Monday, 14 May 2018

14th - 16th May 2018

Wednesday, 16th May: The extremely changeable weather of this spring lived up to its reputation again this morning, with a strong north-easterly bringing lots of cloud and a very sharp drop in temperatures.....

Selsey Bill: Remarkably, for the fourth May running, a Nightjar was seen offshore this morning. Initially picked up by PB, it was seen heading N as if arriving, when about half a mile out at the closest, and it was possible to get occasional glimpses of the white wing flashes of a male bird. It was occasionally harried by gulls, when it moved further away; thereafter it was clearly feeding as it drifted back and forth to about a mile's range, before heading off east on the same line and showing no inclination to make landfall, having been in view for all of 50 minutes (0910-1000hrs).
Otherwise two Arctic Skuas and a Bonxie went east and at least 40 Little Terns were gathered on and around the beach, with much displaying and fish-passing taking place, and a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Bill House garden. Full log below....
0630-1130hrs: (PB/C&ME/OM/AH/IP/CRJ/MJ/PK et al)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 2E, 4W
Gannet - 95E, 108W
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Shelduck - 2os (locals)
Common Scoter - 68E, 19W, 30os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 6W
Whimbrel - 2E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2E
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Great Skua - 1os
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Little Tern - 2E, 40os
Common Tern - 4E, 22os
Sandwich Tern - 16E, 12os
Kittiwake - 6E
Razorbill - 1E, 4W
auk sp - 2E, 7W
Nightjar - 1 os (see above)
Swift - 2N
Swallow - 11N
House Martin - 4p (locals)
Spotted Flycatcher - 1 Bill House garden
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens
Willow Warbler - 2 gardens

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

(1650-1800hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 46E, 5W
Red Kite - 1 in off sea then W
Ringed Plover - 2E
Bonxie - 1os
Kittiwake - 1E
Sandwich Tenrn - 10E, 6os
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 2os

Northcommon Farm: The Pied Flycatcher and two Spotted Flycatchers were still at 'Flycatcher Corner,' along with a couple of Blackcaps, but they were much harder to see in the windy conditions. (SH/AH et al)

Spotted Flycatcher at Northcommon Farm (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were c150 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool,along with five Avocets, eight Redshank, the Shoveler, eight Gadwall, four Shelducks and two families of Mallards. (AH/OM)

Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A fairly brief look didn't produce much in the windy conditions, though there were a couple of Ringed Plovers, half a dozen Common Terns and 25+ Sandwich Terns in the harbour and a couple of Blackcaps and Whitethroats in the bushes, plus a handful of Swallows over. (AH)

Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were at least 800 Swallows, 200 House Martins, 50 Sand Martins and 100 Swifts over the fields and settling tanks this evening, whilst a pair of Lapwings were displaying over the newly sheeted vegetable fields nearby. (AH)

Sand Martins and Swallows (above) & Lapwings at Porthole Farm (AH)

Tuesday, 15th May: A very pleasant, warm morning, despite the brisk north-westerly breeze...

Selsey Bill: Another quiet day for movement, though two Whimbrels went east and at least 20 Little Terns were feeding and displaying offshore, with similar of Sandwich and Common Terns also about. Full log later.
0700-1000hrs: (C&ME/DM/OM/AH et al)
Gannet - 9E, 4W
Common Scoter - 2E
Whimbrel - 2E
Sanderling - 1E
Razorbill - 2E
auk sp - 2E
Little Tern - 20 os
Common Tern - 4os
Sandwich Tern - 18E
Swift - 3p

Little Terns (above), Common Terns & Whimbrel at Selsey Bill (AH)

Northcommon Farm: There was a nice surprise in the form of a female Pied Flycatcher with the two Spotted Flycatchers at 'Flycatcher Corner,' (DM/SH)... and the other two Spotted Flycatchers were also still present at the Golf Links Lane end. Also a couple of Whitethroats and Blackcaps still there, a Great Spotted Woodpecker visiting its nest-hole with food and a couple of Green Woodpeckers in suitable habitat for breeding. (DM/OM/SH/C&ME/IP/BI/AH)

Pied Flycatcher (above) & Spotted Flycatcher at Northcommon Farm (AH)

 More pics of the Pied Flycatcher (DM)........

 ........and Spotted Flycatchers (DM)

 Selsey: A Waved Umber was a new one for the moth-trap this morning. (SH)

Waved Umber in a Selsey moth-trap (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were a Little Ringed Plover and two Dunlin present this morning, along with c120 Black-tailed Godwits, two Avocets, ten Redshank, the Shoveler and eight Gadwall. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above) & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Red Kite went over the beach by the second Several early this afternoon. (IP/RM)

Medmerry: Breach area - Chainbridge - Ham Farm - There were six Corn Buntings together near the sluice at the end of the caravan site this morning, but sadly none were in evidence at Ham.
The Breach area was otherwise very quiet beyond a few Linnets, Swallows and a Meadow Pipit, with the tidal area devoid of waders and just a Common Tern and two Sandwich Terns being of note. There were plenty of Skylarks, Reed Warblers and Whitethroats, plus a few Swallows and Linnets around the Chainbridge area and the banks and reed-beds at Ham, but not too much else of note. (AH)

Porthole Farm: Little of avian interest to report here, but a notably long Grass Snake was of interest. (JDW)

Corn Buntings (above), Swallow, Whitethroat & Skylark at Medmerry (AH)

Grass Snake at Porthole Farm, Medmerry (JDW)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool area - At lunchtime today there were 50+ Avocets - all very mobile - a single :Little Ringed Plover on the Stilt Pool and loads of Skylarks along the banks, but no Corn Bunting or Yellowhammer to be seen. Also the probable Tufted Duck x Pochard hybrid was present with the Tufted Ducks.(GM)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Avocets, Skylark & Tufted Duck x Pochard hybrid at Medmerry (GM)

North WallThere were 2 Stock Doves in Pagham churchyard, but nothing else of note. Everything was in pairs on the Breech Pool - Gadwall, Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebes, Wigeon and Cormorants, whilst Sedge Warblers were noisy along the Wall, as well as a Chiffchaff and a Cuckoo at Owl Copse.  Later there were Little Terns fishing at Owl Point and a Common Tern at the Breech Pool. (JDW)

Fishbourne Creek: There were a handful of summering Brent Geese in the main channel today. (GM)

Brent Geese in Fishbourne Creek (GM)

Monday, 14th May: A very bright and breezy morning, with the fresh northerly keeping it cool early on, before warming up considerably...

Selsey Bill: Predictably quiet for sea-bird passage, though a Bonxie passed through and there were plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns offshore, with quite a bit of courtship displaying taking place, whilst a lone Willow Warbler was singing from the trees on the Oval Field. Full log below....
0630-1130hrs: (JF/C&ME/AH/OM/MJ)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 45E, 39W
Shelduck - 1W
Common Scoter - 3E
Whimbrel - 1E
Sanderling - 1E
Great Skua - 1E
Little Tern - 12E (inc. flock 10os which gradually drifted off E)
Common Tern - 5E, 3os
Commic Tern - 24E
Sandwich Tern - 18E
auk sp - 4E
Yellow Wagtail - 2N
House Martin - 1N, 4p (locals)
Swallow - 39N
Willow Warbler - 1, Oval field
1645-1800hrs;  (SH)
Gannet - 9E, 3W
Little Tern - 6os
Common Tern - 25os
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Swallow - 7N

Courting Common Terns (above), Sandwich Terns, Gannet, Great Northern Diver & Common Seal at the Bill (AH)

Northcommon Farm: There was a small fall of four (probably five) Spotted Flycatchers in the general 'Flycatcher Corner' area this morning, plus three Blackcaps, a couple of Whitethroats on territory, and a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. (OM)
Also, the Little Owl (not seen since last autumn) was spotted - being chased by a Blackbird this morning. (A&YF)

 Spotted Flycatcher at Northcommon Farm (OM)

Selsey: A Brimstone moth was in the trap this morning. (SH)

Brimstone in a Selsey moth-trap (SH)

East Head: A Red Kite went over Ella Nore this morning and there were three Chiffchaffs, two Stonechats and two Whitethroats along the paths towards Itchenor. Near Rookwood Lane a feeding stoat gave good views and butterflies seen were several Holly Blues, a Peacock, two Red Admirals, three Speckled Woods, three Green-veined Whites and decent numbers of  Large & Small Whites. (BI)

Ferry Pool: There were c120 Black-tailed Godwits, five Dunlin, seven Avocets, 12 Redshank, the Shoveler, ten Gadwall and a Shelduck on the pool, with a Whimbrel in the channel opposite. (AH)

Dunlin (above), Black-tailed Godwits & Whimbrel around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: At least 20 Little Terns and similar of Common and Sandwich took off from the island when something spooked them all, but it was hard to find any Mediterranean Gulls among the Black-headed.
There were still two or three Whimbrel about, but not much else in the harbour, whilst the bushes and the Severals only yielded the isual selection of Chiffchaffs, Whtethroats, Blackcaps and Sedge and Reed Warblers, plus a few Swallows over. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above) & Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)

Also of interest from Tern island is the image of a ringed Mediterranean Gull (ring 2C99) recorded there on 26th April 2018. Details of its history have now been was ringed on 28th June 2017 at Langstone Hbr, Hants and a month later was noted at Hayling. Thereafter, it was recorded four times between Sept-Oct 2017 on the Camel estuary, near Padstow, Cornwall, before appearing on Tern island, as above. (per IL, with thanks).

Mediterranean Gull bearing ring 2C99 on Tern island, 26 April 2018 (per IL)

Ivy Lake: A quick look produced no terns or hirundines, though a pair of Pochard were on Nunnery Lake, a dozen (presumably non-breeding) Great Crested Grebes were loafing on the main lake and there were one or two Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers along the hedges. (AH)

Pochards (above) & Great Crested Grebes around Ivy Lake (AH)

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