Thursday, 28 March 2019

28th - 31st March 2019

Sunday, 31st March: After a murky start, a much cooler, though still very bright morning, with a fresh north-easterly breeze.....

Selsey BillThere were a few bits in off the sea this morning, including half a dozen Wheatears, a couple of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, three Sand Martins and c250 Meadow Pipits, though sea passage remained modest, with two Velvet Scoters, 80+ Common Scoters and c25 Sandwich Terns east and a Bonxie west being the most noteworthy. Full log below...... 
0630-1230hrs: (SH/PB/BI/IP/AH/OM et al)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 10E, 38W, 5os
Brent Goose -16E
Velvet Scoter - 2E
Common Scoter - 85E, 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 1W, 2os
Peregrine - 1 hunting os
Sandwich Tern - 25E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 2os
Great Skua - 1W
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 1W
Sand Martin - 3N
Meadow Pipit - 268N
Pied Wagtail - 1N
Wheatear - 7N/ob
Chiffchaff - 5N, 3 gardens
Willow Warbler - 2N
Willow/Chiff sp - 3N
Goldcrest - 1 gardens

Brent Geese passing the Bill (OM)

Wheatears (above) & Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)

Winter and summer plumage at the Bill! (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 17 Avocets present this morning, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, ten Redshank, 20 Lapwing and c30 Black-tailed Godwits, with the same again of the latter in the channel opposite. Among the wildfowl seen were six Gadwall, c20 Teal and c50 Shovelers. (AH/PB)
Also, around the Visitor Centre/Discovery area there were six Chiffchaffs and five Blackcaps, and three Swallows went over. (AF/RJS)

Little Ringed Plover at the Ferry Pool (DM)
Avocet (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A female Merlin that flew low to the north over the fallow field and over Park Lane was the highlight this morning, though later there were also three Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 3 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks over, too, plus a Buzzard. (AH/IP/RM/SH)

North WallThere was no sign of the Garganey this morning, though a Marsh Harrier went over and plenty of Black-tailed Godwits were on show. (IH/DM)

Black-tailed Godwit (islandica) on the North Wall (DM)

Church Norton: There wasn't much to report in the windy conditions, though at least five Sandwich Terns went along the beach (with two dropping into the harbour) and there were at least 25 Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Linnets and Goldfinches in off the sea.
The harbour held very few waders, though a dozen Brent Geese were present along with at least 50 Mediterranean Gulls among the Black-headed Gulls, and a couple of Chiffchaffs, two Sand Martins and five Wheatears were also noted, whilst a Blackcap and a Goldcrest were in the sheltered spots around the Severals. (AH/IP/RM/SH)

Sandwich Tern (above) & Skylark at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy Lake: There were at least 80 Sand Martins over the lake this afternoon, with a couple of Swallows and Sand Martins among them, before they all drifted off east. (AB)

Saturday, 30th March: Another splendid sunny and spring-like day after a chilly start, with a light NE-SE breeze.....

Selsey BillThere was a bit on the move this morning, including a dozen Wheatears and a couple of Sand Martins, but, beyond 161 Common Scoters east, sea passage remains light. Full log below. (JA/PM/BI/IP/AH/MO-W et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 7E
diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 6E, 2W
Little Egret - 1E
Greylag Goose - 2N
Canada Goose - 4W
Brent Goose - 33E
Shelduck - 2E, 1W
Shoveler - 8E
Common Scoter - 161E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Curlew - 1E
Turnstone - 9p
Mediterranean Gull - 8E
Sandwich Tern - 5E, 2os
Guillemot - 1W
Meadow Pipit - 4N
Sand Martin - 2N
Wheatear - 5N, 8ob

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

Long Pool: The first Sedge Warbler of the spring was singing near the start of the pool early this morning, whilst Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap were singing nearby. Also, the Spotted Redshank was with 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank, a pair of Gadwall and 20 Teal at the far end of the channel. (AH) 
Later on a Willow Warbler was present nearby, too. (AB)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Gadwall in Ferry Channel (AH)

Ferry Pool: Five Little Ringed Plovers were on the pool early morning, though only two were present later on. Also about were a Snipe, a couple of Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Avocets, c20 Lapwing, eight Gadwall, c20 Teal and c50 Shoveler,
The Tramway was quiet except for the now settled couple of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. (AH/IP/P&JW)

Little Ringed Plovers (above), Snipe & Chiffchaff around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: At least ten Wheatears were on the concrete blocks mid-morning (KJ et al)
Later on, at least 21 Wheatears were seen, along with a swallow over, a Blackcap in Bluebell Wood and at least ten scattered Chiffchaffs. (S&SaH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Swallow went over, and there were two Blackcaps and three Chiffchaffs in the hedges, plus the odd-looking (possibly leucistic) Dunnock that has been present for a few weeks.. (S&SaH)

leucistic Dunnock at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

North Wall: A drake Garganey was on the muddy area at the back of the Breech Pool, and occasionally in the channel, just after noon (and was still present till at least 6pm) amongst Teal and Mallard. There was also a Water Rail and a couple of Snipe on the mud and a Sedge Warbler was in the reeds. (RD/IH/IB/BI/CRJ/S&SaH/AH) et al)

Garganey from the North Wall (BI top, SH & AH, lower two)

It was very quiet early on. The water level has dropped considerably on Breech Pool but the only waders to be seen were 127 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst 16 Redshank were along White's Creek. A few Grey Herons were in the trees, presumably having a rest from nest duties. (JDW)

Black-tailed Godwits at the Breech Pool (JDW) 

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - A Wheatear on the rocks at the far end, a Willow Warbler in the bushes and a Swallow and three Sand Martins over were indications of migration, but generally it was the usual mix of birds, including six Little Ringed Plovers and c20 Avocets on the Stilt Pool, along with a Dunlin, four Lapwing and a mix of wildfowl including a lone Wigeon, half a dozen Gadwall and a few Teal and Shovelers.
The banks held a pair of Stonechats, plenty of Yellowhammers and Skylarks, plus a few Linnets, Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings, whilst a pair of Buzzards were sat in a tree together and Mediterranean Gulls were seen and heard almost everywhere. (AH/IP)

Wheatear (above), Stonechats, Yellowhammers, Buzzards & Mediterranean Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 29th March: A lovely warm and sunny spring morning, with a light east-south-easterly breeze.....

Selsey BillA House Martin in off the sea was a surprise, and there was also four Swallows in and a couple of Wheatears on the beach, but it was quiet for migration. Full log below.....
0600-1130hrs: (C&ME/OM/PB/AH/BI/IP/B&MC et al) 
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Great Northern Diver - 7os
diver sp - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 4os
Gannet - 23E, 12W
Brent Goose - 53E
Common Scoter - 48E, 4os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Curlew - 2E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 4E
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Common Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 11E, 2os
Pied Wagtail - 3 Oval field
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Swallow - 4N
House Martin - 1N
Wheatear - 2p
Chiffchaff - 1p
Linnet - 3E

Sandwich Tern (above) & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were ten Avocets on the pool first thing, along with a few Redshank and Lapwings, plus c20 Teal  and c55 Shoveler.
A Blackcap and a Chiffchaff were singing in the bushes opposite, whilst c40 Black-tailed Godwits were in the adjacent channel. (AH)
Later on, two Red Kites were seen circling high up, distantly to the west and a Brimstone was present. (PB)

Avocets (above) & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)

Pagham Spit: A Wheatear was at the eastern end this morning. (KJ)

Church Norton: A Swallow went over the harbour this morning, a couple of Blackcaps were near the Mound and several Chiffchaffs and 20+ Linnets were along the west side.
One Sandwich Tern was in the harbour, among 50+ Mediterranean and 300+ Black-headed Gulls, but few waders were noted beyond the regular Whimbrel and half a dozen Black-tailed Godwits. (AH/IP/P&LH)

Whimbrel (above), Chiffchaff & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Jack Snipe was an unexpected find this morning, inadvertently flushed near Marsh Barn, whilst two Swallows came in off the sea and two Ravens and at least four Little Ringed Plovers were also seen. There were also two Peregrines around the derelict building in the centre of the reserve, four Buzzards and two Kestrels overhead but a large raptor capturing the attention of the gull flock remained just too distant for a positive ID. (BI/P&LH)

Ivy Lake; The only bird of note late this morning was a singing Blackcap. (IP)

Birdham Pool: No obvious migrants at all this morning, bar a singing Chiffchaff, but the pool held 6 Shelduck, 6 Gadwall, 8 Teal, a pair of Great Crested Grebes, c.10 Little Grebes, the usual Mallards and a Water Rail sunning itself on the far side. (OM)

Chi Marina: Once again disappointing, with just 6 Shelduck, a pair of Canada Geese, a few Mallards and a calling Water Rail, plus a couple of Chiffchaffs and three Cetti's Warblers. In the channel were a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, and surprisingly a flotilla of 24 Great Crested Grebes. (OM)

Thursday, 28th March: Another dry and mainly fine day after some early morning mist, with little or no breeze at first, becoming light and variable later.....

Selsey Bill: A flat calm sea produced little evidence of migration, although up to 11 Great Northern Divers were offshore and the elusive Water Rail in Bill House garden showed briefly again (completing a week of its stay). Meanwhile, a non-avian highlight was a pod of as many as ten Bottle-nosed Dolphins moving west offshore. Full log below....  
(0700-1000hrs)  (C&ME/AH/IP/AM/RP)
Great Northern Diver - 11os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 12W
Common Scoter - 19E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 2W
Water Rail - 1p
Black-tailed Godwit - 12E
Turnstone - 13E
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 3os
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - c10W

(1645-1745hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Gannet - 2W, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Razorbill - 1os

Ferry Pool: The Little Ringed Plover was still present, along with a Green Sandpiper, eight Avocets, six Black-tailed Godwits, six Redshanks and ten Lapwing, as well as the regular 40 or so Shovelers and 20 Teal.
The channel opposite held the Spotted Redshank again, plus at least 30 Black-tailed Godwits, with the same again of the latter further out in the harbour, whilst the Tramway circuit produced a singing Blackcap by the Visitor Centre and at least three singing Chiffchaffs. (AH)

Blackcap (above), Chiffchaff, Spotted Redshank, Little Ringed Plover & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were two singing Blackcaps around the Mound, plus two or three Chiffchaffs, but there were no other hints of migration, with few waders beyond a dozen  or Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlews and Redshanks present in the harbour.
Otherwise, the female Peregrine was out near their island, a few Teal were scattered about and three SAndwich Terns and at least 50 Mediterranean Gulls were among the ever-growing throng of Black-headed Gulls. (AH/IP/AM/A&YF))

Blackcap (above) & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs - Ivy Lake complex: At New Lake a male Brambling was in the trees early afternoon. (AB)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - An Osprey flew over westwards, towards Earnley, at about 1500hrs. (MO-W) 

Very good to see so many passerines on a walk down past the stilt pool to the sea, with probably a couple of dozen Yellowhammers, plus many Skylarks, Linnets and a few Reed Buntings. Quite a few Mediterranean Gulls were on the pool, along with displaying Avocets, and four Little Ringed Plovers. Also, two Sandwich Terns and a close Great Northern Diver were offshore. (R Baker per SOS)

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

26th - 27th March 2019

Wednesday, 27th MarchAnother bright and sunny morning, with a light to moderate north-westerly breeze gradually veering north-east....  

Selsey Bill: Just over 40 Brent Geese moving east was about the only evidence of migration on another quiet morning. Full log below...... 
0700-1100hrs:  (C&ME/OM/AH/IP/RP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Gannet - 10E, 18W
Brent Goose - 41E
Shelduck - 2W settled os
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 4os
Shoveler - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 1os
Turnstone - 11E
Meadow Pipit - 5N
Chiffchaff - 2 gardens
Long-tailed Tit - 1 Bill House garden

Brent Geese at he Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Avocets present this morning, plus a dozen Redshank and Lapwing, with c20 Teal, c40 Shovelers and six Gadwall also in attendance.
Also, the Spotted Redshank was once again in the channel opposite, along with c60 Black-tailed Godwits. (AH/OM)
Early this evening a Little Ringed Plover was present, too. (AB)

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

Hunston: There were still 13 Cattle Egrets in the field east of the substation this morning. (CRJ)

Bramber Farm: One of the Little Owls was sitting out again this morning and at least six Buzzards were in the vicinity. (CRJ)

Little Owl at Bramber Farm this morning (CRJ)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: A Peregrine circling at great height before stooping down at speed was the avian highlight, with three singing Chiffchaffs and a couple Meadow Pipits the only other birds of note, whilst a pair of Brown Hares were getting frisky in one of the grass fields. (AH/IP/CRJ)

Chiffchaff (above) & Brown Hares at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There was no sign of the Little Gull on the Stilt Pool, though there were still three pairs of Little Ringed Plovers present, including a pair mating, along with 46 Avocets and seven Curlews, plus the usual mix of wildfowl.
A male Stonechat along the banks was the only bird not seen yesterday, though there were still plenty of Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Linnets, plus a couple of Reed Buntings. (AH/IP)

This evening one of the Barn Owls was out, whilst a Stonechat, a Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards, 20+ Yellowhammers and 39 Avocets were also seen. (SH)

Little Ringed Plovers (above), Avocets, Stonechat, Skylark, Curlews & Gadwall and Teal at Medmerry (AH)

North Mundham: A total of 62 nests were counted in the rookery along the B2166. (CRJ) 

Chi GPs: New Lake -  A count at the Cormorant colony revealed a total of 74 nests, (but no sign of any egrets) (CRJ).

Itchenor: The Nuthatch in the Chaldock marsh area was calling stridently and making its presence felt early afternoon. (PH)

Tuesday, 26th MarchA pleasantly bright and sunny morning, with just a light north-westerly breeze....  

Selsey Bill: It was slow going again this morning, though the Water Rail popped up in the Bill House garden again and several Great Northern Divers and Sandwich Terns were offshore. Full log below. (C&ME/AH/IP/TR)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Gannet - 9E, 3W
Brent Goose - 11E
Common Scoter - 14E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3os
Water Rail - 1p
Curlew - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 7os

Later on, a Merlin was seen to come in off the sea from some distance out. (KJ/GWh/KF et al)

Also, a single, very tired, Meadow Pipit dropped onto the fishing boat, well out to sea from Selsey. (CW)

Meadow Pipit on a fishing boat from Selsey (CW)

Ferry Pool: The Avocet count had risen to nine this morning and there were still at least ten Snipe along the front, plus a few Redshank, whilst wildfowl included four Gadwall, c25 Teal and c40 Shovelers. (AH)

Snipe (above), Avocet & Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall It was pleasing to note that the pair of Little Owls was still present and sitting out near Bramber Farm. White's Creek was very quiet and the only waders were 27 Redshank, 48 Black-tailed Godwits and 3 Curlew, and not much was happening on the Breech Pool either, with just a 2 Tufted Ducks and a handful of Teal and Mallard. Along the Wall were 2 calling Cetti's Warblers, 4 male Reed Buntings and a pair of Linnets. whilst a lone Swallow was around Honer cottages. Honer reservoir was much the same as yesterday, with 17 Tufted Duck and 4 Gadwall and in the large flooded field just SE of the reservoir were 2 Shelduck and 2 Common Snipe. Three Chiffchaffs were at Macracarpa Copse along with a Green and a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. It was nice to see signs of spring with Red Admiral and Brimstone butterflies on the wing and Blackthorn and Gorse now in blossom. A pair of Stock Doves has taken up residence in Pagham churchyard. (JDW)

 Little Owl at Bramber Farm, Pagham and spring blossom at the North fields. (JDW)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were ten Cattle Egrets on the south side of the dairy buildings this morning. (JDW)

Hunston: Whether these are different birds is not clear, but there were still 15 Cattle Egrets in the field east of the substation. (BI)

Church Norton: It was a good morning for raptors, with two Red Kites drifting over south-west at 09.20, the two Peregrines on their island, up to six Common Buzzards soaring, some displaying, and a Sparrowhawk was up as well. 
In the harbour c200 Black-headed Gulls, 33 Mediterranean Gulls, 13 Shelduck, 10 Teal, four Ringed Plover, and six Sandwich Tern were seen, with Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, plus three singing Chiffchaffs in the hedges. Offshore there was just a lone Gannet and the only passerine migrants were c30 Meadow Pipits flying north, high up. (CRJ)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were no indications of migration this morning, beyond a Chiffchaff and a couple of Meadow Pipits, though there were plenty of Yellowhammers, Linnets and Skylarks about the banks, plus a couple of Reed Buntings and a Sparrowhawk.
There were three pairs of Little Ringed Plovers on the Stilt Pool, along with 42 Avocets, a dozen Mediterranean Gulls, c30 Shoveler and a handful of Teal and Gadwall. (AH/IP)

Later on, an adult winter Little Gull was on the Stilt Pool and a Merlin was seen from Easton viewpoint. (BI/KJ/GWh/KF et al)

This evening a Barn Owl was out hunting the banks near the Easton Viewpoint. (AH/SR)

Little Gull (above) & with Black-headed Gull at Medmerry (GWh)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Reed Bunting, Linnet, Sparrowhawk, Skylark and Mediterranean Gulls at Medmerry (AH)