Thursday, 29 March 2018

29th - 31st March 2018

Saturday, 31st MarchAnother chilly and very grey day - though mostly dry - with the breeze having veered round to westerly.........

Selsey BillThere wasn't too much on the move save a few Red-throated Divers and Sandwich Terns, though the Water Rail was still present in the Bill House garden and a couple of Wheatears put in brief appearances. Full log below.....
0630-1230hrs:  (SH/PB/IP/AH/SR/OM/BI et al)  
Red-throated Diver - 19E, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 4os
diver sp - 3E
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Fulmar -  1E,1W
Gannet - 26E, 42W
Shag - 1E
Grey Heron - 1 os eventually departed SW
Common Scoter - 25E, 24W, 30os
Red-breasted Merganser - 14E, 11W, 10os
Peregrine - 1N
Purple Sandpiper - 1ob
Turnstone - 24ob
Water Rail - 1 Bill House garden; showed first thing then at 0900hrs
Sandwich Tern - 21E, 16os
Kittiwake - 2W
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 49N
Pied Wagtail - 1N
Wheatear - 1N, 1 ob

Red-throated Diver (above), Common Scoters & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

A video of the Selsey Bill Water Rail taken by SR on the 29th of March is here

Highleigh: A drake Mandarin was in a roadside ditch this morning along Mapsons Lane before flying off later. (JW/BI)

Mandarin and Mallards in Highleigh (JW)

West Wittering: There were a pair of Bramblings underneath the feeders this morning! (GM)

Ferry Pool: The usual selection of ducks was present on the pool this morning, including three Gadwall, four Shelducks, c20 Shoveler and c30 Teal, whilst two Lapwings and c40 Black-tailed Godwits were in the creek at the back. (AH)

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

Park Farm, Selsey: A female Stonechat was in the paddocks, c15 Curlews dropped in on the ploughed fields and a Buzzard was overhead. (AH/IP/S&SaH)

Stonechat at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

Church Norton: There were four Wheatears along the spit this morning and two Firecrests were in the Bluebell wood, where there were also a couple of Chiffchaffs calling, whilst six Meadow Pipits flew in off the sea.
Offshore there were just a handful of Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes, whilst in the harbour there were 30+ Sandwich Terns, 50+ Mediterranean Gulls, c40 Brent Geese, an Avocet, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk, a lone Pintail and a few Wigeon.
There were few waders in the harbour, though they included 30+ Ringed Plovers and a lone Black-tailed Godwit, whilst two Shovelers were in the flooded field and six Buzzards were up over Priory Wood.. (AW/AH/IP/S&SaH)

Wheatear (above), Shoveler, Buzzard & Sparrowhawk at Church Norton (AW)

Wheatear (top SH)  (above), Ringed Plover & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The female Scaup was still on the Stilt Pool, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, whilst a male Wheatear and a male Stonechat were near Marsh Barn and a Greenshank was near the poplars. There were also plenty of Yellowhammers still on the arable land opposite Marsh Barn. (IP/S&SaH/BI)

Wheatear (above) & Stonechat at Medmerry (SH)

Scaup  (above) & Little Ringed Plover at Medmerry (BI)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - A Barn Owl was hunting in the drizzle this evening and 55 Golden Plovers flew in from the west and flew around before going back west. (AH)

Barn Owl (above) & Golden Plovers at Medmerry (AH)

Good Friday, 30th MarchA dull, grey and damp morning with drizzle soon giving way to heavier rain, and a brisk E/SE wind keeping things decidedly cool.....

Selsey Bill: The first Arctic Skua (a dark-phase) and a Common Tern went east, along with approximately 100 Sandwich Terns and 200 Common Scoters, plus a few Eider this morning. Also, a Purple Sandpiper dropped in on the beach and the Water Rail was still in the Bill House garden. Full log below....... 
0630-1030hrs: (JA/SH/PB/CN/SR/IP/AH/BI)
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 2W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 2 os, displaying
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 27E, 17W
Brent Goose - 5E
Eider - 7E, 3W
Common Scoter - 198E, 2W, 100os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 5W, 8os
Shoveler - 7E, 3W
Purple Sandpiper - 1 ob
Razorbill - 2E
Water Rail - 1, Bill House garden, showed well early morning, then occasionally in day
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Sandwich Tern - 110E, 2W
Common Tern - 1E
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Meadow Pipit - 2E

The Water Rail was still present in Bill House garden and was showing occasionally through the day. (SH) It seems to be thriving and finding enough food in its somewhat bizarre temporary home!
Purple Sandpiper (above), Sandwich Tern, Red-breasted Mergansers & Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)

Ivy Lake: There were two Egyptian Geese this morning, both on the new boat launching stage between the lakes, but there was little else on the water and save a Water Rail on the path and a Chiffchaff in the bushes all was quiet (BI)

Egyptian Goose at Ivy Lake (BI) 

West Wittering: A male Siskin was on the feeders this morning- another first for the garden - plus a Tree-creeper, too. (GM) Amazingly, a male Brambling appeared in the garden, too, late this afternoon, along with a Coal Tit.. (GM)

Brambling (above) & Coal Tit at West Wittering (GM)

Birdham Pool: There was a singing Willow Warbler here this morning along the path and nine Tufted Ducks on the pool itself. (BI)

Park Farm, Selsey: A couple of pairs of Linnets, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Pied Wagtail were about the only birds of note this morning. (AH/IP/CN)

Linnets at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just three Shelducks, ten Shovelers and c30 Teal around the pool and creeks this morning. (AH) 

Church NortonThe only birds of note before the high-tide and the onset of rain were a Raven in the churchyard, Skylarks on the beach and a pair of Gadwall in the harbour. (AW)

 Gadwalls, Raven and Skylark at Church Norton (AW)

A bit later on there were c40 Sandwich Terns, 10+ Mediterranean Gulls, 20 or so Brent Geese and four or five Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour, with two of the latter, six Great Crsted Grebes, three Common Gulls and four Gannets offshore.
Both Preegrines were present, but there were very few waders beyond a few Redshank, Curlew, Ringed Plovers and Turnstones in the harbour, with small birds restricted to a Meadow Pipit and a few Skylarks along the spit. (AH/IP/CN)

Sandwich Tern (above), Gannet & Redshanks at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 29th March: A cold and very grey morning, with a light southerly veering round to a brisk south-easterly and finally back to the south-west and the threat of more rain.....

Selsey Bill: The Water Rail was still in the Bill House garden this morning, whilst there was a bit of movement offshore, including four Velvet Scoters, 40+ Red-throated Divers, 50 Brent Geese and 12 Pintail east and 10+ Fulmars west. Full log below..... 
0630-1245hrs: (PB/OM/SR/AH/MJ)
Red-throated Diver - 45E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 6 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 4os
Fulmar - 1E, 11W
Gannet - 27E, 8W, 5os
Brent Goose - 51E, 2W
Shelduck - 3W
Velvet Scoter - 3E, 1os
Common Scoter - 54E, c.100os
Red-breasted Merganser - 11E, 14W
Pintail - 12E
Teal - 13E
Razorbill - 1W
Turnstone - 25 ob
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Water Rail - 1 Bill House garden
Sandwich Tern - 15E, 5os
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 1W
Kittiwake - 5E
Common Gull - 5E, 2W
Pied Wagtail - 1p

Water Rail in the Bill House garden (PB)

Red-throated Diver (above), Common Scoters, Pintail, Gannets, Brent Geese & Turnstone at the Bill (AH)

The Water Rail showed briefly at 6pm, as it flew across car park then disappeared in the undergrowth. (JA)

(1800-1915hrs) (SH)
Red-thoated Diver - 1E
Manx Shearwater - 7W (together at 1820hrs)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 9E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 4W
Sandwich Tern - 30os

Ivy Lake: A single Sand Martin and a single Swallow were over the back of the lake this afternoon, whilst the pair of Black Swans still had all seven cygnets and there were also half a dozen Pochard, a dozen Great Crested Grebes and 20+ Shoveler on the water and a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Cetti's Warbler were in the hedges. (AB)

Sidlesham: Two female Bullfinches were in hedges in Cow Lane this morning. (AH)

Ferry Pool: With the pool now full of water again, there were plenty of ducks - including two Gadwall, 22 Shoveler, c40 Teal, four Mallard and four Shelducks - but the only waders present were a pair of Avocets, with two Lapwing on the fields. (AH)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were two Pale-bellied Brent Geese (though one of them was possibly a dark/pale hybrid or intergrade - or even just a darker Pale-bellied!), with 17 Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the field behind the churchyard this morning.
In the harbour there were at least 30 Sandwich Terns and a dozen Mediterranean Gulls, the two Goosanders were behind Tern Island, the Whimbrel was in its usual high-tide haunt near the bench and three Bar-tailed Godwits were roosting nearby. (BFF/DM/AH)

Dark- and Pale-bellied Brent Geese (above), Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew and Redshank & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)