Saturday, 4 May 2019

4th - 6th May 2019

Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May: A fairly pleasant day of sunshine and cloud, after a cold start, with the wind freshening as it shifted from north to west............

Selsey Bill: Seabird passage was more or less non-existent, though plenty of terns were feeding offshore and two very bright Yellow Wagtails dropped in on the Oval Field for a few minutes. Full log later. 
(0530-0945hrs)  (JA/SH/OM/AH/IP/CN)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Fulmar - 5W
Gannet - 23E, 9W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 129E
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Whimbrel - 20E
Sanderling - 22E
Little tern - 1E, 15os
Common Tern - 11os
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 30os
auk sp - 1E
Stock Dove - 3N
Swift - 2N
House Martin - 4 p (gathering nesting material, Oval field)
Swallow - 4N
Yellow Wagtail - 2 Oval field, flew off N
Willow Warbler - 2 Broadreeds gardens
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Yellow Wagtails (top 2 OM, SH & AH), Whimbrels (SH) Common Terrn & Little Tern (AH) at the Bill 

(1600-1730hrs) (JA/SH/CN)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
diver sp - 1E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 9E, 10W
Common Scoter - 21E
Sanderling - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p)
Kittiwake - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 16os
Little Tern - 6os
Common Tern - 7os
Razorbill - 1E
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 4E, 1W

Northcommon Farm: 'Flycatcher Corner' came up trumps with the first two Spotted Flycatchers of the spring, along with a Garden Warbler, a Blackcap, a Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff and a couple of Willow Warblers, whilst a Mistle Thrush was in the paddocks, too. (BI/AH/AW et al)

Spotted Flycatchers (above), Willow Warbler & Blackcap at Northcommon Farm (AH)

Warner Lane paddocks: What were presumably the same two bright Yellow Wagtails  that dropped in at the Bill dropped in here, too, this morning. (BI)

Park Farm, Selsey: There was a bit of a selection around the fields today, including a Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Pied Wagtail, with four swallows and two house Martins around the barns. (S&saH)

Ferry Pool: There was a Common Sandpiper on the pool this morning, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, three Dunlin, eight Redshank, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, six Gadwall, two Teal and 20+ Shelducks, including the family group. (AH/OM/AW)
Later on, another two Spotted Flycatchers were along the 'Medmerry Trail' path (towards the sewage farm), (BI) and a Red Kite drifted over heading west at 1.45pm, whilst a Wheatear was around the sewage farm. (IP).

Common Sandpiper (above) & Shelduck-lings on the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: A Coal Tit has been around our garden in the village for the last couple of days. (A&YF)

Ivy Lake; The Little Gull and eight Common Terns, plus a few Swifts and hirundines, were over the lake this morning. (BI)

Church Norton: Two Swifts went over and a Cuckoo was calling this morning, whilst in the harbour there were a Knot, two Dunlin, c20 Bar-tailed Godwits, two Black-tailed Godwits and c10 Whimbrel present. (IP/CN/RM)
This afternoon a Whinchat was in the horse field (S&SaH), still present this evening when there were two Knot, six Whimbrel, ten Ringed Plovers, 22 Dunlin and 33 Bar-tailed Godwits in the harbour, along with lots of Sandwich Tern activity. (AH/CN)

Whinchat (top SH), Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover & Knot, Dunlin and Bar-tailed Godwits (AH) at Church Norton 

North Wall: The highlight this morning was two Spotted Flycatchers at the east side of Bremere bridge copse. 
Apart from three Black-tailed Godwits and 38 Black-headed Gulls there was nothing along White's Creek, whilst the Breech Pool is even drier and held just five Black-tailed Godwits  and a handful of Teal and Mallard. Along the Wall were Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, three Whitethroats,  two pairs of Reed Buntings and a pair of Linnets, whilst a pair of Coots were feeding three young at Owl Water. 
It appears to be a good year for Whitethroats as there were five in the stretch between Honer Cottages and the reservoir, whilst on the reservoir itself there were a pair of Shelduck and a Common Sandpiper and Grey Herons were seen foraging at several sites. (JDW)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Coots around the North Wall (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were Whitethroats all along the hedges, plus a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps, but not too much else, though c50 Swallows and c20 House Martins were over the settling tanks.
A Spotted Flycatcher was by the houses just north of the farm and a Chiffchaff was singing by the farm, whilst three Sand Martins were with a dozen Swallows over the ponds and a few reed Warblers singing from the reedbeds.
There were no buntings of any species seen, though there were a few Linnets and Skylarks about, whilst the tidal areas held just a single Whimbrel and Curlew, plus a pair of Shelducks. (AH)

Sand Martin (above), Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Skylark & cows waiting for the tide to drop at Medmerry (AH)

Sunday, 5th May: A cold, but less windy, day than yesterday, with sun early on before the cloud cover increased............

Selsey Bill: A Yellow Wagtail in and three Eider east were the highlights of a quiet morning, though there were good numbers of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns offshore. Full log below.  (JA/SH/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 38E, 16W
Eider - 3E, 1os
Common Scoter - 15E, 3W
Whimbrel - 4W
auk sp - 1E
Little Tern - 31os
Common Tern - 26os
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Yellow Wagtail - 1N
House Martin - 1p
Swallow - 1N

Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

(1610-1730hrs) (JA)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 12E, 3W
Common Scoter - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 8os
Little Tern - 8os
auk sp - 1E, 2W

Ferry Pool: The pool was quite empty again, though there were two Little Ringed Plovers, two Dunlin, four Avocets, four Redshanks, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, a drake Shoveler, two Teal, six Gadwall and c30 Shelducks, plus the family of youngsters, present.
Ferry Channel held two or three Whimbrel, a Gadwall and 24 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst the tramway circuit produced a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and half a dozen Whitethroats, plus at least three Blackcaps. (AH)

Lesser Whitethroat (above), Whitethroat, Linnet, Little Ringed Plover & Shoveler around the Ferry (AH)

Halsey's Farm/North Fields: A Cuckoo was calling here this morning, there were decent number of Blackcaps and Whitethroats singing from the hedges and there were a few Chiffchaffs about, too. A female Bullfinch was at the Honer end and a Sparrowhawk went through here whilst three Buzzards were overhead. Along the wall, Reed Warbler numbers seemed to have climbed, and there were also a few Sedge Warblers, and Swallows were moving through sporadically. Best non-avian find was a pristine Small Copper butterfly. (BI/RHa)

Church Norton: At least two Cuckoos were seen and heard around the Priory Wood on the RSPB dawn chorus walk, along with Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers and Green and Great spotted Woodpeckers, whilst a Peregrine was on its island. (RP)
Later, a Cuckoo was showing well at the back of the Severals, where there were also two or three Sedge warblers, Whitethroats and Reed Buntings, whilst in the harbour, a couple of summer-plumaged Knot were among at least a dozen Bar-tailed and one or two Black-tailed Godwits.
There was a lot of activity around Tern Island, with at least 20 Little and Common Terns and 50+ Sandwich Terns present. (AH/IP/RM)

Cuckoo (above), Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat (AGH) & Linnet (RP) at Church Norton 

Chi GPs - Drayton Pits: A survey of the two pits produced a total of no less than 35 singing Reed Warblers this morning, and other species were well represented including Blackcaps and Cetti's Warblers. 
Several pairs of Canada and Greylag Geese had young, whilst 24 Pochard - the majority being males - were also present. Interestingly, Herring Gulls also featured - with a gathering of 200+ birds roosting on the water - made up of birds of all ages including adults. (OM)

Pochards (above),  Canada Geese with young (centre) and Greylags with young on Drayton Pits (OM)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt pool - On the pool were a single Little Ringed Plover and 30+ Avocets with a Swift and 10+ Swallows overhead. Along the tracks were 2 Stonechats, 3 Reed Warblers, 2 Reed Buntings, 10+ Whitethroats, whilst raptors seen were a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels and 4 Buzzards. (SH)

Ivy Lake: The Little Gull was feeding over the lake late this afternoon, though there were no terns about, whilst at least 20 Swifts were among a large flock of hirundines feeding ver high up. (AH)

Little Gull on Ivy Lake (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were 20+ Swifts and Sand Martins among 50+ House Martins and 100+ Swallows over the settling tanks this evening. (AH)

Sand Martin (above) & House Martin at Porthole Farm (AH)

Saturday, 4th May: A bright, but decidedly chilly, morning in the strong northerly breeze............

Selsey Bill: A Nightingale singing enthusiastically from the small clump of bushes between the Oval Field and the Bill House was a nice surprise this morning, as were two Hobbies in off the sea, the first of which was seen eating avian prey on the wing as it arrived. 
Unfortunately, the sea was every bit as quiet as was to be expected in the conditions, with just small numbers of the regular species seen. Full log below..... 
(0530-1045hrs)  (JA/SH/PB/JF//BI/IP/AH/MO-W et al)
Great Northern Diver - 6os
diver sp - 2E
Fulmar - 1E, 9W
Gannet - 79E, 42W
Greylag Goose - 2E
Common Scoter - 52E, 3W
Hobby - 2N
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2E
Whimbrel - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 38E
Little Tern - 1E, 23os
Common Tern - 7E
auk sp - 3W
Swift - 12N
House Martin - 1N
Nightingale - 1p
Chiffchaff 1p
Whitethroat - 2p

Hobby (above), Fulmar, Sandwich Tern & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

(1600-1800hrs) (SH/JA)
Great Northern Diver - 3E
Gannet - 35E, 15W
Common Scoter - 4E, 26os
Bar-tailed Godwit - 9E
Whimbrel - 1E
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 24os
Little Tern - 10os
Common Tern - 10os
auk sp - 1E

Ferry Pool: There were less birds than of late, but still included the Knot, two Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover, ten Avocets, ten Redshank, two Teal, six Gadwall and 35 adult Shelducks, plus the ducklings. (AH) 

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least 20 Little Terns and 50 Sandwich Terns in the harbour, along with a couple of Whimbrel and a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits, whilst a pair of Lapwings were displaying over the uncropped fields along the west side.
Small birds were predictably hard to see, but included a couple of Lesser Whitethroats and Whitethroats and a handful of Linnets. (AH/IP).

Little Tern, Sandwich Terns, Whitethroat, Linnet & Lapwing at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - A Red Kite went over the morning. (IL)

North Wall: For the first week in May, birding along the Wall has been very disappointing, and today was not much better. On White's Creek there were two Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank (which later moved to the Breech Pool), and a handful of Black-headed Gulls. The Breech Pool had just a few Teal and Mallard, a Redshank, two Canada Geese and two fishing Common Terns on it, plus the afore-mentioned Greenshank and later a Dunlin too. 
At Honer reservoir there were two Shelduck, a juvenile Mute Swan and a small number of Swallows and Sand Martins plus three Common Sandpipers, whilst a Cuckoo was calling along Pagham Rife and surrounding area (the 3rd this week).Another Cuckoo was calling from around the edge of the Slipe Field. (JDW/GW)

Greenshank, Redshank and Dunlin on Breech Pool (GW)
Greenshank (above) & the low water level on the Breech Pool (JDW)

Pagham Lagoon/Spit: As many as 10 Great Crested Grebes were squabbling for space with a solitary Little Grebe and Black-headed Gulls bobbed up and down on the windswept surface. Most small birds were hunkered down sheltering from the brutal north easterly, though the odd Linnet flitted in and out of the gorse braving the wind. 
Out on the spit the wind gathered speed and again few birds were willing to show themselves, with a pair of Oystercatchers sheltering on the small lagoon but not a lot else. There was plenty of activity over Tern Island with mostly gulls wanting to take to the air and a few Sandwich Terns constantly searched the waters edge in the channel. (GW)

Sandwich Tern (above) & Oystercatcher on Pagham Spit (GW)

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