Saturday, 1 April 2017

1st - 3rd April 2017

Monday, 3rd April: After a bright, crisp and calm start the morning quickly deteriorated as a dense bank of fog rolled in, leaving a gloomy day even as it eased....with a light mainly southerly breeze.

Selsey BillVery little moving at sea early on, save the odd Sandwich Tern and a few Common Scoters and Brent Geese, with the female Eider and four Great Northern Divers on the sea....then at 0830 the fog rolled in, abruptly ending proceedings. Full log below......
0610-0830hrs: (OM/AH/SR et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Gannet - 7E, 8W
Brent Goose - 22E
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 3E, 16W
Sanderling - 1ob departed E
Turnstone - 4E, 8ob
Oystercatcher - 13W
Curlew - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 17E
Common Gull - 2E
Greenfinch - several pairs displaying, gardens

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

(above) Sanderling on the beach at the Bill and (below) Greenfinch - one of several birds displaying in the gardens. (OM)

Selsey: The two Grey Wagtails are still visiting the observer's garden, near the Lifeboat station. (SW)

Church Norton: A male Redstart was in the churchyard this afternoon. (MP)
Also 81 Golden Plovers were on the fields between the reserve and the Nature's Way factory and 200+ Mediterranean Gull were in the harbour. (IL)

Redstart at Church Norton (MP)

Ferry Pool: A Water Rail was at the front again, but otherwise there were just a pair of Shoveler, a pair of Shelduck and a handful of teal on the pool and a couple of Lapwing on the field.
Around the Tramway there were three or four Blackcaps and up to six Chiffchaffs singing, with c130 Linnets in the hedges of the Yeoman's Field. Also two Gadwall were in the creek and a few Black-tailed Godwits were in the harbour. (AH/SR)
Also three Swallows were over the sewage works at the back. (IL)

Blackcap (above), Chiffchaff, Water Rail, Shovelers & Linnets around the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The Spotted Redshank was in Ferry Channel, along with two Wigeon, 20 Black-tailed Godwits and c60 Redshank, but there was little along the hedges beyond a handful of Linnets and Reed Buntings. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), with Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits & Linnet from the Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: Very foggy along the Wall. On the Breech Pool were nine Tufted Ducks, six Gadwall, five Shelduck and a pair of Great Crested Grebes. The latter were bowing and bobbing to each other at one stage. Along the Wall was one singing Sedge Warbler and two Cetti's Warblers, but otherwise it was very quiet. Owl Copse is beginning to whiten up as the blackthorn comes into flower. (JDW)

Great Crested Grebe (above) & Blackthorn blossom around North Wall (JDW)

Sidlesham Churchyard: A Swallow flew over and there were 2 Chiffchaffs. (SR)

Chalder Farm: The first Mallard ducklings of the year were on the pond, only three of them and very independent. Also a pair of Tufted Ducks, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Pied Wagtails, a Buzzard, 3 Chiffchaffs and a pair of nest-building Long-tailed Tits. There were also 34 active Rook nests along Chalder Lane. (SR)
Mallard ducklings at Chalder farm, Sidlesham (SR)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This evening a Short-eared Owl was hunting around Marsh Farm, 12 Yellowhammers and a singing Corn Bunting were along the banks and two Lesser Black-backed and 20+ Mediterranean Gulls were out on the reserve.
At the Stilt Pool there were a Greenshank, the wintering Common Sandpiper and four Little Ringed Plovers, plus 15 Avocets, with another 17 spread around the reserve. (S&SaH)

Short-eared Owl (above) & Avocets at Medmerry (AH)

Sunday, 2nd April: A beautiful, warm day, with a light breeze, initially from the north-west before swinging more southerly.....

Selsey Bill: Highlight of the morning was a Short-eared Owl in off the sea at just after 8am, and a probable Whinchat and a Wheatear also came in off the sea, though eastward movement offshore was limited to a few Common Scoters and Sandwich Terns. Full log later. (JA/SH/C&ME/IP/PB/CN/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 4E, 6W, 14os
Pintail - 2E
Common Scoter - 74E, 5W
Eider - 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 7E, 1os
Black-headed Gull - 40E in one flock
Common Gull - 6E
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 15os
Short-eared Owl - 1N
Swallow - 2p
Meadow Pipit - 7N
Pied Wagtail - 4N
Wheatear - 1N

Short-eared Owl (above), Sandwich Tern & Great Northern Diver at the Bill (AH)

(1500-1600hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 3E, 6W

Velvet Scoter - 5E
Common Scoter - 4W
Eider - 1os
Turnstone - 12ob
Sanderling - 2ob
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Common Gull - 2W
Swallow - 2N

Park Farm, Selsey: A female Redstart was in the paddocks this morning, though elusive and a Chiffchaff was briefly present too. (BI) Also, a Willow Warbler was singing nearby, on the waste ground by 'Ocean Air'. (S&SaH)

Northcommon Farm: The Little Owl was again on the wood-pile by the farm this morning, and six Curlews were in the field, whilst a few Skylarks were singing overhead. (SR/AH)

Little Owl at Northcommon Farm (SR, above & AH)

Ferry Pool: Just a single Little Ringed Plover, four Teal and six Shelduck were on the pool this morning, though a Kingfisher flew out of the creek into Ferry Channel. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was not too much migrant activity this morning, though a pair of Wheatears were on the spit, several Meadow Pipits came in off the sea and several Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing along the front.
There were 30+ Mediterranean Gulls, up to 100+ Golden Plover put up by one of the two Peregrines, four Brent Geese and a few Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwits in the harbour, and offshore there was a Great Northern Diver, a handful of Red-breasted Mergansers, Sandwich Terns and Gannets, plus a Lesser Black-backed Gull.
Also, there were several large flocks of mixed waders moving about far offshore, with a couple of them - appearing to be a mix of Grey Plovers, Dunlin and Knot - coming into the beach, though reluctant to settle. (AH/IP/CN/S&SaH) 
A Firecrest was around the conifers in the car park and there were two male Blackcaps at the end of the path. (BI/IB)

Wheatear (above), with Linnet gathering nest material,, Peregrine, Blackcap & Jay at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A lovely morning but very quiet on the avian front, with just 34 Common Redshanks along White's Creek, and on the Breech Pool just 23 Shelduck, 5 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 30+ Teal and a Great Crested Grebe. There was also a flock of at least 30 Black-tailed Godwits roosting at the back but difficult to count, and the first Little Egrets were back in Owl Copse.
The 23 Mute Swans were still alongside Pagham Rife but their Black cousin has moved on. On Honer reservoir were 11 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler, a Little Grebe and 6 Coots. Bluebells were showing along Honer Lane along with a swathe of White Campion. (JDW)

Tufted Ducks (above) & Bluebells around North Wall (JDW)

Ivy Lake Complex - New Lake: A brief late afternoon visit yielded a Firecrest, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Long-tailed Tits, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Little Grebes, 4 Gadwall, and 12 Tufted Ducks. I counted a minimum of 83 Cormorants sitting on their nests and the 10 or so Black-headed Gulls seemed to be vying for space on the raft so it was all very noisy! (SR)

Saturday, 1st April: Cloudy at first, becoming sunny and bright later, with a fresh SSW breeze......

Selsey Bill: A bit of passage again this morning, including two Velvet Scoters, three Common Terns, five Little Gulls and 300+ Brent Geese east. Full log below..... 
(0620-0930hrs)  (JA/IP/PB/AB et al) 
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 5E
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 55E, 83W
Shag - 2E
Brent Goose - 310E, 1os
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - 1E
Shelduck - 3E
Common Scoter - 14E
Velvet Scoter - 2E
Eider - 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 5W
Kestrel - 1p
Oystercatcher - 3W
Turnstone - 75E
Sanderling - 1E
Common Gull - 66E
Little Gull - 5E
Black-headed Gull - 59E
Sandwich Tern - 92E, 5W
Common Tern - 3E
auk sp - 2E, 1W
Pied Wagtail - 2N

Eider (above) & Great Black-backed Gull at the Bill (AB)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a pair of Redstarts by the horse paddocks late this morning. Nearby, a Hedgehog was present in the observer's garden early on. (S&SaH)

Hedgehog in a Selsey garden (SH)

Selsey: North & Warner Lane: A Redwing flew over low and a Peregrine and a Buzzard were present in the area. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: On the pool there were a Green Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers this morning, plus a couple of Lapwing and a handful of Shoveler and Teal, whilst in the channel opposite there were a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank among the many Redshank.
At least two Blackcaps and seven Chiffchaffs were singing around the Tramway and a flock of c30 Linnets flew over. (AH/PB et al)

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank, Blackcap & Little Ringed Plover and Moorhen around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The elusive male Black Redstart was again in the churchyard and a Firecrest was singing near the gate, and there were a singing Willow Warbler between the Severals and several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs spread about.
In the harbour there were up to half a dozen Sandwich Terns, a pair of Mediterranean Gulls, three Black-tailed Godwits, the pair of Peregrines, two Canada Geese on Tern Island, a lone Brent Goose and a Red-breasted Merganser, plus four Sand Martins and a Swallow flew over. Also big flock of Grey Plover, plus a few Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits flew out of the harbour heading east. There was also a Wheatear and a couple of Linnets about on the beach. (AH/IP/AB/PB/SH et al)

Firecrest (above) & Wren at Church Norton (AB)

Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)
 Wheatear and Linnet at Church Norton (SH)

Sidlesham: A lone Swallow was back prospecting our sheds early this morning. (AH)

Swallow in Sidlesham (AH)

Long Pool: There were a pair of Great Crested Grebes and three pairs of Little Grebes on the pool, and c20 Linnets along the hedge early this morning. (AH)

Little Grebes (above) & Linnet along Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: On the Breech Pool this afternoon were a pair of Gadwall, a pair of Tufted Ducks, six Shelduck, a Shoveler and 12 Teal whilst a Sedge Warbler was singing on & off from the reeds at the back. A Wheatear was along the wall but there was little along the hedges nearby bar two Cetti's Warblers and similarly the hedges around Halsey's Farm were quiet. In the harbour, seven Brent Geese and around thirty Wigeon lingered and there was a good roost of Black-tailed Godwits with a few Golden Plovers out on the islands. (BI)

Wheatear on the North Wall (BI)

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