|Posted on March 22, 2012 at 8:00 PM|
Saturday was dull, grey and it even rained occasionally.
Sunday saw the return to normality; clear skies, sunshine and warmth.
We were staying at Jenny's mums so as Selsey and Pagham was close at hand I got up early and spent the morning enjoying the beautiful spring weather.
I drove firstly to Selsey Bill arriving at high-tide. I carefully scoped the sea and picked up 4 Great-northern Diver's and a small number of Red-breasted Mergansers. I was surprised that there were no Sandwich Tern's around and only small numbers of Black-headed Gulls. A light north-easterly was blowing which was not very encouraging. I had a look on the beach and in the garden of the Bill House but apart from a Goldcrest had little of note. Four Buzzrds circled over the Bill in the sunshine.
Looking west from Selsey Bill with the Isle of Wight in the distance.
Selsey Bill - beach and the Bill House.
Next I drove to Church Norton where I walked out onto the edge of Pagham Harbour. Wader and wildfowl numbers were quite low and it was generally quiet, partly because it was high-tide but also I guess because we are at that transition between wintering and summering visitors with many of the former now departed and most of the latter still en-route. I had c30 Grey Plover and small numbers of Dunlin, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover. Around 200 Brent Geese flew around on the north side. Turning my attention to the seaward side I was pleased to see 4 Sandwich Tern's roosting on an island. Summer visitors at last.
I turned my attention to the land now and walked up towards the beach alongside the bushes, meadows and trees of Church Norton House. A Chiffchaff called and then another. By the time I'd walked to the Severals -reed-fringed freshwater pools lying just behind the shingle beach- I'd had at least 6 Chiffchaff -more summer migrants.
Overhead Buzzard's began circling up in the spring sunshine, soon 7 were together over Church Norton with several more viewable distantly over the north side. Their numbers have risen quite steadily in recent years and it's a marvellous sight and in sharp contrast to just a decade ago when seeing a Buzzard was still a notable event rather than run of the mill.
The sea was flat calm and very quiet, no slavs, few RB merg's and nothing moving.
A walk around the graveyard at Church Norton revealed few birds and no migrants so I headed back to Sidelesham Ferry.
Over the Ferry Pool a few Lapwing were displaying and small numbers of Teal, Shoveler and Wigeon still present but no garganey! I strolled the circuit from the visitors centre but little had filtered this far, not even a chiff. Soon after mid-day I headed back for lunch and a family gathering.
Pagham Harbour looking towards Chichester
Looking east with the Severals on the left