Wednesday, 4 May 2016

4th - 6th May 2016

Friday, 6th May: The wind had picked up and gone a few degrees further north this morning, but still basically fine and bright after a chill start.....eventually going round to the south-east by late afternoon.

Selsey BillThere are times when the geography of the Bill seems to work against us and perhaps today was such an occasion. The wind had shifted more to the NE than SE which often makes quite a difference here, seabirds then passing on the far (south) side of the Isle of Wight and thus beyond our viewing range. Whilst the regulars are well used to this it can be frustrating at times, especially when sites further east record the passage we miss, but when the south-easterlies return it tends to drive passing birds through the Solent, and thus much closer to the Bill-tip. Simple!
Less activity than yesterday, but by late afternoon there had still been 18 Pomarine Skuas, eight Arctic Skuas, a drake Garganey and five Black Terns through, along with four Hobbies in off the sea. Also the pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins were offshore again this morning. Full log below....
0500-1630hrs(Obs: JA/OM/JF/C&ME/CRJ et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 145E, 6W
Manx Shearwater - 7E
Canada Goose - 1E
Brent Goose - 18E
Common Scoter - 311E
Gadwall - 4W
Garganey - 1E (drake, 0930)
Curlew - 3E
Whimbrel - 11E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3E
Turnstone - 7E
Dunlin - 6E
Sanderling - 3E
Ringed Plover - 1E
Oystercatcher - 11E, 18 ob (shingle bar)
Hobby - 4N
Little Tern - 22E, 6os
Black Tern - 5E
Common Tern - 44E
Commic Tern - 55E
Arctic Tern - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 39E
Little Gull - 8E
Black-headed Gull - 15E
Arctic Skua - 8E
Pomarine Skua - 18E (7,3,3, 1,1,1,2)
Great Skua - 1os
auk sp - 3E, 3W
Swift - 4 area
Swallow - 60N
House Martin - 1N, 4 area
Whitethroat - 2 gardens

After 4.30pm passage died, with just a Bonxie east of note, though at least 20 Little Terns and 40 Common Terns were feeding close inshore on the very low tide. (AH/JA/SH/AB/AGB/BI)
 Pomarine Skua passing the Bill....this one clearly came through the Solent (CG)


Black Terns past the Bill (BI)

Terns on the beach at the Bill: above - Sandwich, centre - Common and lower - Little (CG) 


 

Arctic Skua (above) & Sandwich Tern past the Bill (AH)


Displaying Little Terns (above) & Common Terns at the Bill (AH)


Ferry Pool: Just a solitary Shelduck on the pool this morning, later replaced by a Redshank, whilst in the adjacent channel there were still half a dozen Whimbrel. (AH)

Sidlesham village: A Red Kite over our garden just east of the B2145 at 1.20pm today. (A&YF)

North Wall: There was no sign of the Garganey this morning on the Breech Pool, though there was a Short-eared Owl displaying near Owl Point. (PC)
The Cattle Egret was again near Marsh Farm. (IL)

East Side: A Cuckoo was around the field by the paddocks and there was plenty of nest-material gathering being done by the Swallows around the stables.
A Common Sandpiper was in White's Creek and in the harbour there were three Bar-tailed Godwits, two or three Greenshank, half a dozen Whimbrel and Curlew and a mobile flock of c50 Ringed Plovers and c50 Dunlin, with a few Sanderling among them. (AH)


Cuckoo (above), Swallows, Common Sandpiper & Bar-tailed Godwit along east side of Pagham Harbour (AH)




Pagham Spit/Lagoon. There were 25+ Little Terns, 20+ Common Terns and 10+ Sandwich Terns feeding towards the harbour mouth, but not much on the spit beyond 40+ Linnets and a handful of Skylarks, Whitethroats and Ringed Plovers.
Three Gadwall on the lagoon were the only birds of note there. (AH)


Sandwich Tern (above), Little Terns & Linnet at Pagham Spit (AH)


Church Norton: The three Bar-tailed Godwits were viewable from this side of the harbour late afternoon, but not much else was in evidence save a few Whimbrel. (AH)
Peak counts of terns today were 27 Little, 20 Sandwich and 10 Common, both feeding and roosting in the harbour. Also a Hobby was in off the sea here. (IL)


Bar-tailed Godwits (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)


Medmerry: A count of terns here produced three Black Terns, along with 6 Little, 3 Sandwich and 15 Common. (IL)

Thursday, 5th May: Another fine, bright day, but with the breeze round to ESE rather than the hoped for south-easterly....even so, it eventually did the trick.....

Evening update: 33 Pomarine Skuas and 39 Black Terns past the Bill, with movement continuing through to the evening....please make allowances for tired observers and a long day in the field if the blog should slip a bit! (OM)

Selsey BillA large gathering of viewers were eventually rewarded with a flock of ten Pomarine Skuas east just before midday, after a decidedly slow start! There were also some Black Terns and an assortment of commoner passage birds, but as the day wore on, the wind eased to the south-east and started to work its magic, with more Poms and an assortment of terns and waders..... no great numbers moving through but a steady trickle and some nice variety. It was also a day that drew out from the woodwork some of the more mature observers who were formerly regulars but are now scarce visitors! All in all, quite an enjoyable day......Full log below:
0510-1930hrsESE2-3, then SE3 later. (Obs: JA/C&ME/CN then many obs....)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Diver sp - 4E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar - 3E
Gannet - 290E, 15W
Brent Goose - 37E
Shelduck - 3E
Common Scoter - 253E, 6W
Curlew - 2E
Whimbrel - 3E
Oystercatcher - 4E
Grey Plover - 37E
Dunlin - 54E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 9E
Sanderling - 46E
Ringed Plover - 25E
Knot - 1E
Little Tern - 26E, 25os
Black Tern - 39E
Common Tern - 123E
Commic Tern - 203E
Arctic Tern - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 167E
Kittiwake - 1E
Great Skua - 2E, 1os
Arctic Skua - 14E
Pomarine Skua - 33E (10,1,1,2,6,3,6,1,3)
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 2E, 9W
Swift - 6N, 6 area
House Martin - 2 area
Sand Martin - 1N
Swallow - 47N
Tree Pipit - 1N
Yellow Wagtail - 1N

 Record shots of Pomarine Skuas passing the Bill (DM)

 Sandwich Tern, Common Scoters, Great Northern Diver and Grey Plovers (DM)




Pomarine Skuas (above), Arctic Skua & Little Tern at the Bill (AH)


Below are some of the 'people highlights' of the day at the Bill.......(OM)
 Early morning and the Wall is already crowded.....over 40 observers visited today
The gentle touch...(excluding the lucky Steve Hooper)....Beryl James (standing), Mich Eames (front, pink top), and new recruits Tracy (green top) and Nikki (fair hair) at Ladies Corner.
A blast from the past as John Brame pays a rare visit....this former Pom King still holds the 'most Poms seen in a day' record and hasn't lost his touch as he saw more Poms today!
 Justin Atkinson (log-keeper) inspects John Faithfull's ear at close range!
 Old hand and cycling superstar Chris Janman finds a little down-time between counting Poms!

Bernie Forbes alias Mr Cool Shades Two-chins enjoying a sea-watch as usual

The evening shift (AH)
Ferry Pool: A Common Sandpiper was the only bird present this morning. (AH)


Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There was a partial summer-plumage Spotted Redshank, three or four Greenshank, at least 30 Whimbrel and a few Grey Plover and Dunlin in Ferry Channel, with the usual selection of singing warblers along the hedgerows. (AH)


Spotted Redshank and Redshank (above) & Whimbrel in Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: There were still 20+ Little, Common and Sandwich Terns around the harbour mouth, with a report from Birdguides of nine Black Terns over south. There was not much activity in the hedges, whilst in the harbour there were 20+ Shelduck and 30+ Whimbrel on the rising tide. A pair of Grey Partridges along the west side was a nice surprise, but about the only other species on show was Linnet, of which there were many. (AH)


Grey Partridge (above) & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A drake Garganey was on the Breech Pool this afternoon, along with a White Wagtail and a Little Ringed Plover. Also, the Cattle Egret was present again in the fields immediately east of Marsh Farm. (AH/BFF/DM)

Garganey at the Breech Pool (DM)


Medmerry (west): This morning there were 8+ Whitethroats, 6 Yellowhammers, lots of Skylarks and some Linnets and on the way back what I thought was two dogs lolloping along the road toward me turned out to be a couple of Brown Hares - they seem much bigger when up close. (T. Roe)



Skylark (above), Avocet, Whitethroat & Brown Hares at Medmerry (T. Roe)


Wednesday, 4th May: A bright and almost still (perhaps too still!) start with a very light NNE breeze giving way to a modest southerly-easterly and intermittent cloud cover...with the promise of further south-easterlies to come.....

Evening update....close Pom past the Bill at 1842......

Selsey BillDespite the rising breeze from the south there was very little on the move this morning but, as ever, there were still a few bits, including an Arctic Skua, a Bonxie, a few Common Scoter and Sandwich Terns going east, a Merlin and a Peregrine seen tussling well out to sea and three Great Northern Divers offshore. However, the highlight of the morning, albeit non-avian, was reserved for the three observers that stuck it out until noon (C&ME/OM) and beyond, when a pod of at least seven Bottle-nosed Dolphins was observed fishing and breaching, finally coming inside the shingle bar and providing nice scope views for about an hour. Full log below......
0600-1300hrs:  (Obs: C&ME/OM/AH/CRJ et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 2os
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 42E, 15W
Little Egret - 1W
Brent Goose - 10E
Shelduck - 1E, 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Common Scoter - 45E
Turnstone - 3E, 7ob
Merlin - 1W
Peregrine - 1 area
Little Tern - 13E, 4os
Common Tern - 10E, 3W
Comic Tern - 37E
Sandwich Tern - 46E, 8os
Kittiwake - 4E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Great Skua - 1W settled os
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1W
Swallow - 4N
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Whitethroat - 2 gardens



Great Northern Diver (above) & Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)



(1645-1900hrs) (JA/SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Gannet - 75E, 1W
Grey Plover - 3E
Whimbrel - 3E
Pomarine Skua - 1E (18.42)
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Great Skua - 1E, 1os
Common Tern - 37E
Arctic Tern - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 7E
Little Tern - 5E, 4os


Pomarine Skua (above), Little Tern and Common Tern past the Bill (AH)



Selsey, Warner Lane Paddocks: A late morning visit produced a Buzzard, a Red-legged Partridge, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Whitethroats, a pair of Blackcaps flycatching and two pairs of Linnets. (CRJ)



Ferry Pool: There was a Snipe by the road early on, along with three Whimbrel and a Shelduck, whilst in the channel opposite there were a couple of Greenshank and another dozen Whimbrel. (AH/OM) Later there was a Ringed Plover on the Ferry (CRJ)



Whimbrel in Ferry Channel (AH)


Church Norton: A Whinchat was along the first Several, the Cuckoo was heard but not seen in Priory Wood and a mobile Spotted Flycatcher was mainly behind the hide, but it seemed like something of a clear-out of passage birds occurred last night, though those that are here to stay - Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat etc were still in good voice.
In the harbour, on the high tide, there were at least 20 Little Terns and up to 30 Common and Sandwich Terns, initially feeding in the harbour mouth before settling on the metalwork and adjacent mud. (AH/OM/A&YF/PC)
Late morning the Cuckoo gave itself up and perched in the alder at the end of the track from the car park, before heading off north, the Spotted Flycatcher was showing well between the hide and the mound, whilst two Lesser Whitethroats and 3 Whitethroats were on the path to the beach and the Whinchat was still on the first Several. (CRJ)




Whinchat (above), Sandwich Tern and Herring Gull & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)



The gap in the spit is growing fast! (AH)

This evening there was a Greenshank in the harbour, along with c20 Whimbrel, c50 Ringed Plover and c120 Dunlin. (AH)


Greenshank (above) & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AH)


Medmerry: Ham Farm - A couple of Corn Buntings, Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers were around the banks, and a few Skylarks were singing overhead, though it was generally quiet, with just and handful of Dunlin and a couple of Sandwich Terns evident towards the breach. (AH) Also a Whinchat in the area (PH)


Corn Bunting (above), Reed Bunting & Skylark at Medmerry (AH)


Medmerry - west side: Stilt pools area: ca.40 Avocets, at least 8 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits dropped in, 6 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Whimbrel over, 6 Little Terns and 2 Common Terns (PH)
A Barn Owl was out hunting in the area this evening. (GT)


East side and beach – ca.40 Grey Plover, 10 Ringed Plover, 5 Whimbrel and 100 Dunlin. A young female Peregrine had several attempts at catching a Grey Plover over the pools. The plover ditched 3 times and finally the Peregrine gave up and headed off to the north. (PH)

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