Sunday, 7 May 2017

7th - 10th May 2017

Wednesday, 10th May: Another morning with a stiff north-easterly breeze, though there was plenty of sunshine and the direction shifted more easterly as the morning progressed......then becoming ESE which did the trick!

Selsey Bill: A total of 26 Pomarine Skuas were recorded today by 7pm. More details later. (OM/JF et al)
A very early Arctic Skua east hinted that some activity might occur, but it wasn't until after 9am that things happened - with a Nightjar seen coming in off the sea. First picked up by SR way out, it battled in low, only just above the wave tops, eventually coming close enough to permit identification, before heading inland up the beach and over the Oval field. There were also many Swallows and a few Swifts, and then between 10 and 11am, flocks of nine and four Pomarine Skuas went east, with intermittent small flocks thereafter up to 1805hrs! There was also a Wheatear on the beach and five Eider dropped on the sea as they headed east. Full log below.....
0540-1900hrs: (JF/C&ME/OM/TR/AH/SR et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 180E, 16W
Brent Goose - 2 Pale-bellied E
Shelduck - 2W
Eider - 5E later flew back W, 1os
Common Scoter - 39E
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E
Sanderling - 60E
Knot - 10E
Grey Plover - 20E
Turnstone - 2E
Redshank - 1E
Whimbrel - 2E
Oystercatcher - 14E
Kestrel - 1N
Nightjar - 1N (0912hrs)
Razorbill - 1E
Auk sp - 3E, 9W
Little Tern - 4E, 17os later drifted E
Commic Tern - 58E, 50os which later drifted E
Sandwich Tern - 93E
Kittiwake - 1E
Great Skua - 1E
Arctic Skua - 4E
Pomarine Skua - 26E
Wheatear - 1ob
Swift - 57N
Sand Martin - 1N
House Martin - 2N
Swallow - 386N

Eider (above), Wheatear & Little Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The striking tiger-striped Ruff was still on the pool this morning, along with a Little Ringed Plover, four Redshank, two Black-tailed Godwits and six Shelduck. (AH)

Ruff (above) & Little Ringed Plover at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall:
A very smart male Whinchat was at the back of the stable field at 11am today, and there were also a pair of Common Terns were flying around the Breech Pool and a Cuckoo could be heard behind the fields. (HR)

Long Pool: There were plenty of Whitethroats and Sedge and Reed Warblers singing along the pool, plus a Reed Bunting, a family of Coots was on the water and half a dozen Swifts were feeding overhead.
A Kingfisher flew along Ferry Channel, where there were also half a dozen Whimbrel, a Common Tern and a Great Crested Grebe coated in something orange. (AH)

Whitethroat (above), Swift & Coot chick along Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Very little to report, with the strong easterly keeping birds low, though a visiting birder reported the Firecrest in the churchyard, and there were a few Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers and a Reed Bunting along the Severals. The two long-staying Eiders were offshore, but there were few waders in the harbour, just a flock of c25 Grey Plovers and half a dozen Whimbrel and Ringed Plovers, though there were still plenty of Little, Sandwich and Common Terns around the island. (AH)

Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were at least 100 Swifts and House Martins and 200 Swallows over the fields this evening. (AH)

Swifts (above), Swallow & House Martin over Porthole Farm (AH)

Tuesday, 9th May: The morning started like many lately, with a brisk and rather chilly north-easterly with bright sunshine at first then increasing amounts of cloud...... before the wind finally eased a little, shifted more to the ESE and the sunshine re-appeared.

Selsey Bill: Only a bit of very light sea passage this morning, consisting of the usual few Common Scoter,  terns and Gannets, though nearly 50 Whimbrel and a few other waders were logged and three Hobbies came in off the sea. The gardens held nothing more than just three Willow Warblers, and generally it was slow going today......! Full log below......
0545-1230hrs(C&ME/JF/OM/AH/CRJ/DF et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 77E, 23W
Mute Swan - 5W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 143E, 6W
Dunlin - 3E
Sanderling - 2E
Knot - 11E
Grey Plover - 1E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Whimbrel - 49E
Hobby - 3N
auk sp - 4E, 1W
Little Tern - 10E
Commic Tern - 41E
Sandwich Tern - 55E
Swift - 2N
House Martin - 4N
Swallow - 95N
Willow Warbler - 3 gardens

There were times when the going got very slow today but it was good to see some of the more seasoned campaigners still dutifully scanning the horizon....all except CRJ it seems!

This evening (between 1650-1800hrs), there was nothing moving at all, though there were six Little Terns, ten Sandwich Terns and 30 Common Terns lingering offshore. (SH)

Medmerry: West side - A Turtle Dove was present in the fields near Marsh Barn this morning. (BO'D)

Ferry Pool: The splendidly-plumaged Ruff was on the pool again this morning, along with a Little Ringed Plover, 92 Black-tailed Godwits, four Lapwing, two Redshank and eight Shelducks. (AH/OM et al) The Ruff was missing at lunchtime, with just two Little Ringed Plovers of note (CRJ), but it was back by the road at teatime (AH.

Ruff (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Not much to report, though a Firecrest and a singing Willow Warbler were in the churchyard. (DM/A&YF)

North Wall: Apart from a Whimbrel and an Oystercatcher White's Creek was empty, whilst on then the Breech Pool early on there were 86 Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, a Redshank, three Grey Herons and a Mallard with 6 ducklings. 
A Cuckoo was along Pagham Rife and another was at Halsey's Farm. On Honer reservoir there were six Tufted Duck, two Shelduck, a Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper, whilst in the field behind Honer Cottages there were a pair of  Grey Partridge and along Honer Lane there were three Whitethroats and nine Yellowhammers. Also, a pair of Kestrels were mating on the church roof and a Roe Deer was behind Owl Copse, where the Hawthorn trees in full blossom. (JDW)

Greenshank (above), Grey Heron, Kestrel, Roe Deer & Hawthorn blossom around North Wall (JDW)


Later on a pair of Common Terns were on the Breech Pool, and a pair of Wigeon and three or four Whimbrel and Curlew were in White's Creek. (AH)

Common Tern (above), Whimbrel & Wigeon around North Wall (AH)

Pagham Spit: There were at least 30 Little Terns, and similar numbers of Sandwich and Common Terns feeding between the harbour mouth and Tern Island this morning, but there was barely a passerine beyond a handful of Linnets and Skylarks on the spit itself, though 50+ Swallows went through east.
There were very few waders in the harbour, with just a couple of Curlew, half a dozen Whimbrel, c30 Grey Plovers, c20 Dunlin, exactly a dozen Turnstones and a few Ringed Plovers to be seen, (AH)

Sandwich Terns, Little Terns, Grey Plovers and Dunlin, Turnstone & Whimbrel around Pagham Spit (AH)

Monday, 8th May: The wind reverted to a cold north-easterly again this morning, under grey skies, though it did brighten quite a bit by late morning.....becoming quite warm in sheltered spots and chilly elsewhere!

Selsey Bill: Not much was moving offshore beyond 130+ Common Scoters, and a few Gannets , waders and terns, but there was a Whinchat and three Redstarts (a male and two females) in the Bill House garden first thing. However, the early promise didn't really follow through, beyond a couple of Whitethroats and Blackcaps and ten Willow Warblers in the various gardens. Full log below......
0615-1230hrs:   (C&ME/JF/OM/AH/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 2E, 1W
Manx Shearwater - 1E
Gannet - 95E, 15W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 134E
Sanderling - 1W
Knot - 1E
Grey Plover - 9E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3E
Whimbrel - 7E
Razorbill - 1E
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 6E
Little Tern - 7E
Common Tern - 3E
Commic Tern - 27E
Sandwich Tern - 54E
Swift - 10N
Sand Martin - 3N
House Martin - 6N
Swallow - 113N
Kittiwake - 3E
In the Gardens:-
Sparrowhawk - 1
Whinchat - 1
Redstart - 3
Blackcap - 3
Whitethroat - 3
Chiffchaff - 1
Willow Warbler - 10

Redstart (above), Willow Warbler, Sandwich Tern & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

.....and the Eider appears for his daily pic! (OM)

Northcommon Farm: There were two Spotted Flycatchers in the hedge at the western end of the Country Club chalets this morning, and in the vicinity there were also a Whinchat, a Reed Warbler, a couple of Whitethroats and a Reed Bunting, with a few Swifts and Swallows feeding over the fields.
A pair of Stock Doves were around the farm buildings, but 'Flycatcher Corner' just yielded a singing Willow Warbler. (AH)
Another Spotted Flycatcher was tucked away in willows at the opposite end of the Country Club, feeding from the other side of the hedge in a corner of the golf course. (SR)

Spotted Flycatcher, near Northcommon Farm (SR)

Spotted Flycatchers (above), Whinchat & Stock Dove at Northcommon Farm (AH)

North Wall: There were two, and possibly three Spotted Flycatchers this evening along the path behind the stables, and two Cuckoos were in the vicinity. (IB)

Selsey, East beach pond: There were 4+ Willow Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers and a Whitethroat. The Mute Swans on the island were incubating at least 3 newly hatched cygnets, a pair of Coots had one young and there was a single Mallard duckling whizzing about the pond on its own. (SR)

Ferry Pool: Just a Little Ringed Plover and four Shelduck were on the pool this morning. (OM/AH)
Later on a Ruff was on the pool & was still showing well down by the road this afternoon. (CRJ/AH/BI)

Shelduck (AH) (above) & Ruff (BI) on the Ferry 

More images of the remarkable-looking Ruff on the Ferry (AH)

This evening the Ruff was still present, though elusive (IP), whilst along the Tramway there were two Greenshank in the main creek and at least half a dozen scattered Whimbrel, whilst three Gadwall flew over. (AH)

Greenshank from the Tramway (AH)

Medmerry: Breach area - A smart male Whinchat was at Toe End. (TG-P)

Church Norton: The only obvious migrant was a Willow Warbler singing behind the hide, though the Cuckoo was calling well, and a few Swallows went over.
A Bar-tailed Godwit, four Dunlin, two Grey Plovers and four each of Curlew, Whimbrel and Dunlin were on the mud and there were up to twenty Little, Sandwich and Common Terns around the island and harbour mouth. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Curlews & Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 7th May: A slight easing of the north-easterly breeze this morning, but still quite chilly under leaden skies.....though there were some periods of brightness too.

Selsey Bill: Rather little was moving offshore this morning, though a couple of Arctic Skuas went through, but there were 400+ Swallows, plus a few Swifts, seven Yellow Wagtails, and several Wheatears in off the sea, whilst a Lesser Whitethroat, four Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler were in the gardens. Full log below.......
0515-1230hrs: (JA/SH/JF/IP/OM/AH/BI/SR/C&ME et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 1E, 7W
Gannet - 160E, 25W
Little Egret - 1E
Brent Goose - 1E
Shelduck - 2E
Common Scoter - 3E, 64os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4W
Dunlin - 8E, 3W
Sanderling - 9E
Whimbrel - 2E, 4W

Common Sandpiper - 1ob - flew off W
Curlew - 3W
Hobby - 1N
Razorbill - 9E
Auk sp - 7E, 9W
Little Tern - 4E, 2os
Black Tern - 2E
Commic Tern - 14E, 9W
Sandwich Tern - 45E
Arctic Skua - 2E
Swift - 35N
House Martin - 15N
Swallow - 468N
Wheatear - 3N, 3ob
Yellow Wagtail - 7N
Whitethroat - 4 gardens
Lesser Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Sedge Warbler - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 8 gardens
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Willow/chiff sp - 4N

Arctic Skua  (dark phase) passing the Bill high up (OM)
Wheatear (above), Little Tern & Fulmar at the Bill (AH)

(1400-1500hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Gannet - 7E
Common Scoter - 26E
Grey Plover - 4E
Kittiwake - 2E
Little Tern - 4E, 3os
Sandwich Tern - 3E
Common Tern - 13E
Commic Tern - 18E
Swallow - 12N

Northcommon Farm: A Spotted Flycatcher was in the hedges around the 'Flycatcher Corner' area this morning, but not too much else of note. (OM)

Selsey Golf and Country  Club:  A Cuckoo was calling at 4am this morning. (SR)

West Wittering:  A pretty quiet day here, with a Raven over West Wittering, a Wheatear south of Itchenor and a late flock of 50 Ringed Plovers being the only points of interest. (GM)

Ferry Pool: A Greenshank, a Little Ringed Plover, two Redshank and eight Shelduck were on the pool, and four House Martins and ten Swallows went over. (AH)

Greenshank (above) & Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Wheatear was opposite the last houses, a couple of Whitethroats were in the hedges and two House Martins and ten Swallows went over. (AH/IP)

Wheatear (above) & Whitethroat at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: There was a constant arrival of Swallows off the sea, with up to ten Sand Martins and Swifts among them, but not too many other signs of inward migration, though there were at least four Sedge Warblers in the first Several, a Reed Warbler in the second and a Lesser Whitethroat in the hedge between them.
The two long-staying Eider were offshore and a dozen or so Grey Plovers, with a Dunlin among them flew east, but waders were hard to find in the harbour beyond a Common Sandpiper that flew onto Tern Island, one or two Whimbrel and a distant flock of 20 or so Bar-tailed Godwit.
There were at least 20 Little Terns feeding near the harbour mouth and at least that many Common and Sandwich Terns were also present, as were a few Mediterranean Gulls. (AH/IP/S&SaH)
Later on the Cuckoo was calling again. (IP)

Sandwich Tern, Grey Plover and Dunlin, Eiders, Sedge Warbler (AH), Blackcap & very confiding Robin (SH) at Church Norton

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Late this afternoon there were 33 Avocets on the stilt Pool, including 19 sitting birds, and another six on the reserve, along with a sitting Oystercatcher, and eight Little Ringed Plovers, with a Greenshank and 30+ Whimbrel out on the reserve. Along the banks there were 20+ Swallows, four Whitethroats, a Cetti's Warbler, two Buzzards and a Brown Hare. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There was a huge feeding flock over the back of the sewage works this evening, with estimates of 100 Swifts, 200 House Martins and 500 Swallows present, and there were also a Grey Wagtail, a couple of Pied Wagtails about, plus a couple of Whitethroats, a Yellowhammer and ten Stock Doves, and two Whimbrel flew over east. (AH)

Swifts (above), Swallows & House Martin at Porthole Farm (AH)

Sidlesham: The Swallows were busy nest-building in our shed this afternoon. (AH)

Swallow in a Sidlesham garden (AH)

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