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.

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