Monday, 16 April 2018

16th - 18th April 2018

Wednesday, 18th April: A lovely morning, with a modest south-easterly breeze,  after an almost still start, and plenty of warm sunshine........

Selsey Bill: Inevitably it was much  quieter than yesterday for a big gathering of watchers, but there were still a few Bonxies and Arctic Skuas to be seen, plus several Whimbrel flocks and the usual Common Scoters, Sandwich and Common Terns, whilst one or two bits went over, including two Yellow Wagtails, 10 Swallows, several Wheatears and a few finches. Full log below....
0615-1400hrs(PB/C&ME/GH/AH/OM et al)
Red-throated Diver - 7E
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Fulmar - 7W
Gannet - 21E, 24W
Brent Goose - 1os - drifted E!
Shelduck - 2os
Common Scoter - 136E, c.60os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 1W
Shoveler - 6E
Tufted Duck - 7E
Whimbrel - 35E, 5W
Arctic Skua - 9E (7 d/p, 2 l/p)
Great Skua - 6E
Little Tern - 12E
Common Tern - 39E
Sandwich Tern - 62E
Mediterranean Gull - 4E
Common Gull - 5E
Wheatear - 3N, 1 ob
Swallow - 11N
Pied Wagtail - 3 ob/area
Yellow Wagtail - 2 N then E
Meadow Pipit - 7N
Linnet - 9N
Goldfinch - 7N
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens
Jay - 1 ornamental garden, flew off E

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

(1845-1800) (SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 6E
Whimbrel - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 5E
Common Tern - 11E
'Commic' Tern - 2E
Swallow - 1N

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: There were just three Gadwall, eight Shoveler and eight Teal on the pool this morning, with four Redshank and two Lapwings on the field.
There was nothing much around the Tramway beyond the usual three or four Chiffchaffs and a couple of Blackcaps, though a Sedge Warbler singing from dense scrub was unusual, and there were also a couple of Whimbrel out in the harbour. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above), Goldfinch & Shoveler around the Ferry (AH)

Later on, at least three Common Whitethroats, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler  were singing around the Tramway and a Common Buzzard was overhead, whilst at the west end of the Long Pool there was a singing Sedge Warbler. (BFF & SDOS)

Church Norton: There were still plenty of Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls loitering in the harbour, but not much else of note beyond a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and half a dozen Black-tailed Godwits.
There were no obviously new migrants, with the three or four Sedge Warblers and a Whitethroat in the Severals and a scattering of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs around the hedges. (AH)

Blackcaps (above), Sedge Warbler & Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Later on a Lesser Whitethroat was singing in the bushes on the way to the beach and on the first Several at least twoSedge Warblers were in full song. A single Wheatear was around the old sea wall, but there were just a handful of Sandwich Terns loafing around, although there was plenty of Mediterranean Gulls in the vicinity of Tern Island, looking very confused as the fencing work taking place on the island that was preventing them from attempting to start nesting.
We did find two Common and a single Arctic Tern resting on the old metal entrance the, short legs, smaller body size and greyer plumage a real giveaway for the Arctic. There were not many waders in the harbour - just three Whimbrels, good numbrets of Grey Plovers and a few Ringed Plovers. BFF & SDOS/AW)

Wheatear (above) & Common Terns at Church Norton (AW)

Warner Lane and Northcommon Farm: Again, no evidence of migration, with just a few  Linnets and a singing Lesser Whitethroat around the paddocks, and another of the latter in the hedges of the farm. (AH/MH)

Linnet at Warner Lane (AH)

West Wittering - Ellanore: There was a splendid gathering of c.80 Mediterranean Gulls on Ellanore spit at 1400hrs today; also a singing Whitethroat on the path towards East Head. (PH)

Ivy Lake: The two Little Gulls - seemingly a first-summer and a second-summer - were feeding over the back of the lake again today, and there were at least 20 Common Terns present, too. (AB/AH)

Little Gull (above) & Common Terns at Ivy Lake (AH)

Tuesday, 17th April: A fairly cool morning, despite the brisk southerly breeze, with bands of thick cloud and some sunshine....

Selsey Bill: It was a busy morning, most notable for 50+ Bonxies heading east, including a magic flock of seven that went right over the observers' heads! There were also 17 Arctic Skuas (including several light-phase birds), four Little Terns, 13 Little Gulls, a Black-throated Diver, 40+ Red-throated Divers, 100+ Brent Geese, 250+ Common Scoters, a steady flow of Common and Sandwich Terns going east and seven Manx Shearwaters going west, whilst there were also three Purple Sandpipers on the beach with the Turnstones. Full log below....
0615-1330hrs: (PB/C&ME/GH/AH/OM/MJ et al)
Red-throated Diver - 45E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1W, 4os
diver sp - 4E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar - 3E, 3W
Manx Shearwater - 7W
Gannet - 171E, 32W
Brent Goose - 139E
Common Scoter - 254E, c.80os
Shoveler - 2E
Whimbrel - 23E, 1W
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3E
Grey Plover - 9E
Avocet - 1E
Purple Sandpiper - 3 ob
Turnstone - 20ob
auk sp - 1W
Great Skua (Bonxie) - 51E
Arctic Skua - 17E (3 l/p, 14 d/p)
Little Tern - 4E
Common Tern - 89E
Commic Tern - 98E
Sandwich Tern - 159E
Little Gull - 13E
Mediterranean Gull - 20E, 40 Oval field
Black-headed Gull - 21E
Common Gull - 12E
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Swallow - 4N
Meadow Pipit - 6N
Linnet - 12E

Bonxies (above), Arctic Skuas, Little Gull, Black-throated Diver, Red-throated Diver, Common Scoters, Mediterranean Gulls & Purple Sandpipers at the Bill (AH)

Observers sheltered from the wind and watching from the 'south-east corner' this morning (OM)

Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Gannet - 9E, 2W
Eider - 3E
Common Scoter - 30E, c.100os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1os
Whimbrel - 2E
Turnstone - 30E
Purple Sandpiper - 1E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Common Tern - 47E (one flock)
Sandwich Tern - 60E
Little Gull - 1E

Medmerry: Stilt Pool - There were five Little Ringed Plovers, 77 Avocets, two Sandwich Terns and two Brent Geese on the Stilt Pool this morning, with a female Marsh Harrier over and a light-phase Arctic Skua was seen going east offshore. (IL)

Ivy Lake: There were a dozen Common Terns, plus a few Swallows, over the lake this morning. (BI)

Ferry Pool: There were just two Gadwall, a Shoveler, two Shelduck and six Teal on the pool this morning, with the water level still very high. (AH)

Church Norton: There were over 100 Mediterranean Gulls and 40 Sandwich Terns, plus the first Little Tern of the year, sat around waiting for work to finish on Tern Island, but there wasn't much else beyond a single Bar-tailed and 20+ Black-tailed Godwits in the harbour and a couple of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps around the Mound,plus the two Peregrines going over west. (AH/BFF/CM)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Sandwich Terns & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Work going on on Tern Island (IL)

Monday, 16th April: A more normal sort of spring day for the peninsula, with a blustery west to south-west breeze and plenty of sunshine and white cloud....

Selsey Bill: There wasn't too much moving offshore beyond two Bonxies, a Little Tern, a few Gannets and 30 Brent, but there were up to five Wheatears along the beach and the odd sight of a Black Swan sat on the rocks by the Mile Basket. However, the fair turnout of observers, all hoping for some action similar to yesterday, were to be somewhat disappointed! Full log below: 
0620-1400hrs:  (PB/C&ME/OM/C&JM/AH/PC et al)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar - 1E,1W
Gannet - 40E, 75W
Black Swan - 1 on rocks os
Greylag Goose - 9E
Brent Goose - 30E
Shelduck - 1E
Common Scoter - 54E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Kestrel - 1 out S
Curlew - 1E
Grey Plover - 9W
Great Skua - 2E
Little Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 1E, 1W, 6os
Sandwich Tern - 22E, 10os
Kittiwake - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Common Gull - 1E
Swallow - 2N
Wheatear - 7 ob
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Linnet - 5W

This afternoon both Purple Sandpipers were with the Turnstone flock at the end of Hillfield Road. (M Rose)

Wheatear on the beach at the Bill, and the sunshine brought out two long-serving stalwarts of the Selsey birding scene - John Hibberd (left) and Chris Janman (with dogs) - no doubt discussing times past. Insert your own caption.... but mine is 'How come we're in the back row now Chris?' (OM)

Black Swan (C&MJ) (above) & Purple Sandpipers (M Rose) at the Bill

Warner Lane paddocks: There were two singing Lesser Whitethroats in the hedges this morning, plus a Wheatear and a Swallow over. (OM)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover was on the pool early on and a Cuckoo was nearby. (P Harris per Twitter.) 
Also, two Whitethroats and a Lesser Whitethroat were along the concrete track. (IL)
The pool itself was dead, otherwise, with just two Shelduck present, whilst around the Tramway there were just the usual four Chiffchaffs, a Whitethroat and a couple of Blackcaps of note. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above) & Pheasant around the Visitor Centre (AH)

Long Pool: The Spotted Redshank was in Ferry Channel, along with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, two Gadwall and c30 Redshank, whilst three or four Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings, plus a few Linnets were along the pool. (AH)

Sedge Warblers (above), Linnet, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits & Gadwall around the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least four Wheatears on beach, a handful of  Swallows were about, a couple of Sedge Warblers and Cetti’s Warblers were in the Severals, as were a Lesser Whitethroat and a couple of Chiffchaffs, whilst a Willow Warbler and a Blackcap were in the churchyard.
There were a lot of displaced Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls on the mud, but just a Whimbrel and a handful of Black-tailed Godwits were among them. Also, two Sparrowhawks and two Buzzards were displaying and two Gannets were offshore. (AH/A&YF et al)
A Garden Warbler was singing behind the hide at lunchtime. (IP)

Sandwich Terns (above), Reed Bunting & Sparrowhawk at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A Blackcap was along Church Lane and two Stock Doves were in the churchyard, but it was very quiet along the Wall, with no waders at all along White's Creek and just a family of Mute Swans and one or two Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers all singing in the reeds around the Breech Pool. On the Pool itself there were just 12 Tufted Ducks, 4 Canada Geese and 2 Cormorants, whilst there was a great deal of noise and activity from the heronry at Owl Copse. (JDW) A White Wagtail was in the horse paddocks and a Lesser Whitethroat was at the end of the wall this afternoon whilst a Whimbrel was in a field by the Breech Pool before flying off calling. (BI)

White Wagtail at the North Wall (BI)

Chi Marina reed-bed: It was quiet here too! A Reed Warbler and a couple of Cetti's Warblers were singing, a pair of Canada Geese and a pair of Buzzards occasionally appeared, and the most amusing thing was watching a Coot visiting a Mute Swan's nest and stealing nest material every time the swan preened; it took some minutes before the hapless swan realised and drove the Coot off! (OM)

Crafty Coot stealing nest material from a Mute Swan's nest...while the occupant was resident and preening! (OM)

Selsey: The first migrant moth of the year - an Angle Shades - was trapped last night. (SH)

Angle Shades in a Selsey garden (SH)

Ivy Lake complex: There were no Little Gulls at lunchtime today, but there were eight Common Terns on the main lake, whilst there were six Pochard and four Gadwall on Nunnery Lake and several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in the bushes. (AH)

Common Terns (above) & Pochard around Ivy Lake complex (AH)

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