Wednesday, 14 March 2018

14th - 16th March 2018

Friday, 16th March: A mostly grey start to a fairly mild morning, with a moderate south-westerly breeze soon giving way to a chillier south-south-easterly....though with sunshine developing.

Selsey Bill: There was very little moving this morning beyond the odd Brent Goose and Red-throated Diver, though there were a couple of newly-arrived Chiffchaffs about, plus a Firecrest and two Goldcrests in the small ornamental garden in Broadreeds Estate. Full log below:
0645-1115hrs: (JA/OM/AH/SR/BI et al)
Red-throated Diver - 16E, 1W, 2os
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
diver sp - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 2W
Brent Goose - 17E
Common Scoter - 8E
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E
Mallard - 2 in gardens!
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Song Thrush - 1 gardens
Pied Wagtail - 1 gardens
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens
Goldcrest - 2 gardens
Firecrest - 1 gardens

A just-discernible record shot of the Firecrest, and a collector's item - a snap of all three blog editors in the field together - along with JA, our official Log-keeper (seated, left)    (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers at the back this morning, and there were also 11 Gadwall, eight Shelduck, four Shoveler and c30 Teal on the pool, with another ten Shoveler on the creek and c200 Wigeon on the field. (AH/OM)

Green Sandpipers and Teal at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A Spotted Redshank and c80 Black-tailed Godwits were in  White's Creek, with at least another 200 of the latter and up to 400 Wigeon, plus four Gadwall and eight Shovelers, in the flooded fields behind the Breech Pool. (AH/JDW)
At Honer reservoir the Long-tailed Duck was still present with 4 Tufted Ducks and a couple of Coots. At the top end of Honer 1 field were 42 Meadow Pipits - though this field is still impassable unless wearing wellingtons - whilst in Honer 2 and 3 were 90 Curlew. The first Little Egret this year was seen nest renovating in Owl Copse. A pair of Stock Doves was prospecting a nest site in Pagham Churchyard, but it was generally very quiet, as it has been all week. (JDW)

Spotted Redshank (above), Spotted Redshank and Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit & Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwits from North Wall (AH)

East Side: There were still lots of waders and wildfowl in the harbour on the rising tide, including at least 40 Pintail, 500 Brent Geese, four Gadwall, many Wigeon and Teal and five Great Crested Grebes.
Among the waders were at least 150 Grey Plover, a dozen or so Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot among many hundreds of Dunlin, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull and half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls were out in the middle, whilst at least 200 Linnets came out of the Slipe Field and settled along the hedges. (AH)

Pintail (above), Linnets & Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Grey Plovers and Dunlin along East Side (AH)

Pagham Lagoon and Spit: There were seven Pochard and ten Tufted Ducks on the Lagoon, plus c30 Mediterranean and four Common Gulls.
There were just a couple of Skylarks on the spit, with a drake Goldeneye and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers on the water, whilst the Peregrines had reclaimed their island from the Canada Geese, who were nearby. (AH)

Peregrine (above) & Red-breasted Merganser from the Spit & Pochard on the Lagoon (AH)

Sidlesham: There were at least three different Tawny Owls calling around the west of the village at dusk this evening. (AH)
Church Norton: There were eight Sandwich Terns roosting on the old harbour mouth this afternoon, whilst the Canada Geese were still in the harbour. (AW)
Later on a Tawny Owl was calling from the Priory. (BI)

Canada Goose at Church Norton (AW)

Thursday, 15th March: A pleasantly mild and intermittently sunny morning after another very wet night, with a moderate southerly breeze....

Ferry Pool: There was one Green Sandpiper at the back this morning, with eight Gadwall, four Shelduck and c50 Teal on the pool and c50 Lapwing, ten Redshank and c200 Wigeon  in the field, whilst another four Gadwall, 24 Shoveler and c80 Teal were in the main creek. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above), Gadwall and Teal & Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was no sign of any Little Ringed Plovers this morning, with just a lone Ringed Plover present, though the Avocet flock was up to 64 birds. There were also half a dozen Shoveler, two pairs of Gadwall, ten Tufted Ducks and plenty of Wigeon and Teal on the pool, plus a handful of Mediterranean Gulls.

Along the banks there were a couple of flighty Dartford Warblers, four or five Stonechats, just a dozen Meadow Pipits and 30+ Yellowhammers, 50+ Skylarks, 100+ Linnets and a couple of Reed Buntings and Stock Doves, whilst a flock of a dozen Fieldfare flew into the poplars. There was very little out on the reserve beyond a dozen Curlews, and c80 Teal were near the first sluice. (AH/BFF/DM/MJ)

Striking-looking Stonechat (above), Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipit, Linnets, Ringed Plover, Mediterranean Gulls, Avocets & Teal at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: A quick look at lunchtime found no spring migrants though the female Eider came in off the sea to land in its usual spot near the harbour entrance and there were three Sandwich Terns among the gulls roosting at high-tide. 

Also, a pair of Canada Geese were grazing on the Peregrine's island, having displaced both falcons! (AW)

Eider (above) & Peregrine and Canada Geese at Church Norton (AW)

I was chuffed to find the Barn Owl this evening on the old horse-field. After quartering the field it dropped on some rather large prey which it eventually swallowed with some difficulty. In the harbour there were two Black-tailed Godwits along with 10 Bar-tailed Godwits. (AW)

Barn Owl at Church Norton (AW)

Wednesday, 14th March: A mostly cool and grey morning, with periods of sunshine and a brisk south-easterly breeze blowing....

Selsey Bill: The south-easterly breeze brought the watchers out, and they were rewarded with a re-appearance of the Iceland Gull, last seen over a week ago, which flew in with some Herring Gulls at about 8.15am and drifted westwards on the tide for a while before flying off out to sea.
There wasn't very much other movement, though a couple of Black-throated Divers and 50+ Red-throated Divers, along with a few Brent Geese and the odd Sandwich Tern went east.  The only passerine migrants were a newly-arrived Firecrest in Bill House garden late morning and two Meadow Pipits in off the sea.
0640-1210hrs:  (PB/GH/OM/AH/CN/PC/SR/C&ME/DS/JD)
Red-throated Diver - 51E
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 4 os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1os
Gannet - 5E
Brent Goose - 189E
Common Scoter - 42E, c120 os
Red-breasted Merganser - 25E, 5 os
Teal - 4E
Wigeon - 5E
Shoveler - 9E
Turnstone - 50E
Curlew - 2E
Kestrel - 1 area/Oval field
auk sp - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 6E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Common Gull - 4E
Iceland Gull - 1 (2nd-w/3CY) os (0810-0905hrs) drifted out to sea
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Firecrest - 1 Bill House garden

Iceland Gull (above), with Herring Gull, Red-throated Divers, Brent Geese, Red-breasted Mergansers, Sandwich Tern, Common Gull & happy sea-watchers at the Bill (AH)

Whimbrel or Curlew? In the field these two dark-looking birds passing at mid-range were initially considered to be the former - despite the early-ish date - but on examination of the photos, especially the lower, (both GH) it is apparent that they are in fact the latter species.....

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two Firecrests in the hedges this afternoon, whilst a Sparrowhawk went over and 50+ Curlews were on the fields. (S&SaH)
Ferry Pool: There were four Green Sandpipers together at the back this morning, along with a couple of Redshank, and there were 100+ Lapwings on the field. 
The Gadwall count had risen to 11, and there were also six Shelduck, c40 Teal and c200 Wigeon about, whilst three Buzzards were tussling over the trees at the back. (AH)

Green Sandpipers (above), Gadwall and Teal & Buzzards at the Ferry (AH)

Ivy Lake: Not too much about today, though two Chiffchaffs were singing and the Black Swans and seven cygnets were still present. (AB)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool - Two Little Ringed Plovers were back and displaying over the pool today. (BO'D)

Medmerry: Coastguard Station to the Breach - There were no indications of migration this morning, with just a couple of Skylarks and a handful of Meadow Pipits about. A Great Northern Diver and 15 Common Scoter were all that could be seen offshore, and around the pools by the breach there were just five Red-breasted Mergansers, two Bar-tailed Godwits, two Shelduck, 50 Lapwings and c120 Brent Geese. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Red-breasted Merganser & Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

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