Friday, 11 May 2018

11th - 13th May 2018

Sunday, 13th MayA mainly fine, sunny and dry day, with a moderate W/SW breeze and feeling pleasant in more sheltered spots......

Selsey Bill: A fairly uninspiring watch this morning, the best being a couple of Arctic Skuas and a handful of Common Scoter passing through......

(0600-0900hrs)  (SH/PM/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Gannet - 8E, 12W
Common Scoter - 49E
Gadwall - 2E
Whimbrel - 1E, 1W
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 2E, 1W
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Little Tern - 6E, 4os
Common Tern - 24E, 5os
Sandwich Tern - 13E, 2os
Swallow - 5N
House Martin - 5 p (locals)
(1340-1515hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 7E
Curlew - 1W
Whimbrel - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 7os
(1600-1800 hrs) (S&SaH)
Gannet - 28E, 8W
Fulmar - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Common Tern - 27os
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Kittiwake - 1W
auk sp - 2W
Swallow - 1N
House Martin - 1N

Arctic Skua (above), Little Tern, Sandwich Tern & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were still c200 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with 16 Avocets, 15 Redshanks, eight Dunlin, the drake Shoveler, eight Gadwall and four Shelducks. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were three Wheatears along the beach this morning, with a scattering of Reed Buntings, Linnets, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, plus a Lesser Whitethroat along the Severals, whilst a Gannet and a few Common and Sandwich Terns were offshore and a few more of the latter two and a few Little Terns were in the harbour.
There were a handful of Whimbrel in the harbour, along with a Bar-tailed Godwits, a Ringed Plover and a few Dunlin, whilst one of the Peregrines and a couple of Buzzards were seen overhead. (AH/IP/RM/S&SaH)

Wheatear (above), Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat & Grey Heron at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs - Drayton PitsI did a reasonably thorough breeding season survey this morning, and won't bore you all here with the fine details of Coots and Mallards etc, but the highlight for me was a totally unexpected Kingfisher (site tick!) flying across the South pit with what looked like food in its bill. Also worthy of mention was a combined count (from both pits) of 27 singing Reed Warblers, and a quite enormous brood of 24 Canada Goose goslings with a pair of adults. (OM)

A picture of serenity, until this pair of Canada Geese revealed they had 24+ goslings in tow! (There was in fact another pair of adult Canadas keeping a respectful distance away - and given the variation in size with some of the goslings it's possible a smaller brood from this other pair joined the larger brood?) (OM)

Medmerry, West side: A look from Easton Lane via the bridlepaths to Ham produced a Stonechat near the car park and a few  Linnets & Yellowhammers, plenty of Skylarks, three Whitethroats and one to two Swallows on the way up to Ham where there were at least two singing Corn Buntings along the fenceline. Also present here were two Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler around the pools whilst a Buzzard and a Kestrel drifted overhead. Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool/Beach continued to be very quiet with just three Whitethroats, a Green Woodpecker and three Reed Warblers on the way down, along with the usual Skylarks. A Hare was in the field opposite Marsh Barn as was a Red-legged Partridge but there was little else to note. The Stilt Pool was bereft of waders apart from the Avocets, which now have chicks, but I did manage to find 22 Dunlin and one Little Ringed Plover on one of the beachside pools. (BI)

Saturday,12th May: A dry and cloudy morning with a light and variable southerly breeze, but with a forecast of rain by the afternoon.......

Selsey Bill: We start with a couple of results from sightings of ringed gulls on the beach at the Bill on 8th May, which are of interest.......see below ......... (OM)

625: This bird is a Great Black-backed Gull, which was ringed as a pulli (nestling) on 28th June 2016 on the outer arm of the breakwaters at Portland Harbour. Unfortunately it seems it was misidentified by one of the ringing team and inadvertently recorded as Herring Gull! This was the first sighting in the field.

A3RT: This Herring Gull was ringed in Dec 2015 at Pitsea, Essex and was subsequently sighted at Beddington, then again in Greater London in 2017. More recently, it was sighted twice in Blaringhem, northern France in early March this year, before appearing at the Bill.

There wasn't too much going on this morning beyond a Black-thoated Diver east and two Eider west, plus the local movements of Fulmars, Gannets, Common Scoters, Little, Common and Sandwich Terns. Full log later. (JA/SH/IP/AH)


Great Northern Diver - 2os
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 24E, 13W
Little Egret - 1N
Mallard - 3p
Eider - 2W
Whimbrel - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 24E
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 2E
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 2W

Gannets (above), Common Scoter & IP checking the wind direction at the Bill (AH)

Selsey: A Garden Warbler was in hedges on the north of the village this morning. (S&SaH).
Mothing has been quiet as of late, but a nice Eyed hawk-moth was found this morning. (SH)

Eyed hawk-moth at north Selsey this morning (SH)

West Wittering: My next-door neighbour just asked me what this was on his feeders. A blurry phone picture of a Hawfinch in West Wittering! Not bad for a rainy Saturday. Half an hour camped out in their kitchen and ....tada!! (GM)

Hawfinch in a West Wittering garden. (GM)

Church Norton: An early walk up the west side produced a Spotted Flycatcher and Lesser Whitethroat, along with the usual Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Linnets, and warblers. In the rife there was a pair of Gadwall and a Buzzard flew low over the fields. In the harbour their were a few Whimbrel and Godwits along with a mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. A Spoonbill also flew over heading north towards Sidlesham. (AW)
Later on a Wheatear was on the beach and another was on the spit, and a Gadwall, four Dunlin, six Turnstones and c20 Rnged Plovers were in the harbour, as were both Peregrines - the female with a kill - and a Sparrowhawk went over. (S&SaH/IP/RM)

 Lesser Whitethroat (above), Spotted Flycatcher, Spoonbill (AW) and Wheatear (SH) at Church Norton

Ferry Pool: There are a lot of birds using the pool at the moment, which is always good to see at this time of year. Among those present today were a Green Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Pover, 16 Avocets, a fairly accurate count of 225 Black-tailed Godwits, 18 Redshank, six Dunlin, two Shovelers, six Gadwall and four Shelduck, plus a family of Mallards and four Stock Doves. 
There was little around the tramway beyond the usual Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. (AH)

Green Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwits (above), Little Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit, Stock Dove & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)

This afternoon there were 25 Avocets present. (AH)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were up to ten Sedge Warblers singing this morning, but there were no more than five Reed Warblers present, along with a Reed Bunting, several Whitethroats and a Blackcap, whilst two Swifts and two Sand Martins went over.
There were a few waders in Ferry Channel - mostly roosting in the harbour at the far end, including two Knot, ten Whimbrel, 15 Bar-tailed Godwits, c40 Grey Plovers and c60 Dunlin, plus the usual Redshanks, a pair of Gadwall, c50 Shelducks and a pair of Canada Geese with half a dozen young goslings, whilst a Lapwing was on the arable fields. (AH)

Reed Warbler (above), Sedge Warbler, Whimbrel, Lapwing & Knot, Grey Plover, Dunlin and Bar-tailed Godwit around the Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: Very quiet around North Wall & Halsey's Farm early this morning with the highlight being a daylight hooting Tawny Owl at Owl Copse. Otherwise, just two Whitethroats, two Chiffchaffs, a few Reed Buntings and scattering of Reed & Sedge Warblers were recorded. (BI)

Friday, 11th May: A fresh and blustery south-easterly was blowing this morning, and quite chill despite plenty of sunshine.....

Selsey Bill: The south-easterly breeze inevitably brought quite a crowd of observers out - including a sizeable contingent from Hampshire! - and though the birds didn't quite live up to everyone's hopes, there was enough to keep the interest, including a single Pomarine Skua east at 6.26am, a dozen Arctic Skuas, a couple of Black-throated Divers, a Yellow Wagtail and a steady trickle of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns, Kittiwakes and Common Scoters east. Things picked up by afternoon, with regular Arctic Skuas appearing, then some Manx Shearwaters, Black Terns and further Poms, plus 2 Hobbys. See the full log below......... 
0445-1845hrs(JA/SH/PB/OM/AH/BI/C&ME/MJ et al) - many obs
Black-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
diver sp - 2E
Fulmar - 4E, 3W
Manx Shearwater - 27E, 3W
Gannet - 823E, 34W
Shelduck - 2 p (local)
Common Scoter - 129E
Curlew - 2E
Whimbrel - 46E
Sanderling - 17E
Turnstone - 4E
Hobby - 2N
Sparrowhawk - 1p
Razorbill - 6E, 1W, 1os
Guillemot - 2E
auk sp - 41E, 11W
Arctic Skua - 34E 
Pomarine Skua - 8E (1d/p 0625, 1l/p 1207hrs, 2l/p+2d/p 1757, 1l/p1823, 1l/p1825 )
Little Tern - 44E
Black Tern - 6E
Common Tern - 222E
Arctic Tern - 9E
Commic Tern - 75E
Sandwich Tern - 117E
Kittiwake - 38E, 13W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Yellow Wagtail - 1N then E
Swallow - 9N

Early morning observers, full of anticipation, at the Bill this morning (OM)

Arctic Skuas (above), Great Northern Diver, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Sandwich Tern & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

.A video of four of today's Pomarine Skuas passing Selsey Bill is  here

Pomarine Skuas past Selsey Bill, and below - OM in a right pickle, in a desperate bid to get onto six Black Terns! (BI)

Ferry Pool: There were ten Dunlin and five Avocets on the pool this morning, along with c200 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Redshank, eight Gadwall, two Shovelers and four Shelduck. (AH)

Dunlin (above), Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A quick look at a windy harbour produced not much more than a handful each of Whimbrel, Little, Sandwich and Common Terns, and all that could be heard from the hedges were a couple of Blackcaps. (AH)

Little, Sandwich and Common Terns (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Honer Reservoir/Pagham Rife: There were five singing Reed Warblers along the Rife this morning, along with two Cetti's Warblers and a Whitethroat. On the flooded field near Honer Reservoir there were five Little Ringed Plovers, two Redshank, a pair of Gadwall and seven Shelduck, whilst on the reservoir itself there were Gadwall and two Coots, with two Swifts overhead. (JDW)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - Late this afternoon there were 100+ Swifts, 200+ House Martins and 500+ Swallows feeding low over the fields and hedges. (AH)

Swifts (above) & Swallows and House Martins at Porthole Farm (AH)

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