Friday, 1 May 2020

1st - 3rd May 2020

Sunday, 3rd May: A distinctly cool and grey morning, with a moderate south-easterly breeze blowing through a succession of drizzly squalls.....

Selsey Bill: Just what is going on this spring? A classic date and perfect conditions for a fall of migrants and some sea-passage – conditions looking ideal this morning - but the reality is that it was dire yet again. It simply didn't materialise, with the only birds of note - a Black-throated Diver, three Great Northern Divers and a Bonxie - all going west, and the most unusual bird being a Red-legged Partridge walking along the beach.
(0520-0900hrs) (SE, F3-4)
Great Northern Diver – 2W, 3os
Black-throated Diver – 1W
Great Crested Grebe – 2W
Fulmar – 1E, 4W
Gannet – 89E, 27W
Shelduck – 4W
Common Scoter – 14E, 11W
Red-breasted Merganser – 3W
Sparrowhawk – 1
Kestrel – 1
Red-legged Partridge – 1
Oystercatcher – 14E
Turnstone – 3E, 1W
Great Skua – 1W, 1os
Sandwich Tern – 87E, 36W
Common Tern – 10W
Little Tern – 1E, 1W
Razorbill – 2W
auk sp – 2E, 10W
Swallow – 1

An afternoon watch produced two Pomarine Skuas, one Arctic Skua, 154 Common and 212 'Commic' Terns going east.
Great Northern Diver – 1os
Fulmar – 1W
Gannet – 32E, 5W
Mallard – 1E
Common Scoter – 20E
Turnstone – 1E
Arctic Skua – 1E (l/p)
Pomarine Skua – 2E
Sandwich Tern – 13E, 16os
Common Tern – 154E
Commic Tern – 212E
Little Tern – 11os
Auk sp – 1W
Swallow – 10N

Black-throated Diver (above), Sandwich Tern, Gannet & Red-legged Partridge at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: There were six Avocets on the pool this morning, along with eight Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank, two Dunlin and two, Lapwings, plus a dozen Gadwall and c50 Shelducks, with half a dozen Whimbrel in the channel opposite.
The Tramway circuit and the Long Pool were quiet, though most of the regular warblers - including several Lesser Whitethroats - were heard and briefly seen.

Avocets (above), Whimbrel & Sedge Warbler and Brown-tail Moth caterpillars around the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Whimbrel was on the field awaiting development, whilst the other fields held eight Shelducks and a Lapwing, with up to a dozen Swallows over.

Church Norton: There was plenty of displaying and mating going on among the 50+ Sandwich Terns present, but otherwise it was quiet, with the harbour otherwise just holding a dozen Whimbrel, five Dunlin, a Grey Plover, a Curlew, a lone Brent Goose and a few Mediterranean Gulls, whilst offshore there were two Little Terns.
The regular warblers were heard and briefly seen, but otherwise it was quiet.

Sandwich Terns (above) & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool - A Hobby came in off the sea this morning.

Medmerry: Ham Farm - This evening there were two pairs of Stonechats along the banks, as well as a pair of Meadow Pipits, a few Skylarks and a Brown Hare, with a Reed Bunting and several Reed Warblers around the ponds, a couple of Yellowhammers, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs in the hedges and four Sandwich Terns at the breach.

Stonechats (above), Meadow Pipit, Skylark & Brown Hare at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 2nd May: A pleasant morning with the westerly easing a little and plenty of sunshine.....

Selsey Bill: There nearest thing to easterly passage this morning was five Whimbrel which got as far as the Bill tip before retreating west! 
Otherwise, a Wheatear was along the beach, a Great Northern Diver went west, a few Gannets, Little and Sandwich Terns were offshore and four House Martins and a Swallow were dropping into the big puddle.
(0630-0730hrs) (WNW, F5-6)
Great Northern Diver – 1W
Great Crested Grebe – 1W
Gannet – 25E, 12W
Oystercatcher – 4E, 6W
Whimbrel – 5W
Turnstone – 9W
Mediterranean Gull – 12E
Sandwich Tern – c20os
Little Tern – 6os
auk sp – 3E
House Martin – 4
Swallow – 1
Wheatear -1
Chiffchaff – 1
Linnet – 4

Gannet – 6E, 1W
Common Sandpiper – 1
Sandwich Tern – 20os
Common Tern – 2os
Little Tern – 6os

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Turnstones, House Martin (AH) & Wheatear (SR) at the Bill

Later on, a Whinchat and a Wheatear were along the beach and a couple of Common Terns were offshore.

Whinchat (above) & Common Tern at the Bill (AW)

This afternoon a Red-legged Partridge was being very vocal from the rooftops in Ursula Square and a Common Sandpiper was on the beach.

Red-legged Partridge at the Bill (RP)

Ferry Pool: Five Avocets, eight Black-tailed Godwits, three Redshank, six Gadwall and c40 Shelducks were on the pool this morning, with five Whimbrel in the channel opposite.
Also, a Swift and a couple of Swallows went over and a Stock Dove was on the field, though the hedges held just the usual mix of Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

Avocets (above), Whitethroat (AH) & Peacock (RP) at the Ferry 

Church Norton: Ten Little, 12 Common and c80 Sandwich Terns were in the harbour this morning, along with 50+ Dunlin, 13 Whimbrel., a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Peregrine on its island, a pair of Tufted Duck and a Gadwall.
Also, three Wheatears were on the concrete blocks, a pair of Jays were in Bluebell Wood and the usual Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing.

North Wall: At least four Cuckoos were flying around and  calling this morning, whilst numerous Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers were on the Breech Pool, with more by Owl Copse and along Bremere Rife, where there was also a singing Skylark and a couple of Swallows went over. Also, a Whimbrel and a lone Wigeon were in White's Creek
Another calling Cuckoo at Halsey's Farm was chased off by Jackdaws, whilst there were also two Buzzards, a Kestrel, a Song Thrush, a Greenfinch, a Blackcap and two Whitethroats nearby.
Along the adjacent Church Lane, a Spotted Flycatcher and a male Blackcap were in the observer's garden.

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: Seeven Cattle Egrets were around the farm this afternoon.

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The banks held plenty of Whitethroats, Linnets, Skylarks and Stock Doves, whilst two Wheatears were opposite the Stilt Pool, one or two Reed Buntings and plenty of Reed Warblers were along the pools, a Stonechat and a couple of Chiffchaffs were also present, and a Sand Martin and a few Swallows went over.
Unfortunately, it looks like the Avocets have abandoned the island they were nesting on, with all four pairs roosting on the main island - the only waders on the pool, whilst a Greenshank, a couple of Whimbrel and a Ringed Plover in the tidal areas were the only others seen.

Early this afternoon, a Spoonbill was found on the Stilt Pool, but it had gone again not long afterwards

Greenshank (above), Wheatear, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Skylark, Reed Bunting & Stock Dove at Medmerry (AH)

Birdham Pool: Presumably the same long-staying and highly elusive Ring-necked Parakeet was seen again this morning, flying over the pool.

East Head: A lone Avocet was at Snowhill Creek this morning.

Avocet at Snowhill Creek (MR)

Friday, 1st May: Another morning of fresh westerly winds and a mix of blustery showers and warm sunshine.....

Selsey Bill: It would be fair to say that it is still not happening offshore, with 15 Common Scoters and an Arctic Skua the only things going purposefully east, though 26 Sandwich, 14 Common and 11 Little Terns, plus a Bonxie and plenty of Gannets were lingering offshore this morning and three Swifts and 11 Swallows came in. 
(0540-0810hrs) (WSW, F5-6)
Great Crested Grebe – 2W
Gannet – 47E, 28W
Common Scoter – 15E
Dunlin – 2W
Turnstone – 4
Arctic Skua – 1E (d/p)
Great Skua – 1os
Lesser Black-backed Gull – 1E
Common Gull – 9E
Sandwich Tern – 26os
Common Tern – 14os
Little Tern – 11os
Razorbill – 2W
auk sp – 2E, 4W
Swift – 3N
Swallow – 11N

Lesser Black-backed Gull (above), Sandwich Tern, Gannet & Great Crested Grebe at the Bill (AH)

Later on a Hobby flew in off the sea and an Arctic Skua was mobbing the Sandwich Terns.

Hobby (above) & Arctic Skua and Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool/long Pool: Four Avocets and two Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool, along with ten Gadwall and c75 Shelducks, whilst a Common Sandpiper and at least a dozen Whimbrel were in the channel opposite.
The hedges were quiet beyond a Sedge Warbler in Red Barn Ditch and the odd snatch of Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff song.
Later on, the two Cattle Egrets were back on the field.
Late afternoon a Greenshank was at the back of the pool, the Common Sandpiper was again along Ferry Channel and up to ten Little Terns could be seen in the harbour from the end of the Long Pool.

Avocet (above), Whimbrel, Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall and East side: Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in the harbour this morning, north of where a Peregrine was on its usual roost.
The wall was very quiet, with a few Reed and Sedge Warblers, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Reed Buntings singing, mostly unseen, whilst the harbour was mostly devoid of birds. Also, a couple of Speckled Woods and Orange-tips were in the sheltered area.

Reed Bunting (above) & Orange-tip at the North Wall (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There was a good gathering of hirundines over the settling tanks and maize stubble fields this evening, including half a dozen Swifts, a Sand Martin, 100+ House Martins and 200+ Swallows.

Swift (above), Sand Martin, House Martin & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

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