SELSEY BILL

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

Selsey is one of the most im­por­tant sea­watch­ing sites on the south coast, and is also at­trac­tive to passer­ine mi­grants in spring and au­tumn. The area has large veg­e­tated gar­dens and a small play­ing field, at­trac­tive to mi­grants, and the shin­gle beach to the west is bounded by grass­land. In win­ter, Red-throated Diver, Great Crested and Slavo­nian Grebes, Red-breasted Mer­ganser, Eider and auks are reg­u­lar off­shore. Win­ter­ing Great North­ern Divers stay un­til early May. Black Red­starts can be found feed­ing among the break­wa­ters. Win­ter­ing Mediter­ranean Gull is very com­mon and Glau­cous Gull oc­ca­sional. Freez­ing weather may stim­u­late a west­erly pas­sage of Lap­wing, Golden Plover, Sky Lark and thrushes. In spring, large num­bers of Com­mon Scoter mi­grate east, the ma­jor­ity in late April, with Vel­vet Scoter much less fre­quent. Other reg­u­lars with peak num­bers in spring are divers, Eider, Red-breasted Mer­ganser, Bar-tailed God­wit, terns and auks. A few Po­ma­rine Skuas show an­nu­ally in early May, while Arc­tic Skua is not un­com­mon in spring and au­tumn. Wheatears ar­rive in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers dur­ing March, with a steady move­ment of other mi­grants pass­ing through. Manx Shear­wa­ter sight­ings are more likely in May and June. Au­tumn wit­nesses reg­u­lar ar­rivals of passer­ines. War­blers, Redstart and Pied Fly­catcher fre­quent the scrub, while Whin­chat and Wheatear pre­fer the fields to the west. Easter­lies might pro­duce some­thing un­usual, with Red-backed Shrike, Wry­neck and Tawny Pipit pos­si­ble. In Oc­to­ber/novem­ber, the bushes may har­bour Firecrest and per­haps Ring Ouzel. Strong south-west­erly winds may pro­duce Sooty Shear­wa­ter. Arc­tic, Po­ma­rine and Great Skuas are also fre­quent in au­tumn.

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