Wednesday, 25 April 2018

25th - 26th April 2018

Thursday, 26th April: Another bright and windy day, with a distinct early chill to the strong westerly....

Selsey Bill: Even quieter than yesterday, with a coasting Hobby the only highlight beyond a few locally moving Gannets, Fulmars and terns. Full log later. (C&ME/TR/RS/AH)


Fulmar (above), Little Tern & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)




Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still about, as were 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, and there were also c60 Dunlin, eight Redshank and four Lapwings around the pool, along with large numbers of Black-headed and a few Mediterranean Gulls.
There was not too much around the Tramway circuit beyond a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Whitethroats, plus handful of Chiffchaffs. (AH/CMJ/TR/RS)


Spotted Redshank (above), Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)





Church Norton: It was very quiet here again, with a brief snatch of Willow Warbler song and a Sand Martin and a Swallow over being the only hints of migration. A couple pf Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing sparingly and a female Reed Bunting was gathering nest material, whilst offshore a pair of Gannets and a pair Little Terns were all that was seen, whilst, sadly, a dead Razorbill was on the beach.
Up to ten Whimbrels and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits were in the harbour, plus a pair of Gadwall, whilst there were just 20 or so Sandwich Terns among the large numbers of Black-headed and a Mediterranean Gulls. (AW/AH)


Gannet (above), Reed Bunting (both AW), Little Tern, Whimbrel & Linnet (AH) at Church Norton








North Wall: Quite cool and blustery despite the sunny start and it soon became apparent that the conditions would not be conducive to any birding excitement this morning. Sedge and Reed Warblers were present all along the wall, with several Whitethroats proclaiming their territory, but it was all rather run-of-the-mill stuff.... several Cetti’s Warblers, a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff or two, 3 Blackcaps and a pair of Reed Buntings, whilst the Breech Pool held 4 Gadwall, several Tufted Duck, a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a single Black-tailed Godwit. A look around the stable fields area drew a complete blank other than several recently arrived Swallows making themselves at home.
White’s Creek held 15 Redshank and 36 Shelduck, 3 Grey Plover flew over and up to a dozen Whimbrel were dotted about on the mudflats, whilst two Common Terns were fishing in the channel and another Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the hedgerow.
The nearby Pagham churchyard failed to produce a single migrant and I realised it was just one of those days, so took the decision to go home and get on with something useful! (OM)





Wednesday, 25th April: A bright and blustery day, warming up after a chilly start, but with a brisk and freshening westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Predictably quiet again on the migration front, save a lone Bonxie that came off the sea, but 17 Manx Shearwaters went west, along with a Red-throated Diver, a few Kittiwakes and Gannets and one or two Fulmars, with a couple of Wheatears on the beach.  Full log below..... (PB/C&ME/MO-W/AH/MH/PC)
(0545-1230hrs)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 78E, 44W
Fulmar - 4W
Manx Shearwater - 20W (inc a flock of 13)
Eider - 1W (female)
Common Scoter - 7E, 9os
Grey Plover - c150W
Dunlin - 12W
Whimbrel - 9W
Bonxie - 1E
Kittiwake - 6W
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Common Tern - 14os
'Commic' Tern - 12E
Little Tern - 28os
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 2W
Swallow - 26N
Wheatear - 2p

Wheatear (above), Fulmar & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)



Still no Poms! (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still down near the road and there were c120 Black-tailed Godwits, a drake Gadwall, four Redshank and six Teal also present, with a Common Sandpiper in the channel opposite.
A Cuckoo was calling from the north end of Yeoman's Field, but the Tramway circuit produced just the usual scattering of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, plus two Lesser Whitethroats - all keeping low, whilst a total of 32 Whimbrel were in the harbour around the main channel. (AH/AB)


Spotted Redshank (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper & Whimbrels around the Ferry (AH)




Ivy Lake: There were 150+ Swallows and Sand Martins, plus a few Swifts, over the lake this morning. (BI)

North Wall: There were plenty of Sedge Warblers, plus a couple of Reed Warblers singing this morning, but notably not from the main reed-beds which are still more or less under water. There was little else to report beyond a couple of Whimbrels in the harbour, four Lapwing and two Black-tailed Godwits, plus a Shoveler, on the fields, two Sand Martins west and a couple of Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats along the hedges. (AH)


Sedge Warbler (above) & Whitethroat at the North Wall (AH)


This afternoon there were two Common Sandpipers in White's Creek and another two on Pagham Lagoon. (AB)

Church Norton: The first Black-headed Gull pair have laid on Tern Island, and the new electric fencing is now up and running.... (per Ivan Lang, Warden)

A fairly quick look produced a Wheatear on the beach and a couple of Gannets offshore, three Whimbrel in the harbour and the usual mixed mass of gulls and terns, all disturbed by the RSPB team and their boat paying a visit to the island. (AH)


Wheatear (above), Gannet, Mediterranean Gull and the RSPB boat at Church Norton (AH)





Just after 7am there was a group of four Dunlin in the harbour, whilst along the Severals there was a singing Sedge Warbler and on the beach there were three Wheatears. Also three Little Terns were diving in the sea nearby. (AW)


Little Tern (above), Wheatear & Sedge Warbler at Church Norton (AW)



Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were c50 Swallows and House Martins, plus a dozen or so Sand Martins over the settling tanks this evening. (AH)



House Martin (above) & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)






Sunday, 22 April 2018

22nd - 24th April 2018

Tuesday, 24th April: A bright and fresh morning, with a brisk westerly and more sun than forecast....until just after midday when heavy cloud and some mist rolled in, severely reducing visibilty.

Selsey BillThere was very little eastward passge, but some westbound movement, and an arriving Hobby also went west offshore, as did 14 Manx Shearwaters (some fairly close in) and a few Fulmars, whilst 20+ Little Terns patrolled the shoreline and five Wheatears were on the beach. Also, a large mixed flock of Dunlin and Grey Plover tried to land on the rocks by the Mile basket, but couldn’t do so and flew West – a repeat of yesterday, so perhaps the same lot involved?...  Full log below...... 
0600-1245hrs: (PB/C&ME/AH/OM/DF/DS/MJ et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 2W
Great Northern Diver - 2os
diver sp - 1E
Gannet - 38E, 96W
Fulmar - 2E, 13W
Manx Shearwater - 1E, 14W
Brent Goose - 4E
Common Scoter - 1E
Dunlin - 30W
Grey Plover - 80W
Whimbrel - 10E, 5W
Hobby - 1 arriving from sea headed W offshore
Little Tern - 26os
Common Tern - 3E, 16os
Sandwich Tern - 26E, 15os
Great Skua - 3E
skua sp - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 3W
Common Gull - 3E
Guillemot - 2W
Razorbill - 4W
auk sp - 1E, 1W
Swift - 1N
House Martin - 4 p (local birds)
Swallow - 19N
Wheatear - 5ob

Manx Shearwater (above), Little Tern, Common Tern & Fulmars at the Bill (AH)




 confiding Wheatear at the Bill (OM)

(1645-1830hrs) (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 4W
Fulmar - 2W
Purple Sandpiper - 1W
Turnstone - 12W
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 32W

Common Tern - 21W
Little Tern - 15W
Razorbill - 1W
Swallow - 5N

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Spotted Redshank was showing well on thee Ferry again, along with a Common Sandpiper, two Avocets, c120 Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank, two Gadwall and five Shoveler.
A Raven went west over the Long Pool, being chased by a Carrion Crow, whilst there were at least ten Sedge Warblers and a couple of Reed Warblers singing along the reeds, though hard to see in the breezy conditions, with two pairs of Little Grebes and half a dozen Tufted Ducks on the water. (AH)
A Marsh Harrier was over tramway near the Visitor centre at 07.30, plus several Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats and Blackcaps around. (A&YF)


Spotted Redshank (above), Raven & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)



Church Norton: There was little to report again, from the bushes beyond the usual  Linnets, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, whilst in the harbour there were half a dozen Whimbrel, a couple of Black-tailed Godwits and a few Little, Common and Sandwich Terns among the gulls recolonising the island. Four Wheatears were also on the beach and the usual Sedge Warblers were present at the Severals area .(AH/A&YF))

Linnet (above) & Tern Island getting busy again at Church Norton (AH)

Late afternoon there were at least 10 Whimbrels in the harbour along with a couple of Curlew and a Black-tailed Godwit, and there was also a single Dunlin among a group of Redshank. Along the beach there were four Wheatears and there was a pair of Mute Swans on the sea. (AW)


Wheatears (above), Whimbrel & Mute Swans at Church Norton (AW)




Medmerry (west): Stilt Pool: A long walk from Golf Links Lane to Stilt Pool and back (07:00 to 11:30) produced the following (J. Palmer)....... 

Great White Egret over at 07:00 heading north
Whitethroat 26 (singing males)
Lesser Whitethroat 3
Whimbrel 3
Spotted Redshank 1
Avocet 79
Little Ringed Plover 2
Stonechat 2 (m & f)
Mediterranean Gull 68 (most following a plough)
Stock Dove 52
Cetti's Warbler 5
Red Kite 1
Tree Pipit 1 (in off the sea)
Little Tern 21 (3 on Stilt Pool and 18 offshore)
Sedge Warbler 2
Reed Warbler 3
Willow Warbler 1


North WallHighlight this morning was 2 Cuckoos; one along the Wall later moved to Halsey's Farm area and the other was at the top end of Pagham Rife close to the pumping station. On the Breech Pool were a pair of Great Crested Grebes, 8 Tufted Ducks, and a Mallard with 3 ducklings. Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers were present all along the Wall. On Pagham Rife there were 6 Canada Geese and a pair of Stock Doves nesting in a willow tree. The partially flooded field towards the top of the Rife held 9 Shelduck, 27 Black- headed Gulls and 2 Lapwing appeared to be holding territory. A recent feature over the fields has been the numbers of Med Gulls... at least 30 this morning, and happily the Swallows are back at Welbourne Stables. (JDW)


Record shot of distant Cuckoo, and Canada Geese, at the North Wall (JDW)

Chi GPs - Ivy Lake complex: At Ivy Lake/East Trout Lake there was a notable arrival of c.50 Swifts and c.50 Sand Martins, and a surprise Common Sandpiper flew across East Trout Lake. Also, there were still a dozen Common Terns present, plus a Pochard. (GH/AH/TK) In the evening there were at least 200 Swallows & Sand Martins present, and probably many more, 12 Swifts over the east end, 12 Common Terns still along with a few House Martins. (BI)



Sand Martins (TK top one) & Common Terns (AH) at Ivy Lake





Monday, 23rd April: The wind has shifted back to westerly, with bright  blue skies and fast-moving cloud, though considerably cooler than the last few days....

Selsey BillPredictably, the shift in wind direction meant very few birds were on the move, though an Arctic Skua and two Bonxies went east, 200+ Dunlin and 50+ Grey Plovers went west and up to six Wheatears were on the beach. Full log below....
0600-1100hrs (PB/C&ME/OM/AH/MO-W)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 48E, 114W
Grey Heron - 1W
Shag - 2E
Common Scoter - 12E
Whimbrel - 2E, 3W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1W
Black-tailed Godwit - 5W
Grey Plover - 15E, 40W
Dunlin - 8E, 200W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Great Skua - 2E
Little Tern - 1W
Common Tern - 4E, 6os
Sandwich Tern - 17E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 4W
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 1 p, 2W
Swallow - 11N
House Martin - 3 p
Wheatear - 6 ob
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Goldcrest - 1 gardens
Linnet - 4W


Wheatear at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was showing well this morning, and there were c80 Black-tailed Godwits, six Redshank, three Gadwall, eight Shoveler and four Teal also about. (AH)



Spotted Redshank (above) & Black-tailed Godwit at the Ferry (AH)


Northcommon Farm: A male Redstart was at 'Flycatcher Corner' this morning. (SH) There were precious few other migrants - just a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap - though resident species included a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers at their nest-hole, a pair of Green Woodpeckers at a likely breeding site, and a pair of Buzzards mating on a telegraph pole! (OM)

Church Norton: At 7am there was a Cuckoo calling in the Priory Wood, whilst over the first Several I caught sight of a possible Red-rumped Swallow heading west, but it got away before I could confirm it.
Further along the Severals there were two Lesser Whitethroats and a Common Whitethroat, together with a Sedge and a Willow Warbler and over the second Several there were five Swallows and a Sand Martin, with a Sparrowhawk nearby. 
In the harbour as the tide receded their were 10 Little Terns, a Common Tern and in excess of 30 Sandwich Terns, along with the pair of Peregrines, finally resetytled on 'their' island.
Also, in the old horse-field there was a Gadwall with what appeared to be a line attached to its bill. (AW)
There was not much to add later on, though there were at least 70 Sandwich Terns and four Whimbrel on the mud, a Willow Warbler and several Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in the bushes, a Wheatear flew along the beach and a flock of 20 Grey Plovers and five Knot went west, well offshore.. (AH)



Lesser Whitethroat (above), Whitethroat, Sand Martin, Little Terns, Peregines, Gadwall (AW), Willow Warbler, Whimbrel, Sandwich Terns & Grey Plovers and Knot (AH) at Church Norton










There was not much to add this afternoon, with just half a dozen Gannets offshore and three or four Whimbrel and a few Little and Common Terns in the harbour of note. (AW/AH)


Little Terns (above) & Whimbrel (AH), Whimbrel & Gannet (AW) at Church Norton




Sidlesham: Church Farm Lane - The Stonechat was still present today. (S Allday)


Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There  were 12 Little Terns on the Stilt Pool late this afternoon, with another 30 feeding offshore. Also, a Dartford Warbler, a Stonechat and two Reed Buntings were along the banks, with nine Swallows over, a Whimbrel and 47 Avocets were on the reserve, with another 13 of the latter and three Little Ringed Plovers on the Stilt Pool. (S&SaH)

Little Terns at Medmerry (SH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge to Ham Farm - This afternoon there were a total of 13 Wheatears along the banks, plus two singing Corn Buntings, with three Whiombrels and four Mediterranean Gulls in the tidal area. (J Palmer)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were c50 Swallows and c20 House Martins (but no Sand Martins) around the settling tanks tonight. (AH)


House Martin and Swallows at Medmerry (AH)




Sunday, 22nd April: After fairly prolonged overnight thunderstorms and heavy rain, the morning began sunny and bright, though rather hazy and murky offshore, with just a faint SE breeze.....gradually clearing as the breeze increased and backed SW. 

Selsey Bill: Another still but sunny morning produced several Arctic Skuas, a couple of Bonxies, a Velvet Scoter and a small flurry of waders - though it was generally slow going overall. It was pleasing to record the first five House Martins back over the housing estates, and collecting mud from the puddles in Grafton Road, but apart from a few Swallows arriving and a couple of Chiffchaffs, the gardens and bushes were virtually devoid of migrant passerines.....where are they all this year?  (JA/SH/PB/CN/M&KG/IP/AH/OM et al)   Full log below.
(0545-1200hrs) 
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 1W
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 6os
diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 3E
Manx Shearwater - 1E
Fulmar - 1E, 13W
Gannet - 100E, 16W, 6os
Shag - 1os
Brent Goose - 23E
Common Scoter - 197E
Velvet Scoter - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Grey Plover - 170E
Knot - 1E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 20E
Curlew - 2E
Whimbrel - 50E, 3W (inc one flock of 35E)
Bonxie - 5E, 1os
Arctic Skua - 5E (2 l/p, 3 d/p)
Little Tern - 6E, 6os
Common Tern - 11E, 30os
Sandwich Tern - 25E, 22 os
Little Gull - 1E
Common Gull - 1E
Kittiwake - 11W
Swallow - 19N
House Martin - 1N, 5p
Wheatear - 1N
Yellow Wagtail - 2N



Velvet and Common Scoters (above), Arctic Skua, Fulmar & House Martin at the Bill (AH)




(1545-1630hrs) (JA/SH)
Gannet - 1E, 6W
Whimbrel - 2W
Bonxie - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 5E, 5W
Common Tern - 2W
Swallow - 3N

Park Farm, Selsey: There were three or four Swallows around the barns this morning, but not much else of note. (AH/IP/CN/RM)


Swallow at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)


Church NortonThere has been some comment recently regarding the Peregrines in the harbour. Last week staff under licence visited the island to check on the progress of the pair. Unfortunately no nest was located and a single egg was found predated from an avian predator. Due to the size of the hole in the egg it is believed that it was an Oystercatcher responsible. There have been a number of incidents around the country where Oystercatchers have been responsible for the predation of eggs, particularly in seabird colonies, and although this is the first recorded event at Pagham it is far from uncommon. 
We hope that the Peregrines will re-nest but as they generally nest early in the year there is a chance they will not try again this year. (I.Lang, RSPB Warden Pagham & Medmerry)


The female Peregrine was out in the harbour this morning and there were also half a dozen Common Terns, a Little Tern, c20 Sandwich Terns and c50 Mediterranean Gulls, plus a couple of Black-tailed Godwits, with two Whimbrels were on the beach and a Gannet and a Bonxie were offshore.

At least ten Swallows and a Sand Martin came in off the sea and three Wheatears were on the beach, but there was little other evidence of migration beyond the now settled Sedge Warblers, Blackcaps (even seen carrying nesting material in Bluebell Wood!), Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats. (S&SaH/AH/IP/CN/RM)


Peregrine (above), Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Linnet, Common Tern & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)







Late this afternoon, before high-tide, there were three Little Terns in the harbour and a Peregrine was around but neither falcons were seen on their island. (AW)




Little Tern (above), Little and Sandwich Terns & Peregrine at Church Norton (AW)






Sidlesham: Church Farm Lane - A Stonechat was singing from top of scrubby hedge off lane yesterday and again today, and a Wheatear was in the adjacent field. (S Allday)


Ferry Pool area: A Cuckoo was seen and heard this morning,and up to four Lesser Whitethroats, plus the usual Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats were around the Tramway and Information Centre, whilst 23 Black-tailed Godwits were in Ferry Channel and c150 Grey Plovers and c50 Dunlin went south over the harbour.  (A&YF/RJS)
Early on the Spotted Redshank was on the pool, along with two Avocets, four Redshanks, six Shovelers and six Teal. (AH)


Spotted Redsjhank (above) & Whitethroat at the Ferry (AH)


Medmerry: Porthole Farm - This was the first evening with more than two Swallows over the settling tanks - with at least 20 of the afore-mentioned species, similar of House Martins and half a dozen Sand Martins present, and a Whitethroat in the adjacent hedge. (AH)




Sand Martins and House Martins at Medmerry (AH)






Dell Quay to Fishbourne:  Along the main channel were 12 Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel and an early Common Sandpiper and on the return trip a party of 7 Great Crested Grebes were seen flying south. At least 8 Mediterranean Gulls were also observed. 

Migrants were scarce on the ground but Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff were seen and a Reed Warbler was heard but declined to show. Raptors were represented by a Kestrel, Peregrine and 2 distant Buzzards. (JDW & th SOS)