Friday, 10 March 2017

10th - 13th March 2017

Monday, 13th March: A pleasant, sunny morning, with a moderate westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Very little moving, though there were several Great Northern Divers on the sea, and a scarce sea-watch record in the form of a Canada Goose! Full log below....
0730-1100hrs: (OM/C&ME/AH/C&JM/A&YF et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Gannet - 1E, 3W
Canada Goose - 1W, settled offshore awhile before continuing W
Brent Goose - 4E
Common Scoter - 12E, 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 6W, 2 os
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 2 os
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Pied Wagtail - 1N, 2 gardens
Raven - 1 over high NW, mobbed by gulls
Goldfinch - 6 gardens

Great Northern Diver (above) & Goldfinch at the Bill (AH)

Warner Lane, Selsey: There were two Chiffchaffs along the rife, and a Sparrowhawk and two Buzzards went over, wjhilst 100+ Brent Geese flew east high out to sea past the Coastguard Station. (SH)
Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper was briefly present, before disappearing into the field, as were 20 Lapwing and 12 Teal, with c200 Wigeon on the arable field.
There were two Water Rails again in Red Barn Ditch, and around the Tramway path there were a couple of singing Chiffchaffs and c100 Linnets, mostly flying about in a big flock. (AH)

Water Rail in Red Barn Ditch (AH)

Church Norton: Two Red Kites drifted over eastwards this morning, upsetting everything in the harbour, but there was no sign of any Wheatears. Along the beach were a few Linnets and Greenfinches but generally quiet here as were the bushes and hedgerows apart from a calling Cetti's Warbler. In the harbour, still Brent Geese and Wigeon but nothing to be seen offshore early on. Up to five Buzzards were thermalling over the horsefield. (BI)

 Red Kites at Church Norton (BI)

Early this evening there were two Chiffchaffs and two Cetti's Warblers along the Severals, 39 Black -tailed Godwit, including a couple going into summer plumage, in the harbour and 500+ Brent Geese in two flocks 300+ and 200+ flew high east and out to sea. (S&SaH)
Long Pool: The Red Kites were distantly viewable from the far end, and at least 500 Brent Geese were among the birds put up. The Avocet flock seemed to number barely 20 this morning, though there were plenty of Redshank, Curlews, Wigeon and Teal in the channel, plus two Gadwall and four Shoveler flew over.
There wasn't too much along the pool itself - just a vocal Cetti's Warbler, two or three Chiffchaffs, a handful of Reed Buntings and Linnets, plus a couple of Little Grebes and nine Tufted Ducks. (AH)

Avocets (above), Chiffchaff, Shoveler, Gadwall, Wigeon & Redshank from the Long Pool (AH)

Chichester Marina: On the marsh, two Cetti's Warblers were calling, 20 Teal were at the back and a pair of Canada Geese were trying to chase everything off. Along the canal were a few Tufted Duck and a Grey Wagtail, but the female Black Swan was on a nest.... last year this unmated bird nested and laid a clutch of infertile eggs, so it seems that this is being repeated....? (OM)

 Lonely female Black Swan on nest, and Grey Wagtail, Chichester Marina canal (OM)

Birdham Pool: Nothing out of the ordinary, but there were 14 Little Grebes, 15 Tufted Ducks, 5 Gadwall and 2 Shelduck present. (OM)

Runcton through to the farmland north of the harbour; Runcton - 2 Chiffchaff.

South Mundham - 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Stock Dove, 1 Chiffchaff, 8 Goldfinch.
Honer Reservoir ( very high water level ) - 1 Little Grebe, 2 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 4 Tufted Duck, 12 Coot.
Honer Farm - Meadow Pipit, 4 Yellowhammer, 2 Reed Bunting.
Chalder Farm  - 2 Common Buzzard, 1 Chiffchaff.
Marsh Farm -1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Yellowhammer, 2 Reed Bunting.
Fisher - 8 Mallard.
Also, a total of 8 Peacock Butterflies andlots of Coltsfoot and Primroses out in the sunshine. (CRJ)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was a Stonechat along the path from Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools and a Wheatear was on the rocks opposite them. There were plenty of Skylarks about, but not much else, apart from a welcome brightly-coloured Yellowhammer. (TRo)

Wheatear (above), Stonechat & Yellowhammer at Medmerry (TRo)

Sunday, 12th March: Marginally better than forecast, but it was still and damp and drizzly morning, though with only a very light easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Once again, very little on the move, though a fair selection of species. 
(0630-0830hrs)  (JA/SH/IP/AH) 
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 2W
Brent Goose - 28E
Common Scoter - 2W
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 5W, 10os
Curlew - 1W
Turnstone - 4p
Sandwich Tern - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 16N
Pied Wagtail - 1N

Fulmar and Wood Pigeon (above) & Red-breasted Mergansers past the Bill (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A male Black Redstart was around the buildings, though flighty, this morning, and in the fields there were 50+ Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Skylarks, plus a few Red-legged Partridges. (AH/IP/S&SaH)

Black Redstart (above) & Red-legged Partridge at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: The first Wheatear of the year was in the classic location of the concrete blocks at the start of the spit, and there were up to 20 Chiffchaffs thinly spread along the front from the second Several to the houses on East Beach Road.
There was not too much else of note, though a Sparrowhawk shot through, one or two Reed Buntings and a calling Cetti's Warbler were on the Severals, a pair of Canada Geese were on Tern Island, at least 200 Brent Geese and the usual waders were in the harbour, and single Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe and Common Gull were offshore. (AH/IP/S&SaH)
Later on there was another Wheatear at the far end of the spit. (IL)

Wheatear (top SH) (above), Red-breasted Merganser & Knot and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Little Ringed Plovers were on the Ferry, plus two Green Sandpipers this morning. (PJ via Sussex Birds Twitter) and a Water Rail was also out on the left hand side of the pool (BI) There was no sign later on, though the Green Sandpipers were still present, along with a Black-tailed Godwit, a dozen Lapwings and similar of Teal. (AH/IP)

Green Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH), above, and Little Ringed Plover & Water Rail, below, (BI)

Medmerry: East side - A Black Redstart  was by the digger compound near the breach this morning. (PJ via Sussex Birds Twitter)

Medmerry, Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool: At the first sluice was a Shelduck with a trio of Teal and on the right hand side marsh were a pair of Gadwall and still c.20 Wigeon. Quieter than yesterday on the way down with just a handful of Skylarks singing in the drizzle and just two Yellowhammers. 
There wasn't much action on the pools apart from 22 Avocets and a Ringed Plover with wildfowl numbers much reduced from yesterday. The Great Crested Grebe was still out at sea but there was again nothing along the beach. On the way back a small flock of Fieldfares was around the poplars and in the bean field near the car park. (BI)

Ringed Plover at Medmerry (BI)

This afternoon the wintering Greenshank was near the first viewpoint and the wintering Common Sandpiper was on the Stilt Pool, along with 31 Avocets (of a total of 43 seen) and eight Ringed Plovers. Also there were still 20+ Fieldfares near the car park and a couple of Yellowhammers and Buzzard. (S&SaH)
Later a Barn Owl was hunting around Eastons Viewpoint at 1825. (SR)

Ivy Lake: A quick look for hirundines was unsuccessful, though there were several singing Chiffchaffs this morning. (AH/IP)

Saturday, 11th March: Another grey and foggy day, with limited visibility and a chill easterly breeze....

Selsey: A Chiffchaff was in our garden early on, whilst nearby around the Warner Lane site there were 20+ Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and a Pied Wagtail over. Later there were 30+ Meadow Pipits and 20+ Chaffinches on the northern edge of the town, and on the newly dug pool at the end of Manor Lane were 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. (SH)

Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Selsey (SH)

At Park Farm the Dartford Warbler was back in its 'usual' field, plus a Chiffchaff. (SH)

Ferry Pool/Tramway: A Green Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit were on the pool, along with a couple of Shelduck and a dozen Teal, and 50 Wigeon dropped into the adjacent arable field.
A look around the Tramway produced two Water Rails and a Kingfisher in Red Barn Ditch (better know as the 'Creek behind the Visitor Centre'), a pair of Gadwall in the harbour, a briefly singing Chiffchaff , a Buzzard and a flock of 100+ Linnets flying around and making a lot of noise in the hedges. (AH)

Water Rail (above), Kingfisher & Gadwall around Tramway (AH)

Church Norton: Not much to be seen in the harbour through the fog, though the Whimbrel was showing, along with a couple of Curlews, 20 Redshank and 100 Brent Geese, and there were half a dozen Linnets and c30 Meadow Pipits along the west side. (AH)
There was very little to be seen along the beach, though there were at least 15 (presumably newly-arrived) Chiffchaffs fly-catching along the Severals, a Cetti's Warbler calling, a few Goldcrests and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls were near Park Farm, Selsey. (IP/SH)

Whimbrel (above), Linnet & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A Kingfisher and plenty of Linnets were seen from the wall, and a Tawny Owl and lots of Grey Heron activity was heard in Owl Copse this morning. (P&JW)

Medmerry, Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool: A Green Sandpiper came up from the first pool on the right this morning and there was another in the pools by Marsh Barn along with a Grey Heron whilst round the marsh were a dozen Teal and a Little Egret, nothing else being visible in the fog. A small flock of Yellowhammers and another of Linnets went over on the way down to the pools and numerous Skylarks could be heard if not seen also overhead. On the pools were the usual mix of wildfowl in small numbers, Wigeon, Teal, Tufted Ducks, Gadwall, Shoveler, Shelduck and Mallard as well as a surprise presumed escape in the form of a Ringed Teal. A Lesser black-backed Gull was again with the Black-headed Gulls, 44 Avocets were around the island as were more Skylarks & Meadow Pipits, this time visible to eye! No sign of anything on the beach but the Great Crested Grebe was still offshore. (BI)

Medmerry, Ham viewpoint: Fairly grim in this area this morning with banks of cold fog rolling in but there were a few Meadow Pipits & Goldfinches along the fenceline with a Stonechat and some Skylarks heard overhead. Out in the reserve were c.100 Brent Geese. (BI)

 Yellowhammer, above, Avocets, below at Medmerry (BI)

 Ringed Teal, above, & Skylark, below at Medmerry (BI)
 Stonechat in the gloom at Ham viewpoint (BI)

Ivy Lake: The Long-tailed Duck was still present near the chalet end this evening along with ten Shovelers, a similar number of Pochards and 24 Tufted Ducks. (BI)

Long-tailed Duck on Ivy Lake (BI)

Friday, 10th March: A dank and grey start actually got worse, as a drizzly fog descended on the coast and stayed all day.....

Selsey Bill: Again very quiet, even before the fog closed in. (OM/AH/JA/C&ME/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Common Scoter - 8W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Turnstone - 5E
Meadow Pipit - 5N
Pied Wagtail - 3N

Common Scoters past the Bill (AH)

East Beach: A calling Chiffchaff in the garden today, lost in the fog! (SR)

Ferry Pool: The Water Rail and four Snipe were on the pool this morning, along with a Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Black-tailed Godwits, two Lapwing, eight Redshank, four Shelduck and 15 Teal, with c200 Wigeon on the arable field. (AH)

Water Rail (above), Snipe & Lesser Black-backed Gull on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool area - There were 40 Avocets present on the Stilt Pool this morning, along with the over-wintering Common Sandpiper and a Mediterranean Gull. (PLS)

Church Norton: Almost nothing was visible, though there were 100+ Brent Geese, a Curlew and a few Wigeon and Teal just about discernible, whilst there were a couple of singing Goldcrests in the car-park and a Mistle Thrush briefly in Rectory Lane. (AH)

Curlew (above), Teal & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Sidlesham Churchyard: A Mistle Thrush, a Kestrel and a couple of Goldcrests were the only birds of note this morning. (AH)

Mistle Thrush (above) & Kestrel in Sidlesham Churchyard (AH)

Ivy Lake: At lunchtime, both the Long-tailed Duck and the Scaup were among the Tufted Ducks at the back of the lake. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck, Scaup and Tufted Ducks on Ivy Lake (AH)

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