Friday, 17 March 2017

17th - 19th March 2017

Sunday, 19th March: Rather similar to yesterday but more blustery; dry and mainly cloudy with a few brighter hints and a strong WSW wind gusting up to force 7.....

Selsey Bill: A bit of variety but not a great deal passing through....
0620-1000hrs  (SH/PB/JA/IP/SR et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1W, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Slavonian Grebe - 3os (one in summer plum)
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1E, 5W
Gannet - 9E, 70W
Brent Goose - 152E, 1W
Shelduck - 2E
Common Scoter - 1E, 4os
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 6W, 5os
Wigeon - 2W
Grey Plover - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 1E
Kittiwake - 1W
Auk sp - 1W
Meadow Pipit - 11N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 6N

An additional hour (1400-1500) produced just one Gannet E and 7W, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers E, a Common Gull W, and 4 Kittiwakes W. (SH)

Selsey: A Grey Wagtail was present in a garden near the Lifeboat station. (S. Williams)

Grey Wagtail in a Selsey garden (SW)

North Wall: A female Marsh Harrier was hunting around the back of the Breech Pool at 0850 this morning (PC).
Church Norton: A mid-morning visit produced 5 Chiffchaffs (3 at Greenlease farm and 2 at the Severals), plus 2 Wheatears on the concrete spit, a Reed Bunting and a couple of Cetti's Warblers. A Peregrine was over the saltings and a Buzzard was soaring, whilst offshore were an imm. male Eider, a Great Crested Grebe, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers and 8 Gannets. (S&SaH/IP)
A male Firecrest performed well in Bluebell Wood, which also held several Chiffchaffs, but otherwise wader numbers remain low in the Harbour, though there were still at least 30 Brent Geese on the East side. (IP)
Wheatear on the concrete spit (SH)

Chichester GPs, Ivy Lake: No Sand Martins here first thing although a good number of dip-feeding Black-headed Gulls did suggest that there had at least been an adequate insect hatch around the lake. The strong wind had pushed a dozen Pochards closer to the bank than usual and there were a few Tufted Ducks and Canada Geese further out on the water. On Nunnery Lake there were  a further 18 Tufted Ducks and two more Pochards. Over at Drayton there were six Little Grebes, two pairs of Greylag Geese and 20 Canada Geese with a few Long-tailed Tits in the shrubs near the water's edge. (BI)

Pochard, above, on Ivy Lake & Tufted Ducks on Nunnery (BI)

Saturday, 18th March: A mainly cloudy and dry day, with a few brief hints of brightness and a moderate to fresh westerly wind force 4-5......

Selsey Bill: The main feature this morning was 500+ Brent Geese on the move, but otherwise not too much to get excited about....
0615-1015hrs: (PB/JA/CN/SH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E
Shag - 2E
Brent Goose - 540E
Common Scoter - 6E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 13W, 4os
Teal - 1E
Ringed Plover - 1W
Curlew - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Pied/alba Wagtail - 2N

Also 1400-1530hrs:  (SH)
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 3W
Brent Goose - 31W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 7W
Mallard - 2W
Turnstone - 4E
Razorbill - 1E

Medmerry: Windmill area: Quiet this morning in the strong breeze with no sign of either the Black Redstart or any Wheatears. Highlight here was c.100 Brent Geese moving east which were presumably some of those also seen at the Bill. (BI)

Medmerry Beach & Breach Viewpoint: Later the Black Redstart and a male Wheatear were around the rubble heaps near the windmill but for the most part kept themselves tucked away from the strong wind and public disturbance. At Toe End there were two Corn Buntings and 12 Meadow Pipits. From the viewpoint there were just 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 41 Brent Geese, 13 Shelduck, a Stock Dove, half a dozen singing Skylarks and 35 Curlew overhead. (SR)

Brent Geese moving high past West Beach (BI)

Corn Bunting near the Breach viewpoint (SR)

Church Norton: Noticeably no Brent Geese in the harbour in an early look and generally quiet first thing. A Wheatear was on the concrete blocks, a Green Woodpecker by the Severals where two Cetti's Warblers were calling and there was a scattering of Chiffchaffs but little else to report other than a few Teal. (BI)
Later, the highlight was three Wheatears together (2 males and a female) on the concrete spit in the harbour, where the reducing number of the common waders is becoming very noticeable (there was a flock of about 20 Knot still there). Additionally the pair of Peregrines were present around their Island and then in flight over the harbour. (IP)
At least 5 Chiffchaffs were in the orchard near to Greenlease Farm, plus single female Stonechat in the horse field and offshore there were just two pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers. At least three Cetti's Warblers were calling from both Severals (6 in total). A single Sparrowhawk set all the ducks into panic in the horse field and a pair of Buzzards completed the raptor representation for the day, whilst a pair of Jays was showing well in the trees of the Priory. (IP)

Early afternoon there was a Raven on the beach, a Sandwich Tern offshore, and 10+ Chiffchaffs. (SH)
There were also 4 Wheatears on the concrete spit (K&MG)

Green Woodpecker, above, and Teal, below, at Church Norton (BI)

Raven on Church Norton beach (SH)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover was present early afternoon. (H.Ramm)

Ivy Lake: At least a dozen Sand Martins were over the lake this afternoon. (H.Ramm)

Westhampnett Pit: A few Little Grebes this afternoon along with plenty of Coots and Black-headed Gulls but no hirundines. (BI)

Friday, 17th March: A fine, sunny spring-like start with just a light NW breeze, but changing by mid-morning to become cloudier, with an increasingly brisk and chilly  westerly setting in....

Selsey Bill: Hints of early migration this morning with a Wheatear, several Chiffchaffs and a small number of arriving Meadow Pipits, plus an eastbound Sandwich Tern that actually looked like it was moving through......full log below:
0645-1145hrs:  (C&ME/OM/JA/A&YF et al)
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Shag - 1E
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Brent Goose - 73E
Common Scoter - 7E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 6W, 10os
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Auk sp - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 45N
Wheatear - 1ob
Chiffchaff - 4 gardens 
(also Comma butterfly)

Selsey Bill this morning: Wheatear on the beach and Chiffchaff and Comma butterfly in the gardens (OM)

Northcommon Farm: No migrants to report other than a couple of Chiffchaffs, but a pair of Mistle Thrushes was driving off corvids and the rookery of 54+ nests was a noisy frenzy. (OM)

Medmerry: Windmill area: There were at least six Wheatears along the path and around the rubble heap this morning along with the Black Redstart. In the clifftop fields were a lone Curlew and a few each of Skylarks & Meadow Pipits. (BI)

Black Redstart, above, & Wheatears, below, near the Windmill (BI)

Warner Lane, Selsey: Two Swallows flew overhead following the path of the rife northwards at c.12:30. (BI)

East Beach Pond: Not much of interest on a cold and increasingly windy afternoon, however there was a Chiffchaff in the bushes. The Mute Swans have built their nest on the island in the same position as last year and the pen appears to be sitting on eggs. (SR)

Swan on nest at East Beach pond (SR)

Church Norton: Three Wheatears were on the beach this morning and two calling Cetti's Warblers, a pair of Reed Buntings, a singing Linnet and probably a dozen Chiffchaffs were along the Severals. The harbour was very quiet apart from c.100 Brent Geese that dropped in as were the bushes near the hide and the churchyard. Along the path near the car park were singles of Red Admiral, Peacock and Painted Lady butterflies. (BI)

Wheatear, above, Linnet, below, & Painted Lady at Church Norton (BI)

Medmerry: Easton to the Stilt Pool: A quick bike ride to the pools and back didn't turn up much in the strong westerly breeze but there were 45 Avocets, a Grey Heron, c.30 Brent Geese and the usual mixture of ducks on the pools plus a Little Grebe. (BI)

Avocets, including a colour-ringed bird, at Medmerry (BI) 

Itchenor Pond: The Teal were still on the pond with nearby woodland containing 2 Chiffchaffs, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Treecreeper and 3 Goldcrests. (SR)

Drake Teal at Itchenor Pond (SR)

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