Wednesday, 25 April 2018

25th - 27th April 2018

Friday, 27th April: A cold and grey morning, though mostly dry, with a fresh south-easterly breeze........before the predicted rain arrived in force by early afternoon.

Selsey Bill: A much-anticipated morning with a fresh south-easterly sadly failed to live up to expectations, although there was some movement, including six Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies, a Velvet Scoter among 100+ Common Scoters, and at least one Arctic Tern among the Sandwich Little and Common Terns moving in moderate numbers. 
Sea-watching covered most of the daylight hours before conditions became too dire; full log below........ 
0530-1800hrs: (JA/SH/PB/AB/AH/BI/OM/MJ et al)
Red-throated Diver - 14E, 1W
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Gannet - 424E, 52W
Fulmar - 4E, 8W
Manx Shearwater - 1E, 2W
Little Egret - 1E
Shelduck - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 1W
Common Scoter - 236E
Velvet Scoter - 1E
Curlew - 1E
Whimbrel - 13E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 40E
Grey Plover - 3E
Sanderling - 6E
Dunlin - 2E
Kestrel - 1S
Great Skua - 1E, 2os
Arctic Skua - 7E (3 l/p, 4 d/p)
Little Tern - 85E, 25os
Common Tern - 75E, 44os
Commic Tern - 107E
Arctic Tern - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 151E, 7os
Razorbill - 9E, 3W
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 3E, 5W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Kittiwake - 1E, 7W
Swallow - 50N
Meadow Pipit - 5E
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
Wheatear - 1 ob
Linnet - 13E

Arctic Skuas (above), Red-throated Divers, Velvet and Common Scoters, Sandwich Terns, Whimbrel & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Selsey Bill in the rain.....and by early afternoon there were just two of us left to hold the fort! Umbrellas became essential equipment and here PB puts on a brave face as the watch continues. (OM)

Early this evening there was a large gathering of mainly Common Terns (plus a few Little and Sandwich Terns) off Hillfield Road, with plenty of displaying going on despite there being very few back in the harbour as yet. (AH)

Common Terns (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still present, as were 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, six Dunlin and Gadwall, two Shovelers, four Teal and ten Redshank.
There were at least two Reed Warblers and half a dozen Sedge Warblers, plus a Lesser Whitethroat in a quick look along the Long Pool. (AH/AB) There were 23 Whimbrel on the saltmarsh at the end of the Tramway early evening. (BI)

Spotted Redshank, squabbling Black-tailed Godwits, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Gadwall & Sedge Warbler around the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge to Ham - There were two Whimbrel, a Little Tern and 18 Grey Plovers in the tidal area, six Wheatears, five Corn Buntings, three Cetti's Warblers, a Lesser Whitetrhroat, up to 15 Whitethroats, two Reed Warblers and four Sedge Warblers along the banks and adjacent hedges and reeds, with a Sparrowhawk and a steady trickle of 30+ Swallows over. (J Palmer)

Chichester Marina Reed-bed: At least 30 Swallows were feeding over the reeds today. (PH)

Thursday, 26th April: Another bright and windy day, with a distinct early chill to the strong westerly....

Selsey Bill: Even quieter than yesterday, with a coasting Hobby the only highlight beyond a few locally moving Gannets, Fulmars and terns. Full log below..... 
0630-0930hrs:  (C&ME/TR/RS/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 43E, 34W
Common Scoter - 1E, 2W
Hobby - 1W
Grey Plover - c.60W
auk sp - 4E, 2W
Little Tern - 18os
Common Tern - 12os
Sandwich Tern - 21os
Kittiwake - 1W
Common Gull - 2W
Swallow - 9N
Pied Wagtail - 1N
Wheatear - 2N

(1645-1745hrs) (JA/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Gannet - 14E, 14W
Mallard - 3E
Common Tern - 1E, 1W
Little Tern - 18os

Fulmar (above), Little Tern & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still about, as were 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, and there were also c60 Dunlin, eight Redshank and four Lapwings around the pool, along with large numbers of Black-headed and a few Mediterranean Gulls.
There was not too much around the Tramway circuit beyond a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Whitethroats, plus handful of Chiffchaffs. (AH/CMJ/TR/RS)

Spotted Redshank (above), Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: It was very quiet here again, with a Cuckoo calling early on, a brief snatch of Willow Warbler song and a Sand Martin and a Swallow over being the only hints of migration. A couple pf Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing sparingly and a female Reed Bunting was gathering nest material, whilst offshore a pair of Gannets and a pair Little Terns were all that was seen, whilst, sadly, a dead Razorbill was on the beach.
Up to ten Whimbrels and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits were in the harbour, plus a pair of Gadwall, whilst there were just 20 or so Sandwich Terns among the large numbers of Black-headed and a Mediterranean Gulls. (AW/AH)
Later in the morning there were two Wheatears around the concrete blocks and nine House Martins and 14 Swallows came in. (P&JW)

Gannet (above), Reed Bunting (both AW), Little Tern, Whimbrel & Linnet (AH) at Church Norton

North Wall: Quite cool and blustery despite the sunny start and it soon became apparent that the conditions would not be conducive to any birding excitement this morning. Sedge and Reed Warblers were present all along the wall, with several Whitethroats proclaiming their territory, but it was all rather run-of-the-mill stuff.... several Cetti’s Warblers, a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff or two, 3 Blackcaps and a pair of Reed Buntings, whilst the Breech Pool held 4 Gadwall, several Tufted Duck, a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a single Black-tailed Godwit. A look around the stable fields area drew a complete blank other than several recently arrived Swallows making themselves at home.

White’s Creek held 15 Redshank and 36 Shelduck, 3 Grey Plover flew over and up to a dozen Whimbrel were dotted about on the mudflats, whilst two Common Terns were fishing in the channel and another Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the hedgerow.

The nearby Pagham churchyard failed to produce a single migrant and I realised it was just one of those days, so took the decision to go home and get on with something useful! (OM)

Ivy Lake: There were still a dozen Common Terns on the lake today, plus a couple of Pochard and eight Great Crested Grebes, with c20 Swifts, c20 House Martins, c50 Swallows and c50 Sand Martins dropping in briefly as a large squall went through. (AH)

Common Terns (above) & Pochard on Ivy Lake (AH)

Wednesday, 25th April: A bright and blustery day, warming up after a chilly start, but with a brisk and freshening westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Predictably quiet again on the migration front, save a lone Bonxie that came off the sea, but 17 Manx Shearwaters went west, along with a Red-throated Diver, a few Kittiwakes and Gannets and one or two Fulmars, with a couple of Wheatears on the beach.  Full log below..... (PB/C&ME/MO-W/AH/MH/PC)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 78E, 44W
Fulmar - 4W
Manx Shearwater - 20W (inc a flock of 13)
Eider - 1W (female)
Common Scoter - 7E, 9os
Grey Plover - c150W
Dunlin - 12W
Whimbrel - 9W
Bonxie - 1E
Kittiwake - 6W
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Common Tern - 14os
'Commic' Tern - 12E
Little Tern - 28os
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 2W
Swallow - 26N
Wheatear - 2p

Wheatear (above), Fulmar & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Still no Poms! (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still down near the road and there were c120 Black-tailed Godwits, a drake Gadwall, four Redshank and six Teal also present, with a Common Sandpiper in the channel opposite.
A Cuckoo was calling from the north end of Yeoman's Field, but the Tramway circuit produced just the usual scattering of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, plus two Lesser Whitethroats - all keeping low, whilst a total of 32 Whimbrel were in the harbour around the main channel. (AH/AB)

Spotted Redshank (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper & Whimbrels around the Ferry (AH)

Ivy Lake: There were 150+ Swallows and Sand Martins, plus a few Swifts, over the lake this morning. (BI)

North Wall: There were plenty of Sedge Warblers, plus a couple of Reed Warblers singing this morning, but notably not from the main reed-beds which are still more or less under water. There was little else to report beyond a couple of Whimbrels in the harbour, four Lapwing and two Black-tailed Godwits, plus a Shoveler, on the fields, two Sand Martins west and a couple of Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats along the hedges. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above) & Whitethroat at the North Wall (AH)

This afternoon there were two Common Sandpipers in White's Creek and another two on Pagham Lagoon. (AB)

Church Norton: The first Black-headed Gull pair have laid on Tern Island, and the new electric fencing is now up and running.... (per Ivan Lang, Warden)

A fairly quick look produced a Wheatear on the beach and a couple of Gannets offshore, three Whimbrel in the harbour and the usual mixed mass of gulls and terns, all disturbed by the RSPB team and their boat paying a visit to the island. (AH)

Wheatear (above), Gannet, Mediterranean Gull and the RSPB boat at Church Norton (AH)

Just after 7am there was a group of four Dunlin in the harbour, whilst along the Severals there was a singing Sedge Warbler and on the beach there were three Wheatears. Also three Little Terns were diving in the sea nearby. (AW)

Little Tern (above), Wheatear & Sedge Warbler at Church Norton (AW)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were c50 Swallows and House Martins, plus a dozen or so Sand Martins over the settling tanks this evening. (AH)

House Martin (above) & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

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