Friday, 28 April 2017

28th - 30th April 2017

Sunday, 30th April: Another cold day for the time of year, with a strong, more or less due-easterly, breeze and mostly heavy cloud cover after a bright start....

Selsey Bill: Despite the wind being a touch more easterly, rather than south-easterly, there was still plenty of passage for a big turn-out of watchers, including eight Pomarine Skuas, 20+ Arctic Skuas (including some very close ones), 11 Black Terns, 15 Little Gulls, 17 Velvet Scoters, 700+ Common Scoter and a steady passage of waders, including Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Sanderling, and terns. Full log below..... 
0515-1400hrs: (JA/SH/PB/IP/JF/BI//OM/AB/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4 os
Manx Shearwater - 2E
Fulmar - 11E, 4W
Gannet - 571E, 29W
Grey Heron - 1N
Eider - 2E, 1 os
Common Scoter - 718E
Velvet Scoter - 17E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Gadwall - 1os, later flew E
Sanderling - 61E
Ringed Plover - 5E
Grey Plover - 28E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 37E
Whimbrel - 59E
Kestrel - 1N
Hobby - 2N
Auk sp - 4E, 1W
Little Tern - 82E
Black Tern - 11E
Arctic Tern - 8E 
Common Tern - 238E
Commic Tern - 836E
Sandwich Tern - 276E
Kittiwake - 7E, 2W
Little Gull - 15E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Common Gull - 8E
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 7E
Arctic Skua - 30E
Pomarine Skua - 8E
Great Skua - 2E
Swift - 6N
Swallow - 59N

Arctic Skuas (above), Little Gull, Common Scoters, Whimbrels, Sandwich Terns, Bar-tailed Godwits and Sanderling & Sanderlings at the Bill (AH)

Fulmar at the Bill (DM) & below, Whimbrel on the Oval Field (BI)

 A bit of a gathering! Sea-watching at the Bill this morning. (Many thanks to Karen Galtry for the cakes and to those who contributed to the impromptu collection for the RSPB) (OM)

 A happy John Faithfull in good form (DM)

 Tension! Assistant blog editor Bart Ives awaiting a Pom! (DM)
How many Poms in the East? ..... never mind, just grin and bear it!  (DM) 

(1400-1815hrs) (JA/SH/IP/AB/CN)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Manx Shearwater - 4E
Fulmar - 3E, 1W
Gannet - 378E, 8W
Shag - 1E
Gadwall - 1E
Common Scoter - 3E
Dunlin - 18E
Sanderling 22E
Whimbrel - 11E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 43E
Pomarine Skua - 1E (15.07pm)
Arctic Skua - 8E
Great Skua - 1E
Little Gull - 1E
Little Tern - 22E
Sandwich Tern - 42E
Common Tern - 119E
Commic Tern - 27E
auk sp - 2W

 Pomarine Skua (above), Arctic Skuas, Gannets & Whimbrels past the Bill (AB)

Ferry Pool: Two Bar-tailed Godwits dropped in briefly, early this morning, as did a pair of Common Terns later on, whilst on the pool there were three Black-tailed Godwits and six Shelduck.
From the Tramway there were two Greenshank and 20 Black-tailed Godwits in the harbour, but the little birds were keeping low, though Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff could all be heard. (AH)

Greenshanks (above), Bar-tailed Godwit & Avocets around the Ferry (AH)

Ivy Lake: This evening there were six Common Terns over the lake & on the buoys and a few Swallows and 12 Swifts feeding high over the water. Along the paths were a Willow Warbler, two Cetti's Warblers and two Chiffchaffs whilst over on West Trout Lake was another Common Tern and another six Swifts. (BI)

Common Tern at Ivy Lake (BI) 

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were 35 Whimbrel in grass fields west of the farm today, along with a pair of Grey Partridge and three Brown Hares. (S Allday)

Saturday, 29th April: At long last the wind shifted round to the south, leaving a cool and intermittently cloudy day with a brisk breeze.....with sunshine later and winds touching south-east.

Selsey Bill: After a slow start, the freshening southerly began producing skuas, with 37 Bonxies and 16 Arctic Skuas by 1400hrs, along with several Arctic Terns, 100+ Commic and Sandwich Terns, four Velvet Scoters and 400+ Common Scoters. Full log below.......
0530-1400hrs: (JA/OM/JF/SH/PB/IP/AH/BI/PM et al)
Red-throated Diver - 4E

Great Northern Diver - 4os
Diver sp - 2E
Fulmar - 2E, 5W
Gannet - 133E, 24W
Little Egret - 1 ob flew off E
Brent Goose - 13E, 7W
Shelduck - 2W
Eider - 1 os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Common Scoter - 462E
Velvet Scoter - 4E
Dunlin - 2E
Sanderling - 1E
Turnstone - 2E
Grey Plover - 2E
Curlew - 1E
Whimbrel - 30E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 154E
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 2E, 8W
Little Tern - 31E
Common Tern - 65E
Arctic Tern - 15E
Commic Tern - 101E
Sandwich Tern - 156E
Arctic Skua - 16E
Great Skua - 37E
Common Gull - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 5E
Swallow - 15N
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
Wheatear - 2N, 2 ob
Whitethroat - 1N settled ob
Willow Warbler - 2 gardens

Bonxies (above), Sandwich Terns & Wheatear at the Bill (AH)

 Little Egret on the beach at the Bill, and below the 'regular' Eider appears for his daily photo! (OM)

(above) Our longest-serving regular Beryl James (left) - who first visited the Bill in 1959 (!) - clocks up another visit, and (below) a bit of a shock to some, as the spectre of the wind turbines off Worthing becomes a visible reality.....we just hope the passing seabirds can spot them! (OM)

This afternoon there were more skuas passing, including three Pomarine Skuas. Full log below. (JA/SH/IP/AH/AB et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 186E, 20W
Little Egret - 1E
Common Scoter - 18E
Eider - 1os
Grey Plover 25E
Dunlin - 4E
Sanderling - 15E, 3p
Turnstone - 10E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 89E
Whimbrel - 64E
Pomarine Skua - 3E (at 16.20, 16.40 and 17.17pm)
Arctic Skua - 7E
Great Skua - 2E
Little Tern - 12E
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 4E
Swallow - 19N
Wheatear - 2N

Arctic Skua (above) & Mediterranean Gull past the Bill (AB)

Church Norton: A Wood Warbler was heard several times from the path to the harbour, but could not be seen. (D Buckingham) Also, oddly, a Fulmar flew west across the middle of the harbour. (M&L Hunt)
Beyond that, though, it was fairly routine stuff, with several Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats and Blackcaps singing, and in the harbour a couple of Little Terns and a dozen Common and Sandwich Terns, four Mediterranean Gulls, the Peregrine, 20+ Whimbrel and a scattering of Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover and Dunlin. (AH/BI et al)

Willow Warbler (above), Whitethroat, Little Tern & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: There were three Whinchats in the horse paddocks this morning. (PC)

Pagham Spit - Two Cuckoos were showing well today. (AB)

Cuckoos on Pagham Spit (AB)

Ferry Pool: The two Little Ringed Plovers were still present, and there were also two Redshank, six Shelduck and eight Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, with 30 of the latter in the channel opposite. (AH) Also, a Grey Wagtail dropped in. (M&L Hunt)

Little Ringed Plovers on the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: A Lesser Whitethroat was being unusually showy outside our house this afternoon, presumably because it had a vocal rival nearby. (AH)

Lesser Whitethroat in Sidlesham (AH)

Friday, 28th April: A little milder this morning, and with a lighter westerly breeze, though with generally heavy cloud cover......

Selsey Bill: Still almost nothing moving, though a Greenshank went through early on, four Great Northern Divers were on the sea and the Common Tern flock had grown to 70+ birds. Full log below..... 
0650-1000hrs:  (OM/JA/JDW/AH/SR/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 27E, 18W
Shelduck - 2W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 6E, 8W
Sanderling - 1W
Greenshank - 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3W (two landed ob)
Whimbrel - 2E, 1W (briefly landed ob)
Little Tern - 2E, 6os
Common Tern - c.70 os
Arctic Tern - 1E
Commic Tern - 10E
Sandwich Tern - 11E, 12 os
auk sp - 1W
Swallow - 2N
Wheatear - 1 gardens
Blackcap - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 5 gardens

(1530-1630hrs) (JA)
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 15E, 1W
Common Scoter - 36E
Bonxie - 4E (together!)
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 2os
Little Tern - 2W

Common Terns (above) & Wheatear at the Bill (AH)

 Whimbrel on the beach at the Bill, and below, an early morning view looking west, showing the ever-increasing shingle bar(s) now almost adjoining the shore! (OM)

Northcommon Farm: A (first-summer type) male Pied Flycatcher was at 'Flycatcher Corner', near the caravans this morning, before moving off towards the hedgerow, but often remained high and elusive in the canopy. There were also five Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers (OM/BI). Later a Garden Warbler and a Redstart were also located nearby, another Redstart, a male, was opposite the tennis courts and there were two Red-legged Partridges in a field further down. (C&ME/BI)

 Pied Flycatcher at Northcommon Farm (OM)

Ferry Pool: The pair of Little Ringed Plovers looked like they were fighting a losing battle with three Magpies, getting very agitated and feigning injury, and we will have to see if their eggs survived. Otherwise there were just two Redshank and four Shelduck present. (AH)

Little Ringed Plovers and Magpie on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A possible Garden Warbler, several Willow Warblers and a Wheatear suggested a bit of migration, but it was quiet otherwise, besides the regular Cuckoo. Later in the morning there were two Garden Warblers present and at least six Sedge Warblers, three Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff & five Reed Warblers along the Severals. There were also 50 Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour. (TR/BI)
Also a male Redstart in the churchyard during the morning. (C.Piper)
Late this afternoon there were two Little Terns and ten Sandwich Terns in the harbour, along with 20+ Whimbrel and a few Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Dunlin. (AH)

Grey Plover (above), Ringed Plover, Whimbrel & Shelducks at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Most of the interest was around the Stilt Pool this morning, including eight roosting Little Terns, a pair of Mediterranean Gulls, a single Wheatear, four Gadwall, two Common Sandpipers, two Dunlin, at least four Little Ringed Plovers, a dozen Swallows and 20 or so Avocets on nests.
The banks were fairly quiet, with several pairs of Lapwing, and a few Whitethroats, Yellowhammers and Skylarks about, along with a couple of Reed Warblers in the ditches, and a Greenshank was heard but not seen. (AH/TR)

Little Terns (above), Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Mediterranean Gulls, Swallow, Whitethroat & Skylark at Medmerry (AH)

Pagham Spit area: Of interest, a partly-leucistic type House Sparrow has been around a while but allowed itself to be photographed today (TG)
Partly leucistic House Sparrow (Snow Sparrow!!) at Pagham (TG) 

North Wall: A Whinchat was present in the horse paddocks this morning, and there was also female Ring Ouzel present this afternoon. (C.Piper/I Honeyman per SOS))

Ivy Lake: Late this afternoon a pair of Pochard were on Nunnery Lake, where they bred last year, and another half a dozen were out on the main lake, where overhead were a Sparrowhawk and 200+ hirundines high up, with most of the identifiable ones being Sand Martins. (AH)

Pochards on Nunnery Lake (AH)