Sunday, 29 March 2020

29th - 31st March 2020

Tuesday, 31st March:The spell of fresh north-easterlies continues, cold out in it, warmer in the sheltered spots, and having effectively stopped all north-bound migration......

Selsey Bill: Another very quiet morning!
(0720-0920hrs) (NNE, F4-5)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 17E, 25W
Brent Goose - 1W
Pintail - 5E
Common Scoter - 4W, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 2W
Pheasant - 1
Turnstone - 2E
Common Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 5os
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Chiffchaff - 2
Rook - 1E
Chaffinch - 1
Linnet - 2N

Later, a Raven went over.

Selsey: A Firecrest was with a couple of Goldcrests in a garden in Paddock Lane at lunchtime today. 

Ferry Pool: The four Avocets were still present, with one pair displaying, whilst a Spotted Redshank and ten Black-tailed Godwits were in the channel opposite.
Wildfowl numbers were broadly similar to recent days, including four Gadwall, 16 Shelduck, c40 Teal, c60 Wigeon and c70 Shovelers.
Also, at least eight Snipe were flushed from Yeoman's Field late in the afternoon.

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

Halsey's Farm and North Wall:  The three Garganey were tucked in (and asleep!) in the channel by the sluice, in the company of a dozen Teal, with another 40 of the latter on the Breech Pool, along with eight Gadwall and seven Tufted Ducks.
The two Spotted Redshanks - one in markedly more advanced moult than the other - were in White's Creek, along with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank, a Brent Goose and a few Teal and Wigeon.
The fields held 20+ Shelduck and a few Wigeon and Teal, whilst at least 150 Knot, 50 Grey Plovers and 200+ Dunlin were out in the harbour, off of Owl Point.
Paserines were few and far between, though a Blackcap sang briefly at Halsey's Farm, a Cetti's Warbler and a couple of Reed Buntings were along the wall and about half a dozen widely spread Chiffchaffs were heard.

This afternoon the three Garganey had returned to the Breech Pool in company with 20+ Teal, eight Tufted and two Shoveler, whilst 15 Brent Geese were in the field behind and a Marsh Harrier was quartering the reeds. 
Wellingtons are still needed to cross Honer 1 field but the footpath from Honer to Pagham pumping station is now  passable with sturdy footwear. The last field to the west is partially flooded but only contained Shelduck and a lone Redshank.

Spotted Redshanks (above), Garganey and Teal, Reed Bunting, Teal, Grey Heron & Shelducks around the North Wall (AH)

N. Mundham: A Treecreeper was watched nest-building this morning, whilst a Coal Tit and three Chiffchaffs were also present.

Church Norton: This morning there were two Jays and a Green Woodpecker in the churchyard with a Buzzard over, and there were two Red-legged Partridges behind the hide and there are lambs in the adjacent field. 

There were 30 or so Black-tailed Godwits and 10 Ringed Plovers in the harbour, but few other waders and there were good numbers of gulls but no sign of any terns, whilst five Brent Geese were seen from the spit with a few more over towards Pagham church. 

Apart from a few Skylarks, Linnets and Greenfinches there was little else about in the stiff easterly wind.

Ringed Plover (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Geese, Red-legged Partridge & Greenfinch at Church Norton

Monday, 30th March: Another cold and bright morning, after overnight frost, but  more pleasant than yesterday with the north-easterly having abated considerably.....

Selsey Bill: Five Knot east were the highlight of another slow morning. Full log below.
(0710-0900hrs) (NNE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 9E, 5W
Brent Goose - 1W
Common Scoter - 5e, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 4os
Ringed Plover - 2E
Knot - 5E
Turnstone - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 2os
Chiffchaff - 3
Blackcap - 1
Linnet - 1

Blackcap (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (SR)

East Beach: The Firecrest was still in the pond-side willows this morning.

Selsey: A Red Kite went over the church, to the north of the town, heading northwards, early this afternoon. 

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey Wagtail was near the reservoir this afternoon.

Northcommon Farm area: There were 51 nests in the Rookery and the only other birds were a Chiffchaff and a Green Woodpecker.

Red Kite over Selsey (AW)

Ferry Pool: There were still four Avocets on the pool, along with a six Gadwall, ten Shelducks, c40 Teal, 84 Shoveler, c80 Wigeon, a pair of Lapwings, a Redshank, four Mediterranean Gulls and three Black-tailed Godwits, with six of the latter also in the channel opposite.

Shelduck (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were two pairs of Little Ringed Plovers actively displaying on/over the Stilt Pool this morning, along with 21 Avocets, five Dunlin, two Snipe, seven Black-tailed Godwits and four Mediterranean Gulls, with wildfowl including five Brent Geese, c30 Teal, ten Gadwall and eight Tufted Ducks. 
Also, a pair of Ringed Plovers were on the beach and two Great Crested Grebes and a Common Seal were offshore.The banks were fairly quiet, though,with just the odd Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer seen, along with ten Stock Doves, 20+ Linnets, mostly in pairs, and c40 Skylarks.

Little Ringed Plover (above), Snipe, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Stock Dove, Skylark & Linnet at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall: White's Creek was like a wind tunnel and only held a Wigeon and two Redshank. 
On the Breech Pool the three Garganey were resplendent in the sunshine but were on view only for a couple of minutes before disappearing into reeds, whilst also on the Pool were 28 Teal, four Shoveler and two Gadwall and in Honer 3 field were 16 Brent Geese and seven Curlews. 

Church Norton:  From the Hide were 16 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel, whilst on the Severals there were four Shoveler and two Gadwall.

Sunday, 29th March: A bright morning, but chilly and uncomfortable in the blustery north-easterly, touching gale force at times.....

Selsey Bill: Another slow morning - with five Canada Geese - surprisingly rare at sea-watching sites - going west, then back east the highlight. Full log below.
(0700-0830hrs) (NNE, F6-7)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 4E, 9W
Canada Goose - 5E
Common Scoter - 7E, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Turnstone - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 4os
Pied Wagtail - 1N
Linnet - 1N

Canada Geese (above) & the view to Culver Cliff at the Bill (SR)

East Beach: A Firecrest was in the pond-side willows this morning whilst a Sandwich Tern was sat on a buoy offshore from the Lifeboat Station nearby.

Firecrest (above) & Sandwich Tern at East Beach (SR)

Medmerry: Coastguard Station to Toe End - A Black Redstart was at Toe End this morning, six Meadow Pipits were along the Medmerry Cliff and two Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore, but generally it was very quiet.

Ferry Pool: Four Avocets were on the pool this morning and two Mediterranean Gulls went over west whilst a count of wildfowl present comprised of 14 Shelducks, six Gadwall, four Mallards, 43 Teal, 48 Wigeon and 78 Shovelers.
Ferry Channel held c60 Black-tailed Godwits and another c40 Wigeon, plus at least ten Redshank, five Curlews and a Grey Plover, whilst two Snipe flew over.
The Tramway circuit was predictably quiet, with a lone singing Chiffchaff, a couple of Linnets and a Little Egret the only species of note.

Avocets (above), Mediterranean Gulls, Chiffchaff, Shelduck and Gadwall, Teal and Redshank & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Cetti's Warbler, a Chiffchaff and 2 Gadwall were at the first Several, whilst 20+ Brent Geese, a Grey Plover and 3 Sandwich Terns were in the harbour.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

26th - 28th March 2020

Saturday, 28th March: another cool, but bright, morning, with the wind to the north and freshening....

As a point of note, all of the following reports were received from local birders/residents who either walked out from home or drove not much more than a mile (and all on their own) to do their daily exercise, armed with binoculars and camera. Those of us that are lucky enough to be able to do so should be (and, indeed, are!) very grateful for that. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: Unsurprisingly, given the conditions, another quiet one, though ten Sandwich Terns drifted off east. Full log below.
(0600-0800hrs) (NNE, F6).
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 5E, 9W
Common Scoter - 8E
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Common Gull - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 10E, 1W, 2os
Meadow Pipit - 4N
Linnet - 4N

Ferry Pool: A Water Rail was briefly in the reeds at the front and there were five Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, with another four in the channel opposite, but otherwise it was the regulars, including ten Gadwall, 22 Shelducks, c60 Teal, c75 Shovelers and c60 Wigeon.

Shovelers (above) & Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Later, a Spotted Redshank dropped into Ferry Channel and two Roebucks and a Little Egret were seen from the Medmerry Trail.

Spotted Redshank (above), Little Egret and Roe Deer around the Ferry (AW)

Park Farm, Selsey: at least 30 Linnets were in the fields and a Sparrowhawk went over.

Northcommon Farm: There were two Red-legged Partridges in the field behind the farm this morning. 

Red-legged Partridges at Northcommon Farm (AW)

Church Norton: A few Chiffchaffs, a Cetti's Warbler, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Long-tailed Tits, two Little Grebes, two Teal and two Gadwall around the Severals and Bluebell Wood and a few Linnets and Greenfinches were along the beach.
Up to 15 Black-tailed Godwits, ten Ringed Plovers, 50 Dunlin, seven Grey Plovers, 30 Brent geese, a Peregrine, a Great Crested Grebe and a few Teal and Shoveler were in the harbour and three Gadwall went over.
Also two cock Pheasants were squaring up to each other in a small clearing: they were being careful not to come to blows but there was a lot of impressive posing!

Gadwall (above), Great Spotted Woodpecker & Pheasants at Church Norton (SR)

Runcton: A walk along public footpaths through local farmland and I might as well have been on the surface of the moon - completely devoid of bird-life, flowers etc. The only birds were in the roadside hedgerows, namely a Chiffchaff, a Wren, two Chaffinches, and three Blackbirds.

North Wall and adjacent farmland: There was no sign of the Garganey this morning, with the only birds on the Breech Pool being six Tufted Ducks and two Little Grebes, though there were large numbers of wildfowl on the fields behind, including 24 Brent Geese, six Gadwall,  20 Shelducks, two Shovelers, c300 Wigeon and c400 Teal, along with c60 Curlews.
The harbour was very quiet, though the two Spotted Redshanks and a few Redshank were in White's Creek and a Marsh Harrier went over high..
A couple of Reed Buntings and a Cetti's Warbler were along the wall, whilst a Blackcap was singing in Owl Copse and at least half a dozen Chiffchaffs were singing from various bits of shelter around the farmland.
The farmland was generally quiet, though Honer Reservoir held eight Gadwall, six Shoveler and eight Tufted Ducks, a Little Owl was showing at Bramber Farm and a Yellowhammer and a few Meadow Pipits were at Marsh Farm.

Spotted Redshank (above), Little Owl, Yellowhammer, Chiffchaff & Gadwall in the North Wall area (AH)

Friday, 27th March: The spell of cold bright weather continues, with plenty of sun after an early frost, though the north-easterly breeze was brisk....

Selsey Bill: A very quiet morning! Full log below.
(0615-0830hrs) (NE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Common Scoter - 2E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1os
Oystercatcher - 4
Turnstone - 26
Common Gull - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 2os
Pied Wagtail - 3N
Chiffchaff - 1

Ferry Pool: The two Avocets were still in residence, along with a Black-tailed Godwit and six Redshank, whilst there were a lot of wildfowl about for the time of year, including 22 Shelducks, eight Gadwall, c75 Shovelers, c40 Teal and c100 Wigeon.

Avocet (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Ivy Lake: An Osprey drifted over south-east early this afternoon.

Medmerry: Chainbridge to Ham area - It was generally quiet in the windy conditions, but at least 50 Curlews were enjoying the empty touring caravan park and three Brent Geese and a few Shelducks were around the breach, whilst the banks held at least three pairs of Stonechats, a couple of Reed Buntings, up to a dozen Greenfinches, Linnets and Meadow Pipits and at least 40 Skylarks.

Later, a Great White Egret was seen to fly from a ditch along the Medmerry Trail in the direction of Selsey Golf Course. 

Curlews (above), Linnet, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Greenfinch & Skylarks at Medmerry (AH)

Runcton: A Reed Bunting was still visiting a garden feeder and a Comma butterfly was also seen.

 Reed Bunting and Comma butterfly at Runcton (CRJ)

Thursday, 26th March: Another bright day, after an overnight frost, warm in the sun but chill in the fresh northerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A pair of Goosanders going west and a summer-plumage Slavonian Grebe on the sea were the highlights, with little moving east. Full log below.
(0650-0930hrs) (NNE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 5E, 6W
Brent Goose - 1W
Shelduck - 2os
Common Scoter - 15E
Goosander - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 3W, 1os
Peregrine - 1N
Oystercatcher - 2
Turnstone - 3W
Common Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Pied Wagtail - 2N
Linnet - 1N
Greenfinch - 2

Ferry Pool: Two Avocets were on the pool this morning, along with the usual mix of wildfowl, including four Gadwall, ten Shelducks, c30 Teal, c60 Shovelers and c80 Wigeon. 

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Halsey's Farm and North Wall: A Swallow going north over Owl Copse was the only hint of migration this morning, though the three Garganey were still on the Breech Pool, along with at least a dozen Gadwall, 20 Teal and a few Tufted Ducks.
The Marsh Harrier was out hunting the reed-beds and fields, where there were c40 Brent Geese, c60 Curlews and a couple of Snipe, whilst the two Spotted Redshank were in White's Creek, along with 100 Wigeon and c300 Black-tailed Godwits, c25 Bar-tailed Godwits, c50 Knot and c100 Grey Plovers flew up from the harbour.
Also, at Halsey's Farm there were a couple of Snipe, a couple of singing Chiffchaffs and a pair of displaying Buzzards.

Garganey (above), Spotted Redshank, Marsh Harrier, Snipe, Curlews & Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey Plovers and Knot & Buzzard and Carrion Crow at the North Wall (AH)

Later, the 3 Garganey were still on the Breech Pool, though spending a lot of time asleep in the reeds behind the western pool. In Honer 3 there were 24 Brent Geese and 21 Curlew and nearby singing Chiffchaffs in Owl Copse. On Honer reservoir were 12 Tufted Ducks, 6 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall. A Little Owl was sitting out near to Bramber Farm, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were in the same location and 5 Cattle Egrets were in the immediate field to the west, whilst Greenfinches were wheezing away at 4 locations, which was encouraging.