Tuesday, 25 April 2017

25th - 27th April 2017

Thursday, 27th April: The north-westerly airflow continues, producing another  bright but very cold morning, after a very frosty start......

Selsey Bill: Once again, almost nothing moving, though there were up to 17 Little Terns, 40 Common Terns and 25 Sandwich Terns feeding close inshore, with 25 of the latter heading off east. There were also two Great Northern Divers on the sea and a Garden Warbler and three Blackcaps in the gardens. Full log below.....
0540-1030hrs: (SH/OM/C&ME/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 2os
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 55E, 32W
Shelduck - 2E, 1W
Common Scoter - 29E
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Whimbrel - 1E
Bonxie - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Little Tern - 17 os
Common Tern - c.40 os
Sandwich Tern - 37E
auk sp - 4E
Mediterranean Gull - 8E
Blackcap - 3 gardens
Garden Warbler - 1 singing in tamarisk hedge (disturbed by bonfire being lit close by!)
Willow Warbler - 3 gardens

(1640-1740hrs) (SH)
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 25E, 19W
Bonxie - 2E
SAndwich Tern - 2E, 3os
Common Tern - 5E, 2os
auk sp - 1E, 1W

Common Terns (above), Sandwich Tern & Little Terns off the Bill (AH)

Selsey town: An excited call from a resident (Roland, Town Council man) gave a perfect description of the male Redstart in his garden late morning (per OM)

Ferry Pool: Just one Little Ringed Plover, two Redshanks and five Shelduck were on the pool this morning. (AH/OM)

Church Norton: There was a very large mixed flock of waders in the harbour this morning, with at least 200 Grey Plover, 200 Dunlin, 50 Knot and 20 Bar-tailed Godwits among them, before they all took off and headed out over the spit and didn't return, leaving just a handful of Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits behind on the mud. 
It was quiet for migrants, with just the now-resident Cuckoo and a few Blackcaps singing, plus a persistent Lesser Whitethroat. There were also a few terns in the harbour this morning....15 Sandwich, four Common and two Little Terns were on or around Tern island plus a few Mediterranean Gulls with the Black-headeds. (AH/OM)

Grey Plovers (above), Grey Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot and Dunlin, Whimbrel & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were up to ten Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Whimbrel and a scattering of Grey Plovers, Ringed Plovers and Dunlin on the mud, plus two pairs of Mediterranean Gulls, but the bushes were silent in the dire conditions. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above) & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was a gorgeous male Yellow Wagtail feeding among cows, a pair of Little Terns which settled on the stilt pool, a pair of Mediterranean Gulls, a pair of Brent Geese grazing, five or more Little Ringed Plovers, three Ringed Plovers, a Greenshank, 30 Grey Plovers, three Knot, eight Whimbrel, 11 Dunlin and two Common Sandpipers besides a good many Avocets. Also there were a pair of Grey Partridges along the banks. (ARK per SOS)

Ivy Lake: Late in the morning there were 10 Common Terns and two Swifts, while on return early  in the afternoon neither of these two species were present, but there were c300 Sand Martins present. (ARK per SOS)

Wednesday, 26th April: Very similar to yesterday, with another fairly bright but cold morning, with the strong north-westerly persisting......

Selsey Bill: Nothing was moving this morning, though there was a good flock of feeding terns, including up to six Little Terns, c25 Sandwich Terns and c40 Common Terns, before they all drifted off east. (AH/SH)

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern & Sandwich and Common Terns at the Bill (AH)

East Beach:  A Great Northern Diver got itself onto the Breeding Bird Survey this morning, as did two Wheatears, but surprisingly there were no Turnstones. (SR)

Great Northern Diver (above) & Wheatear at Selsey East Beach (SR)

Ferry Pool: A large pipit - very likely a Tawny Pipit - was in the fields behind the Ferry, though it could not be refound later on. (IL)

putative Tawny Pipit at the Ferry (IL)

More usual fare included three Little Ringed Plovers and six Shelduck on the pool, a Grey Wagtail that dropped in behind the pumping station and up to a dozen Whimbrel off the Tramway, though birdsong was restricted to a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. (OM/AH)

Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: In Ferry Channel there were two Greenshank and c60 Black-tailed Godwit, and there was plenty of song in the hedges and reeds, including several Reed and Sedge Warblers, a couple of Whitethroats and Reed Buntings, plus a few Linnets, and a Sparrowhawk was also about. (AH/OM)

Greenshank with Black-headed Gull (above), Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat around Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm -There was a big mixed hirundine flock over the fields by the sewage farm this morning, including a couple of Swifts c300 Swallows and c100 each of Sand and House Martins, all upset by a passing Sparrowhawk. A couple of Whitethroats and Reed Buntings were in the hedges and a pair of Lapwings were displaying over the bare fields. (AH)

Easton Viewpoint: A Hobby passed over going north as we sat at the viewpoint. (R&GaH) 

Swift (above), Sand Martin, House Martin & Sand Martin, House Martin and Swallow at Porthole Farm (AH)

North Wall: A Cuckoo was calling at Welbourne, whilst White's Creek was like a wind tunnel and only 3 Black-headed Gulls braved the conditions! Very little was on Breech Pool either - just 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Gadwall, a Swan and a few Mallard and Teal. The cold wind kept things very quiet, but there had been a recent arrival of Reed Warblers as they were singing from most reedy habitats. On Honer reservoir were 8 Tufted Ducks, but the highlight was a flock of 37 Whimbrel feeding in a field SW of Marsh Farm, in company with a Brown Hare. A Song Thrush was demolishing a snail along the track north of Marsh Farm.... when I walked past the site I could see that it was a happy hunting ground for the thrush as there were broken snail shells everywhere. (JDW)

At the North Wall/fields this morning: Whimbrels, Brown Hare and evidence of a Song Thrush snail-fest (JDW)

Church NortonThere were 2 Peregrines, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Sandwich Terns and 50+ Mediterranean Gulls this afternoon. (SH)
Earlier there was a Redstart in the churchyard, still present after all the gardeners had finished strimming and 'tidying' etc. Also a  male Wheatear out in harbour on the concrete blocks and a Cuckoo calling from priory. (R&GaH)

Male Redstart in the churchyard at Church Norton (GaH)

Tuesday, 25th April: A very bright but cold morning, with the strong north-westerly making conditions unpleasant on the wrong side of the hedges......

Selsey Bill: Unsurprisingly quiet, though half a dozen Little Terns were offshore and two  Brent Geese went west. Full log below. 
(0540-0630hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2E
Gannet - 11E, 10W, 10os
Curlew - 3W
Little Tern - 6os 
Sandwich Tern - 17E, 6os 

Common Tern - 11os
Chiffchaff - 1 in gardens

(0730-0845hrs(AH/JDW/DM et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
diver sp - 1E
Gannet - 20os
Brent Goose - 2W
Whimbrel - 1E
Little Tern - 6os
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Commic Tern - 1W (probably an Arctic Tern)

Sandwich Tern (above), Little Tern, probable Arctic Tern & Brent Geese past the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least six Little Terns, four Common Terns and 20+ Sandwich Terns in the harbour this morning, but barely any Mediterranean Gulls. 
There were also c30 Grey Plover and c40 Dunlin on the mud, plus at least a dozen scattered Whimbrel and a Peregrine, but the bushes were quiet, with just the calling Cuckoo on the edge of the Priory and a scattering of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps to be heard, if not seen! (AH et al)

Sandwich and Little Terns (above) & with Common Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just a Little Ringed Plover and eight Shelduck on the pool, and c30 Black-tailed Godwits and c15 Whimbrel were in the channel opposite.
Around the Tramway there were a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and a handful of Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, though they were all keeping low. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A generally quiet morning with a deceptively chilly breeze, despite the sunshine. Three Common Terns were briefly over the Breech Pool, where there was little else on offer..... just 2 Gadwall, 10 Teal, 28 Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, 3 Sedge and 2 Reed Warblers, and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats nearby. A Cuckoo was doing the circuit of the bushes behind the pool, whilst 4 Whimbrel were on the mudflats opposite.
At White's Creek there were 5 lingering Wigeon and a single Brent Goose, plus a few Grey Plover and 15 Redshank, whilst in the bushes were a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and a couple each of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. (OM)
Nearby at Pagham Churchyard there was nothing of interest except a single Blackcap singing and the pair of Stock Doves which seem to have taken up residence in the louvre slats of the steeple. (OM)
Stock Dove at Pagham church (OM)
East Head: A smart Bar-tailed Godwit was in the harbour between Snowhill and East Head this morning. (MR)

Bar-tailed Godwit at East Head (MR)
Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: Signs of breeding activity around the pits this morning, with two pairs of Greylag and one pair of Canada Geese already with young, and other agitated pairs of both indicating they won't be alone. There were also 9 Pochard (of which 6 males), a pair of Mute Swans, 2 Great Crested Grebes and at least 6 pairs of Little Grebe (one of which already has young). A Common Sandpiper was present around the lake edges, and there were at least 12 singing Reed Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Cetti's Warblers and 3 Reed Buntings, plus 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the water..... and lots of Cowslips now coming into flower. (OM)
Little Grebes with young, and below, Canada Geese with young, Greylag Geese with young, and Cowslips coming into flower (OM)

Lesser Black-backed Gulls on Drayton Pits; left ssp. graellsii, and right presumed ssp. intermedius (OM)

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