Wednesday, 31st March: A rather murky morning, with a bit of hazy sun, quite mild in a light easterly breeze..........
Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning, with five Red-throated Divers and seven Sandwich Terns the only sea passage, whilst a Swallow an a few Meadow Pipits flew in. Full log below. (MO-W/A&YF/AH/SR/TR)
(0630-0830hrs) (E, f2-3)
Red-throated Diver – 5E
Gannet – 1W
Common Scoter – 2E
Red-breasted Merganser – 4E, 3W
Oystercatcher – 3E, 8W
Mediterranean Gull – 14E
Sandwich Tern – 7E, 1W, 1os
Meadow Pipit – 19N
Pied Wagtail – 2N
Swallow – 1N
Linnet – 8E
Sandwich Terns (above) & Red-breasted Merganser at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: A large, very pale pipit was on the field this morning that was initially considered to be most likely a Tawny, though unfortunately it never came very close and the light was poor for photos.
On closer scrutiny of the pictures, it would appear to be most likely a Richard's Pipit. The apparent absence of a dark loral stripe (between the bill and the eye), just about discernible, would seem decisive. Whether or not it was our one from last autumn re-appearing, we will never know for sure.
Otherwise, a Wheatear and a pair of Lapwings were also on the field, a couple of Snipe were at the front of the pool, with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits also about, though wildfowl were down to 20 or so Shelducks, Teal and Shovelers.
Also, a Willow Warbler was singing near the Visitor Centre and a couple of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were in the Discovery area. (TG-P/AH/IL/NR et al)
probable Richard's Pipit at the Ferry (first five AH, then AW & GM)
Church Norton: A Swallow came in off the sea here, whilst the Whimbrel was in its usual haunts, a Snipe was in the horse field and a pair of Pintail were in the channel, and there were at least 100 Sandwich Terns and 200 Mediterranean Gulls present. (CN/GS/SH/AH)
North Wall: A Sedge Warbler was singing from the Breech Pool this morning. (PC)
Long Pool: A Spotted Redshank and a handful of Black-tailed Godwits were in Ferry Channel this morning, and a Sedge Warbler was singing from the pool. (AH/NR/GS)
Spotted Redshank (top GS) (above AH) & Black-tailed Godwit in Ferry channel (AH)
This evening a Marsh Harrier was hunting over the pool, upsetting all the nearby roosting waders, including eight Bar-tailed Godwits, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, c50 Knot and Grey Plover and c200 Dunlin. (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt pool - Between 10.30 and 13.00 today there were plenty of Skylarks, four Avocets and a Little Ringed Plover at the Stilt pool, along with two Tufted Ducks.
Also a few Linnets and a couple of Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings were along the banks, whilst a Kestrel hunted briefly and three Little Egrets were at separate locations. (GHi)
Tuesday, 30th March: A lovely spring morning, with almost unbroken warm sunshine, after a chill start, and with just a light north-easterly breeze.....
Selsey Bill: There was some good variety this morning, for a good turnout, though eastbound numbers were still quite low, but included a Pochard, 339 Common Scoters, 29 Brent Geese, two Common Terns and 44 Sandwich Terns, whilst a Ring-necked Parakeet appeared several times before departing off eastwards. Full log below. (PB/PM/IP/SR/AH/OM et al)
(0630-1100hrs) (NE, F2-3)
Great Northern Diver – 5os
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Gannet – 18E, 2W
Shag – 2E
Brent Goose – 29E
Shelduck – 1W
Wigeon – 1E
Mallard – 1E
Shoveler – 4E, 6W
Pochard - 1E
Common Scoter – 339E
Red-breasted Merganser – 14E, 5W, 8os
Sparrowhawk - 1
Turnstone - 10
Mediterranean Gull – 14E
Sandwich Tern – 44E, 20os
Common Tern – 2E
Razorbill – 1E
auk sp – 1E
Ring-necked Parakeet – 1E
Skylark – 1N
Meadow Pipit – 73N
Pied Wagtail– 4E
Swallow – 4N
Sand Martin– 3N
Wheatear - 3
Linnet – 26E
Ring-necked Parakeet (above), Pochard and Common Scoters, Brent Geese, Red-breasted Mergansers & Wheatears (PM), Ring-necked Parakeet & Wheatear (AH) at the Bill
Ferry Pool: Three Little Ringed Plovers were on the pool this morning, along with eight Avocets and c80 Black-tailed Godwits, with wildfowl represented by four Gadwall, ten Teal, c30 Shelducks and c50 Shovelers.
Also, a Willow Warbler was singing by the Visitor Centre, with two more, plus two Blackcaps in the Discovery Area and a Spotted Redshank was in the channel, whilst a Blackcap was along the Medmerry Trail and a Red Kite went over. (AM/SR/AH/IL/P&LH/OM/CBC/MaC et al)
Long Pool: A Sedge Warblers was along the pool this morning (P&LH), whilst this evening there were two singing birds present, whilst a Barn Owl flew right along the path and two Spotted Redshanks were in in Ferry Channel, where there were also seven Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Black-tailed Godwits and a few Shovelers.. (M,D&SB/AH/AB)
Sedge Warbler at the Long Pool (AH)
Medmerry: Stilt Pool - Three Little Ringed Plovers (presumably those seen earlier on the Ferry) were on the Stilt Pool this afternoon, along with three Avoces, whilst a couple of Wheatears were on the adjacent rocks. (TB/NR)
Chichester Marina Reedbeds: A Willow Warbler was singing here and a Water Rail was seen. (PH)
East Head: A Willow Warbler and a Blackcap were singing along the edge of Snowhill Creek this morning. (PH)
North Wall: The hedgerows behind the stables were full of life with a Song Thrush, two Chiffchaffs, at least eight Greenfinches, two Jays, a Blackcap as well as Robins, Great Tits and Blue Tits.
In contrast, Whites Creek was quiet with a dozen Redshank, a few Teal and little else. (IH)
This evening two smart male Wheatears were in the fields at Owl Point. (SP)
Park Farm, Selsey: A Swallow was by the barns this morning and a Blackcap was singing nearby, whilst a White Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail were by the reservoir and a Sparrowhawk was over Manor Lane. (IP/SaH)
Church Norton: A Yellow Wagtail flew over this morning (IL), as did the Ring-necked Parakeet seen earlier at the Bill (A&YF), shortly afterwards reported over Bognor (TG-P), whilst there were at least four Wheatears along the beach, with a Blackcap and a few Chiffchaffs about, too.
Also, over 100 Sandwich Terns were around the harbour and offshore, along with 75 Mediterranean Gulls, but waders were thin on the ground again, beyond a dozen Ringed Plovers, 30 Turnstone and a mixed flock of Dunlin and Grey Plovers, whilst there were also five Brent Geese and a pair of Wigeon and a pair of Gadwall in the harbour and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe offshore.
A visiting birder reported a Water Rail in the moat of the Mound, along with a pair of Teal, whilst the Peregrines were on their island and several Sparrowhawks and Kestrels were on the wing. (AH/IP/A&YF et al)
The first two Little Terns were also present late morning, together and quite high up, before moving towards the harbour. (CBC/MaC)
Monday, 29th March: A morning that started cool and grey and ended with unbroken warm sunshine, but still with the fresh westerly breeze persisting.....
The latest stage of the gradual easing of Covid restrictions has now come into effect - much to the delight of most, if not all, local birders. Those of us starved of sea-watching action at the Bill might naturally be planning to gather again as soon as possible, so now is perhaps the time for just a gentle reminder to everyone.....
Whilst the 'rule of six outdoors' is now applicable, we kindly ask that everyone should bear in mind that social distancing is still required within such a group. Furthermore, should more than six be present - as is quite likely at times - then please exercise common sense and form another group safely distanced from any other, although as we see it that doesn't actually have to be too far away. Simples! Many thanks. (Eds)
Selsey Bill: Still little going east, though 13 Brent Geese did so, whilst a Wheatear was on the beach, a Swallow and 72 Meadow Pipits came in and a least five Great Northern Divers were around. Full log below. (BI/A&YF/AH/IP/SR/MO-W/C&ME)
(0700-1100hrs) (WSW, F4-5)
Great Northern Diver – 3E, 4os
Red-throated Diver – 2E
Gannet – 2E, 7W
Shag – 3E, 1os
Brent Goose – 13E
Common Scoter – 13E, 3W, 18os
Red-breasted Merganser – 1E, 6W
Turnstone – 11W
Mediterranean Gull – 2E
Sandwich Tern – 6E, 33os
Green Woodpecker - 1
Meadow Pipit – 72N
Swallow – 1N
Wheatear - 1
(1700-1800hrs) (S3) (SH)
Gannet - 1W
Shag - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 8E, 4os
Sandwich Tern - 38 os
Common Tern - 2E
Great Northern Diver (above), Sandwich Tern & Meadow Pipit at the Bill (AH)
Ferry Pool: Sixteen Avocets and c80 Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool this morning, along with 25 Shelducks and c50 Shovelers, but just a dozen or so Teal, whilst a Swallow and four Sand Martins went over. (AH/IP et al)
Avocet on the Ferry (AH)
East Head: A dozen Black-tailed Godwits were in Snowhill Creek this morning. (MR)
Pagham Spit: Two Swallows went over east this morning and a Wheatear was on the spit, with another eight along the beach towards the Yacht Club. (NR/TB)
Church Norton: At least six Wheatears were along the beach and up to 20 Chiffchaffs were spread along the sheltered hedges and front, whilst a Swallow and half a dozen Sand Martins, plus a few Meadow Pipits came in off the sea.
At least 50 Sandwich Terns and similar of Mediterranean Gulls were among the Black-headed Gulls, but there were very few waders beyond a pair of Ringed Plovers and a few Curlews, Redshank and Turnstones, whilst wildfowl were restricted to a few Teal and c40 Shelducks. (AH et al)
Wheatears (above), Sand Martin, Chiffchaffs, Sandwich Terns & Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)
Sidlesham: A Red Kite was over Cow Lane this morning, heading south and there were two Blackcaps singing in the vicinity and at least six Buzzards about, too. (AH)
Red Kite (above) & Buzzard over Sidlesham (AH)
Chichester Canal: A late afternoon walk along the Canal west of Hunston produced five singing Willow Warblers, plus a number of Chiffchaffs and several Blackcaps amongst other species. (RBe)
Willow Warbler along the canal near Hunston (RB)
Long Pool: Two Spotted Redshanks were in Ferry Channel this evening, along with four Snipe, two Avocets, c25 Black-tailed Godwits, a pair of Wigeon and a dozen Teal, whilst two pairs of Lapwings and at least four pairs of Redshanks were displaying over the adjacent fields.
Along the hedges there were a couple of Reed Buntings, a couple of Linnets, a Chiffchaff and two calling Cetti's Warblers. (AH)
Spotted Redshank (above), Spotted Redshank and Redshank, Redshank, Linnet & Reed Bunting along the Long Pool (AH)