Wednesday, 29 April 2015

29th - 30th April 2015

Thursday, 30th April: A very bright, but very windy day with the wind due west, which is never a very promising direction......

Selsey Bill: (0700 - 1000hrs) (JDW/PC/AH/DS/A&YF) Hard work at the Bill this morning. The brisk westerly breeze put a stop to any sustained passage. The few birds recorded came by in dribs and drabs as follows -
Great Northern Diver - 1os
diver sp - 1E
Gannet - 9E, 3W
Brent Goose - 2E
Common Scoter - 5E
Whimbrel 11
Dunlin - 30W
Sanderling - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 3E
Commic Tern - 5E
Little Tern - 8E
Swallows - 3N 
Additional (1750-1900hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Gannet - 2E, 7W

Fulmar - 1W
Kestrel - 1P
Sandwich Tern - 32os
Commic tern - 5os
Arctic Tern - 1os
Common Tern - 3os

Little Tern - 8W (in one tight flock)

Ferry Pool: The Nightingale and Lesser Whitethroat were both still present along the cycle-path this morning, and there was a Painted Lady in our garden nearby. (A&YF)
Just two Avocets, 50 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Shoveler and 40 Shelducks were on the pool this morning, and about a dozen Lapwings on the field. (AH)

Lapwing over Ferry Field (AH)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - There were a handful of Swallows, House and Sand Martins and at least 15 Swifts over the lake this morning. Not less than 40 Common Terns and 16 Great Crested Grebes were also present, and in and around the bushes were Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warblers. (JDW)

Church Norton: The Cuckoo was being very noisy and mobile around the edge of Priory Wood this morning, and a Lesser Whitethroat and several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were near the concrete wall. There were still at least twenty Whimbrel in the harbour, along with a single Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Dunlin and eight Sandwich Terns. (AH)

Lesser Whitethroat (above), Whitethroat & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 29th April: A genuine SSW wind this morning, with some squalls but not heavy rain, and even a glimpse of the sun....until about noon when a band of heavy rain really moved in and the wind became more westerly.

Selsey Bill (0700-1215hrs):The strong south-south-westerly wind brought some birds this morning, most notably over 20 Manx Shearwaters by 10.30am, as well as six Bonxies and an Arctic Skua east, and, most surprisingly, a Long-tailed Duck going west. 
There were also plenty of Gannets, Fulmars, auks and a few Kittiwakes going west, and a few Brent Geese and Common Scoter going east, plus some lingering Commic, Little and Sandwich Terns. Full log below.... (OM/AH/GH/SR/JDW)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 1os
Diver sp - 1E
Fulmar - 19W
Gannet - 5E, 73W
Manx Shearwater - 5E, 23W
Brent Goose - 44E
Common Scoter - 38W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Long-tailed Duck - 1W
Whimbrel - 1W
Razorbill - 4W
Auk sp - 3E, 49W
Great Skua - 6E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Little Tern - 4E, 10 os
Common Tern - 4W
Commic Tern - 30E, 5W, 6os
Sandwich Tern - 8E, 9W
Kittiwake - 5W
Swallow - 3N
Additional: 17.30-19.00hrs:  (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os

Gannet - 20E, 4W
Manx Shearwater - 1W

Common Scoter - 7E
Auk sp - 2E
Little Tern - 13os, 2E
Commic Tern - 15os
Sandwich Tern - 16os
Kittiwake - 1W

Arctic Skua (above), Gannets, Little Tern, Turnstone and a leaden sky at Selsey Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Not much this morning - just two Avocets, c50 Black-tailed Godwits and 45 Shelduck of note. (OM/AH)

Church Norton: Unsurprisingly 'passerine-free', but there were two each of Little, Common and Sandwich Terns in the harbour, plus at least 20 Whimbrel, several late Curlews and c200 Dunlin. (AH)

Curlew and Whimbrel (above) & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Sidlesham: There were four Lesser Black-backed Gulls amongst the Herring Gulls in the garden this morning. Though they are regular around Chichester, they are surprisingly uncommon at this end of the peninsula. Also, the Jackdaws were busy finding the freshest nesting material! (AH)

Lesser Black-backed Gull (above) & Jackdaw gathering nesting material in Sidlesham (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - The only birds of note were the hirundines over the sewage works, numbering several hundred, of which most were Swallows, with a reasonable number of House Martins but just a few Sand Martins. (AH)

Swallows & House Martins at Sidlesham SF (AH)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

26th - 28th April 2015

Tuesday, 28th April: Another bright, dry, clear and sunny start with a cool NW wind, which is set to become more W later....

Selsey Bill (0730-1130hrs): Unsurprisingly the Bill was very quiet - just a couple of Brent Geese east, and a few Little, Sandwich and Common Terns west, though a Yellow Wagtail, a Linnet and a Willow Warbler all came in off the sea. Looking at the photos (see below), I am sure a couple of Arctic Terns were among those going west (C&ME/DF/GH/AH). Log...
Gannet - 5W
Brent Goose - 12E
Common Scoter - 17E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Whimbrel - 1W
Little Tern - c10W
Common Tern - c10W
Arctic Tern - 2W
Sandwich Tern - c20W
Swallow - 5N
Additional: 17.50 - 19.00hrs (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Gannet - 6E, 10W

Common Scoter - 2E
Razorbill - 1E
Auk sp - 1W
Little Tern - 11os
Common Tern - 12os
Commic Tern - 9os
Sandwich Tern - 14os

 Arctic Tern (above), Common Tern, Little Tern & Sandwich Tern west past the Bill (AH)

MedmerryBreach - All the terns were offshore, including c20 Little Terns, and there were no waders either on the pools. Two Corn Buntings have taken up residence either side of the path to the viewpoint, and were competing in stereo this morning. Also, a Willow Warbler was on the fence by the viewpoint. (AH)

Corn Bunting (above) & Willow Warbler at Medmerry (AH)

West Beach: Four Wheatears were around the Go-Kart track, but there was not much else to be seen. (AH)

Wheatears at Medmerry (AH)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: Unusual for this time of year, a Kingfisher flew across the road and shot off down the rife beside the Ferry early this morning. A Common Sandpiper was on the pool, with another in the channel, plus c65 Black-tailed Godwits and six Gadwall, and a Wheatear was at the very back.
The Nightingale was singing sporadically along the cycle path and there were probably three different Lesser Whitethroats along the hedge. (AH)
Late this afternoon a Greenshank was in Ferry Channel, along with two Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper. (AB)

Black-tailed Godwits over the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A female Redstart was behind the hide, though the local Robins kept chasing it off, a Cuckoo was along the beach, and two or three Willow Warblers were along the sheltered hedges. There were four Bar-tailed Godwits and around a dozen Whimbrel in the harbour. (AH/DF et al)

Redstart (above), Whimbrel & Bar-tailed Godwit at Church Norton (AH)

This evening a Spoonbill was roosting in the harbour, there were at least 20 Whimbrel about, and c300 Dunlin and c30 Ringed Plovers were on the mud, along with five Bar-tailed Godwits.
A pair of Grey Partridges were on the roadside in Rectory Lane (eating grit, I imagine) for about ten minutes before melting back into the hedgerow. (AH)

Snoozing Spoonbill (above), Whimbrel & Grey Partridges at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester GPs: There were twenty Common Terns on Ivy Lake this lunch time with a Hobby hawking over the back (my camera was more interested in the bush in front so no proper shots I'm afraid!) Also 30+  House and Sand Martins, but no Swifts (RHa).
Common Tern and Hobby at Chi GPs - the latter is just about viewable at the tip of the branch if you look hard! (RHa)  (Hope you don't mind me including this shot - glad to know I'm not the only one who has this problem! OM)

North Wall: A Whitethroat day; not one recorded yesterday but 12 today, all around my circuit. No other new arrivals noted and apart from Swans there were no birds on White's Creek. Teal, Tufted and Mallard on the Breech Pool and only 1 Little Ringed Plover and Common Snipe seen. There were Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers in good voice along the Wall despite an early chilly northerly wind and 4 Whimbrel on the mud in front of Owl Water. Stock Doves still calling in Owl Copse and there were 3 Jays there this morning. (JDW)

Monday, 27th April: A very cold, bright and windy start gave way to a pleasant morning before the cloud began to build. The editors are aware that we may have appeared a little negative on occasions with some of our reports this spring - and indeed we have received some feedback to this effect, which is probably justified. However, whilst (over) optimism is perhaps not our strong suit, it was hard indeed to try and put a positive spin on today's sea-watching effort, which was slow to put it mildly, especially for the last week in April!

Selsey Bill 0715-1010hrs: Sunny, clear, NNE3-4 Very quiet - a distant Bonxie landing on the sea, ten Little Terns going east, plus a Wheatear in off the sea and a Jay in the gardens were about it....  (OM/TR/SR)
Gannet - 22E, 2W
Fulmar - 2W
Common Scoter - 11E
Whimbrel - 8E, 2W
Oystercatcher - 5E, 5W
Auk sp - 1E
Great Skua - 1 os
Little Tern - 10E, 4os
Common Tern - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 12E
Wheatear - 1N
Blackcap - 1 gardens
Jay - 1 gardens
Swallow - 7N 
Additional 17.45-19.00hrs (SH)
Gannet - 5E, 14W
Common Scoter - 1E
Auk sp - 3E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Kittiwake - 1W
Little Tern - 10 os feeding
Common Tern - 14 os
Sandwich Tern - 22 os

Medmerry: Breach - There were still at least 40 Little Terns in the Breach area, with 23 on the pools and 15-20 offshore, whilst around 20 (presumably of these) appeared later off the beach by the windmill.
There were at least five Willow Warblers by the Breach, including one sheltering behind a brick on the beach, one on the rocks and another on the fence, a Wheatear was also on the beach, a Sedge Warbler was in the reeds by the sluice, and there were two singing Corn Buntings. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Willow Warblers, Wheatear & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

West Beach - The/a Whinchat was around the fences and bare ground again this morning, as was the presumed 'Greenland' Wheatear, along with at least half a dozen other Wheatears and another Willow Warbler right on the edge of the beach. Also the Little Terns were offshore (see above), along with a few Common and Sandwich Terns. (AH/GH)

Chainbridge Field:  A Corn Bunting was singing along the bank, 3 Swallows went over, a Meadow Pipit was displaying, a Skylark singing, plus 2 Sedge Warblers, 11 Whitethroats, 2 Linnets, 1 Cetti's Warbler,  a Kestrel and  Buzzard (SR).

Little Tern (above) & Greenland Wheatear at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: A Garden Warbler was singing (and very briefly showed) on the hedges near the concrete wall, and a solitary Wheatear was on the beach, but otherwise just the now settled and regular warblers on show. There were 12+ Whimbrel in the harbour, along with at least 300 Dunlin in one big flock; also a small flock of 3 Jays. 
Also a Small Copper butterfly was near the Second Several. (AH/OM/TR)

Sedge Warbler (top OM), Dunlin & Small Copper at Church Norton (AH)

This evening the Cuckoo was calling and showing in the trees at the bottom of the path to the harbour, there were four Bar-tailed Godwits and a couple of Common Terns in the harbour, along with similar of Dunlin and Whimbrel to earlier, and two Sandwich Terns went west offshore. (AH/RHa)

Cuckoo (above), Sandwich Tern & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: A Spotted Redshank was on the Ferry both early and late morning, and also on the pool were six Avocet and c40 Black-tailed Godwits. Late morning the other Spotted Redshank was along the channel, along with two Common Sandpipers, and a Lesser Whitethroat was in the hedges at the start of the Long Pool. (AH/OM)
Nearby, the Nightingale was again in full song this morning on the cyclepath/Tramway (SR).
Spotted Redshank (above) & Common Sandpiper in Ferry Channel (AH)


Fishbourne Creek: My visit co-incided with dead low tide so most waders were in the centre of the channel; however there were 7 Greenshank, 5 Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit amongst the Redshank, plus a pair of Wigeon and 2 Brent Geese. At least 15 Yellowhammers were still around the dung heap at the stables. (OM)
Chichester GP's - Ivy Lake complex: This afternoon at least 15 Common Terns were present (couldn't convince myself there were any Arctics there) and c.100 hirundines. The latter were mainly high up and seemed to consist largely of House Martins; I estimated c.70 House and 20 Sand Martins, around 6 Swifts and just a handful of Swallows. Several pairs of Great Crested Grebe and c.30 Tufted Duck were also logged, whilst a couple of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs and a single Cetti's Warbler were about the best from the hedgerows. (OM).
Early evening it was all change, with 2-300 hirundines hawking low over the water, equally split between Swallows and Sand Martins (but no House Martins at all), plus c20 Swifts up high, and a pair of Black Swans had appeared. (AH)

Great Crested Grebe at Ivy Lake (OM)

Sand Martin & Swallow (above) & Black Swans at Ivy Lake (AH)

Sunday, 26th April: Overcast and cool with rain at first, becoming drier by mid-morning, but with a fresh NNE wind 3-4. Unfortunately, it appears that northerly-based winds may persist for some days ahead, before turning more westerly... never a direction to inspire sea-watchers at south coast headlands!

Selsey Bill (05.30 to 10.15hrs):  Showers, cloud, wind NNE4 (Obs: SH/JA/PB/IP/SR/BI)
Great Northern Diver - 4 os

Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 106E, 41W
Fulmar - 5E, 14W
Little Egret - 2E
Shag - 2 os
Shelduck - 2 p
Common Scoter - 84E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Whimbrel - 15E
Curlew - 1E
Hobby - 2N
Razorbill - 1E, 1W
Auk sp - 3E, 5W
Little Tern - 2E (+ 9 seen coming in E and returning W)
Commic Tern - 24E, 19 os
Sandwich Tern - 12E
Little Gull - 2E
Arctic Skua - 1E (l/p)
Swift - 1N
Swallow - 52N
Sand Martin - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 12N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1N
Whitethroat - 1N
Willow/Chiff - 2N
Sedge Warbler -1 gardens
Linnet - 1N

Sandwich Tern (above) & Shelduck at the Bill (AH)

(1630-1830hrs) (SH/J & P Wilder)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Gannet - 22E, 7W

Fulmar - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Whimbrel - 25E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 7E
Turnstone - 6E
Great Skua - 1E, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 8os

Common Tern - 4E, 9os
Little Tern  - 1W, 18os
auk sp - 2W
Swallow - 3N

Northcommon Farm area: This morning there were one female Wheatear, one female Redstart, two Red-Legged Partridges and two Green Woodpeckers. (BI)

Redstart at Northcommon Farm (BI)

Ferry Pool area: The Nightingale was singing early this morning along the track to the Tramway, and a Lesser Whitethroat briefly showed nearby. The Blackcap that has taken up residence in the Visitor Centre car-park was sitting out and singing all morning.
On the Pool there was a Spotted Redshank early on, and later on there was a Common Sandpiper, seven Avocets and c40 Black-tailed Godwits around the pool, plus half a dozen each of Shoveler and Gadwall, whilst there were 30+ Stock Doves on the cropped fields beyond. There were also another two Common Sandpipers in Ferry Channel. (AH et al)

Common Sandpiper in Ferry Channel (above) & Blackcap in Visitor Centre car-park (AH)

North Wall: First thing there were 18 Mute Swans on White's Creek along with a single Spotted Redshank, nearly into full breeding plumage. 
The Water Pipit again made a very brief appearance at Breech Pool; as on previous occasions it comes out of the reed for a very few seconds and then disappears from whence it came. Also on there were a dozen Teal, two Tufted Ducks and a few male Mallard, but the only wader present was a single Little Ringed Plover. Later I encountered two Little Ringed Plovers sitting on the plastic surround of Honer Reservoir. Along the Wall Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers were in good voice though not showing very well, but apart from Chiffchaff no other migrants were recorded on my circuit apart from a steady northwards flow of Swallows. (JDW) 

Spotted Redshank (above) & Sedge Warbler from North Wall (JDW)

Church Norton: Three Whinchat were in the horse field this morning, though there weren't many other obvious migrants beyond Sedge and Reed Warblers in the Severals and a scattering of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Whitethroats. 
A Bar-tailed Godwit was on the beach, and there were a few Whimbrel in the harbour, along with 30 or so Dunlin and Ringed Plover. (AH/BI et al)
Also a Painted Lady butterfly was in the car park. (PLS)

Whinchat (AH) (above) & Bar-tailed Godwit (BI) at Church Norton

Medmerry: This morning between Chainbridge Field and the Breach there was a Whinchat and three Wheatears, and 22 Little Terns and 120 Dunlin on the pools. 
Late this afternoon there were around 40 Little Terns near the Breach, with another nine or ten offshore. (SH reported 18 off the Bill heading west and this co-incided with a group of similar numbers arriving, with half going into roost and half remaining offshore.)
Also plenty of Sand Martins were going north over the reserve this afternoon and a Corn Bunting was singing along the bank by the Chainbridge. (PH/AH)

Little Terns (above) & Corn Bunting at Medmerry (AH)