Saturday, 14 March 2020

14th - 16th March 2020

Monday, 16th MarchA splendidly sunny and spring-like day with just a light to moderate W/NW breeze - a very welcome change from the weeks of wet and windy conditions....

Selsey Bill: A complete change from yesterday, though predictably the flat sea and calm conditions did not produce much in the way of sea passage, but a Greylag and a couple of late Shags were perhaps unexpected. 
An early Wheatear was seen arriving - which proved to be the herald for the first multiple arrivals of the species elsewhere on the Peninsula - whilst another Merlin came in-off the sea and three Chiffchaffs and a Stonechat were in the gardens. Full log below....
(0630-0930hrs)  (NW, F3)  (BI/IP/OM/MO-W/AH et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Shag - 2E
Greylag - 1E
Brent Goose - 22E
Eider - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 1W, 6os
Merlin - 1N
Stonechat - 1 Bill House garden
Chiffchaff - 3

 Stonechat in Bill House garden and Chiffchaff on the Broadreeds estate (OM)

Aerial View of the Peninsula taken this morning (AB)....note how graphically the Bill and Pagham and Chichester Harbours stand out.

Medmerry: Windmill area - The beach and fields behind the Windmill area held at least ten spanking newly-arrived Wheatears this morning - always a fine sight - whilst other species included ten Pied Wagtails, several Skylarks and six Meadow Pipits (one pair flight-displaying). (AH/OM)

Wheatears (above) & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane - Stilt Pool - The two Little Ringed Plovers were still present this morning, plus several Ringed Plovers, though they could be elusive. 
There were also nine Avocets around the pools, and in the gorse two (and possibly three) different Dartford Warblers were present - one actively display-flighting and giving a bit of song. (BI/OM/AW et al)

Dartford Warbler at Medmerry (AW)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was in the channel again early this morning, but the pool just held the usual, namely c40 Shoveler, c20 Teal and three or four Gadwall and Shelduck. (AH/OM)
Also, the female Tawny Owl was back in the box in the Discovery Area, with closed circuit camera views to be had in the Visitor Centre. (per RSPB)

Spotted Redshank in Ferry Channel (AH)

North Wall: A Spotted Redshank at the sluice gates, a hunting Barn Owl and 17+ Cattle Egrets in Owl Copse were the highlights this morning. White's Creek contained about 70 Brent Geese, 250 Black-tailed Godwits and modest numbers of Wigeon, while the fields were quiet apart from 30 Curlew. 
Along the Wall there were once again an occasional Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting as well as at least four Cetti's Warblers. (IH/TH) 

Late this afternoon three Garganey - two drakes and a duck - were on the Breech Pool, but were soon lost to view, and a Marsh Harrier was out hunting. 
Also, of note, five Whimbrel were circling round high up, calling repeatedly, for about ten minutes before they drifted off north-east.(TH)

Pagham Spit: Four Wheatears were along the Spit this morning (JDW) 

Church Norton: Early on, a Wheatear was found on the spit and a further four opposite the second Severals, whilst later, another three appeared at the start of the spit. 
Also, at least three Snipe were in the horse field with five Buzzards overhead and in the harbour there were the Whimbrel, c20 Knot, a few Grey Plovers, 100 Brent and two Canada Geese, with the Peregrines on their island.
At least ten Chiffchaffs were spread around the hedges, several singing, two Goldcrests were in Bluebell Wood, several Linnets were along the beach and two Red-legged Partridges were along Rectory Lane. (AW/AH/CRJ et al)

Wheatears (above), Snipe, Peregrine, Buzzard, Red-legged Partridge (AW), Wheatear, Chiffchaff & Linnet (AH) at Church Norton

This afternoon a Redwing was in the field by the hide, a female Blackcap was along the path to the harbour and a Jay flew into the churchyard. (AW/RP)Early this evening there were still five Wheatears about - on the concrete spit, a Snipe was still on the flood and a Stonechat and a Cetti's Warbler were along the Severals. (S&SaH)

Redwing at Church Norton (AW)

Drayton Pit: Early this afternoon the two Coal Tits were showing well, a Bullfinch dived into the hedges and a Marsh Harrier and three Buzzard were on the wing, whilst five Greylag Geese, three Shovelers and c20 Pochard and Tufted Duck were on the water. (AH)

Coal Tit (above) & Marsh Harrier at Drayton Pit (AH)

Sunday, 15th March: A cool, grey and blustery morning, with a fresh south-south-westerly breeze blowing ....

Selsey Bill: Four Manx Shearwaters east and seven west were the highlight of the first decent sea-watch in a long while, with 762 Brent Geese, 27 Red-throated Divers, 61 Common Scoters and 100+ Kittiwakes east, 194 Gannets west and eight Slavonian Grebes on the sea also being worthy of mention. Full log below..... 
(0620-1230hrs)  (SSW, F6)   (SH/PB/SR/IP/OM/CN/PM/MO-W/AH/RJS)
Red-throated Diver - 27E, 1W
Great Northern Diver - 4 os
diver sp - 9E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 8os
Fulmar - 7W
Manx Shearwater - 4E, 7W
Gannet - 9E, 194W
Brent Goose - 762E, 2W
Teal - 9E
Common Scoter - 61E, 6W
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 1W, 3os
Turnstone - 15W, 7ob
Mediterranean Gull - 5os
Common Gull - 3E, 1W
Kittiwake - 102E, 4W
Sandwich Tern - 2os
auk sp - 2E, 1W
Rock Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - 1N

Brent Geese (above), Gannets, Fulmar, Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver & Rock Pipit at the Bill (AH)

CN (above) & OM struggling to cope with the excitement of the first decent sea-watch of the spring! (AH)

(1630-1700hrs) (SH)
Slavonian Grebe - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Shoveler - 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2os

Ferry Pool: Four Gadwall were among c40 Shovelers this morning, with a dozen Shelduck on the fields the only other species of note. (AH)

North Wall: There was little to report this morning other than 50 Black-tailed Godwit, about 30 Brent Geese, 25 Curlew and a few Shelduck in the flooded fields and two Chiffchaffs in the hedgerows. (IH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were 21 Cattle Egrets in the fields, along with two Little Egrets, this morning. (JDW)

West Itchenor: Two Whimbrel were in the harbour south of west Itchenor this afternoon. (GM)

Church Norton: There was little to report here, though c50 Brent Geese were near the harbour mouth and c40 Mediterranean Gulls were among the many Black-headed Gulls.
Again, there were few waders beyond the odd Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew in the harbour, with just one Snipe visible on the flood near the horse field, where there was still a pair of Gadwall and a few Wigeon and Teal. Also, a Mistle Thrush was in Rectory Lane. (AH/IP/CN/NM)

Late this afternoon a Barn Owl was quartering the field behind the churchyard and two Goldcrests were in the hedges. (TH)

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

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Two Barn Owls were out along the banks this evening, whilst the two Little Ringed Plovers, two Ringed Plovers, the long-staying Greenshank and four pairs of Avocets were on the Stilt Pool, along with a dozen Gadwall and Teal.
Also, up to 20 Yellowhammers were in the un-cropped field opposite the car-park, two Stonechats and a Sparrowhawk were along the banks and up to ten Fieldfares came out of one of the stubble fields along Ham Road. (AH/SR)

Barn Owls (top, SR), Little Ringed Plovers, Greenshank &Avocets at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 14th March: After more overnight rain, a mostly bright and breezy morning, though with the odd drizzly squall pushing through on the fresh westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Still little sign of migration, though 20 Gannets and over a dozen Kittiwakes west was noteworthy. Also, the pair of Blackcaps were in the gardens in Byways again. Full log below..... 
0625-0900hrs(wind SSW5)   (JA/SH/SR/IP/BI/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 1os
diver sp - 1E
Fulmar - 6W
Gannet - 20W
Brent Goose - 33E
Shelduck - 2W
Common Scoter - 8E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 1W, 1os
Mallard - 3
Turnstone - 3
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 6os
Kittiwake - 17W
Meadow Pipit - 13N

Blackcap (SR) (above), Fulmar, Common Scoters & Kittiwakes (AH) at the Bill

This lunchtime at the Bill a Shag flew past heading west while a Great Northern Diver was fishing a short way out. (AW)

(1500-1615hrs) (SH)
Slavonian Grebe - 6os
Gannet - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Meadow Pipit - 1N

Shag (above) & Great Northern Diver at the Bill (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Chiffchaff, a Pied Wagtail, two Buzzards, two Sparrowhawks and c50 Curlews were around/over the fields this morning. (IP/RM/S&SaH)

West Itchenor: A Red Kite went over early this afternoon and a Whimbrel was out in the harbour. (HB)

East Head: A total of 11 Avocets were on Snowhill Marsh this morning. (GM)

Ferry Pool: Just the usual mix of c30 Shoveler and Teal and c50 Wigeon on and around the pool, though 16 Shelducks were busy displaying on the adjacent arable field. (AH)

Shelducks at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A Barn Owl and Song Thrush were visible at the horse paddocks this morning but the hedgerows were quiet apart from an occasional Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting.
The flooded fields were also quieter than of late, particularly after 200 Black-tailed Godwits flew towards the harbour, leaving about 75 Brent Geese, 200 or so Black-headed Gulls, 27 Curlew and a few Wigeon and Teal, as well as a slow and steady procession of Grey Herons with materials for nest building at Owl Copse.  (IH/TH)

Church Norton: The Slavonian Grebe and a Red-breasted Merganser were near the harbour mouth, whilst c100 Brent Geese and c50 Mediterranean Gulls were spread about, though waders were few beyond a scattering of Dunlin, Grey Plovers, Turnstones and Ringed Plovers, including a displaying pair of the latter. 
Also, three or four Snipe, three Gadwall and c20 Wigeon and Teal were around the flooded area by the horse field.
Small birds were scarce, though a Firecrest and a Goldcrest were in Bluebell Wood, a Chiffchaff came in off the sea nearby, with another at Greenlease Farm, five Stonechats and a few Linnets were around the horse field and Severals and a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were along the spit. 
Also, an Adder was out basking between the Severals. (D&JB/P&JW/IP/RM/AH/S&SaH)

Linnet (above), Skylark, Gadwall, Wigeon & Dunlin, Ringed Plovers and Turnstones at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane - Stilt pool - took a walk this morning and found at least two Little Ringed Plovers on the Stilt Pool. There was also a small group of 7 Ringed Plovers on there too for comparison, but they flew off shortly afterwards. 
Other migrants included a singing Chiffchaff along the footpath and good numbers of Meadow Pipits heading north. (JG/AFi)  
The two Little Ringed Plovers, along with six Ringed Plovers and three Dunlin were still present early afternoon. (IP)

Runcton.  Male Reed Bunting and Coal Tit on the feeders today, also a cock Pheasant feeding on spilt seed. (CRJ)

Reed Bunting (above) & Pheasant at Runcton (CRJ)

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