Monday, 4 April 2016

4th - 6th April 2016

Wednesday, 6th April: Definitely not the sort of spring day we all hope for - with a strong and cold north-westerly, intermittent heavy drizzle, squalls and just the odd glimpse of the sun..... 

Selsey Bill: Unsurprisingly quiet, though there were three Little Gulls and 63 Brent Geese east, two Great Northern Divers offshore, and, unusually, a Fulmar sitting on the sea close in among of group of large gulls. Full log below.
(0700-0930hrs) (C&ME/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Fulmar 4W, 1os drifted east on sea
Gannet - 7W

Brent Geese - 63E 
Mallard - 2p
Common Scoter - 1E
Little Gull - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 1W
Meadow Pipit - 3N

Great Northern Diver (above) & Fulmar with Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just about the same as yesterday - with a Green Sandpiper, six Avocets, four Redshank and c30 Teal and Shoveler. (AH)

Church Norton: Very little to report in some dire weather - just the odd snippet of Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler song, and an almost empty harbour save 90 Black-tailed Godwits and a few Curlew and Shelduck. (AH)

Willow Warbler (above), Curlew & Black-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy Lake complex: In the heavy sheeting drizzle as I arrived there were at least 100 Sand Martins over the lake, but within moments of the sun briefly coming out they had moved off. There were no Little Gulls this morning, though a pair of Mediterranean Gulls dropped in, and on the water the drake Red-crested Pochard appeared briefly, and there were also a pair of Gadwall, six Pochard, ten Great Crested Grebes and at least 50 Tufted Ducks.
Along the bushes there were two pairs of Reed Buntings and several Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs singing, plus a Sparrowhawk over. (AH)

Red-crested Pochard (above), Sand Martin, Mediterranean Gull, Pochards & Tufted Ducks at Ivy Lake (AH)

North Wall: There were 40 Black-tailed Godwits roosting behind the Breech Pool along with 3 Brent Geese. All of the fields adjoining the Wall held Curlews, 130 in total. Along the Wall there were two Cetti's Warblers, four Linnets and three Reed Buntings, whilst Chiffchaffs were everywhere. 
In Owl Copse there was one Willow Warbler and another two at Bremere Bridge, and there were two Common Buzzards, nesting Chaffinches and a Goldcrest at the Macracarpa Copse, and six Shelduck were in the field north of Bremere Bridge together with four Brown Hares. (JDW)

Shelducks (above) & Chaffinch from North Wall (JDW)

Long Pool: This evening there was a moultring Spotted Redshank in Ferry Channel, along with 20+ Common Redshank, five Swallows and a Sand Martin were feeding over the pool, and a dozen Linnets were in the field edges nearby. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Swallow & Linnet from Long Pool (AH)

Tuesday, 5th April: A bright and breezy day, warming and brightening as the morning progressed....but with the wind having shifted to the N/W quarter...

Selsey Bill: Not much moving, highlights being a Little Gull, 85 Brent Geese, four Fulmars west and three Great Northern Divers offshore. Four Swallows and two House Martins came in off the sea, and there was a Wheatear in the Bill House garden, along with a pipit that we initially took to be another Tree Pipit, but on closer inspection of the pictures may well be a Meadow Pipit. Full log below....
0645-1045hrs: (Obs: C&ME/OM/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 3E, 5W
Brent Goose - 85E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 1os
Common Scoter - 5E
Oystercatcher - 7W
Red-legged Partridge - 2 gardens
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 6W
Little Gull - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 6N, 2 gardens
House Martin - 2N
Swallow - 4N
Wheatear - 1ob
phyllosc. warbler sp - 2N 
Wheatear - 1 gardens
Carrion Crow - 4N from way out

Wheatear at the Bill (above OM, below AH)

 Fulmar & Meadow Pipit at the Bill (left AH, right OM)

The bird today does not appear to be the same bird as that seen in the same garden on 30th March (see blog pics of that date); indeed extensive searching for several days thereafter failed to find it. Today's bird pictured above seems duller overall, has more extensive buff down the breast and arguably some coarser streaking on the flanks and breast (where some blotching apparent), its legs do not look pinkish and the bill base looks more orangey-toned. However we would welcome any views (OM/AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Both the male Redstart and female Black Redstart remain around the horse paddocks, along with a dozen Chiffchaffs and two or three Willow Warblers. (JD/AH et al)

Redstart at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Further pic of the Redstart at Park Farm, and Willow Warbler (DM)

Ferry Pool: Not much activity today - a Greenshank early on, a Green Sandpiper, two Avocets and 30 Shoveler being about it. (OM/TR)

Church Norton to Long Pool: The first Sedge Warbler of the year was by the first Several and a Blackcap was along the footpath to beach. (A&YF/G&RH)

There were plenty of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs around Church Norton and the Long Pool, but not much in between, except plenty of Linnets and the odd Skylark. The harbour was quiet on the high tide, though a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were on the water, and two pairs of Mediterranean Gulls went over. (AH et al)

Willow Warbler (above), Chiffchaff, Linnet & Shelducks from Long Pool (AH)

Monday, 4th April: A cold, grey day with a strong south-easterly wind and heavy cloud.....mainly dry but with just a few drops of rain.

I hope you'll forgive me but I feel the need for a small rant over the dreaded B2145 road again! This will probably be better understood by those that travel to the Peninsula to go birding rather than those that live there, or perhaps not, but this morning was a classic. Leaving early from the Bognor area, all goes well until Hunston, when 2 tractors belonging to one of our esteemed local farmers emerge right in front....twenty-two mph to the Hunston roundabout then south on the B2145 with a lengthening traffic queue behind. The tractors continue all the way to Sidlesham, failing to pull over in various laybys and after several frustrated drivers ahead force their way past I too manage to escape the 22mph convoy....only to be confronted half a mile later with the road being blocked by an accident at Ferry corner! Arrival at Selsey Bill eventually comes after an hour and a half journey of 16 miles. And for good measure, on the way back, a couple of wide load caravans cannot pass a lorry and more gridlock. Oh joy....and still they keep on building in and around Selsey, with no hope of improvement! Feel better now.(OM)

Selsey Bill: Not as much moving as might have been hoped, but by late-morning there had been a dark-phase Arctic Skua, 11 Little Gulls, 70+ Sandwich Terns, a few Common Terns, two Black-throated Divers and 20+ Red-throated Divers east, plus three Great Northern Divers offshore. Full log below.... (AH/OM et al)
0710-1400hrs: SSE-SE3-4, cool  (Obs: AH/OM/SR et al)
Red-throated Diver - 25E
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 1W, 3os
Diver sp - 5E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 16E, 10W
Brent Goose - 39E
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 3W, 4os
Common Scoter - 43E
Tufted Duck - 4E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Common Tern - 7E
Sandwich Tern - 102E
Kittiwake - 2E
Little Gull - 11E
Common Gull - 4E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Pied/alba Wagtail - 3N

Also 1400-1600hrs(Obs: C&ME)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Gannet - 7E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E

Common Scoter - 4E
Dunlin - 25E    

Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Great Skua - 1E  
Common Tern - 2E                
Sandwich Tern - 61E

Swallow - 1N     
Arctic Skua (above), Red-throated Divers & Common Scoter past the Bill (AH)

A murder of Crows! The local Carrion Crows having a huge bust-up, until disturbed, when they all flew off together (AH)

Ferry Pool: Still the Ruff and two Green Sandpipers at the back this morning, plus six Avocets, eight Redshank, 43 Shoveler and 24 Teal. (AH/OM)
Late this afternoon the Ruff was with four Green Sandpipers, a Greenshank was along Ferry Channel and four Swallows went over. (AH)

Ruff and Green Sandpipers on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: No migrants about save two or three singing Chiffchaffs, and not much in the harbour on the high tide, though the Whimbrel was still showing, as were a few Curlew and Redshank, plus a Great Crested Grebe and four Red-breasted Mergansers. 
Most unusual sight was a female Red-breasted Merganser in the creek by the horse field, where there were also two Gadwall, whilst offshore there were four Gannets feeding well out to sea, and the Lapwing was again along Rectory Lane. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Curlew, Red-breasted Merganser, Gadwall & Lapwing at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry (west side): Stilt pools today – there were 2 or 3 Little Gulls this morning and I think 4 this afternoon, including one adult winter plumage bird (all the others I’ve seen so far were 1st winter types). Also, two Ravens flew low over Marsh Farm buildings and SE across Medmerry at 1pm. (PH)

Easton lane to stilt pools - This evening the Barn Owl was out huntinmg and the Little Owl was at Marsh Farm, whilst on the Stilt Pools there were six Little Gulls dip-feeding, along with five Little Ringed Plovers and 42 Avocets. Also seen were three Swallows, two Reed Buntings and 30+ Yellowhammers. (S&SaH)

Barn Owl (above) & Little Gull at Medmerry (SH)

Chichester GPs - Ivy Lake:  There were three adult Little Gulls present today, along with a Common Tern, two Black Swans, five Great Crested Grebes, a pair of Bullfinches, several singing Blackcaps, two Cetti's Warblers, four Chiffchaffs and a singing Willow Warbler. (SR/AH)

Common Tern (above) & Blackcap at Ivy Lake (AH)

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