Thursday, 11 May 2017

11th - 13th May 2017

Saturday, 13th May: A change in the weather now, with the cold north-easterlies and high pressure having been replaced with low pressure and changeable conditions........  sunshine and cloud today after overnight rain, mainly dry but with the risk of an odd shower and a fresh south-westerly wind.

A couple of items to mention today.......
Firstly, could all those submitting information copy in our Deputy editor Bart Ives, who will be assisting AH and covering for me whilst I am away shortly, on a birding trip.... many thanks.

Secondly, some of you will know that AH and I have been working on a project for some while (!), to jointly author a publication funded by the 'Friends of Pagham Harbour' (a registered charity), with all profits from sales being used to fund specific projects at both Pagham Harbour and Medmerry RSPB reserves. We are closing in on completion, and fuller details will be announced nearer the time, but we feel sure that all regulars and anyone with an interest will be keen to support the project and obtain a copy, which will ultimately benefit two fine reserves on our patch.  Watch this space.....! (OM)

Selsey Bill: Not too much moving, but there were still three Arctic Skuas, a very late flock of 14 Brent Geese and a few other bits going east, and three Yellow Wagtails came in and a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Bill House garden. Full log below. (JA/PB/AGB/SR/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 97E, 5W
Brent Goose - 14E
Common Scoter - 75E, 2W
Eider - 1os
Peregrine - 1p
Ringed Plover - 1W
Dunlin - 30W
Sanderling - 21W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 11E
Whimbrel - 2E
Arctic Skua - 3E
Kittiwake - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 14E, 30os
Common Tern - 8E, 40os
Little Tern - 6os
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 7E, 1W
Yellow Wagtail - 3N
House Martin - 6p
Swallow - 1N
Spotted Flycatcher - 1 gardens

Arctic Skua (above) & Fulmar at the Bill (AH)

(1600-1700hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1`os
Gannet - 11W, 4E
Common Tern - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 9E, 6W

Ferry Pool: The Ruff appears to have departed, though there were c75 Black-tailed Godwits, six Redshank and eight Shelduck on the pool, and a Whitethroat and a Cetti's Warbler being very vocal around the edges. Also, a pair of Canada Geese with three goslings was in Ferry Channel. (AH et al)

Black-tailed Godwits (above), Cetti's Warbler, Whitethroat & Canada Goose family around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Not much evidence of migrants today, with the usual mix of Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Sedge Warbler song from the usual locations, and in the harbour there was just a mobile flock of c100 Dulin of note, plus the usual activity from the Common, Little and Sandwich Terns, of which 30 of the latter were sat out on the mud. (AH et al) Also two Painted Ladies were in the churchyard. (A&YF)

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Shelducks & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

Late this afternoon there were plenty of terns - c30 Little Terns, c40 Sandwich Terns and c50 Common Terns - feeding, displaying and sitting out on the dropping tide, but there were very few waders present, with just a handful of Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and Grey Plover, plus a single Curlew present, and no Whimbrels at all. Also the Cuckoo was back on the edge of the Priory, calling constantly. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Little Tern, Common and Little Terns & Shelducks at Church Norton (AH)

Friday, 12th May: A 'four seasons in a day' sort of a day, with a chilly and cloudy easterly to start, veering right round towards a mild south-west with plenty of sunshine, with some rain and drizzle in between....

Selsey Bill: There were more Pomarine Skuas east today - five by 1100 -  along with a Black Tern, an Arctic Skua, 150+ Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver and a selection of other birds. Full log below.... 
0530-1400hrs: (JA/JF/OM/CN/JDW/AH/BI et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar - 2E, 3W
Gannet - 149E, 12W
Eider - 1E, 1os
Common Scoter - 153E
Sanderling - 5E
Oystercatcher - 4E
Whimbrel - 5E
Little Tern - 2E, 2os
Black Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 4E
Commic Tern - 31E
Sandwich Tern - 59E
Arctic Skua - 1E
Pomarine Skua - 5E
Kittiwake - 4E
Razorbill - 2E
auk sp - 8E
Swallow - 5N
House Martin - 4 p

Pomarine Skuas (above), Great Northern Diver, Common Scoters, Gannet, Sanderlings & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Podium places in the Pom-King competition (barring an unlikely but possible late flurry of records!) - JF (1st, centre - currently on 77), OM 2nd, on right - currently on 55) & JA (3rd, on left - currently on 51) (AH)

An unfamiliar retreat from the rain for this spring (AH)

Ferry Pool: The smart Ruff was still present, along with 22 Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank, six Shelduck and a Lapwing. (AH)

Ruff (above) & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was very little indication of inward migration this morning, with just the regular Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in song, whilst in the harbour there were a handful of Ringed and Grey Plovers, up to 20 Whimbrel and plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Tern activity. (AH)

Sandwich Terns (above), Little Tern & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was nothing much in the way of migrants late this afternoon, and as an indication of the year moving on, there were three families of Avocet chicks (a two and a four), and two families of Canada Geese with goslings. Overall there were c50 adult Avocets around the pool, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers, four Gadwall, c40 Swallows and four Little Terns that appeared to fly in but could not be relocated.
Along the banks there were a couple of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Whitethroats, plus plenty of Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits, but the only other waders seen were a couple each of Curlew, Whimbrel, Redshank and Lapwing on the reserve. (AH)

Avocets (above), Avocet and Little Ringed Plover, Yellowhammer, Skylark & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 11th May: A day that started like many of late, with a cool and brisk north-easterly and some sunshine, before the wind eased to the east and the temperature rose under heavy cloud.....with some heavy showers, periods of sunshine and humidity.

Selsey Bill: Another very interesting day for those with the time to appreciate it! Highlight was the splendid adult Long-tailed Skua that was tracked along the Hampshire coast before passing the Bill at 1054hrs (and subsequently Seaford at 1300). This is only the second spring record, after one in May 1985. There were also another three Pomarine Skuas east, and three female Garganey among a flock of Common Scoters, that went east, drifted back and went again, and a few flocks of Common Terns on the move. 
Later, there was another Pom Skua past at 1705hrs (JA).
Full log below.....
0535-1330hrs: (JF/C&ME/OM/SR/RJS/DF et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 2E, 1W
Gannet - 164E, 10W
Shelduck - 2W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 188E,3W
Garganey - 3 os then E (with Scoter flock 0930hrs)

Sanderling - 35E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2E
Whimbrel - 3E
Little Tern - 5E, 4os
Black Tern - 1E
Commic Tern - 92E, 30os
Sandwich Tern - 61E
Kittiwake - 2E
Long-tailed Skua - 1E (1054hrs)
Arctic Skua - 3E
Pomarine Skua - 3E (0944hrs)
Great Skua - 2E
Razorbill - 3E
auk sp - 7E, 1W
Yellow Wagtail - 3N
Swift - 3N
Swallow - 30N
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

 Adult Long-tailed Skua passing the Bill this morning (all four pics DM)

 Pomarine Skuas passing the Bill (DM)

Commic Terns (above) & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Also 1500-1800hrs:   (SR/JA)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 18E, 3W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 2E
Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 6E, 10os
Commic Tern - 3E, 3W
Sandwich Tern - 12E, 10os
auk sp - 1W
Great Skua - 3os then flew E
Pomarine Skua - 1E
Swallow - 2N

Ferry Pool: The showy Ruff was present again, along with two Black-tailed Godwits, two Lapwing, four Redshank and six Shelduck. (AH et al)

Ruff (above) & Shelduck at the Ferry(AH)

Church Norton: A very quick look didn't produce much beyond a couple of Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats in the hedges, and a handful of Whimbrel and 20+ Little, Common and Sandwich Terns in the harbour. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above) & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)

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