Sunday 28 April 2019

28th - 30th April 2019

Tuesday, 30th April: Another bright and sunny morning, with the breeze again starting in the north-east before drifting round towards south-east.........

Lost...a pair of spectacles on the shingle/path, between Bill House wall and Hillfield Rd car-park, in all the excitement. Really would appreciate their return if anyone should find them. Many thanks (OM)

Selsey Bill: Duck day! Bird of the spring (so far!) was undoubtedly the drake Surf Scoter picked up by Hampshire birder Pete Gammage among a flock of 33 Common Scoters that dropped in on the sea at 09.40hrs. All present managed to see it on the water before the flock took to flight again, heading east at 09.55hrs. Somewhat surprisingly, this is the first confirmed record for the Bill and the Peninsula.
Among other highlights were a summer-plumaged drake Long-tailed Duck east and (to complete the set!) two Velvet Scoters among the 300+ Common Scoters seen going east, plus a Tufted Duck and Shovelers, along with a Black-throated Diver and 100 or so Bar-tailed Godwits, and two Common Sandpipers went along the beach. Full log below.....
0530-1730hrs:  (PG/PB/JF/OM/IP/PM/AH/BI/SH/C&ME/B&MC et al)
Red-throated Diver - 6E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 97E, 15W
Fulmar - 2E, 9W
Shelduck - 2E
Common Scoter - 383E
Velvet Scoter - 2E
Surf Scoter - 1E (drake)
Long-tailed Duck - 1E (drake)
Shoveler - 2E
Tufted Duck - 1E
Whimbrel - 7E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 92E
Turnstone - 14E
Sanderling - 1E
Common Sandpiper - 2E
Razorbill - 4W
auk sp - 4W
Sparrowhawk - 1 area
Little Tern  - 42E
Common Tern - 30E
Commic Tern - 52E, 20os
Sandwich Tern - 156E
Arctic Skua - 4E (d/p)
Great Skua - 1E, 1os
skua sp - 1E
Kittiwake - 1E
Swift - 10N
Sand Martin - 2N
House Martin - 5N
Swallow - 105N
Lesser Whitethroat - 1 gardens
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - 10+ W

Distant (!!) shots of the Surf Scoter among Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (above), Velvet and Common Scoters & Fulmar at the Bill (AH)

 More views of the Velvet Scoters and Long-tailed Duck (PM)

Ferry Pool: The Knot was still present today, along with five Dunlin, three Little Ringed Plovers, ten Redshank and c70 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst a new family of ducklings were among the 30 or so adult Shelduck present, and there were also four Teal and eight Gadwall about. 
Also, a Raven went over westwards and two Stock Doves were around the pool, whilst at least a dozen Whimbrel, ten Black-tailed Godwits and four Gadwall were in the channel opposite. (AH/AM)

Raven (above), Knot and Redshank, Whimbrel, Shelducks & Gadwall around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were up to ten Little Terns feeding along the main channel this morning on a quick look, with 60+ Sandwich Terns on the mud, along with 16 Bar-tailed Godwits, 20+ Whimbrel and a few Ringed Plovers, whilst several Swallows went over. (AH/IP)

Little Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy Lake: The first-winter Little Gull was feeding over the lake again this morning. (KJ et al)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - The Spoonbills were showing well on the Stilt Pool again this morning, along with numerous Avocets and Shelducks, at least eight Bar-tailed Godwits this morning and one or two Knot, plus a few Gadwall and Tufted Ducks. (RP)

Spoonbills (above), Bar-tailed Godwits & Avocet and Ringed Plover at Medmerry (RP)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - This evening there were two singing Corn Buntings along the banks, a couple of Reed Warblers in the ponds, half a dozen Swallows over the fields and a scattering of Skylarks and Linnets. Also, there were four Brown Hares in the big field and adjacent saltmarsh opposite the breach. (AH)

Corn Bunting (above) & Brown Hares at Medmerry (AH)

Monday, 29th April: A pleasantly warm and sunny morning, with the much lighter winds starting in the north-east before drifting round to south-east.........

Selsey BillA Pomarine Skua past at 6.20am was a good start, but it was generally slow-going, with a Black-throated Diver east and a few waders the only other birds of note, whilst some incoming hirundines and a Willow Warbler singing from the gardens hinted at migration. Full log below.....
(0530-1430hrs)  (JA/PB/IP/JF/C&ME/AH/OM/B&MC)
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Fulmar - 2E, 3W
Gannet  - 48E, 46W
Common Scoter - 16E
Whimbrel - 14E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 6E
Grey Plover - 36E
Dunlin - 80E
Turnstone - 3E
Little Tern - 24E
Common Tern - 22E
Sandwich Tern - 68E
Pomarine Skua - 1E (0620hrs, l/p)
Kittiwake - 5E
Herring Gull - 350 os (around fishing boat!)
Sand Martin - 2N
House Martin - 2 area
Swallow - 45N
Willow Warbler - 1 gardens
also 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins os this morning

(1430-1540hrs) (MD)
Bar-tailed Godwit - 24E
Pomarine Skua - 1E (14.45pm)
Swallow - 2N

(1640-1800hrs)  (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 2E, 1W
Whimbrel - 32E
Little Tern - 10os
Common Tern - 6E
Sandwich Tern - 15E, 5os

(above) AH creating muddy puddles for the local House Martins, which are starting to return to the Bill during very dry conditions this year, and (below) you know it's a quiet day with a photo like this....there was a massive flock of about 350 Herring Gulls following this boat as the crew gutted fish and discarded the offal! (OM) 

Ferry Pool: A Knot was on the pool again, along with the pair of Little Ringed Plovers, a dozen Avocets and Redshank, plus around 80 Black-tailed Godwits, but wildfowl was restricted to 22 Shelducks, four Gadwall,  four Teal and half a dozen Mallards.
The channel opposite held a dozen Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwits, pus another pair of Gadwall, whilst a Whitethroat was singing in the bushes by the hide. (AH)

Knot and Black-tailed Godwits (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Whitethroat & Mallards around the Ferry (AH)

North Selsey: In the hedges towards Park Farm this morning there were two Lesser Whitethroats, two Whitethroats, two Willow Warblers, three Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff. (SH)

Church Norton: There were seven Bar-tailed Godwits and up to 20 Whimbrel in the harbour this morning, whilst a couple of Little and Common Terns were among the Sandwich Terns sat on the mud.
A Cuckoo was calling continuously from the trees at the back of the Severals and there were six Lesser Whitethroats spread between the path to the beach and the west side, along with plenty of Whitethroats, a Willow Warbler and two or three Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. Resident birds included a couple of Reed Buntings and numerous Linnets, plus a Sparrowhawk over and a pair of Gadwall in the moat of the Mound.. (AH/IP)

Linnet (above), Blackcap, Gadwall, Bar-tailed Godwit & Common and Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy Lake: The first-winter Little Gull was feeding over the lake again this morning. (BFF/DM)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - A superb spring morning with a light north easterly and plenty of sunshine. All the way down we could hear Mediterranean Gulls calling though remaining hidden in the blue sky. A Raven cronked east being chased by local Carrion Crows, plenty of Common Whitethroats were holding territory, a Yellowhammer and single Stonechat were in the gorse holding territory and at least one Lesser Whitethroat was singing, whilst a group of 7 Whimbrel were feeding in the tidal marsh with another 3 further to the south. 
On the Stilt Pools the 2 Spoonbills were actively dozing, whilst 6 Little Ringed Plovers and many Avocet were busy defending territories and 5 summer plumaged Dunlin were also noted, plus Gadwall and Tufted Duck. On the walk back Sedge and Reed Warbler were singing stridently. (BFF/DM)

 Spoonbills and Avocet on the Stilt pool and Yellowhammer in the gorse (BFF)

Sunday, 28th April: Less windy than yesterday, but still with a very fresh north-westerly blowing, and still decidely cool in the mostly cloudy conditions.........

Selsey BillAnother quiet morning, though a Hobby came in over Hillfield Road just before 9am, single Arctic Skuas and Bonxies went east, 20+ Whimbrels went west and half a dozen Great Northern Divers and two Eider were offshore. Full log below. (JA/SH/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 8os
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 66E, 82W
Shelduck - 2W
Gadwall - 2W
Mallard - 6os
Common Scoter - 11E, 1os
Eider - 2os
Hobby - 1N
Whimbrel - 32W
Turnstone - 2p
Bonxie - 1E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Mediterranean Gull - 37W
Kittiwake - 2E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 35os
Common Tern - 3E, 25os
Little Tern - 8os
Razorbill - 1E, 1W
auk sp - 1E, 1W

(1120-1530hrs) (JA/SH/PB/C&ME)
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 46E, 20W
Common Scoter - 1E, 3W, 3os
Kestrel - 1N
Pomarine Skua - 1W, then os, 1340hrs
Bonxie - 1E
Arctic Skua - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 8E, 22os
Little Tern - 2E, 11os
Common Tern - 22os
auk sp - 3E, 1W
Swallow - 11N
Goldfinch - 9N

Eider (above), Common Tern & Whimbrel at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were only four Avocet present this morning, along with a lone Knot, c90 Black-tailed Godwits, a dozen Redshank, 25 Shelducks and four Gadwall, but there were only half a dozen Teal about.
Ferry Channel held a Greenshank, a pair each of Wigeon and Gadwall, and a dozen Whimbrel, with another 30 or so spread around between there and the main channel from the Tramway.
The Tramway circuit held a handful of Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats and Blackcaps, plus two Lesser Whitethroats, whilst a Cuckoo was calling distantly from the direction of Sidlesham Quay. (AH)

Greenshank (above), Knot, Black-tailed Godwits, Whimbrel & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)

Ivy Lake: The Little Gull was feeding over the lake again this morning. (RHa)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The two Spoonbills were again on the Stilt Pool, along with four Little Ringed Plovers, plenty of Avocets, 20 Grey Plovers, a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and - briefly - three Little Terns.
Also, a Peregrine was seen with a fresh kill and a pair of Stonechats were along the banks. (IP/RM)
Also seen were a Wheatear on the beach, four Reed Warblers and three Whimbrels. (ARK per SOS)

Church Norton: Waders included four Bar-tailed Godwits, two Dunlin, a Curlew and half a dozen Ringed Plovers, along with at least 20 Whimbrel, whilst only one Little Tern could be seen among the large numbers of Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls.
Two or three Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats, plus a vocal, but unseen, Lesser Whitethroat were along the front, along with a couple of Reed Buntings and a handful of Linnets. (AH/IP/RM et al)

Sedge Warbler (above), Reed Bunting & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday 25 April 2019

25th - 27th April 2019

Saturday, 27th April: A day dominated by a gale-force due westerly, fairly cool in the mix of sunshine and cloud....

Selsey BillUnsurprisingly, given the wind direction, a pretty dire morning's sea-watching, though there were still a few of the more regular species recorded. Full log below. (SH/JA/IP/PB/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Fulmar - 2E, 13W
Gannet - 32E, 81W
Common Scoter - 16E
Grey Plover - 22W
Whimbrel - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 20E, 11os
Little Tern - 6os
Common Tern - 11os
auk sp - 3E
Grey Seal - 1os

Common Tern (above), Gannet & Grey Seal at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 28 Shelducks on the pool, along with 12 Avocets, c80 Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank and c20 Teal this morning. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The two Spoonbills were still present today. (SR) 

Church Norton: Apart from the activity around Tern Island, including c60 Sandwich Terns and c100 Mediterranean Gulls, the harbour was quiet, with just a dozen or so Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwits noted, whilst the bushes held a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, a Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff and a couple of Blackcaps - all largely unseen, but singing sporadically. (AH/iP)

Sandwich Terns (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were seven Bar-tailed Godwits and a Knot in the harbour, along with at least 20 Whimbrel. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot & Whimbrels at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy Lake: The first-winter Little Gull was feeding over the lake again this morning, though could be elusive at times, and there were also a minimum of 15 Common Terns present, along with c 30 Sand Martins, c10 House Martins and c100 Swallows, whilst at least a couple of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were singing along the hedges. (BI/AH/IL)

Little Gull (above), Sand Martins, Chiffchaff & Common Tern at Ivy Lake (AH); Little Gull, bottom, (BI)

Friday, 26th April: A bright and very breezy morning, after a cool start, with the wind from more or less due south.....sunny with cloud and just a few isolated drops of rain.

Selsey Bill: Highlights of a fairly slow morning were a Pomarine Skua east at 0935hrs and two Manx Shearwaters west. Full log below....... 
(0530-1230hrs): (JA/JF/PB/AB/OM/BI/IP/C&ME/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
diver sp - 2E
Manx Shearwater - 2W
Fulmar - 2E, 15W
Gannet - 116E, 75W
Brent Goose - 13E
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 82E, 3W, 12os
Whimbrel - 2W
Great Skua - 1E
Pomarine Skua - 1E
Arctic Skua - 5E, 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Kittiwake - 2W
Sandwich Tern- 133E, 30os
Little Tern - 13E, 18os
Common Tern - 5E, 33os
Razorbill - 3E
auk sp - 4E
Swallow - 1p
Whitethroat - 1 gardens 

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

OM chasing rainbows at the Bill (AH)

(1615-1730hrs) (JA/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 14E, 9W
Common Scoter - 1E
Kittiwake - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 5E, 6os
Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 6os
auk sp - 3E
Swallow - 3N

Ferry Pool: The pair of Little Ringed Plovers were displaying and mating this morning and there were still 12 Avocets present, along with c70 Black-tailed Godwits, ten Redshank, four Gadwall, 16 Shelduck and c20 Teal, whilst a Whitethroat was singing in the hedge by the hide.
Also, the Common Sandpiper, the Greenshank and at least six Whimbrel, plus two pairs of Gadwall were in the channel opposite. (AH/BI)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Little Ringed Plovers around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Visiting birders reported a male Redstart near the Mound, and there was a Cuckoo around the horse field area, but otherwise, beyond a briefly singing Willow Warbler, it was just the usual Blackcaps and the odd Chiffchaff singing.
The harbour held at least 60 Sandwich Terns and half a dozen Little Terns, plus up to a dozen Whimbrel, one Dunlin and 20 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst the female Peregrine was sat on her island. (AH/IP)

Sandwich Terns (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH); Redstart, bottom, (JR)

Sidlesham: Walking across farmland between Sidlesham and Highleigh I looked up to see an Osprey passing overhead towards Pagham Harbour. (T Snow per SOS)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The two Spoonbills (seemingly the sub-adult birds seen last weekend) were present again and sleeping soundly on the Stilt Pool, where there were also at least four Little Ringed Plovers, exactly 40 Avocets, a Redshank and a Lapwing, plus a dozen Tufted Ducks, a pair of Gadwall and eight Mediterranean Gulls.
Up to a dozen Whimbrel were out on the reserve, but the banks were fairly quiet in the blustery conditions, though plenty of Skylarks were singing, as were half a dozen Whitethroats and a couple of Reed Buntings, whilst a single Swallow and a Swift went over. (AH/IP/BI)

Spoonbills (above), Little Ringed Plover, Swift, Lapwing & Skylark at Medmerry (AH); 
and awake (!) Spoonbill (BI)

Ivy Lake: The first-winter Little Gull was present again this morning, along with half a dozen Swifts and a few hirundines, a Reed Warbler and a few Orange-tips were along the edges and a pair of Pochard were displaying. (AB/NM)

Pochards (above), Long-tailed Tit & Orange-tip at Ivy Lake (AB)

Late this afternoon the first-winter Little Gull and up to ten Common Terns were over the back of the lake, along with a few Swallows, with six Pochards and a dozen Great Crested Grebes on the water. (AH)

Little Gull (above) & with Common Tern at Ivy Lake (AH)

Thursday, 25th April: The fresh breeze was fairly constant from a south-south-easterly direction, but the morning went from cold and grey, with the odd drizzly shower, to warm with bright sunshine.....

Firstly, a short update on Peninsula regular Yvette Ford, following her recent accident when she (and husband Alan) were struck by a car in Chichester. We are pleased to say that she is now home and recuperating, following her operation at St Richard's Hospital. She asks us to pass on this message.....
"Thank you so much for organising the delivery of the lovely flowers. They brightened my day (and Alan’s).! Please thank everyone. I’m feeling a bit better each day, missing being there with you all, hopefully I’ll be back in business for the Autumn migration, maybe in a wheelchair so you’ll have to get a disabled access sorted for me!!
Thanks again, Love to you all,  Yvette xx "    

Get well soon and we look forward to seeing you back as soon as you are ready. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: Steady passage this morning, although the anticipated south-easterly failed to deliver a wow factor and the weather failed to deliver much of the promised rain moving through. Even so, two Pomarine Skuas went east, (singles at 7am and 10am), along with over 20 Arctic Skuas, 15 Bonxies, seven Velvet Scoters, three Little Gulls, a Black-throated Diver, nine Red-throated Divers, 300+ Sandwich Terns and 100+ Common Terns. Full log below..... 
0600-1515hrs:  (PB/CN/BI/JF/IP/C&ME/AH/RHa/OM et al)
Red-throated Diver - 11E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Fulmar - 7E, 10W
Gannet - 165E, 70W
Brent Goose - 71E
Velvet Scoter - 7E
Common Scoter - 226E, 35os
Whimbrel - 11E
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 4E
Great Skua - 15E
Arctic Skua - 24E (all but one dark phase - or dark morph as some insist!)
Pomarine Skua - 2E (l/p)
skua sp - 1E
Little Tern - 21E
Commic Tern - 146E 
Common Tern - 11E
Sandwich Tern - 362E
Little Gull - 3E
Kittiwake - 4E
Swift - 2N
Swallow - 12N

Arctic Skuas (above), Bonxie, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

More cameos from the morning's sea-watch, this time at the 'south-easterly corner.' (above) the early crowd assembles and PB (furthest right and in pole position) assumes responsibility as duty Log-keeper.
(centre) All goes well as PB sticks to his task diligently, scanning in all directions and maintaining the Log....
(lower) ah!. ..but the pressure eventually tells and he is found wanting for a short while, asleep at his post in the sunshine! (OM)

(1530-1830hrs) (JA/SH/AH/RHa/PD)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 36E, 5W
Brent Goose - 8E
Common Scoter - 40E
Eider - 1os
Bonxie - 1E, 3os
Common Gull - 5E
Mediterranean Gull - 7W
Kittiwake - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 56E
Common Tern - 22E, 12os
Swift - 1N
auk sp - 2E

Ivy Lake: A Hobby went over the lake this afternoon (BFF/DM/CM), whilst early this evening there was a first-winter Little Gull, ten Common Terns and a Common Sandpiper present, along with ten (nine drakes!) Pochard and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. (AB)

West Itchenor: A pair of Nuthatches were seen at a nest-hole were along a track in the village today. (PH)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool - There were two Spoonbills on the Stilt Pool this afternoon. (P Charleston/C Evans)

Spoonbills at Medmerry (C Evans)

Ferry Pool: There was a Knot among the 50 or so Black-tailed Godwits present, as well as  a Common Sandpiper, 14 Avocets, ten Redshank, six Gadwall and c20 Teal, whilst the channel opposite held a Greenshank, nine Whimbrel and 25 Black-tailed Godwits, plus a pair of Wigeon and a pair of Gadwall. (AH/BFF/DM/CM)

Knot and Black-tailed Godwits (above), Avocets, Greenshank, Whimbrel and Gadwall & Whimbrel and Wigeon around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The harbour produced a sub-adult Yellow-legged Gull, a dozen Whimbrel, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, 19 Little Terns, ten Common Terns, c75 Sandwich Terns and lots of Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls, whilst a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps were singing around the hide. (AH)
This evening, c20 Ringed Plovers and a flock of 11 Whimbrel flew into the harbour mouth, and a Common Sandpiper was also in the harbour. (SA)

Whimbrel (above), Sandwich Terns & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)