Sunday, 26 March 2017

26th - 28th March 2017

Tuesday, 28th March: After a bright, if hazy start, with a light SSE, the sky quickly clouded over as the wind shifted more south-westerly and increased somewhat......

For those interested in the numbers, for the third year running Common Tern has been the 150th species of the year seen on the Peninsula, though we are currently running five behind last year's total of 156 seen by the end of March. (per IP, our official score-keeper, eds)

Selsey Bill: The benign conditions and light south-south-easterly wind produced some good early passage, including the first five Common Terns of the spring, six Little Gulls, an Arctic Skua, 100+ Sandwich Terns and 400+ Brent Geese going east and four Slavonian Grebes on the sea. However, by 0900 the wind had shifted more to the south-west, increasing in strength as it did so, and just as if someone had turned the tap off, the effects were almost immediate with passage slowing down and almost stopping. Full log below......

0640-1310hrs: (OM/C&ME/AH/JD/DS/DF/BFF/DM et al. The 'et al' this morning included Messrs Self and Brown et al from Seaford, a bit of a surprise given that they were apparently missing stuff flooding by there early on! We were pleased to welcome them, but needless to say they arrived at the Bill when passage had died..... a double misjudgement; better luck next time!)
Red-throated Diver - 7E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1os
diver sp - 3E
Slavonian Grebe - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 35E, 10W
Mute Swan - 2E
Brent Goose - 507E
Eider - 2E, 2os
Common Scoter - 140E, 8os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 5W
Mallard - 1E
Common Tern - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 125E, 5W
Little Gull - 6E
Kittiwake - 1E
Common Gull - 7E, 3W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p 0916)
Wheatear - 1ob
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1N, 1ob
Meadow Pipit - 3N
Footnote: A fairly distant flock of 8 duck were also picked up heading east, and were considered most likely Tufted Duck or similar (with Scaup considered)....but despite several observers getting onto them, the ID was not fully clinched. I hoped they'd be picked up further east, and sure enough it seems likely they were, with 8 Scaup logged at Beachy/Seaford. Too much of a co-incidence surely, though I doubt they will pass local scrutiny for acceptance! (OM)

(1620-1730hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 2os

Gannet - 6E, 6W
Brent Goose - 137E, 3W
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 1W

(above) Large flock of Brent Geese passing the Bill - there's about 98 birds here plus a single Mallard tucked in with them -  and (below) two Eider offshore. (OM)

Slavonian Grebes (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Scoter & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

North Mundham: A Red Kite went over this morning. (PLS)

Ivy Lake complex: Two Little Gulls were over Copse Lake this morning and four Sand Martins were over Ivy Lake. (IL) 
At lunchtime the Little Gulls had moved on, but a Common Tern was on Copse Lake, and a couple of Black Swans were nearby. (AH/IL)
A Mediterranean Gull was present on Ivy Lake late afternoon, dip feeding with the Black-headed Gulls. (BI)

Common Tern (above) & Black Swan around Ivy Lake complex (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Kingfisher flew into the harbour early on, but there was little other activity beyond a handful of displaying Redshank and four Shoveler, a dozen Teal, and just a dozen remaining Wigeon on the arable field (AH/OM)
Later there were two Little Ringed Plovers at the back of the pool. (Bob Self)
Nearby, there was an elusive Ring Ouzel around the car park area near the Visitor centre at around 10.30hrs. (BO'D) 

Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was not much evidence of migration here, though visiting birders reported the Black Redstart present early on (but not subsequently) and a couple of Firecrests in the churchyard. Otherwise there were a handful of Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers making their presence known, a few Linnets and Reed Buntings along the west side, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and lots of Goldfinches in the churchyard and the Whimbrel, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and c20 Knot in the harbour, along with c50 Shelduck and half a dozen Brent Geese. (AH et al)

Whimbrel (above), Goldfinches, Linnet, Great Spotted Woodpecker & Knot at Church Norton (AH)

Monday, 27th March: A hazy start, giving way to another sunny day, with the breeze still from the north-east, but abating somewhat.....and feeling quite warm in sheltered spots.

Selsey Bill: An air of anticipation this morning, with a fair turn-out of observers along the wall, including one or two of the older (ir)regulars taking in their first spring sunshine like basking adders! In the event it was fairly standard fare for late March..... a few Sandwich Terns and Red-throated Divers were moving, and a few ducks, but not too much else. There were plenty of arriving Meadow Pipits to keep the counters busy, and a few Swallows and Sand Martins also came in off the sea, whilst a Chiffchaff and a couple of Wheatears dropped in on the beach. Full log below......
0635-1230hrs: (GH/C&ME/AH/TR/RS/SR/OM/B&MC et al)
Red-throated Diver - 8E, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 35E, 5W
Brent Goose - 76E
Eider - 2os
Common Scoter - 37E, 6W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 2W
Shoveler - 18E
Pintail - 14E
Curlew - 2E
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Sandwich Tern - 11E, 5W
Common Gull - 11E
auk sp - 4E
Pied/alba Wagtail - 4N
Meadow Pipit - 464N
Sand Martin - 7N
Swallow - 5N
Wheatear - 2N, onto beach
Chiffchaff - 4 (3 gardens, 1N onto beach)
Goldcrest - 1 gardens

Sandwich Tern (above) & Chiffchaff at the Bill (AH)

Newly arrived Wheatear on the Bill beach (BI)

Coastguard station to the Windmill: Four Wheatears were on the beach from the Windmill this morning, c20 Meadow Pipits, a Pied Wagtail and a Greenfinch came in off the sea, and 17 Brent Geese and a Sandwich Tern went east. (AH)

Wheatears (above) & Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

Selsey: to the north of the town there were a Firecrest, a Goldcrest, a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff in the observer's garden! 
To round off a good garden day we had a sand Martin over and there were several Chiffchaffs around the estate, and probably the same Firecrest in a conifer on waste ground at Ocean Air. Also, two Lapwings were displaying at Park Farm.(S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: Just a Kingfisher in the channel of note, plus the usual Black-tailed Godwit, two Shoveler and a handful of Teal and Redshank this morning.(TR/OM)
Later, an Osprey was reported from the Tramway - heading into the harbour at 13.10hrs, (reported by visitor to Barry O'Dowd - the summer warden - to whom we extend a warm welcome - Eds).
Later on, two Spotted Redshanks were in Red Barn Ditch, one coming into summer-plumage, and a Raven went over the Visitor Centre. (TG-P)

Church Norton: The Black Redstart was in the churchyard again, two Ravens were about, seemingly gathering nest material, a Wheatear was on the beach, and the Whimbrel, a Sandwich Tern and c20 Brent Geese were in the harbour, Also there were two pairs of Lapwings on the lettuce field in Rectory Lane and there were a couple of Green Woodpeckers and Jays about. (AH/A&YF/MP et al)
Later on there were two Peregrines, two Buzzards, 10+ Chiffchaffs and 20+ Black-tailed Godwits about. (S&SaH)

Raven & Black Redstart (AF) (above), Black Redstart, Sandwich Tern, Lapwing & Green Woodpecker (AH) at Church Norton

Sidlesham: A Blackcap was singing in our garden on the west of the village this morning. (AH)

North Wall: On White's Creek there was an Avocet and a Spotted Redshank which was showing the first signs of breeding plumage, but there were just a few Teal, Mallard and Tufted Ducks on the Breech Pool along with 50+ Black-tailed Godwits roosting at the back, many in breeding plumage. 
Chiffchaffs were singing everywhere and Cetti's Warblers were heard at four locations. On Honer reservoir there were 10 Tufted Ducks and 8 Shovelers, a lone Sand Martin was hawking the surface water and there were 6 Yellowhammers in nearby bushes, whilst in the wet sunken field behind Owl Copse there were 4 Curlew and 2 Common Snipe, and there was an abundance of wildflowers along Honer Lane. (JDW)

Shovelers (above) & Black-tailed Godwits around North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry Breach: No sign of any Corn Buntings this morning but there were plenty of Meadow Pipits on the rough ground and passing overhead as well as a good number of Skylarks. Offshore there was still the Common Scoter flock numbering around 50 birds and there was a Wheatear on the sea defence rocks. (BI)

Sunday, 26th March: A bright, clear and sunny spring day, but with the brisk E/NE breeze persisting......

Selsey Bill: Still not much moving on the sea, though there was a distant Arctic Skua, a few Sandwich Terns, 14 Shoveler and 11 Tufted Duck going east and over 500 Meadow Pipits in off the sea. (JA/IP/PB/AH/AF/RJS/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Fulmar - 2E, 3W
Gannet - 62E, 47W
Shelduck - 2E
Wigeon - 2E
Shoveler - 14E
Tufted Duck - 11E
Common Scoter - 11E, 4os
Eider - 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 13E, 7W, 2os
Oystercatcher - 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Turnstone - 2p
Arctic Skua - 1E
Common Gull - 20E, 3W
Sandwich Tern - 6E
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 4W
Swallow - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 553N
Pied Wagtail - 10N
Goldfinch - 3N

A walk around the Bill at 10.15 didn't produce much.... 79 Meadow Pipits N, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers E, 5 Gannets W and 17 Turnstones in the car park (SR)

Sandwich Tern (above), Eider & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

(1500-1700hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Gannet - 13E, 1W
Brent Goose - 4E
Wigeon - 4E
Shoveler - 15E
Pintail - 1E
Common Scoter - 12E
Grey Plover - 13E
Dunlin - 24E
Sandwicxh Tern - 6E
Meadow Pipit - 10N
Wheatear - 1N

Coastguard Station to the Windmill: There were a Great Northern Diver and a couple of Gannets offshore, but just 20 or so Meadow Pipits in the field and a Chiffchaff by the houses. Also a Fox was on the beach. (AH)

Meadow Pipit (above) & Fox by the Coastguard Station (AH)

West side: A bit of visible migration this morning at Pagham Harbour, with an Osprey northwards over the North Wall at around 10.00 and also 135 Meadow Pipits over the west side in half an hour. (IL)

Ferry Pool: There were two Avocets on the Ferry, but otherwise just six Shelduck and eight Teal. (IL/AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry Breach: A Corn Bunting was singing near the viewpoint this morning. (AF/RJS)

Medmerry - West side: An afternoon visit to the Stilt Pools produced 53 Avocets, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper and 120 Black-headed Gulls. Offshore 2 Eider were on the sea, but then they flew off towards the Bill, as did a Sandwich Tern. (IL) 

Church Norton: The Black Redstart was still in the churchyard, and there were a couple of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests singing nearby, three Wheatears along the beach and the Firecrest showing well again in the Bluebell Wood.
There were also three Sandwich Terns, two Red-breasted Mergansers and a Gannet offshore and two Peregrines, five Avocets, the Whimbrel,  two Knot, 20 Dunlin and 80 Grey Plover  in the harbour. (S&SaH/IP/PB/AH)

Black Redstart (above), Chiffchaff & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Not much today, though a Sparrowhawk went over and 50+ Meadow Pipits were in the fields. (S&SaH)

Ivy Lake: Particularly quiet on the water this morning with nothing on the first half of the lake in the biting wind although further down it was slightly more productive with a scattering of Pochard and Tufted Ducks, a Gadwall trio and a lone Sand Martin at the chalet end. Up to six Chiffchaffs were along the path with a Green Woodpecker in the trees opposite the stables. (BI)

Chiffchaff at Ivy Lake (BI)

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