Saturday, 25 April 2020

25th - 27th April 2020

Monday, 27th April: After a grey and still start, another fine day, with just a light southerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: Five Bonxies sat on the sea (including four together) was notable, before two drifted off east, though otherwise passage was limited to 29 Brent Geese, 35 Common Scoters and two Pintail, whilst there were also a Shag and up to four Great Northern Divers on the sea.
(0615-0735hrs) (S, F2)
Great Northern Diver – 4os
Gannet – 41E, 5W
Shag – 1os
Brent Goose – 29E
Pintail – 2E
Common Scoter – 35E
Oystercatcher – 2E
Great Skua – 2E, 3os
Sandwich Tern – 17E,
Swallow – 9
House Martin – 2
Linnet – 3


Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Highlights of a late afternoon watch were two close Black-throated Divers, a Red-throated Diver, a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua east.
(1610-1800hrs)
Black-throated Diver – 2E
Red-throated Diver – 1E
diver sp – 1E
Fulmar – 1W
Gannet – 20E, 5W
Common Scoter – 25E
Great Skua – 1E
Arctic Skua – 1E (l/p)
Sandwich Tern – 3E, 18W


Black-throated Diver (above), Arctic Skua & Fulmar at the Bill (AH)



Ferry Pool: A lone Avocet was the only wader present, along with exactly 50 Shelducks, 11 Tufted Ducks, 14 Gadwall and 18 Mallards, though at least ten Whimbrel were in the channel opposite.
A Cuckoo was briefly calling from the Discovery Area, with at least half a dozen Whitethroats and a couple each of Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing from the hedges.
Later, two Cattle Egrets were on the concealed pool at the front again and the Avocet count had risen to six..


Cuckoo (above), Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)




Church Norton: Two Garden Warblers singing from Bluebell Wood were the only passerines of note, whilst ten Brent Geese went east offshore and a quiet harbour held just 20 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, two Mediterranean Gulls, six Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, three Grey and 12 Ringed Plovers.

North Wall: The Breech pool had Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, Reed Buntings around it, with a couple of Stonechats and three Swallows also about, along with a Marsh Harrier, a Common Tern, a pair of Great Crested Grebes and the drake Shoveler.
At least two Cuckoos were moving around and the hedges held Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs, whilst a Wheatear and a Whimbrel were along the rocks at high tide and five Common Terns were catching fish in the harbour off Owl Copse.


MedmerryEaston Lane to the Stilt Pool -  A Great White Egret went west, a long way offshore and heading for the Isle of Wight, late this morning, whilst four Common Scoter were sat on the sea and another seven went east.
There were 14 Avocets on the Stilt Pool, with several pairs seemingly on eggs and other birds getting very fractious as they chased each other about. There were no other waders, though, and the only other birds of note were a pair of Sandwich Terns, with a handful of Whimbrel and a couple of Curlews in the tidal areas the only waders seen anywhere.
Also, a pair of Grey Partridges were in the barley fields, Reed Warblers were singing from every scrap of reed-bed, one or two Whitethroats, Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings were singing, too, a pair of Stonechats were in an area that they bred in last year and Skylarks and Linnets were numerous.


(Distant!) Great White Egret (above), Common Scoters, Grey Partridge, Reed Bunting, Stonechats, Whitethroat, Avocets, Sandwich Terns & Whimbrel at Medmerry (AH)













Sunday, 26th April: A warm and mostly sunny morning, with the breeze reverting to north-east, though fairly light.....

Selsey Bill: Two more Pomarine Skuas, two Arctic Skuas, 182 Gannets, 61 Sandwich Terns and 11 Little Terns went east, whilst the first Tree Pipit of the year and a Yellow Wagtail came in off the sea.
(0530-0815hrs) (NE, F2) 
Great Northern Diver – 2os
Red-throated Diver – 1W
Fulmar – 1E, 6W
Gannet – 182E, 11W
Common Scoter – 26E, 5W
Sparrowhawk - 1
Oystercatcher – 2E, 5W
Bar-tailed Godwit – 8E
Whimbrel – 3E, 2W
Arctic Skua – 2E (d/p)
Pomarine Skua – 2E
Great Black-backed Gull - 28
Common Gull – 9E
Mediterranean Gull – 3E
Black-headed Gull – 40E
Sandwich Tern – 61E, 10os
Common Tern – 4E
Little Tern – 11E
Tree Pipit – 1N
Yellow Wagtail – 1N
Swallow – 2
Whitethroat – 1

(1100-1200hrs) 
Gannet – 2E
Sandwich Tern – 20os

This afternoon the highlight was three Bonxies going east together.
(1600-1800hrs)
Fulmar – 1W
Gannet – 15E, 6W, 2os
Oystercatcher – 2W
Great Skua – 3E
Common Gull – 4E
Mediterranean Gull – 2os
Sandwich Tern – 15E, 4os
Little Tern – 3E


Common Tern (above), Mediterranean Gull & Gannets at the Bill (AH)



Ferry Pool: Duck-pond status was achieved this morning, with just a single Avocet and Redshank present among four Tufted Ducks, 14 Gadwall, 26 Mallard and 45 Shelducks.


Gadwall (above) & Shelduck at the Ferry (AH)


Park Farm, Selsey: Three House Martins, a Sand Martin and ten Swallows, plus a Sparrowhawk, were about this morning.

Church Norton: Three Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwits, three Dunlin and a Grey Plover were in the harbour this morning, along with three Little Terns, a Common Tern, four Mediterranean Gulls and c50 Sandwich Terns.

Northcommon Farm: The first Spotted Flycatcher of the year and two Willow Warblers were in the trees at the entrance to the Warner Farm campsite, whilst pairs of Swallows were at the nearby paddocks and by the farm.


Spotted Flycatcher (above), Willow Warbler & Swallows around Northcommon Farm (AH)



Medmerry: Windmill to Toe End - A Great Northern Diver was offshore from the windmill, whilst five Little Terns and c30 Sandwich Terns were around the breach and a Peregrine was sat out on the tidal area, where - perhaps unsurprisingly - there were no waders.
Also, a Wheatear, a Corn Bunting and several Linnets, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were around the viewpoint area and a Fox-cub was hiding in the long grass.


Sandwich Terns (above), Peregrine (AH), Wheatear, Meadow Pipit & Fox-cub (SH) at Medmerry 





Medmerry: Ham Farm and Porthole Farm - A Whinchat and three Stonechats were along the banks this morning, with a reed Warbler and four Sedge Warblers in the ponds.
A Cuckoo was at Porthole Farm, whilst 20+ Swallows and 10+ House Martins, plus two Buzzards, were overhead.


Whinchat at Medmerry (SH)

Late this afternoon there were a Swift, c30 Swallows and c20 House Martins, plus half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls over the settling tanks, with several Whitethroats and a Fox nearby.

Swallow (above), Whitethroat & Fox at Medmerry (AH)




Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool -  Encouragingly, there were 13 Avocets, along with three Little Ringed Plovers and two Lapwings on the Stilt Pool today, with a Wheatear nearby and a few Yellowhammers and plenty of Swallows and Whitethroats seen.
Later on, a Little Gull was reported as present.

Wheatear (above) & Yellowhammer at Medmerry (SH)





Saturday, 25th April: A pleasantly sunny morning, after a very chilly and grey start, but with the easterly breeze decidedly fresh again.....
Selsey Bill: A total of 27 Little Terns east, including a tight flock of 17, was the highlight, with otherwise it being generally slow again, though two Arctic Skuas, 61 Bar-tailed Godwits, 210 Sandwich Terns, 35 Common Terns and ten Brent Geese also went east.

This afternoon there were two arctic Skuas, one Bonxie and 41 Brent Geese east and three Little Terns offshore.
(0530-0815hrs) (E, F4)
Great Northern Diver – 2os
Fulmar – 3W
Gannet – 72E, 4W
Brent Goose – 10E
Common Scoter – 3E
Oystercatcher – 6E, 1p
Grey Plover – 1E
Dunlin – 2E
Bar-tailed Godwit – 61E
Whimbrel – 3E, 2W
Arctic Skua – 2E (d/p)
Mediterranean Gull – 10E
Black-headed Gull – 28E
Kittiwake – 1E
Sandwich Tern – 210E, 7W
Common Tern – 35E, 2os
Little Tern – 27E (inc flock of 17), 4os
Swallow – 1E

(1530-1830hrs) 
Fulmar – 2E, 2W
Gannet – 28E, 11W
Brent Goose – 41E
Common Scoter – 6E
Dunlin – 1E
Arctic skua – 2E (1 d/p, 1 l/p)
Common Gull – 6E
Mediterranean Gull – 1E, 2W
Sandwich Tern – 84E, 14os
Common Tern – 6E
auk sp – 4W





Little Terns (above), Common Tern, Sandwich Terns & Gannet at the Bill (AH)








Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Cattle Egret was back on Ferry Field, but the pool held just a lone Avocet, four Redshank, 14 Gadwall, two Tufted Ducks and 35 Shelducks, whilst the channel opposite held at least ten Whimbrel.
The hedges round the Tramway just had the usual scattering of singing Linnets, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, plus a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, whilst the Long Pool held plenty of singing Reed and Sedge Warblers, but the remnant hedge just held a few Whitethroats, Reed Buntings and Linnets. Also, a pair of Lapwings and a couple of pairs of Redshank were displaying over the maize stubble fields.



Cattle Egret (above), Whimbrel, Lapwing & Linnet around the Ferry (AH)








Park Farm and North Selsey: The first Garden Warbler of the year was along Manor Lane, with two Whitethroats and three Blackcaps nearby, with another two, a House Martin, four Swallows and a Lapwing around the farm.
Later on a Red Kite drifted over the north of the village.



Church Norton: Three Mistle Thrushes, three Blackcaps, two Whitethroats, two Swallows and a Lapwing were around Greenlease Farm, whilst a Lesser Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff, three Sedge Warblers, a Cetti's Warbler, two Reed Buntings, two Swallows and Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were along the Severals and a Wheatear was on the spit.
The harbour held a Little Tern, three Common Terns and 50 Sandwich Terns, but only a handful of Mediterranean Gulls, whilst waders included 11 Dunlin, two Grey Plovers, a Black-tailed Godwit, si Whimbrel and six Ringed Plovers.



Sandwich Terns (above), Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Great Spotted & Green Woodpeckers at Church Norton (AH)









Sidlesham: A Cuckoo, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap could all be heard from the garden today.

East Beach pondAn afternoon visit found it to be very quiet; a single Swallow was feeding over the water, a Grey Heron was on the island and a Mallard was defending her ducklings against a pair of Crows. whilst there seemed to be two new Coot families, one had 7 chicks and the other had 6.

Newly hatched Coot with adult, East Beach pond (SR)






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