Coronavirus (Covid-19): As the (normally!) peak sea--watching season approaches, could we respectfully remind people of the rules regarding gatherings in public places - the maximum number is two!
The intention is to keep monitoring and recording seabird passage at the Bill if possible - there are nearly 60 unbroken years of spring data logged and it would be a shame if that ended. Consequently those living nearby will use their 'daily exercise' to maintain the log, but it will not be possible for the usual gatherings to take place..(Eds)
Selsey Bill: The first Arctic Skua, five Little Gulls and 20 Pale-bellied Brent Geese east were the highlights, with a few Brent Geese, Common Scoters and Sandwich Terns also on the move. Full log below.
(0645-0915hrs) (ESE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1W
Brent Goose - 63E
Pale-bellied Brent Geese - 23E
Common Scoter - 17E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 4W, 3os
Curlew - 1E
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p at 0825)
Common Gull - 17E
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Little Gull - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 5E
Meadow Pipit - 5N
Linnet - 8E
Later, a quick look produced a Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern offshore, a Gannet flying east and five Turnstones on the beach.
Northcommon Farm: A splendid male Black Redstart was in the paddocks, with a female-type in the fields behind the farm, and a Red Kite flew over.
Pagham Lagoon: There were three Great Crested Grebes, five Tufted Ducks and a few gulls present, whilst a Cetti's Warbler was calling at the northern end, the first I have recorded here.
Towards the harbour entrance were five Red Breasted Mergansers, 22 Knot, 20 Brent Geese and small numbers of Turnstones, Grey Plovers and Redshanks. There were also several Chiffchsaffs calling along the east side.
Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Grey Partridge and a Stonechat were near the first viewpoint this afternoon, with a Greenshank, the pair of Little Ringed Plovers and eight Avocets on the Stilt Pool.
Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - It was fairly quiet this morning, though at least a dozen Chiffchaffs and a dozen Yellowhammers were spread around the hedges between the farms, along with two pairs of Stonechats.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the Selsey Blog: Well inevitably the Government has had to act and the time has now come when strict compliance with the 'stay at home' rules is demanded. This does of course fortunately allow for a bit of necessary food shopping and some daily local exercise, enabling those Peninsula birders near enough to birding sites to benefit as there is nothing in the rules to prevent taking optics. Perhaps the biggest problem though will be the 'social distancing' aspect - so if you are lucky enough to be taking your exercise at the Bill or elsewhere, please do bear it in mind and avoid giving the chance for others to criticise us birders for non-compliance or even officially report it.
Selsey Bill: A few Red-throated Divers Brent Geese, Common Scoter, Sandwich Terns and five Bar-tailed Godwits went east this morning.
(0700-1115hrs) (SE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Shoveler - 4E
Turnstone - 2E
auk sp - 1W
There were also 30 Brent Geese, 14 Shelduck and six Little Egrets on the fields.
Ivy Lake complex: There were five "singing" Chiffchaffs and two Blackcaps, but little else apart from the usual suspects - Coot, Moorhen, Pochard and Greylag Geese.
North Fields: Chalder and Marsh Farm - Whilst an observer was taking permitted daily exercise along the secluded farm track linking Chalder and Marsh Farms, the following was observed..... Despite last years tree felling there were still 24 active Rook nests along Chalder Lane, Chiffchaffs were singing in all areas and a Song Thrush was in full song near Chalder Cottages. At Chalder Farm there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Kestrel, a Buzzard, a Long-tailed Tit and the usual flock of Chaffinches with one pair very quickly copulating, it literally took three seconds! At Marsh Farm a flighty flock of 18 Cattle Egrets were in with the flock of sheep before flying off toward the harbour and 2 others could be seen in another field. Two Buzzards were near the milking parlour along with a Pied Wagtail and Skylarks could be heard nearby. First Brimstone butterfly of the year was seen along with a Peacock.
Church Norton: It was very quiet this morning, with a few Mediterranean Gulls, a handful of Brent Geese and a few Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Curlew and Teal in the harbour.
The west side was equally quiet, save a few Linnets on the remaining gorse and a pair of Lapwings displaying over the maize stubble fields, whilst at the end of Ferry Channel there were an Avocet, c100 Grey Plovers, c50 Knot and a few Shovelers, Wigeon and Teal.
0630-0900hrs: (wind ESE 5) (IP/BI/MO-W/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Gannet - 15E, 5W
Brent Goose - 2E
Common Scoter - 47E, 14W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 7W, 6os
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3E
Turnstone - 3 ob
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 1os
Common Gull - 4E
Sparrowhawk - 1
Meadow Pipit - 6N
Linnet - 2N
Chiffchaff - 1N
There were a Mistle Thrush, a Jay and one or two Chiffchaffs around the sheltered hedges, with another half a dozen of the latter, plus a Reed Bunting, half a dozen Meadow Pipits and a Green Woodpecker around Greenlease Farm. (AH/IP)