Saturday, 7 May 2016

7th - 9th May 2016

Monday, 9th May: An altogether greyer day, with the occasional few spots of rain, though mild, with a stiff easterly breeze keeping the small birds low.... 

Selsey Bill: There was an early movement of 300+ Common/Commic Terns, along with four Black Terns, and later a couple of Arctic Skuas, but the real news was of a couple of Storm Petrels, first located by JF/CRJ feeding a fair way out around the fishing boats, moving back and forth for over half an hour late in the morning. A Bonxie was well offshore again, there were several Great Northern Divers about, three late Red-breasted Mergansers moved east and there was a notable trickle of Sanderlings on the move, whilst the pod of at least ten Bottle-nosed Dolphins was again fairly close offshore. Full log below....

0500-1430hrs:  ESE 4                (Obs: JA/JF/OM/C&ME/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
Fulmar - 2E
Gannet - 204E, 5W
Little Egret - 2ob, flew off E
Storm Petrel - 2 os (1100-1135hrs) E & W around angling boats, drifted off E
Brent Goose - 4E, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E
Common Scoter - 51E
Whimbrel - 17E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 7E
Grey Plover - 47E
Ringed Plover - 6E
Turnstone - 2E
Dunlin - 8E
Sanderling - 155E
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 6E, 6W
Little Tern - 10E, 12os
Black Tern - 4E
Common Tern - 50E
Commic Tern - 276E
Sandwich Tern - 37E
Kittiwake - 3E
Arctic Skua - 2E
Great Skua - 2E, 1os


Red-breasted Mergansers (above), Brent Goose & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Sanderlings on the beach at the Bill (OM)
Ferry Pool: There were just four Redshank and two Shelduck on the pool, but the circuit from the Visitor Centre was more interesting, with the two Tawny Owlets in the Discovery area still in their box, a pair of Cuckoos acting suspiciously around the creek, and best of all, two Nightingales singing against each other along the cycleway. (AH)

Tawny Owlets (above) & Cuckoo around Ferry area (AH)

Long Pool: There were still half a dozen Whimbrel in Ferry Channel, but not much else, whilst along the pool there were plenty of Reed and Sedge Warblers singing, plus several Linnets, Reed Buntings and Whitethroats. In the newly-cultivated fields opposite, there were two Lapwings and two Red-legged Partridges. (AH)

Great Crested Grebe (above) & Cormorant at Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: The first two broods of Avocets appeared today on the stilt pools (PH)

Church Norton: There were three Peregrines on the island today, and plenty of Little Tern activity, with one pair visiting the same area on Tern Island several times, as well as a few Common and Sandwich Terns being busy in the same area. (TG-P)

Sunday, 8th May: Another bright morning, with a moderate breeze veering either side of east.....becoming warm by afternoon.

Ten Pom Skuas today, all in ones and twos and spaced out through the day.... quite hard work for those involved in the Pom King challenge....current leader being none other than John Faithfull!!

Selsey Bill: A modest but steady movement east today, most notable for 19 Black Terns and ten Pomarine Skuas, plus six Arctic Skuas, and 250+ Commic Terns (almost all Common). There were still five Great Northern Divers offshore, two Yellow Wagtails came in and House Martin numbers were starting to build around the Bill House. Full log below.....
0500-1400hrs: ESE3 - SE3-4 later (Obs: JA/SH/PB/AB/OM/JF/ML/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Great Crested Grebe - 3E, 2W
Little Egret - 3E
Gannet - 206E, 19W
Fulmar - 3E, 2W
Brent Goose - 12E
Shelduck - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Common Scoter - 114E
Shoveler - 2E
Whimbrel - 8E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 9E
Dunlin - 2E
Sanderling - 80E
Common Sandpiper - 1E
Ringed Plover - 1E
Little Tern - 1E, 12os
Black Tern - 19E
Common Tern - 73E
Commic Tern - 215E
Sandwich Tern - 31E
Arctic Skua - 2E
Pomarine Skua - 5E (three singles and a two)
Common Gull - 16E
Black-headed Gull - 17E
Razorbill - 1W, 1os
auk sp - 2E, 4W
Swift - 2N
Swallow - 8N
House Martin - c.20 around Bill House area
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
Linnet - 3N

Black Terns (above), Little Terns, Sanderling & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

House Martin at the Bill (DM)

Brent Geese passing the Bill - getting quite late now (OM)

1400-1530 & 1650-1840hrs: (JA/SH/AH)
Gannet - 57E, 3W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Eider - 5E
Grey plover - 7E
Knot - 9E
Whimbrel - 2E
Turnstone - 11E
Sanderling - 3E
Little Tern - 12os
Common Tern - 4E
Commic Tern - 23E, 6os
Sandwich Tern - 19E
Arctic Skua - 4E
Pomarine Skua - 5E

Arctic Skua (above) & Little Terns showing their tiny size compared to a Herring Gull at the Bill (AH)

Sidlesham: A Hobby went rapidly and quite high over our garden in Sidlesham at c3.30 pm today. (S. Allday)

Ferry Pool: Just a Shelduck on the pool, with three Stock Doves over and a Whitethroat singing by the road. The two Tawny Owlets were still in their box in the Discovery Area. (AH/PB/AB)

Whitethroat at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Predictably quiet, with the brisk easterly keeping passerines low in the bushes, though the Wheatear was still on the concrete blocks, a few Linnets were along the beach, and the Cuckoo called briefly from Priory Wood. A pair of Bar-tailed Godwits were again in the harbour, plus a Curlew and a few Ringed Plovers, whilst there were a handful of Little, Sandwich and Common Terns bot in the harbour and offshore. (AH/S&SaH)

Wheatear at Church Norton (AH)

Long Pool: At the end of Ferry Channel there were  again up to 100 Whimbrel at high tide, plus 20 more on the adjacent ploughed fields, though not much else besides a few Bar-tailed Godwits. (AH)

Whimbrel in Ferry Channel (AH)

East Side: Both sun and birds did us proud late morning at the Old Jetty, Pagham Harbour as the massive tide came in, pushing waders ahead - some 70 Grey Plovers, many as black as coal underneath, six Bar-tailed Godwits, two Red Knot living up to their name , eight or more Whimbrel, more than four Curlew, 150 Dunlin, 120 Ringed Plover feeding in a frenzy and taking to the air and calling their plaintive notes, and a Sanderling too. As we sat by the Duke of Argyll tea tree both common and lesser whitethroat were to be heard singing. (ARK per SOS)

North Wall: Early pm, Breech Pool, Pagham Harbour three Common Terns paid a visit, one of which swam a while and washed. Also here two Ringed Plovers, single pairs of Gadwall and Shelduck, two Black-tailed Godwits (in winter-type plumage), two male Reed Buntings grubbing about on the mud and a Cuckoo singing. (ARK per SOS)

Saturday, 7th May: A little more cloud this morning, but basically still fine and dry with a light to moderate ESE wind.....on a date usually known by the Selsey regulars involved in the Pom King challenge as 'National Pom Day' due to its track record of producing at least some Pom Skuas (almost) every year!
And of course....this year it was the exception that proves the rule, although there were just a few Poms in the Channel recorded elsewhere!

Selsey Bill: Very little was moving offshore today, though bizarrely (and similar to last year) a Nightjar was seen hawking over the sea, beyond the Mile Basket. Also the Serin was heard briefly, having been heard and seen equally briefly yesterday. Otherwise there was a good selection, but low numbers of birds seen. The pod of at least 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins (at least one young) was showing well in the late afternoon. Full log below.......
(0500-1800hrs(Obs: JA/SH/PB/AB/C&ME/JF/PM et al)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 4E
Gannet - 86E, 3W
Fulmar - 2W
Little Egret - 1E
Canada Goose - 1W
Brent Goose - 5E
Shelduck - 2E, 6W
Tufted Duck - 1E
Common Scoter - 61E
Curlew - 1E
Whimbrel - 16E, 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E, 3W
Grey Plover - 2E
Dunlin - 3E
Sanderling - 2E
Hobby - 2N
Great Skua - 4E, 1os
Arctic Skua - 4E
Kittiwake - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 19E
Little Tern - 8E, 3os
Black Tern - 4E
Common Tern - 94E
Arctic Tern - 11E
Commic Tern - 146E
Razorbill - 1E
Nightjar 1os (hawking insects beyond mile basket line at 08.35)
Swift - 2N, 1p
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
House Martin - 4p
Swallow - 18N
Serin - 1 heard briefly
Kittiwake 1e

Common Tern at the Bill (SH)

The excitement of the last few days has taken its toll on the official Selsey Log-keeper (SH)

Medmerry (west): A Black Tern on the Stilt Pool this afternoon, along with a couple of Little and Common Terns, plus the usual Avocets and Little Ringed Plovers. (IL)

Ferry Pool: Nothing on the pool bar a Shelduck, but the Nightingale was singing quite well along the cycleway early on, along with a selection of warblers, and briefly, a Cuckoo. 
Also the badly-kept secret of the Tawny Owl family can now be let out, as the cameras and are in place and the area cordoned off - there are two well-grown owlets in the box in the Discovery area, that can't be too far away from moving out now. (AH)

Tawny Owlets at the Discovery area (AH)

Church Norton: An adult Tawny Owl (presumably unrelated) was in the trees along the path opposite the Mound this morning before being shooed off by the local songbirds. (AB/PB) 

Tawny Owl at Church Norton (AB)

There was a Wheatear on the concrete blocks this morning, a couple of Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits nearby, a mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plover flying about the harbour, and 10+ Little Terns and a few Common and Sandwich Terns feeding in the harbour mouth. Also, a Hobby went over the west side, and Cuckoos were heard there and around Priory Wood. (AH et al) 
There was also a Redstart at Park Farm, Selsey, and the pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins were in the bay, seen from the east end of the beach. (S&SaH)

Long Pool: There was a nice selection of waders at the end of Ferry Channel on the rising tide, including a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, at least 120 Whimbrel, five Bar-tailed Godwits, two or three Curlews, a dozen summer-plumage Grey Plover and at least two Knot and a few dunlin. A pair of Gadwall and 30+ Shelduck were also present, as was a displaying Meadow Pipit. 

There were plenty of warblers singing along the pool, and a pair of Reed Warblers were seen nest-building. (AH)

Grey Plovers (above), with Knot, Whimbrels & Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Whimbrel in Ferry Channel (AH)

Reed Warbler on Long Pool (AH)

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