Great Skua - 1E, 2os
Common Tern - 239E, 50+ os
Sandwich Tern - 46E
Little Tern - 3E, 1os
Black Tern - 28E
auk sp - 2W
Wheatear - 2N

Brent Geese past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just four Avocets, three Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank, six Shoveler on the pool, and a singing Whitethroat along the bushes at the edge. (AH)
This evening a Green Sandpiper was down by the road. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Chalder Farm: There were 40+ Whimbrel feeding in two fields by Chalder Farm at 5.30pm today. (S. Allday)

Long Pool: there were four Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, 20 Whimbrel and 30 Redshank at the end of Ferry Channel this morning, a pair of Great Crested Grebes on the pool, but just a few Sedge Warblers and a Willow Warbler were singing, though not showing. (AH)

Spotted Redshanks (above), Spotted Redshank and Redshank & Great Crested Grebe from Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: A Yellow Wagtail was feeding in the paddocks this morning. (PC)

Medmerry (west side): A Reed Warbler was present this morning. (PH)
At the Stilt Pools - 25 Whimbrel, 20 Dunlin plus the usual Avocets, Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover (GW)

Avocets at Medmerry stilt pools (GW)

Church Norton: Very little about, though there were a dozen Whimbrel, three Grey Plover and a Dunlin in the harbour and one or two Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in the more sheltered bushes. (AH)

Whimbrel (above) & Blackcap at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy Lake: This evening there were at least 75 Common Terns on/over the lake, plus a few Swifts and hundreds of Swallows and Sand Martins, with a few House Martins mixed in. (AH)

Common Terns at Ivy Lake (AH)

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