Sunday, 1 May 2016

1st - 3rd May 2016

Tuesday, 3rd May: The day after the Bank Holiday and a lovely, sunny spring morning, though with the wind still from the west, gradually becoming more south-west later...

Selsey BillWith conditions yesterday at the Bill largely concealing the considerable up-Channel passage recorded elsewhere further east, it was business as normal today. The bright, west to north-westerly  conditions made sea-passage light - with the highlights being five Arctic Skuas east, at least three Bonxies and a Hobby in-off. Three Wheatears, three Yellow Wagtails and a few hirundines came in off the sea early on, as well.  Full log below.....
0530-1330hrs: (PB/JF/C&ME/OM/AH/TR et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 35E, 30W
Shelduck - 5W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Common Scoter - 45E
Red-legged Partridge - 1 gardens
Hobby - 1N
Dunlin - 1E
Sanderling - 9W
Common Sandpiper - 1W
Arctic Skua - 5E (4 l/p, 1 d/p)
Great Skua - 2E, 2W, 1os
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 14E, 19W
Sandwich Tern - 15E, 12os
Razorbill - 1os moved W
auk sp - 1E, 14W
Swift - 2N
Yellow Wagtail - 3N
Sand Martin - 2N
House Martin - 4N, 1 area
Swallow - 52N
Wheatear - 3N
Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Chiffchaff - 1N, 1 gardens
Blackcap - 2 gardens
Goldfinch - 8N

Little Tern at the Bill (DM)

Also 1715 - 1815hrs:  (SH)
Fulmar - 4W

Gannet - 8E, 6W
Eider - 1E
Common Scoter  2E 
Little Tern - 4os

Common Tern - 18W
Sandwich Tern - 16W
Kittiwake - 1W
Great Skua - 1os
Auk sp. - 1E, 3W  
Swallow  - 2N

Selsey, Warner Lane: Two Whinchats were again present, plus a Wheatear, several Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and about three Blackcaps. A few Swallows were showing interest in the stable sheds in the horse paddocks and a Buzzard flew over mobbed by gulls. (DS/JD/DF et al)

Northcommon farm: Not too much to report from here; a few Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats, a singing Reed Warbler and a couple of Blackcaps repeatedly sallying out from the branches Spot Fly style to catch flies. Did they fool us - certainly not, (well, when we got closer that is!) (JF/OM)

North Wall: A Greenshank and 12 Whimbrel were along White's Creek, and a Short-eared Owl was hunting behind the Breech Pool this evening.  There is very little water on the Breech Pool -  what a waste of such a potentially good site! (JDW)

Ferry Pool: Four Lapwing, four Redshank and a Shelduck were on the pool this morning, whilst around the Tramway area there were a Spotted Flycatcher, plenty of singing Whitethroats and a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, and out in the harbour there were a couple of Greenshank and 30+ Whimbrel. (AH)

Lapwing and Redshank (above) & Whitethroat around Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were three smart Whinchats in the horse field this morning, and still three Spotted Flycatchers about (one behind the hide and two by the concrete wall), plus a Garden Warbler, at least four Lesser Whitethroats, a few of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and numerous Whitethroats, plus Sedge and Reed Warblers in the Severals.
There was very little bar 20 or so Whimbrel in the harbour, but a flock of 80-100 Dunlin were mobile along the beach and offshore c10 Little Terns and c20 Sandwich Terns were feeding. (AH/PB/A&YF)
In addition, a Cuckoo was calling and a Redstart was near the hide, and also a female Marsh Harrier was hunting over the north of the harbour. (BFF/DM/DIS)

 Spotted Flycatcher and female Blackcap at Church Norton (DM)

Whinchats (above), Spotted Flycatcher, Sedge Warbler & Willow Warbler at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: This morning there were eight Greenshank, eight Brent Geese and four Whimbrel present in the channel. (BFF/DM/DIS)

Medmerry (west): This morning there were a Whinchat and two Wheatears along the beach. (PH)
Not much to report this afternoon from the Stilt Pool area, with most birds present looking like they are settled in for the summer, including 4+ Little Ringed Plovers, 20+ Avocets, a scattering of Yellowhammers, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Swallows, with the only passer-through being a lone Dunlin. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Avocet, Skylark & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

Porthole Farm: There were two Grey Wagtails, a White Wagtail and 20+ Pied Wagtails and Reed Buntings on the settling tanks and several hundred Swallows and House Martins over, but nothing in the hedgerows. (AH)

Grey Wagtail (above), White Wagtail & Reed Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

Monday, 2nd May: Truly predictable Bank Holiday weather today, with a chilly and strong south-westerly giving heavy cloud cover and frequent drizzly squalls......

Selsey BillUnfortunately, observations were considerably hampered by misty drizzle and poor visibility for much of the morning. There was however a little bit of activity, including eight Arctic Skuas and a few Common Terns and Common Scoter going east and a few Fulmars, plenty of Gannets and Sandwich, Common and a few Little Terns going in both directions close in. Also a Yellow Wagtail dropped in on the Oval Field, a few Swifts and Swallows came in off the sea and a few Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats and a Lesser Whitethroat could be heard from the more sheltered gardens. Also, a Grey Seal went west right along the beach. Full log below.......
0520-1200hrs: SW4-5  .....(Obs: JA/SH/PB/CN/AH/OM/BI/C&ME/CRJ)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 41E, 118W
Fulmar - 1E, 12W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3W
Common Scoter - 28E
Dunlin - 32W
Sanderling - 11W
Common Sandpiper - 1W
Whimbrel - 3E, 1W
Black-tailed Godwit - 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3E
Oystercatcher - 4E
Red-legged Partridge - 2 gardens
auk sp - 7W
Little Tern - 9E, 4os
Common Tern - 10E, 46W
Commic Tern - 120E, 8W
Sandwich Tern - 16E, 31W
Arctic Skua - 8E (2 l/p 6 d/p)
Kittiwake - 4W
Yellow Wagtail - 1N onto Oval field
Swift - 9N
Swallow - 19N
Whitethroat - 3 gardens
Lesser Whitethroat - 2 gardens
Blackcap - 4 gardens
Sedge Warbler - 1 gardens
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens

Gannets (above), Yellow Wagtail, Sandwich Tern & Grey Seal at the Bill (AH)

Two views of the hardy band of observers at the Bill this morning - gathered around the bench to shelter from the south-westerly (OM) 

1230-1330hrs: SW5 (JA)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 20E, 8W
Brent Goose - 1E
Razorbill - 1E
Auk sp - 1E, 3W
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 11E
Great Skua - 1W

Also 1550-1705hrs: (JA)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Manx Shearwater - 1E, 13W
Gannet - 12E, 6W
Little Tern - 4os
Sandwich Tern - 6W
Kittiwake - 1E
Great Skua - 1E

Selsey East Beach: A modest garden tick this morning in the shape of a pair of Blackcaps. (SR)

Church Norton: The first Spotted Flycatchers - two, and probably three - of the spring were around the Mound and hide area this morning, but beyond a few Willow Warblers in the same areas, newly arrived migrants were hard to find, though there were still singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps present.
There were still 20+ Whimbrel in the harbour, along with similar of Ringed Plover, and there were 100+ small waders on the far side that were probably Dunlin. Also two Little Terns were feeding in the main channel and a couple of Sandwich Terns passed through. (AH)

Spotted Flycatchers (above), Willow Warbler & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just two Avocets and a Shelduck this morning. (AH)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Sunday, 1st May: Sunny, pleasant and calm at first with little or no wind, gradually increasing to about WSW force 4. Well, here we are then, the start of the merry month of May and all the high expectations it brings on the birding front......though judging by the glum faces assembled at the Bill this morning, you could be forgiven for thinking that spring had been cancelled this year!

Selsey Bill: A morning that started very slowly - much to the chagrin of the assembled observers - but gradually improved a little to eventually produce a half-reasonable variety of species. There weren't too many highlights, but an Arctic Skua and a Merlin having a dog-fight near the Mile basket, and a Hobby in off the sea high over the Wall were probably the best.....! However, that all changed late afternoon when three experienced sea-watchers lucked into a Cory's Shearwater passing......Full log below.....
0515-1230hrs: W1-2, then WSW4.  (Obs: JA/SH/CN/PC/SdeH/OM et al)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 4E
Fulmar - 3E, 2W
Gannet - 140E, 53W
Shelduck - 2W
Eider - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W
Common Scoter - 31E
Oystercatcher - 2E, 3W
Curlew - 1E
Whimbrel - 6E, 5W
Common Sandpiper - 2ob
Sparrowhawk - 1 over gardens
Merlin - 1N
Hobby - 1N
Red-legged Partridge - 2 gardens
Little Tern - 7os
Common Tern - 6E, 12os
Commic Tern - 186E
Sandwich Tern - 19E, 6os
Little Gull - 2E
Kittiwake - 1E
Arctic Skua - 1E
Great Skua - 2E, 1os
Razorbill - 1os
auk sp - 5E, 2W
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
Wheatear - 1ob
Swift - 4N
House  Martin - 1N, 2 area
Swallow - 39N
Whitethroat - 2 gardens
Blackcap - 1 gardens
Also an interesting report this morning from Chris Wilson - one of the Selsey fishermen - of a Pomarine Skua lingering around his boat at 9.36am, allowing him to take some pictures..... the only problem was it was 29 miles south of the Bill! (AH)

Pomarine Skua off a Selsey fishing boat (C. Wilson)

Also 1550 -1830hrs:  (Obs: SH/JA/CN)
Gannet - 26E, 3W
Fulmar - 5W
Manx Shearwater - 8E, 2os
Cory's Shearwater - 1E (1820hrs)
Common Scoter - 3E
Auk sp - 1W
Little Tern - 3os
Black Tern - 1 lingering os
Common Tern - 3E, 2W
Commic Tern - 7E
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 2W
Arctic Skua - 2E (l/p)
Common Gull - 6E
Swallow - 6N

Selsey, north: On the rough ground around Manor Road were 6 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps and a Lesser Whitethroat. Nearby at Park Farm there were 2 Lesser Whitethroats. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: There were two Garden Warblers to the left of the hide, a few Willow Warblers around the blossom, and in the scrub along the beach path and around the horse field there were a few Whitethroats & Sedge Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, three calling Cetti's Warblers with at least four Reed Warblers in the reed beds. In the bluebell wood, there were a pair of Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff and two Speckled Wood butterflies, and a few Swallows overhead. (BI)
A later visit produced a female Redstart near the orchard, 20+ Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 10+ Chiffchaffs and 4 Blackcaps. Two Buzzards and 2 Sparrowhawks, 20+ Swallows and 2 House Martins were also logged (S&SaH).
Also: 22 Ringed Plover, 18 Dunlin, (18), 30 Whimbrel (10 in the harbour and a flock of 20) and 10 Bar-tailed Godwits that flew in off the sea), 2 Curlew and a Redshank (PJ/BJ).

Pagham Spit: Late this evening two Ringed Plovers were feeding on the east side of the lagoon on the spit. (KJ)

Ferry Pool: Just two Redshank on the pool this morning, but there were at least 50 Whimbrel and a couple of Greenshank in the harbour from the Tramway. Also a Cuckoo and a Garden Warbler were heard nearby and there were plenty of Blackcaps and Whitethroats about. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Blackcap & Whitethroat from the Tramway (AH)

Long Pool: A female  Redstart was in the bushes, and there were three Lesser Whitethroats along the pool, and plenty of song from Sedge and Reed Warblers and Whitethroats.
There were at least four Greenshank, 20+ Whimbrel, 40+ Dunlin and 10+ Grey Plovers at the end of Ferry Channel and half a dozen Swifts went over. (AH)

Redstart (above), Sedge Warbler, Whimbrel & Greenshank and Redshank from Long Pool (AH)

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