Monday, 7 May 2018

7th - 10th May 2018

Thursday, 10th May: A cool and fresh morning after a drop of overnight rain, with plenty of sun and white cloud driven on by a brisk north-westerly....

Selsey Bill: There was a little more about than yesterday, but mostly local birds - Gannets, terns, a few Common Scoter and one or two Fulmars and Kittiwakes - going west as much as east, though two Swifts and a Yellow Wagtail came in off the sea, a Whimbrel landed on the beach and an Arctic Tern was among a group of Common Terns going west. 
(0615-1045hrs) (C&ME/AH/MJ) 
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 1E, 4W
Gannet - 124E, 102W
Mallard - 3W
Common Scoter - 55E
Sanderling - 2E
Whimbrel - 6W
Turnstone - 12W
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Kittiwake - 1W
Mediterranean Gull 1W
Sandwich Tern - 44os
Little Tern - 20os
Arctic Tern - 1os
Common Tern - 18os
'Commic' Tern - 9os
Razorbill - 7W
auk sp - 18E
Swift - 2N
Swallow - 10N
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
1730-1830hrs (SH)
Gannet - 7E, 7W
auk sp - 8W
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 12os
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Kittiwake - 7W

Arctic Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Common Scoters & Whimbrel at the Bill (AH)

Northcommon Farm: The Spotted Flycatcher was still around 'Flycatcher Corner' this morning, and was seen eating a Peacock butterfly. (SH/AH/MJ)

Spotted Flycatcher at Northcommon Farm (AH)

Chichester Marina Reed-beds: A Marsh Harrier was hunting over the reeds for a good five minutes at 7.30am. (GT)

Ferry Pool: There were still at least 200 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with three Avocets, a Lapwing, a dozen Redshank, three Shoveler, ten Gadwall and four Shelduck, with two Whimbrel in the channel opposite. (AH)

Sidlesham Church nearby garden: A Red Kite drifted high to the west, mobbed by a crow sp at around 10am. (S Allday)

North Wall: A Firecrest was seen and heard singing at the end of Church Lane, about 30 yds from the gate and along the entrance track to the North Wall. It was singing stridently and showing occasionally at about 0930hrs, and was still singing when I returned at noon....presumably a breeding record? Also, two Wigeon (a pair) were on the flood in the fields in front of Honer Farm, a Cuckoo was calling from Owl Copse and another from Halsey's farm, 2 Common Terns were over Breech Pool and 2 Whimbrel were on the mudflats. (OM)

Common Tern at the Breech Pool (OM)

Honer Reservoir: There were two Greenshank, three Redshank, 11 Lapwing and two pairs of Little Ringed Plovers on the flooded field to the south-east of the reservoir this morning,  plus two Gadwall and two Shoveler. A White Wagtail also dropped in for a while along the margins of the flood. (OM/JDW)

 Little Ringed Plover and Gadwall, on the flooded field near Honer reservoir, North fields (JDW)

Church Norton: There were a dozen Little and Sandwich Terns, plus a couple of Common Terns in the harbour, but the only waders noted were half a dozen Whimbrel and one Curlew.
The bushes were again quiet, with most birds - including one or two Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Long-tailed Tits - keeping low and looking settled in for the breeding season. (AH)

Little, Common and Sandwich Terns (above), Blackcaps, Willow Warbler and Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt pool - A fairly uninspiring morning.....a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Stonechat carrying food, the other usual suspects and 17 Little Terns offshore. (BFF/DM)

 At Medmerry this morning: Common Sandpiper, Avocet and Little Ringed Plover (DM)

Wednesday, 9th May: Another fine and bright start, though a little cooler and with a freshening south-westerly breeze as the day progressed....

Selsey Bill: After an early Arctic Skua and a Wheatear, another very slow morning, with not much more than a few local Gannets and Sandwich Terns about. Full log below....
0615-1030hrs: (SH/AH/C&ME/MO-W)
Gannet - 73E, 30W
Common Scoter - 3E, 1W
auk sp - 3E
Arctic Skua - 2E (1l/p, 1d/p)
Common Tern - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 27E
Swallow - 21N
Wheatear - 1 gardens
1700-1800hrs: (SH)
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Manx Shearwater - 2E
Gannet - 20E, 12W
auk sp - 2E, 1W
Little Tern - 2E
Common Tern - 6os
Sandwich Tern - 8os

Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

(1700-1800hrs) (SH)
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Manx Shearwater - 2E
Gannet - 20E, 12W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 8os
Little Tern - 2E
Common Tern - 6os
auk sp - 2E, 1W

Ferry Pool: There were well in excess of 200 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with a Little Ringed Plover, 16 Redshanks, the pair of Shovelers and eight Gadwall, with a Whimbrel in the channel opposite, (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Northcommon Farm: There was a Spotted Flycatcher at 'Flycatcher Corner' this morning. (SH)

Medmerry: Ham Viewpoint - A Hobby went over at 3pm today. (BO'D)

North Wall: The highlight this morning was a Wood Sandpiper in the flooded field just east and due south of Honer reservoir.... probably best accessed from Fisher Lane as Summer Lane is currently being resurfaced. Also in this field were 25 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 4 Mallard, 4 pairs of Lapwing, 2 Redshank, a Mute Swan and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers. This is what the Breech Pool should look like at migration time! Elsewhere there was a White Wagtail in the horse field at Welbourne and 2 Cuckoos were calling, one near Halsey's Farm and the other close to Honer reservoir. (JDW)

 Shelducks on the flooded field this morning and White Wagtail in the paddocks at Welbourne (JDW)

Church Norton: Very little about again, with just a few Whimbrel, Sandwich and Common Terns in the harbour and the usual selection of warblers, mostly not singing and keeping low, including a Willow Warbler and a couple each of Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. (AH)

Little Tern (above), Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat at Church Norton (AH)

West Itchenor: A walk along the harbourside only produced a dozen or so Whimbrel on the mud, plus a few Shelducks, whilst a Cuckoo, a couple of Willow Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat were singing, along with a scattering of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Whitethroats. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Little Egret & Shelducks at West Itchenor (AH)

Chichester Marina: There was nothing out of the usual, just several Reed Warblers, 3 Cetti's Warblers, a pair of Reed Buntings and a pair of Buzzards around the reed-bed and pool, whilst along the canal were 10 Tufted Duck and various pairs of Coot and Moorhen plus the nesting Mute Swans.
Along the mudflats in the channel there were 10 Black-tailed and 15 Bar-tailed Godwits and three Common Terns, whilst around the small sewage plant compound a Grey Wagtail was seen to appear, so quite possibly breeding there?
Salterns Copse looked fine in the spring sunshine and held 3-4 singing Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Lesser Whitethroat. (OM)

Coot at nest with small young at Chi Marina (OM)

Chi GPs - Ivy Lake pits: There were at least 12 Common Terns over the lakes and c.20 Swifts coming and going above, but otherwise it was standard fare, with 10 or so Great Crested Grebes, several pairs of Canada Geese with young, 5 Pochard and several singing Chiffchaffs, amongst other species. (OM) 

Tuesday, 8th May: After another fine, sunny and still start, the breeze slowly picked up from the south-west, increasing to force 4/5 by early afternoon and bringing some white cloud with it.....

Selsey Bill: There was no continuation of yesterday evening's Pomarine Skua movement this morning, much to the disappointment of some, with very little on the move beyond 2 Arctic Skuas, 100 Common Scoters and a few Gannets and Sandwich Terns. Full log below..... 
0545-1345hrs(PB/C&ME/OM/AH/MJ/DF/DS et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 55E, 5W
Shelduck - 2W
Mallard - 3 p
Common Scoter - 106E
Whimbrel - 1E, 1W
Sanderling - 2W
auk sp - 5E
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Little Tern - 4E, 2os
Common Tern - 4E, 6os
Commic Tern - 19E
Sandwich Tern - 35E, 10os (drifted E)
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Swift - 7N
Swallow - 10N
House Martin - 1N
(also, a small flock of Herring Gulls with other gulls on the beach contained 2 ringed birds; details will be forwarded).

Herring Gull chasing a Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

(1600-1800hrs) (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 3E
Gannet - 34E, 19W
Common Scoter - 4E
Kittiwake - 4W
Sandwich Tern - 8os
Little Tern - 7os
Swallow - 1N
Common Tern - 16os
Guillemot - 6W

Ferry Pool: There were c180 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, plus c12 Redshanks, the pair of Shovelers and ten Gadwall, with a Common Sandpiper in the channel opposite. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A very quick look this morning found a very elusive male Redstart in the churchyard, but apart from a perched Swallow and some singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps there was little else of note. (AW)
It was equally quiet later on, though a Cuckoo was calling and showing in the tall trees on the edge of the Priory, a Goldcrest was singing in the car-park, a Green Woodpecker was in the churchyard and the Swallows were prospecting the hide.
In the harbour there were a few Sandwich and Little Terns, half a dozen Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits and a single Curlew. (AH)

Redstart (above), Swallow (AW), Cuckoo & Green Woodpecker (AH) at Church Norton

Halsey's Farm to North Wall: It was very quiet here, with just a Chiffchaff and a couple of Blackcaps singing from the trees and a few Reed and Sedge Warblers, plus a couple of Reed Buntings around the Breech Pool, whilst there was nothing much beyond a few Whimbrel in the harbour. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above), Reed Bunting & Whimbrel at the North Wall (AH)

Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May: The fine and warm spell continues, with unbroken sunshine and the lightest of breezes...

Selsey Bill: Unfortunately, gloriously sunny and still weather is not what is needed for sea-bird passage and that was the case again today, though a Black Tern sneaked through early on, and three Arctic Skuas, c.250 Common Scoter and some Commic Terns also headed east and a few Swifts came in overhead. Days like today can be so frustrating and it was clear that those birds that did pass largely went around the south side of the Isle of Wight - not through the Solent - meaning that many passed out of view from the land here, (not assisted by a murky and misty horizon), yet passed within viewing range further east along the coast. Wind direction (or lack of it!) and prevailing conditions are so often critical for a good sea-watch at the Bill. And some of us are hurting over the lack of Poms!
Full log below.....
0500-1300hrs: (JA/SH/PB/PM/CN/IP/C&ME/BI/AH/OM/CRJ/MJ et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Black-throated Diver - 1 os
Great Northern Diver - 3 os
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 11E (one flock), 1W
Fulmar - 5E, 3W
Gannet - 84E, 16W
Shag - 1os
Common Scoter - 256E
Mallard - 2 p (local)
Shoveler - 1E
Whimbrel - 11E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 36E
Sanderling - 1W
Razorbill - 1E, 1W
Guillemot - 1os
auk sp - 1E
Great Skua - 1E
Arctic Skua - 3E (2d/p, 1l/p)
Little Tern - 6E, 5os
Black Tern - 1E
Common Tern - 16E
Commic Tern - 162E
Sandwich Tern - 71E
Swift - 22N
Sand Martin - 1N
Swallow - 39N
Long-tailed Tit - 1 gardens

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

Fulmar at the Bill (PM)

Over a hundred years of experience still couldn't rustle up a Pom at the Bill this morning! (AH)
When the going gets tough....concentration is needed.... and MJ shoots off to get an ice-cream! (OM)

Finally, late this afternoon, some Pomarine Skuas started moving, with 14 seen by 7pm, thus - 2 at 16.03, 5 at 16.50, 4 at 16.58, 1 at 17.18, 1 at 17.53 and 1 at 18.53. Full log below. (JA/SH/SAH/BI/CN/AH/IP et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 3E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 22E, 2W
Pomarine Skua - 14E (all l/p)
Arctic Skua - 3E (2 l/p, 1 d/p)

Little Gull - 1E
Kittiwake - 3E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 17E
Little Tern - 4E
Common Tern - 2E
'Commic' Tern - 5E
Collared Dove - 1N
Swallow - 4N

Arctic Skua at the Bill (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Wood Sandpiper was on the Stilt Pool this afternoon before it flew off northwards, Also about the pool were a Common Sandpiper, two pairs of Little Ringed Plovers , eight Dunlin and 44 Avocets, including the first chicks, whilst up to ten Whimbrel were out on the reserve.
A Whinchat was seen this morning (BO'D), and a female Stonechat was seen near where a male was recently seen, suggesting possible breeding, but otherwise there were plenty of Yellowhammers, Skylarks, Linnets and Meadow Pipits, plus a few Reed Warblers and a couple of Whitethroats. (IP/RM/AH/CN)

Wood Sandpiper (above), Yellowhammer & Whimbrel at Medmerry (AH)

Ferry Pool: Around 80 Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool early this morning, along with two Avocets, six Redshanks, two Shoveler and ten Gadwall, plus a Reed Warbler singing at the front. (AH) 
Later on there were a pair of Little Ringed Plovers on the pool. (IP/RM/CN)
There were also reports to the Visitor Centre from visiting bird-watchers of a Grasshopper Warbler and a pair of Pied Flycatchers along the concrete road to the Sewage Works, but neither were relocated. (IL)

Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Yellow Wagtail and two Swifts went over, but otherwise it was just the usual few Swallows and House Martins, a couple of Linnets and a Whitethroat. (S&SaH/AH/IP/RM)

Linnet at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: There were the usual scattering of Sedge and Reed Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Whitethroats around the Severals, two Swifts went over Greenlease Farm and a few Skylarks and Linnets were along the beach.
In the harbour there were three or four Whimbrel, about ten Bar-tailed Godwits and a few Little and Sandwich Terns, but not too much else of note. (S&SaH/AH/IP/RM)
Later on, a Cuckoo dropped in and was calling. (AW)

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

Ivy Lake: There was very little beyond nine or ten Common Terns to be found this morning. (GH)

Common Tern at Ivy Lake (GH)

North Wall: A lovely windless sunny morning along the Wall but it was disappointingly quiet on the bird front. There were no waders along White's Creek just Mute Swans, Little Egrets and Shelduck, or on the Breech Pool, where there were just pairs of Mute Swans, Little and Great Crested Grebes, two Cormorants and a fishing Common Tern. 
Honer 1 field is still impassable without wellington boots as I discovered this morning. Cetti's Warblers were noisy along the Rife but no sign of Reed or Sedge Warblers, whilst in the large flooded field to the west of the Rife were seven Shelduck, four Shovelers, four pairs of Lapwing, five Common Snipe, three Dunlin and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers. 
A Cuckoo was at Honer reservoir where there was also a pair of Tufted Ducks, and along Honer Lane there were four Common Whitethroat, two Yellowhammers with nesting material, a pair of Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff. (JDW)
We saw and heard several Reed and Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings along the wall and there was a Cetti's Warbler seen briefly as it flew along the hedgerow. At Halseys farm there was a Whinchat seen from the wall. (P&JW)

Common Tern and Cormorants (above) & Great Crested Grebe from the North Wall (JDW)

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