Tuesday, 20 March 2018

20th - 22nd March 2018

Thursday, 22nd March:  A surprisingly cold morning, despite the west to south-westerly breeze, with mostly heavy cloud cover and just the odd sunny interval.....but becoming brighter later.

Selsey Bill: There were 100+ Brent Geese past east, but not many other indications of migration this morning, though the two Purple Sandpipers re-appeared among the Turnstone flock at the end of Hillfield Road later in the morning, and there were still a few Sandwich Terns about. Full log later.
0700-1030hrs:  (C&ME/OM/SR/AH/BFF/MJ)
Red-throated Diver - 6E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 3W, 5 os
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 19W
Brent Goose - 119E
Shelduck - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 4W, 9os
Common Scoter - 4E, 5W
Pintail - 2W
Purple Sandpiper - 2 ob (rocks)
auk sp - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 3 os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Common Gull - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 7N
Pied Wagtail - 1N
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Purple Sandpipers (above), with Turnstones, Sandwich Tern & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There was still a Brambling around the feeders by the Visitor Centre again this morning, but there was not too much new on the pool, with six Gadwall, 14 Shoveler, four Shelduck, c50 Teal and c200 Wigeon, plus a few Lapwing in the field being the sum. (AH)

Brambling at the visitor Centre (AH)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - There was a female Black Redstart at the far end of the caravan park this morning, with two Corn Buntings and four Reed Buntings feeding around the new caravan plots, and there were a dozen Meadow Pipits around the field by the Windmill.

There was very little on the pools around the breach - just four Knot, half a dozen Grey Plovers and a couple of Curlews, and nothing offshore except five Brent Geese going east. (AH)

Black Redstart (above) & Corn Buntings at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: It was very quiet this morning in the harbour, with five Knot being the only waders of note, and few wildfowl about, though there were 50+ Shelduck out in the main channel and 100+ Brent Geese spread widely about. The Peregrines were on their island, but half a dozen Skylarks and a couple of Meadow Pipits along the spit were the only passerines noted.

There were still c150 Golden Plovers along Rectory Lane, along with 20+ Lapwing and a pair of Red-legged Partridges. (AH)

Knot (above), Golden Plovers & duelling Curlews at Church Norton (AH)

Later, a Wheatear was on the spit near the concrete blocks and the Goosander flew in off the sea and landed near the harbour entrance. I also watched a Grey Heron take something on the Severals and quickly swallow it down..... looks like a vole species? (AW)

At Church Norton this afternoon, a redhead Goosander, Grey Heron with vole prey and Wheatear (AW)

Pagham Lagoon: On the water there were 28 Tufted Ducks, seven Pochard, two Wigeon, four Mute Swans and a pair of Great Crested Grebes. A Chiffchaff was in the bushes at the southern end, a Peregrine was present out in the harbour and along the Spit there were two Linnets and three Skylarks. (JDW)

Peregrine (above) & Great Crested Grebes from Pagham Spit (JDW)


Chichester Marina pool: Spent a while checking the pool area but couldn’t re-locate the recent Garganey, though there were 12 Teal, 6 Shelduck, several Mallard and a Little Grebe. Nearby the broody female Black Swan was on the canal with this year's nest but still no mate. (OM/BFF)

The broody Black Swan on her nest, on the canal at Chichester Marina. The last couple of years have seen her lay a clutch of infertile eggs.....it is shaping up for a repeat performance this year! (OM)

Wednesday, 21st March:  After a sharp frost, a beautiful morning, with a slight westerly breeze and lots of sunshine....

Selsey Bill: There were eight Great Northern Divers offshore, and eight Red-throated Divers and 25 Brent Geese went east, whilst a couple of Chiffchaffs were in the gardens, but there was no sign of the Purple Sandpipers.  Full log below......
0745-1045hrs: (OM/SR et al) 
Red-throated Diver - 8E
Great Northern Diver - 8 os
Great Crested Grebe - 3 os
Brent Goose - 25E
Common Scoter - 5E, 1W, 100+ os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8W, 9os
Sandwich tern - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2 ob (one bearing white ring 397A)
Meadow Pipit - 5N
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens

 Mediterranean Gull at the Bill bearing white ring 397A (OM)

At 11.45, on the high tide, the two Purple Sandpipers were back with the Turnstones at the end of Hillfield Road. (C&JM/C&ME)

Purple Sandpipers and Turnstones at the Bill (C&JM)

Selsey: My dogs flushed a Short-eared Owl this morning, from the waste ground at the rear of Ocean air, on the northern edge of Selsey. (SH)

Ferry Pool: One of the Bramblings was still by the Visitor Centre again this morning. (C&J/C&ME) 

Brambling at the Visitor Centre (C&JM)

On the pool there were three Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, c40 Teal and at least 200 Wigeon, with a handful of Lapwing on the fields at the back. (AH)

Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Early this morning there were three or four Reed Buntings along the hedges and a couple of Little Grebes on the pool, but not too much in the channel beyond a handful of Redshank, three Gadwall and c50 Teal. (AH)

Gadwall (above) & Teal in Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: This morning there was a Chiffchaff in the churchyard, another in the car park and two by the Priory, along with a Goldcrest, and two Ravens and two Buzzards flew over. (A&YF)
Later on, a Wheatear was on the concrete ‘spit’ and a Sandwich Tern was in the harbour. (C&JM/C&ME)

IL out captaining the RSPB boat (above) & volunteers on Tern Island at Church Norton (C&JM)

North Wall: White's Creek held 90 Black-tailed Godwits, a Spotted Redshank, and a few Redshank, Teal and Wigeon. There were Tufted Ducks on the Breech Pool but in the field behind were 340 Black-tailed Godwits, 270 Wigeon, 19 Curlew and 4 Shelduck, whilst 7 Mute Swans flew in for a few minutes but then joined others along Pagham Rife. In Honer 1 field were 4 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall and spread across the 3 Honer fields were 112 Curlew including a very light coloured individual. 
Stock Doves were at Honer Farm, Owl Copse and Pagham Churchyard. A flock of 42 Brent Geese flew in very high from the NW, reached the shoreline and then continued east. The only other Brent I saw was an individual with a gammy leg in Honer 1 field. No migrants seen, but Cetti's Warblers and Dunnocks were in good voice. (JDW)

Mute Swans over the North fields (JDW)

Chichester Marina: There was no sign of yesterday's Garganey on the reed-bed pool and little to report there other than several Mallard, though a Grey Wagtail was by the old lock gates on the canal, and 4 Buzzards - presumably two pairs - were soaring over the back fields.(OM/BFF)

Birdham Pool: Quiet here with 3 Teal being the most unusual sighting! Several pairs of Mallard were around the reedy edges and at least 8 Little Grebes were present, whilst a Grey Wagtail also flew over and at least 2 Chiffchaffs were in the trees. (OM)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were two Little Ringed Plovers among up to 20 Ringed Plovers and 12 Dunlin on the Stilt Pool this morning, with a male Wheatear on the fields opposite, and a Common Scoter and a Red-throated Dive offshore.

Also on the Stilt Pool there were eight Gadwall, ten Shoveler, 30+ Wigeon and Teal and around 60 Avocets, with another eight by the poplars, along with c40 Teal, and a Greenshank was heard, but not seen, out on the reserve.
Along the banks there were at least two Stonechats, 10+ Stock Doves, 50+ Skylarks, 20+ Yellowhammers and a handful of Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits, whilst there were still up to 500 Linnets around their favoured field. (AH/TR/PB)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Ringed Plovers, Avocets, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit & Stock Doves at Medmerry (AH)

Tuesday, 20th March:  A fairly pleasant morning - compared to the last few! - with a moderate north-easterly breeze after a calm start, and a bit of sunshine between the clouds....

Selsey Bill: There was very little moving offshore, but up to three Purple Sandpipers were with the Turnstones at the end of Hillfield Road, nine Sandwich Terns were on the beach, at least 120 Common Scoter were offshore and a Buzzard (rare here!) drifted over. Full log later. (OM/AH/KJ et al)
Later on, at around midday, the Iceland Gull went past the Bill heading east. (MJ)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 2 os
Great Crested Grebe - 2 os
Gannet - 3E
Common Scoter - c.120 os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 6 os
Purple Sandpiper - 2, (possibly 3), ob (rocks)
Buzzard - 1 soaring over Bill House/beach
Sandwich Tern - 9 os (some display on beach)
Mediterranean Gull - 5 ob
Common Gull - 3 os
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1 ob
Iceland Gull - 1E (2w)
Carrion Crow - 38 on shingle bar (!)
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens

Purple Sandpipers (above), Sandwich Terns & Buzzard at the Bill (AH)

Lesser Black-backed Gull at the Bill (OM)

Chichester Marina Reed-bed: A drake Garganey dropped in late this morning, and though typically elusive, gave good views. (OM et al)

Garganey at Chichester Marina reed-bed (AH)

Medmerry: Coastguard Station to the Windmill - There were two male Wheatears and a couple of Meadow Pipits along the path this morning. (AH et al)

Wheatear at Medmerry (AH)

Ferry Pool: At least three Bramblings were still around the Visitor Centre this morning. (IL)
On the pool there were 14 Shoveler, two Shelduck, c40 Teal and c200 Wigeon, with at least 30 Mediterranean Gulls roosting among c100 Black-headed Gulls. (AH)

Shovelers (above) & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were still up to 550 Golden Plovers and c30 Lapwing on Rectory Lane, as well as 30 Meadow Pipits and similar of Linnets, all put up at one point by a speeding Merlin. (AH/KJ/MJ et al)

Golden Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

At high-tide this afternoon the female Eider was in the harbour near the old harbour moutht, on which were two Sandwich Terns along with the usual Grey Plovers, Turnstones and Dunlin. (AW)

Eider (above) & Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AW)

Later on a male Wheatear was on the concrete slabs, a Peregrine was on its island and at least  ten Mediterranean Gulls were in the harbour. (S&SaH)

Wheatear at Church Norton (SH)

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