Monday, 4 May 2020

4th - 6th May 2020

Wednesday, 6th May: A bright and blowy morning, with the breeze still brisk, north early on before veering east......

Selsey BillMigration was minimal again this morning, though a few Common Terns and a tight flock of eight Little Terns, along with a Bonxie, nine Grey Plover and four Whimbrel looked like they were on the move, whilst a Yellow Wagtail, a few Swifts and Swallows and a Sand Martin came in.
(0700-1000hrs) (NE, F4-5)
Great Northern Diver – 1W
Fulmar – 1W
Gannet – 80E, 5W
Great Crested Grebe – 2E
Common Scoter – 18E
Kestrel – 1
Grey Plover – 9E
Whimbrel – 5E
Great Skua – 1E
Kittiwake – 1E
Little Tern – 8E, 10os
Common Tern – 31E (and c.60 o/s early)
Sandwich Tern – 82E (and c.40 o/s early)
Commic Tern – 10E
auk sp – 2W
Yellow Wagtail – 1N
Swift – 3N
Sand Martin – 1N
House Martin – 4N
Swallow – 26N

Great Northern Diver – 1os
Gannet – 6E
Sandwich Tern – 8E
Swift – 1N
Swallow – 8N

This afternoon, eight Arctic Skuas went east and couple of Bonxies were about, but there was no tern passage.

Gannet – 64E, 4W
Oystercatcher – 3E
Dunlin – 1E
Whimbrel – 1E
Arctic Skua – 8E (5d/p, 3 l/p)
Great Skua – 1E, 1W, 1os
Kittiwake – 3E
Sandwich Tern – 48os
Common Tern – 21os
Little Tern – 15os
auk sp – 2W

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Kittiwake & Whimbrel at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just three Avocets, seven Black-tailed Godwits and four Dunlin were on the pool, along with eight Gadwall and c40 Shelducks.

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The pair of Barn Owls were out hunting this evening.

Park Farm, Selsey: A Lapwing and eight Shelducks were on the fields and two sparrowhawks went over.

Church Norton: A few waders were in the harbour this morning, including a Common Sandpiper, two Whimbrel, two Knot, six Ringed Plovers, 18 Grey Plovers and 22 Dunlin, whilst there were also a dozen Little and Common Terns, c80 Sandwich Terns and the lone Brent Goose.
Also, a Wheatear was along the spit, the family of Mistle Thrushes was in the churchyard and a couple of Swifts were among a steady stream of northbound Swallows..

Mistle Thrush at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: The highlight this morning was a male Garganey on the Breech Pool along with 10 Tufted Ducks and a pair of Great Crested Grebes. 
In the horse field were a pair of Pied Wagtails and a Green Woodpecker, and with the easterly wind much lighter this morning Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers were all singing along with Whitethroat, Reed Bunting and Linnets, whilst a Cuckoo and Stock Doves were along Pagham Rife. 
A Little Ringed Plover was in the now dried up field just west of the Rife, but only Coots on Honer reservoir, though at least three Whitethroats and a pair of Yellowhammers were along Honer Lane. 
I was 'attacked' by a female Pheasant in a field close to Honer - presumably I had walked close to a nest. Around Honer there were Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Wren all feeding young, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps singing and a pair of Jays were in Owl Copse. And there was an explosion of Red Campions along the hedgerows.

Garganey (above), Pheasant & Red Campion at the North Wall (JDW)

Warner Lane paddocksNot much to report, but two Lesser Whitethroats were singing, along with a couple of Common Whitethroats, a Blackcap and a Song Thrush, whilst three Buzzards were soaring and a couple of Swallows were visiting the stable building. 

North Selsey: A Spotted Flycatcher was in a garden today.

Spotted Flycatcher in a Selsey garden (AW)

East Head: A slightly quieter morning, but still with good numbers of Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Blackcap about, and a Cetti's Warbler was singing near Ella Nore, though many of the Reed Warblers in the reeds north of Snowhill had moved on today but a few remained.
Also, there was a flock of 100 small and distant waders - presumably Dunlin - flying over the harbour.

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The Spoonbill was on the Stilt Pool again, along with ten Avocets, though only one pair looked like they were sitting on eggs, and two Black-tailed Godwits, plus a few Gadwall, Tufted Ducks and Canada Geese, whilst a Whimbrel on the reserve opposite was the only other wader seen.
Two Cuckoos were along the banks, one calling continuously, with a Stonechat and a Reed Bunting near the first viewpoint and a dozen Swallows over but otherwise it was just the regular Linnets, Skylarks, Whitethroats and reed Warblers, mostly keeping low in the breeze.
Also, a Fox was in the Stilt Pool, after a mother Mallard's ducklings, but she made a great fuss of splashing about as if injured, whereupon the youngsters escaped and the Avocets and Canada Geese came to investigate, forcing the Fox to retreat back into the undergrowth.

Spoonbill (above), Cuckoo, Stonechat, Reed Bunting & Fox and Mallard at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - One of the pairs of Stonechats were out feeding three fledged youngsters this evening, whilst there was also a singing Corn Bunting, several Reed Buntings and Whitethroats and plenty of Skylarks about and a Cuckoo was calling but remained unseen.
Also, half a dozen Whimbrel and up to 50 Dunlin were near the breach.

Corn Bunting (above) & Stonechats at Medmerry (AH)

Tuesday, 5th May: A fairly cool and grey morning, with the breeze decidedly fresh and from the north-east.....

Selsey BillA flock of 12 Bar-tailed Godwits east were the only passage birds, though a Kittiwake went east close in and c40 Sandwich Terns, c25 Common Terns and ten Little Terns were feeding offshore and 12 Swallows flew in.
(0620-0750hrs) (NE, F6)
Fulmar – 1W
Gannet – 17E, 4W
Shelduck – 5E
Red-legged Partridge - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit – 12E
Kittiwake – 1E
Sandwich Tern – 33E, c40os
Common Tern – 6E, c25os
Little Tern – 10os
Swallow – 12N
House Martin – 3
Linnet – 2

Little Terns (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Kittiwake, Bar-tailed Godwits & Shelducks at the Bill (AH)

During the afternoon, a Pomarine Skua went east at 1310hrs, and later a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua went east, a Great Northern Diver was offshore and two Swifts arrived north from the sea.
Pomarine Skua – 1E

Great Northern Diver – 1os
Arctic Skua – 1E
Great Skua – 2E
Swift – 2N

At 1700hrs an Osprey was offshore, hovering over the rocks by the Mile basket for a good ten minutes, before being mobbed by gulls, whereupon it headed towards land - catching a fish en route - before it drifted off west (presumably to make landfall at Medmerry.)
Gannet – 6E, 4W
Osprey – 1N (1700hrs)
Sandwich Tern – c40os
Common Terns – c60os
Little Tern – c10os

Osprey at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just three Avocets and six Dunlin on the pool this morning, along with four Gadwall and c40 Shelducks.

Avocet (above) & Dunlin on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Turtle Dove was calling from trees near the car-park early this evening.

West Wittering: Rookwood to East Head - There was a real abundance of Common Whitethroats this morning, with several dozen seen during an hour's walk, along with 15 Lesser Whitethroats in amongst them, as well as lots of Blackcaps and half a dozen Chiffchaff and a lone Willow Warbler, whilst a small patch of reeds just north of Snowhill contained at least half a dozen singing Reed Warblers. 
On Snowhill itself, there were 15 Avocets, whilst out on the harbour there were five Little terns, two Sandwich Terns, 20 Shelduck and around 400 Oystercatchers on Ella Nore's Spit. 

Birdham Pool and Chichester Marina: Birds of note were a Common Tern over and into Birdham Pool, a pair of Great Crested Grebes at the far side, with one on a nest, lots of Swallows, three Little Grebes, plus usual others including a female Mallard guarding seven ducklings.
On the canal at Salterns lock was a very active Grey Wagtail, whilst further north along the canal were several areas noisy with Reed Warblers; and the Black Swan was near a nest with at least two eggs in. There was also another pair of Reed Warblers near the hide overlooking the reed-beds.

North Wall/East side: At least three Cattle Egrets were around Owl Copse this morning, with at least two different Cuckoos calling towards Honer Farm.
There were plenty of Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers singing, but most remained unseen, whilst in the adjacent harbour there were half a dozen Whimbrel, along with four Little Terns and two Common Terns were feeding intermittently on the rising tide.
Out in the harbour from the east side, as the tide rose, there was a nice mix of waders, including 15 Bar-tailed Godwits, 25 Grey Plovers (many in summer-plumage), c40 Ringed Plovers and c150 Dunlin.

Bar-tailed Godwits (above), Whimbrel, Cattle Egret, Little Tern & Dunlin and Ringed Plovers from the North Wall (AH)

North Mundham/Runcton: A Tree-creeper was in the area, along with a Grey Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail (above) & Tree-creeper at Runcton (CRJ)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The Spoonbill was back on the Stilt Pool today, though it flew off and later returned, whilst there were also seven Avocets, a Little Ringed Plover, a Ringed Plover, two Lapwings and pairs of Oystercatchers, Gadwall and Dufted Ducks present.
Also, a Cuckoo and a Willow Warbler were heard from the banks, whilst 23 Dunlin and six Ringed Plovers were on the pools along the beach, a flock of c20 Whimbrel flew off west and six Little terns were offshore.

Spoonbill at Medmerry (PJ)

Monday, 4th May: A morning that started gloomy and grey after overnight rain, but finished bright and breezy in the brisk south-easterly.....

Selsey Bill: Once again there was no evidence of eastward passage, with ten Fulmars and a Sanderling west the most obvious movement, though 34 Dunlin went east, a few Little and Sandwich Terns lingered offshore and five Swifts, a Sand Martin and a dozen Swallows flew in.
Also in Selsey, three Swifts and a Sand Martin went over.
(0530-0830hrs) (E, F4)
Fulmar – 3E, 10W
Gannet – 26E, 12W
Shelduck – 2E
Tufted Duck – 1E
Oystercatcher – 1E, 3W
Sanderling – 1W
Dunlin – 34E
Curlew – 1E
Common Gull – 1E
Kittiwake – 1E
Sandwich Tern – 40os
Little Tern – 8os
Razorbill – 2W
auk sp – 11W
Swift – 7N
Swallow – 12N, 5p
House Martin - 4
Sand Martin – 1N
Sedge Warbler – 1 (in estate gardens)
Linnet - 4
Goldfinch – 3

This afternoon, two Pomarine Skuas, an Arctic Skua, a Red-throated Diver, seven summer-plumaged Grey Plovers, two Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit went east.
Red-throated Diver – 1E
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Fulmar – 2E
Gannet – 37E, 10W
Grey Plover – 7E
Dunlin – 4E
Bar-tailed Godwit – 1E
Whimbrel – 2E
Turnstone – 4
Arctic Skua – 1E (l/p), 1os (d/p)
Pomarine Skua – 2E
Kittiwake – 2E, 3W
Sandwich Tern – 30os
Common Tern – 20os
Little Tern – 11os
Guillemot – 1W
auk sp – 1E, 5W, 1os
Swallow – 2N

Fulmar (above), Little Tern, Sandwich Tern & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A flock of c80 Dunlin were on the pool this morning at high tide, along with six Avocets, eight Black-tailed Godwits, three Lapwing and two Redshanks, plus ten Gadwall and c40 Shelducks.

Avocets (above) & Dunlin and Shelducks at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was a good selection of waders in the harbour, including c60 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plovers, two Sanderlings, two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and a Turnstone, whilst there were also c40 Sandwich, three Common and four Little Terns.

Also, a Wheatear was on the spit, a Lesser Whitethroat was between the Severals and there were up to 20 Swallows about

Fishbourne Creek: A walk from Fishbourne to Dell Quay on the high tide this morning found a Common Sandpiper, four Whimbrel and a Brent Goose at Fishbourne with a Cuckoo heard briefly at a distance, a Greenshank and five nicely summer-plumaged Dunlin that briefly flew around at the Lavant outfall with a Common Tern perched on a mooring buoy there. 
There were 10 Great Crested Grebes and about 100 Mute Swan along the length of the creek, whist at Dell Quay there were two more Greenshank and a Whimbrel roosting on the far bank, with a Kestrel perched on the top of the chimney of the pub. In the bushes and fields there were seven Whitethroats, four Blackcaps, two Reed Warblers three Cetti's Warblers and two Reed Bunting, whilst four House Martins appeared to be collecting mud in the horse paddocks at Apuldram.

Medmerry: Chainbridge to the Breach - The breach area and banks were the most interesting place this morning, with three Wheatears, a singing Corn Bunting and half a dozen Skylarks, Linnets and Meadow Pipits on the last bit of rough ground, a dozen Turnstones on the rocks and three Common Sandpipers, two or three Whimbrel and Curlew and a big, flighty flock of c275 Dunlin in the tidal area.
The rest of the banks held a few Whitethroats and Linnets, a couple of Reed and Sedge Warblers were in the ditches at Chainbridge Field, where there was also a Green Woodpecker and a Stonechat, and a few Swallows went over, whilst the pair were again by the stables at Warner Lane paddocks, along with a few Linnets.

Corn Bunting (above), Wheatear, Green Woodpecker, Linnet, Swallow, Common Sandpipers & Dunlin at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were at least six Swifts among c200 Swallows and House Martins feeding over the maize stubble fields this evening.

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

East Head: At least eight (and possibly ten) Avocets appeared on Snowhill Creek this afternoon - it will be interesting to see if they settle in there, and also whether they are the ones from Medmerry.

Avocets at Snowhill Creek (MR)

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