Tuesday, 17 May 2016

17th - 19th May 2016

Thursday, 19th May: A very pleasant day, with a light north-westerly, a bit of cloud, but some heat in the sun, too..........

Selsey Bill: Finally, finally the elusive Serin that has now been present for nearly five weeks, gave itself up and decided to be co-operative (at least for a while!) coming to some seed put out in the hope of attracting it, and allowing some excellent views. First heard then seen at around 0720 along the edge of the Oval field/car parking area, it moved to the south-western corner of Bill House garden to feed on the seed with sparrows. It may well re-appear here - so if anyone is planning to visit, please can we ask you behave considerately....Bill House garden is private property belonging to a care home and although the staff are tolerant of us and allow limited access, an incident of thoughtless behaviour could ruin things for the future. Note the seeded area is easily visible from the shingle footpath behind the Wall and it may not even be necessary to enter the garden at all if it shows. (OM/AH).
There was little else to report - a dozen House Martins coming to the puddles and three Whitethroats along the gardens, but the sea was very quiet. (OM/CRJ/C&ME/AH/BFF/DM et al) (thanks to C&ME for covering the sea-watch when everyone else was pre-occupied! Eds)

Serin (above) & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

House Martin collecting mud (DM)

Serin-spotters: not all in this pic are happy as the bird had disappeared again by this time (OM)

More shots of the Serin (DM) 
0630-1030hrs: (Obs: C&ME et al)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 120E, 7W
Dunlin - 6E
Sanderling - 10W
Turnstone - 18E
Common Scoter - 3os
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 5W
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 14os
Commic Tern - 10E
Sandwich Tern - 12os
Swift - 4 p
Swallow - 15N
House Martin - 12p - collecting mud
Whitethroat - 3 gardens (all possibly now on territory)
Serin - 1 Bill House garden

Ferry Pool: There were 33 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with half a dozen Redshank, a pair of Gadwall and three Shelduck. 
One of the Nightingales was singing well, as was a Lesser Whitethroat and a number of other warbler species, and there were two Whimbrel off the Tramway. (AH)

Lesser Whitethroat (above), very young Long-tailed Tit, Gadwall & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The main interest was terns on the high tide, including eight Little Terns around the island, along with a few Sandwich and Common Terns, with a dozen or more of both the latter species offshore. There were still five Whimbrel about, but the bushes were quiet. (AH/OM/BFF/DM et al)

Sandwich Tern (above) & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

Gentlemen of a certain vintage recovering from the excitement of the Serin! (AH)

Medmerry (west): Along the banks this morning there were the usual Yellowhammers, four Whitethroats, three Reed Warblers and numerous Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. On the Stilt Pool there were eight Black-tailed Godwits, more newly hatched Avocets, including from the multi-ringed mother, and several Little Ringed Plovers, and a Roe Deer was along the path on my return, too. (T. Roe)
There were at least three Little Ringed Plover chicks on one of the Stilt Pool islands this morning. (PH)

Avocet family (above), Black-tailed Godwits, Meadow Pipit & Roe Deer at Medmerry (T. Roe)

Chi GP's: Drayton Pits -  Two Hobbies high over the pits together were the highlight, and there were also 3 Common Terns, 20+ Tufted Ducks, 12+ Pochard (all but two drakes), two Gadwall, 10 Canada Geese and at least four pairs of Greylag Geese with young. At least eight singing Reed Warblers were heard, plus two Chiffchaffs and two Green Woodpeckers (OM).
 Three pairs of Greylags with young and six Pochard with a pair of Tufted at Drayton pits (OM)

Wednesday, 18th May: A pretty miserable day, with a strong SSW wind bringing persistent heavy drizzle and spells of heavy rain our way, though due to ease later on.....

Selsey Bill: A pale-phase Arctic Skua east and a Manx Shearwater west were the highlights, plus a few Fulmars, Kittiwakes and Guillemots (mostly) west, a few Sandwich, Little and Common Terns close in and mostly west (presumably feeding?) and some Gannets going both ways. Full log below....
0635-1305hrs:   (Obs: AH/OM)
Fulmar - 1E, 4W
Gannet - 94E, 30W
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Common Scoter - 6E
Sanderling - 7E
Guillemot - 3W
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 1E, 10W
Little Tern - 9W
Common Tern - 16W
Sandwich Tern - 18W
Kittiwake - 3W
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Swallow - 8N
Whitethroat - 1 gardens (on territory)

Gannets (above), Guillemot, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern & Little Tern past the Bill (AH)

(1600-1700) (SH)
Gannet - 11E, 8W
Kittiwake - 1W
Common Tern  - 15os
Sandwich Tern - 7os
Little Tern - 3os
auk sp - 3E

Medmerry (west): A Whinchat was on the fence near the Stilt Pools this morning, and a pair of Shelduck with eleven ducklings were nearby. (PH)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Avocets on the pool late morning, plus five Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank and two Shelducks. Not much to report from the bushes, though a Nightingale was singing half-heartedly along the cycleway, and the odd Whitethroat did likewise. (AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A quick look this evening between showers produced a single Whimbrel and a mixed and mobile flock containing two Sanderlings, 15 Dunlin and c40 Ringed Plovers. (AH)

Sanderlings (above) & Ringed Plovers, Sanderling and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 17th May: Another bright and breezy day with plenty of sunshine and some cloud, but with a cooling W/NW wind 3-4, due to become more SW later......

A brief update on this year's Pom King challenge: So far it's probably been an above average showing of Pomarine Skuas, though as ever they have proved to be erratic. Some of course have by-passed Selsey Bill as usual and our numbers are usually not as great as sites further east, but that is part of the fascination and they remain highly prized here. Our biggest flock sizes this year have been nine and ten with a total of around eighty to date. So who is in the lead I hear you ask.... well it's still John Faithfull from Hants (we don't hold that against him!) with a personal total thus far of 61 birds. Second placed is currently our log-keeper Justin Atkinson some six behind..... and John is sweating as he is currently away in the Hebrides until late in the month. If the wind stays the way it is, he may not need to worry, but then again it can all change so quickly......! Time will tell and all to play for. (OM - and I'm on 46, well out of it but possibly third placed?)

Selsey Bill (0630-1000hrs):  (Obs: C&ME/DF)  Quiet again though still a Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie present; full log below....
Great Northern Diver - 1os

Fulmar - 2E, 1W                       
Gannet - 7E   
Common Scoter - 26E
Sanderling - 3W                    

Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 4os
Great Skua - 1E                    
Auk sp - 5W      
Razorbill  - 1E 
Swallow - 34N

Ferry Pool: There were five Black-tailed Godwits, two Avocet, two Redshank and four Shelduck on the pool this morning. A look round the Tramway/cycleway early on was surprisingly quiet, with few birds singing, though, inevitably, there were a few Whitethroats on show, plus a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above) & Whitethroat around the Tramway, Black-tailed Godwits & the very low water level on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry (west): A Little Stint was on the tidal pools opposite the Stilt Pool at 11.15 this morning, viewed from the beach. There were also c150 Dunlin and 100 Ringed Plover across the middle of the site/saltmarsh , along with four Whimbrel, at least five Grey Plover, four Curlew, a Turnstone and four Bar-tailed Godwits. (PH)

Greenwood Farm  – A pair of Shelduck with 11 newly hatched ducklings were here. (PH)

Church Norton: There were around ten Little Terns, up to twenty Common Terns and four Sandwich Terns in the harbour this morning, but beyond half a dozen Whimbrel and a Curlew it was very quiet, as were the bushes, though a Green Woodpecker posed nicely near the Mound. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Whimbrel & Green Woodpecker at Church Norton (AH)

North Fields: A morning ride down to the area produced the following:
South Mundham -  2 Buzzards, 2Whitethroat, 6 Shelduck.
North Honer Farm - 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Whitethroat.
Honer Reservoir - 1 pr Tufted Duck and 3 drake Mallard.
Summer Lane Sewage Farm area - a Shelduck, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler.
Honer Farm - Cuckoo, a Yellowhammer and a Roe Deer.

Bramber Farm - a Cuckoo and a Reed Warbler.     (CRJ)

Long Pool: A surprise this evening in the form of a Short-eared Owl over the only uncropped field and then over the saltmarsh - the first time I have seen one here this year. Also a very young Grey Heron was on the bank, a dozen Swallows were sitting out on the ground and the Stock Dove count had risen to fourteen. (AH)

Short-eared Owl (above), Swallows & Grey Heron from Long Pool (AH)

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