Thursday, 4 March 2021

4th - 6th March 2021

Saturday, 6th March: It was very similar to yesterday, with another cold, if sunny, morning after a grey start, though the north-easterly breeze was a little lighter.....

Selsey Bill: Two Meadow Pipits in off the sea were about the only evidence of migration, though 286 unassigned auks went west well out to sea, five Sandwich Terns and 11 Common Scoter were offshore, a Sanderling was with the Turnstones and a Shag was off Hillfield Road.
Also, a Blackcap was seen briefly in nearby Clayton Road. Full log below.
(0700-0900hrs) (NE, F3-4)
Red-throated Diver – 4E, 1W
diver sp – 2E, 1W
Great Crested Grebe – 2os
Gannet – 2E, 3W
Shag – 1os
Shelduck – 1E
Common Scoter – 2W, 11os
Red-breasted Merganser – 7E, 4os
Oystercatcher – 4E
Sanderling – 1E
Turnstone – 4E
Lesser Black-backed Gull – 1E
Common Gull – 2E
Kittiwake – 1E
Sandwich Tern – 1E, 5os
Razorbill – 1W
auk sp – 20E, 248W
Meadow Pipit – 2N

Shag (above) & Cormorant at the Bill (AW)

Ferry Pool: The two Avocets were again present, whilst four Snipe were at the front and 50 Lapwings were on the field, and wildfowl included c50 Teal and Shoveler, c200 Wigeon and 24 Shelducks.
Later, two Spotted Redshanks were in Ferry channel.

Snipe (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Late this afternoon there was a Spotted Redshank in Ferry Channel and a Short-eared Owl was hunting over the harbour, as seen from the Tramway.

Short-eared Owl (above) & Spotted Redshank around Ferry Channel (AW)

Ivy Lake: The two Sand Martins were still at the back of the lake late this morning.

Medmerry: Coastguards to the Windmill - A Black Redstart was seen briefly on the sea defence rocks opposite the windmill, and possibly another was seen later around the houses near the coastguard station. Also, 55 Curlews were counted in the large field adjacent to the windmill along the cliff.

Black Redstart (above) & Curlews at Medmerry (AW)

Fishbourne Creek: The over-wintering Black Redstart was still at New Barn Cottages, Apuldram this morning, and there was also a mixed flock of 15-20 Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings further north along the lane.

Black Redstart (above) & Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings at Apuldram (RB)

Church Norton: The harbour was very quiet on the low tide, though 34 Avocets were towards Ferry channel and a Bar-tailed Godwit and six Black-tailed Godwits were present and the male Peregrine was on its island.
Passerines were few, though included a couple of Cetti's Warblers along the front, a Chiffchaff and a few Long-tailed Tits were between the Severals and there were also a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the orchard at Greenlease Farm.

North Wall: A Ruff was in Honer 1 field this morning, with at least 200 Wigeon, a dozen Shoveler and Teal and c30 Black-tailed Godwits also spread among the fields, whilst two Marsh Harriers drifted off west and three different Cetti's Warblers called from the hedges.

Late this afternoon, a Short-eared Owl (presumably the one seen earlier from the Tramway) was seen from here, too.

Ruff (above) & Marsh Harrier at the North Wall (AH)

East side: The whole harbour was dominated by the huge Brent Goose flock that flew in from the fields, numbering around an estimated 2500 birds, and including the Barnacle Goose and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose.
Otherwise, wader numbers were quite low, though there were still c50 Black-tailed Godwits and c30 Grey Plovers present, and at least 40 Pintail were among the 500+ Wigeon and 200+ Teal spread around the channels.

Barnacle Goose and Brent Goose (above), Pale-bellied Brent Goose and Brent Geese, Pintail & Brent Geese along the East side (AH)

Friday, 5th March: A cold and bright morning after a grey start, with a fresh and blustery north-easterly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: A very quiet morning, with a Gannet west and two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Common Scoter, a Common Gull and a Sandwich Tern east being the sum total. 
Later in the morning, two Red-throated Divers went east, six Gannets went west and four Red-breasted Mergansers were on the sea. Full log below.
(0725-0810hrs) (NNE, F5) 
Gannet – 1W
Common Scoter – 1E
Red-breasted Merganser – 2E
Common Gull – 1E
Sandwich Tern – 1E

Great Northern Diver – 2os
Red-throated Diver – 1E
Gannet – 3E
Red-breasted Merganser – 4W
Sandwich Tern – 2E
auk sp – 3W

East Beach: A Chiffchaff was calling from a garden here this morning.

Ivy Lake: The first two Sand Martins of the spring were feeding over the back of the lake late this afternoon - the earliest this century by four days!
Otherwise, there were two Egyptian Geese and a Kingfisher present, with a singing Firecrest in Peckhams Copse Lane. The fields opposite Drayton Pits held another two Egyptian Geese and c.30 each of Greylag and Canada Geese earlier in the day.

Ferry Pool: The two Avocets were again on the pool, along with c20 Teal and Shelducks and c50 Wigeon and Shovelers, whilst c40 Lapwing were on the field.

Avocets (above) & Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Ferry Channel held a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, a Grey Plover, a few Wigeon and Teal and five Pintail this morning, whilst the pool had pairs of Little Grebes and Tufted Ducks, plus a couple of Reed Buntings.

Black-tailed Godwit (above), Grey Plover & Little Grebe around the Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A walk from Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools found a Dartford Warbler along the path as well as a few Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Yellowhammers and Linnets.
There were four Avocets on the pools, along with six Dunlin and three Ringed Plovers around the edges together with a small flock of Brent Geese, some of which departed east past an impressive tall ship.

Dartford Warbler (above) & Brent Geese at Medmerry (AW)

Honer Reservoir: This morning there were just 40 Coots and 38 Black-headed Gull on the reservoir, whilst the flooded field to the south held a Greylag Goose, two Shelducks and four Curlews.

Runcton: There were still a male and two female Reed Buntings coming to the feeders today.

Fishbourne Creek: There were three Greenshanks and a Spotted Redshank along the channel this morning, together with c200 Black-tailed Godwits and c50 Redshank.
At least a dozen Pintail were in among c500 Wigeon, spread all along the way, with at least that many Brent Geese towards the Marina, but there wasn't much else to report beyond a couple of flighty Rock Pipits and Reed Buntings.

Greenshanks, Wigeon and Black-headed Gulls (above), Spotted Redshank and Grey Plover, Redshanks & Wigeon at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Thursday, 4th March: A very grey morning after light overnight rain, fairly cold under heavy cloud and with a moderate northerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: A Long-tailed Duck, sat on the sea before flying off east, was the highlight of a morning with a fair number of species, albeit in low numbers, including a Slavonian Grebe and two Great Northern Divers on the sea, 11 Red-throated Divers, seven Common Scoters and a Grey Heron east and, bizarrely, a Red-legged Partridge flying west over the sea. Full log below.
(0730-0900hrs) (N, F3-4)
Great Northern Diver – 2os
Red-throated Diver – 11E
Slavonian Grebe – 1os
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Gannet – 1W
Grey Heron – 1E
Brent Goose – 3E
Shelduck – 1W
Long-tailed Duck – 1os, then E
Common Scoter – 7E
Red-breasted Merganser – 6E, 5W, 3os
Red-legged Partridge – 1W
Oystercatcher – 3E
Turnstone – 1W
Mediterranean Gull – 2os
Common Gull – 2E
Sandwich Tern – 2os
Pied Wagtail – 4N

Sandwich Tern (above), Mediterranean Gull & Grey Heron at the Bill (AH)

Selsey: A Chiffchaff was in the rectory garden this afternoon.

Chiffchaff in a Selsey garden (AW)

Ferry Pool: Two Avocets were on the pool, along with c40 Shoveler and Teal and 22 Shelducks, whilst c50 Lapwing and Wigeon were on the field and the Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite.

Spotted Redshank (above), Avocets & Lapwings around the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A Green Woodpecker and a Curlew were in the horse paddocks this morning and a Song Thrush was singing in a tree nearby.
At least 700 Brent Geese were in Whites Creek with Wigeon, Teal, Redshank and a few Pintail, and the flooded fields again held Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Shelduck, Shoveler, Coot and a few Gadwall, while about 20 Curlew and 20 Black-tailed Godwits were distantly feeding.
The hedgerows were quiet apart from a male and female Reed Bunting and a calling Cetti's Warbler.

Runcton: Three Reed Buntings (a male and two females) visited garden feeders this morning, and a Common Buzzard went over. 

Church Norton and west side: A Merlin went along the spit and the two Peregrines were on their island this morning, whilst there were still at least 500 Brent Geese loafing in the harbour and a pair of Mediterranean Gulls were noisily displaying.
There were plenty of Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers out on the mud, along with at least 40 Black-tailed Godwits and up to a dozen Pintail were among the Wigeon and Teal.
At the top end of Ferry Channel there were at least 30 Avocets, whilst a Snipe, c40 Golden Plovers and c100 Lapwing flew over and 25 Shovelers dropped in to join the other wildfowl present.

Merlin (AW) (above), Mediterranean Gulls, Black-tailed Godwit, Knot, Golden Plovers, Brent Geese & Wigeon  (AH) at Church Norton

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