Monday, 26 March 2018

26th - 28th March 2018

Wednesday, 28th MarchA thoroughly wet morning, with grey skies, heavy rain and a thick mist, together with a brisk NE - NW wind..... and the prospect of more heavy showers later!

Selsey Bill: The Water Rail was again present this morning at 0630hrs, in its incongruous setting of the car-park area and Hebe bushes of Bill House garden, viewed from the gateway (SR). Although not a rare bird as such, it certainly is at the Bill-tip and so it has proved a bit of a magnet to those locals keen on maintaining their Bill lists....even to the point of standing around in the rain before dawn!
Otherwise, there was nothing moving at all - just a Common Scoter and a Common Gull east and a Great Crested Grebe on the sea in 30 minutes from 8.15am (AH)

The Water Rail in Bill House garden (SR)

More images of the Water Rail (above) & Wood Pigeons doing a bit of synchronised swimming at the Bill (AH)

Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Gannet - 8E, 3W
Common Scoter - 1E, 25W, 50os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 1os
Teal - 3E
auk sp - 1W
Common Tern - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 1W, 2os

Ivy Lake: The first Sand Martin of the year was over the lake late this afternoon, and also a Peregrine went over and c30 Shovelers were on the water. (AB)

Selsey, East Beach pondA Firecrest was in amongst half a dozen Goldcrests along the path this afternoon. (SR)

Selsey: Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were in a garden to the north of the village this afternoon. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were 16 Shoveler, four Gadwall, four Shelduck, ten Teal and two Redshank on the pool, but the large Wigeon flock seems to have moved on. (AH)

Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Coastguard Station to the Breach - There were 20+ Meadow Pipits and four Skylarks along the Medmerry Cliff, with at least 100 Common Scoter offshore, with 40 more of the latter off the Breach, along with two Great Northern Divers.
A Corn Bunting was singing near the Breach viewpoint, with another present nearby, but the Breach area was very quiet, with just a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and a few Redshank on the pools. (AH)

Corn Bunting (above), Skylark, Great Northern Diver, Common Scoters & Red-breasted Mergansers at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: The two Goosanders were again roosting near the harbour mouth, and offshore there were two Red-breasted Mergansers and eight Great Crested Grebes. 
There were at least 20 Sandwich Terns and similar of Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour, but few waders beyond the usual Redshanks and Curlews, and there were also 20+ Teal but just a pair of Wigeon. The bushes were very quiet, but there were 18 Brent Geese in the field behind the churchyard and a dozen Lapwing along Rectory Lane. (AH)

Sandwich Tern (above), Brent Geese & Redshank and Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 27th March: A grey and murky start with drizzle, after a rainy night, with the wind moving round from south-east to south-west then west, eventually giving way to a fairly bright and breezy day....

Selsey Bill: The Water Rail was still in the Bill House garden, seen in the open in the rain at first light, (SH), but not again by late morning. Also our first Willow Warbler of the season was singing in the 'Secret Garden' with five Chiffchaffs also in the gardens. Offshore little was moving - and mostly heading west! - though 30+ Common Gulls (mostly sub-adults) west was unusual, and there was a selection of the usual birds moving about rather than migrating. Full log below....... 
0740-1140hrs:  (OM/SR/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W, 1os
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 5E, 20W, 12os
Brent Goose - 10E
Common Scoter - 6E, 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 5W
Turnstone - 12 ob
Sandwich Tern - 6 os
Kittiwake - 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W, 2os
Common Gull - 34W
Chiffchaff - 5 gardens
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens

Fulmar (above), Common Scoters, Gannet & Common Gull at the Bill (AH)

Chiffchaff in the Broadreeds Estate at the Bill (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were just two Gadwall, eight Shoveler and c30 Teal on the pool, with just a few Wigeon on the field, though there were half a dozen Lapwing and c150 Black-tailed Godwits around the creek at the back of the field. (AH)

Also, a male Brambling was reported from the feeders at the Visitor Centre and a male Black Redstart was reported from Home Farm, between the Ferry and Church Norton. (per BO'D)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Early on a Hawfinch was briefly in the trees by the moat (with possibly another with it), before it flew towards the churchyard and was not re-found. Also, an unseen Brambling was calling nearby. (BFF/DM)
Otherwise, there were two Slavonian Grebes and at least 16 Great Crested Grebes offshore, the two Goosanders were again roosting near the harbour mouth and the female Eider and up to four Red-breasted Mergansers were also present.
At least 20 Sandwich Terns and 25 Mediterranean Gulls were among the Black-headed Gulls, just a handful of Brent Geese, plus a few Wigeon and Teal were about, and c20 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Curlews, several pairs of displaying Ringed Plovers plus the wintering Whimbrel were also around. Two or three singing Chiffchaffs were of note, but beyond half a dozen Linnets flying over, and  two Reed Buntings, the bushes were quiet. The two Peregrines were also noted around their usual island location. (AH/BFF/DM)

Goosanders (above), Whimbrel. Ringed Plover, Reed Bunting, Teal, Sandwich Tern & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: The single Spotted Redshank was again present, and at least 500 Black-tailed Godwits were around the flooded fields and creeks. (BFF/DM)

Part of the Black-tailed Godwit flock at Pagham North wall (BFF)

Medmerry: Easton Lane - Stilt Pools - The Scaup was still present on the pools today, together with 2 Little Ringed Plovers, the Common Sandpiper and 60+ Avocets. (C&ME)

Monday, 26th March: A lovely, bright and sunny morning, with barely a breath of wind early on.....and feeling quite spring-like!

Selsey Bill: Little was moving offshore, but as compensation there was the remarkable sight of a Water Rail in the Bill House garden, briefly on the parking area before scuttling up the bank and into the vegetation. First called by the finder (S.Morgan), there was almost an air of disbelief at first, before a scramble of the nearest observers to the gateway were able to confirm it, though sadly not everyone managed to see it before it melted away into the undergrowth. Subject to confirmation, this appears to be a new bird for the Bill-tip.
Full log below......
0715-1045hrs: (C&ME/OM/SR/AH/SM/MO-W/MH)
Red-throated Diver - 5E
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W, 3os
Gannet - 7E, 33W
Brent Goose - 3E, 1W
Shelduck - 5W
Common Scoter - 26E, 17W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 4W, 5os
Sandwich Tern - 9os
Kittiwake - 4W
Common Gull - 1W
Water Rail - 1, Bill House garden (0910hrs)
Pied Wagtail - 3N
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Long-tailed Tit - 7 gardens

1800-1945hrs(MJ/SH) There was no sign of the Water Rail this evening, but over 1000 Brent Geese were moving ......

Gannet - 1E
Brent Goose - 1070E
Common Scoter - 23E
Sandwich Tern - 1W

Water Rail (above), Red-throated Diver & Red-breasted Merganser at the Bill (AH)

Common Seal enjoying its breakfast at the Bill (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were a total of 24 Shovelers around the pool and creeks, along with four Shelducks, c50 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Teal and c150 Wigeon. (AH)

Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: Five Buzzards over the garden together at 1pm, soaring and calling. (A&YF)

Highleigh: A female Bullfinch was in a roadside bush along Rotten Row this lunchtime. (AH)

Honer Reservoir: The 1st-winter drake Long-tailed Duck was still on the reservoir today, along with seven Tufted Ducks, with a Yellowhammer singing nearby and four Shelducks on the flooded fields. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck on Honer Reservoir (AH)

Church Norton: A female Blackcap and a couple of Goldcrests were in the churchyard,  along with a Green Woodpecker, with a couple of Chiffchaffs also about, but there were no other indications of migration.
Both female Goosanders were in the harbour mouth, along with a Little Egret, and the female Eider was on the far side, but on a flat calm sea all that could be found was half a dozen Great Crested Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers, plus eight distant dabbling ducks - possibly Gadwall.
There were 20+ Lapwings on Rectory Lane, lots of Skylarks, plus a couple of Linnets along the spit, an Avocet was in the creek by the horse field and there were c40 Black-tailed Godwits, 20+ Sandwich Terns and a few Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour, along with 60+ Brent Geese and a few Wigeon. (AH/AW)
Also, a Red Kite drifted over west. (J Chattaway)

Goosanders (above), Sandwich Tern, Lapwing, Skylark, Green Woodpecker & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

Avocet in the channel by the horse field at Church Norton. (AW)

Later on a Raven was near the Priory, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the woods and there were many Chiffchaffs in the area. (AW)

Raven (above) & Chiffchaff at Church Norton (AW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The female Scaup was still on the Stilt Pool, amongst the Tufted Ducks, along with the pair of Little Ringed Plovers, several Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin and 68 Avocets. A Wheatear was near the beach, whilst a dozen or so Yellowhammers and a couple of Reed Buntings were along the hedgerows, a couple of Skylarks were singing and a further three Avocets were on the mudflats near the poplars.(OM/MJ/SM)

North Wall: It was a good morning for Little Grebes, with one on White's Creek, a pair on the Breech Pool, two pairs at Owl Water and another pair on Bremere Rife. On a falling tide there were 280 Black-tailed Godwits along White's Creek and another 38 in front of Owl Copse, whilst on the Breech Pool there were 10 Tufted Ducks and in the field behind were 68 Wigeon and two Roe Deer. 
Along the Wall there were singing Cetti's Warblers and Reed Buntings and there was a lot of Grey Heron activity at Owl Copse where there were also two singing Chiffchaffs. Also, at Bremere Bridge there were 120 Curlew, a Cetti's Warbler and two Chiffchaffs. (JDW) 
A Ring-necked Parakeet was reported from the Slipe Field in the late afternoon. (D.Illman per SOS)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Reed Bunting at the North Wall (JDW)

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