Friday, 17 March 2023

17th - 19th March 2023

Sunday, 19th March: A bright and breezy start in a moderate north-westerly gave way to heavy cloud as the breeze eased...........

Selsey Bill: A drake Red-crested Pochard - the first for the Bill and the 264th species recorded there - went east at 0630hrs, but otherwise 73 Brent Geese (including a very pale, possibly leucistic bird) and 23 Common Scoters were about the only signs of eastward movement. Full log below. (SH/BI/IP/SR/MO-W/AH/RJS/GSh et al)
(0600-0915hrs) (NW, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 2W, 3os
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W, 1os
Gannet - 5E, 19W
Brent Goose - 73E
Red-crested Pochard - 1W (0630hrs)
Common Scoter - 23E, 1W, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 12W, 14os
Sparrowhawk - 1
Oystercatcher - 2E, 2W
Turnstone - 17
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 9E, 7os
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Pied Wagtail - 2N
Chiffchaff - 2

(1330-1500hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 2E
Brent Goose - 4E, 2W
Common Scoter - 5E
Red-breasted Merganser - 14os
Oystercatcher - 1W
Sanderling - 1E
Knot - 8E
Turnstone - 3
Mediterranean Gull -  3E
Sandwich Tern - 8os
auk sp - 2E

A look round later on just produced a Redwing and a Kestrel. (SR)

Red-throated Diver (above), Brent Geese & Chiffchaffs at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 28 Black-tailed Godwits, seven Avocets and four Lapwings on the pool this morning, along with ten Shelducks, c60 Shovelers, c50 Teal and c80 Wigeon, with c40 more of the latter in the channel opposite, whilst half a dozen Chiffchaffs were in the adjacent hedges. (AH)

Avocets (above), Black-tailed Godwits and Shovelers & Chiffchaff at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: The Meadow Pipit flock had reduced to about a dozen birds this morning, and a male Sparrowhawk was seen twice in the vicinity. (IP/CN)

Church Norton: A female Wheatear was on the beach along the spit and a very smart male was also near to the second Several, whilst three Firecrests were in Bluebell Wood, along with two Chiffchaffs and some Long-tailed Tits, a Goldcrest was between the Severals and another was at Park Copse and a Buzzard was seen from the beach cruising over the Poplars.
The wildfowl numbers are now dropping dramatically in the harbour, with a pair of both Pintail and Teal, plus about a dozen Brent Geese the only sightings, along with a drake Shoveler on the second Several.
Wader numbers are also falling, with just 250 Dunlin, c50 Grey Plover and c50 Knot present, along with two Black-tailed Godwits; a pair of Ringed Plovers, two Redshank, a dozen Curlew and c50 Oystercatchers.
Also, at least 150 Mediterranean Gulls were on Tern Island, along with a similar number of Black-headed Gulls and there were 26 Sandwich Terns on the metalwork. (IP/CN)

North Wall: Three Buzzards were soaring over the fields in clear skies, whilst a male Marsh Harrier was behind the Breech pool where there was a Great Crested Grebe, with a Reed Bunting, two Chiffchaffs, a Cetti's Warbler, a Green Woodpecker,,a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the vicinity of Owl CopseI.
In the afternoon a group of Brent Goose flew from field behind Breech Pool, followed by a large flock of Wigeon, a lone Buzzard was about, the male Marsh Harrier was again behind the pool, whilst Honer Field 4 had eight Wigeon and four Teal, with a Little Grebe heard, and on the mud opposite was a pair of Shelduck and a few waders, including Grey Plovers, Dunlin, Curlews, Redshanks and Oystercatchers. (P Gomersall)

Pagham Lagoon and Spit: On the Lagoon today there were two Great Crested Grebes and 12 Brent Geese that flew in, whilst two Linnets, a Stonechat and a few Skylarks nearby.
In the harbour was a male Red-breasted Merganser, whilst on the newly forming lagoon there were two Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Teal, along with a lone little Egret and a flock of ten Turnstones. (P Gomersall)

Medmerry: Windmill area - The female Black Redstart was again present around the old go-kart track today. (J Robinson)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were four Little Ringed Plovers on the Stilt Pool this morning, along with a Ringed Plover, five Black-ailed Godwits, 23 Avocets and five Brent Geese, whilst a Greenshank was near the poplars.
The banks were quiet, though, with just three Chiffchaffs and a Cetti's Warbler seen, whilst a Marsh Harrier, two Kestrels and seven Buzzards were over the reserve at various points. (S&SaH)
This afternoon the bushes were quiet again, with four Yellowhammers and c100 Linnets about it, plus two Fieldfares in the poplars.
Otherwise, a Barn Owl was out hunting, and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the reservoir, whilst the Stilt Pool just held a single Little Ringed Plover, two Ringed Plovers and three Pied Wagtails. (IP/CN)

Chichester GPs: Drayton House pits - A Great White Egret flushed from the north-east corner of the South pit on my arrival and soon disappeared, but I was pleased to see the Grey Heron nest was still occupied. I counted ten Grey Herons between the two pits – and a Little Egret – but couldn’t locate any other potential breeding birds amongst them as yet. Duck numbers have predictably now dropped right off, the best being 35 Pochard and 28 Shoveler, but at least 52 noisy Greylags and c.40 Canada Geese were still present. There wasn’t much else of note; 20 Mediterranean Gulls were amongst a Black-headed Gull flock and three Chiffchaffs and two Cetti’s Warblers were singing. (OM)

West Trout Lake - Highlights here this morning included a Great White Egret on the north-west side of West Trout Lake, a Black Swan, the Egyptian Goose family,six Mediterranean Gulls over, seven pairs of displaying Great Crested Grebes, eight singing Chiffchaffs and a Mistle Thrush, plus numerous Cormorants at nests in the trees between Runcton and New Lakes. Also of note, flocks of about 12 Fieldfare and 18 Redwing flew north over the road east of Hunston. (RBe).

Great Crested Grebes (above) & Stock Dove at Chichester GPs (RBe)

Saturday, 18th March: The overnight rain slowly cleared early on, giving way to a pleasant morning of sunshine and white cloud as the fairly light south-easterly breeze shifted to the south-west...........

Selsey Bill: A flock of five Little Gulls going east was the best of a morning where was a bit of eastward passage, including 100+ Common Scoters, 30 Red-throated Divers and 50+ Sandwich Terns, whilst the pair of Long-tailed Ducks popped up again, too. Full log later. (PB/SH/PM/IP/BI/AH/SR)
(0600-1115hrs) (SSE, F3-4)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 30E
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1os
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 21E, 54W
Shag - 2os
Brent Geese - 45E
Eider - 2W
Long-tailed Duck - 2os
Common Scoter - 126E, 5W
Red-breasted Merganser - 37E, 11W, 10os
Oystercatcher - 1W
Turnstone - 6
Little Gull - 5E
Mediterranean Gull - 11os
Common Gull - 1E
Kittiwake - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 51E, 12os
Razorbill - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Pied Wagtail - 2N
Song Thrush - 1
Stonechat - 1

This afternoon the first Arctic Skua - dark-phase bird - of the year went east. Full log below.(SH/JA)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E, 1
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W, 9os
Arctic Skua - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 9os
auk sp - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 1

Red-throated Diver (above), Common Scoters, Shag, Brent Geese & Stonechat at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just 12 Black-tailed Godwits, four Avocets, eight Shelducks and c50 Shoveler and Teal on the pool this morning, with c80 Wigeon in the channel opposite. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Teal at the Ferry (AH)

North Selsey: A Firecrest moved through the trees in the garden this morning. (AW)

Firecrest in a Selsey garden (AW)

North Wall: A Wheatear was along the wall this morning, along with a Rock Pipit, though there was no sign of the Black Redstarts in the paddocks, where there was another Wheatear, along with eight Pied Wagtails, and a Reed Bunting, with a Green Woodpecker and a Kestrel in the nearby trees, and a Raven went over.
At high tide in the harbour, there were250 Wigeon and 60 Teal on the water, but further back on the mud were 41 Pintail, three Shovelers, 118 Brent Geese, 60 Black-tailed Godwits, 55 Curlews, 11 Knot, 16 Ringed Plovers, 80 Grey Plovers, 50 Dunlin and Shelducks, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls and ten Mediterranean Gulls.
The Breech Pool held four Tufted Ducks and the pair of Great Crested Grebes, whilst both Marsh Harriers were about, and four Buzzards drifted over high up.
In the hedgerows there were at least 12 Chiffchaffs and a similar number of Reed Buntings, and four Grey Herons were busy around Owl Copse, whilst at Halsey’s Farm there were a few singing Skylarks, and 100 Brent Geese, 200 Wigeon, 80 Black-tailed Godwits and 40 Curlew flew out from the fields into the harbour. (LP/GaJ)

Wheatears (GaJ top, LP lower)  (above), Rock Pipit, Reed Bunting, Green Woodpecker & Pintail (LP) at the North Wall 

Chichester GPs: Runcton and New Lakes - A Little Gull was over Runcton Lake early this afternoon. 
Also, on New Lake there were eight Shovelers, 12 Gadwall, two Pochard, 22 Tufted Ducks, four Little Grebes, one Great Crested Grebe and 23 Cormorants, whilst a Tree-creeper was in the trees between the lakes and the pair of Egyptian Geese and ten goslings and a pair of Greylag Geese were around the caravans.(SM/BI/AB/AH/NMGaJ/CRJ)

Little Gull (AH) (above) & Egyptian Goose family (CRJ) at Chichester GPs

Church Norton: There were still at least half a dozen Chiffchaffs around the Mound this morning, but no other signs of migrants, though half a dozen Sandwich Terns, c200 Mediterranean Gulls and c400 Black-headed Gulls were in the harbour.
About 50 Brent Geese were in the main channel, with c300 dropping in at the far end, with a couple of Pintail and a few Teal still about, whilst c30 Golden Plovers c50 Curlews flew up from the western fields and c40 Black-tailed Godwits, c50 Grey Plovers, c200 Dunlin and a handful of Ringed Plovers were also about. (AH/PB/PM et al)

Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls (above), Mediterranean Gulls, Ringed Plovers and Dunlin & Chiffchaff at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham Spit and Lagoon: A Scandinavian Rock Pipit was on the spit today, whilst a Grat Northern Diver and two Sandwich Terns were offshore.
Also, a Little Grebe and four Great Crested Grebes were on the Lagoon and four Yellowhammers and c100 Linnets were on the Slipe Field. (GaJ)

Scandinavian Rock Pipit at Pagham Spit (GaJ)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Three Stonechats, two Reed Buntings and 15 Yellowhammers were along the banks this morning with two Ravens, a Kestrel and nine Buzzards over the reserve.
Also, 15 Black-tailed Godwits were by the poplars, with seven more, 20 Avocets, three Ringed Plovers and a Pied Wagtail on the Stilt Pool. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - This evening there were a Stonechat, a dozen Yellowhammers and c30 Linnets along the hedges, but not much else beyond a herd of 18 Roe Deer. (AH)

Yellowhammer (above), Linnet & Roe Deer at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 17th March: A pretty dire morning's weather, with almost constant heavy drizzle under leaden skies, and quite cool despite the moderate breeze coming from the south.......

Selsey Bill: A Wheatear that dropped in on the sea defences was about the only suggestion of migration, with a few Red-throated Divers and Common Scoter about, but not much else. Full log below. (AH/SR/P&LH)
(0715-0915hrs) (SSW, F4)
Red-throated Diver - 8E, 2os
Gannet - 2E, 4W, 1os
Common Scoter - 26W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 1W, 7os
Turnstone - 9
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Razorbill - 1os
Wheatear - 1

There were four more Wheatears and four Stonechats along the front this afternoon, but still no sea passage. Full log below. (SR)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Kestrel - 1
Turnstone - 6
Wheatear - 4
Stonechat - 4
Meadow Pipit - 1

Wheatear (above) & Common Scoters at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just 12 Avocets, 12 Shelducks, c60 Shovelers and c40 Teal around the pool, with c75 Wigeon on the fields at the back this morning.
Also, the Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite, whilst at least half a dozen Chiffchaffs were around the small adjacent pool and nearby hedges, with a Sparrowhawk dropping in briefly, too. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Chiffchaff & Sparrowhawk at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: At least four Wheatears were on the beach this morning, along with six Meadow Pipits, four Linnets and four Skylarks, whilst at least 20 Chiffchaffs were in the hedges around the Mound and hide, along with two Redwings, four Song Thrushes, a Jay and two Green Woodpeckers
Three Sandwich Terns were on the mud, among the Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls, but wildfowl consisted of just three Red-breasted Mergansers, c50 Brent Geese and a few Shelducks, Wigeon and Teal, with waders including 29 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Grey Plovers and c200 Dunlin. (P&LH/AH)
There were still at least three Wheatears on the beach this afternoon. (NM)

Chiffchaff (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: The female Black Redstart was still in the paddock this morning, along with a Kestrel, four Chiffchaffs and a Pied Wagtail, with two Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the surrounding trees, while in White’s Creek there were 18 Redshank, eight Black-tailed Godwits, six Pintail, ten Wigeon, four Teal, 60 Brent Geese and a Little Egret.
The Breech Pool just held five Tufted Ducks, while along the wall there were two Rock Pipits - one of which looked a likely 'Scandinavian' Rock Pipit, and in Honer 1, two Shovelers and two Pintail were on the flooded areas. At Halsey’s Farm there were just four Teal, two Shelduck, and two Gadwall on the rife, a Reed Bunting was singing from the reeds and a couple of Skylarks were up over the fields. (LP)

This afternoon a Barn Owl was hunting over the reeds behind the paddock. (SP)

Black Redstart (above), probable Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Chiffchaff & Kestrel at the North Wall (LP)

Pagham Spit: A pair of Wheatears were along the spit this afternoon, along with six Stonechats, eight Chiffchaffs and five Meadow Pipits. (LP)

Wheatears at Pagham Spit (LP)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - There was no sign of the Black-necked Grebe on the lake this morning, though at least 50 Chiffchaffs were in the waterside trees and bushes, and a Water Rail ran across the path. (IP)
Later on, a pair of Egyptian Geese with ten newly hatched goslings were on the lake. (BI)

Egyptian Goose family at Ivy Lake (BI)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool area - There were five male Wheatears around the rocks adjacent to the pool this morning and two Little Ringed Plovers were on the Stilt Pool itself. (BI)

Wheatear at Medmerry (BI)

Medmerry: Windmill area - At least four Wheatears were along the cliff-path and adjacent beach this morning, with a Stonechat, a Reed Bunting and c20 Meadow Pipits also in the vicinity. (AH)

Wheatears (above), Stonechat, Reed Bunting & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

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