Saturday, 4 February 2023

4th - 6th February 2023

Monday, 6th February: Another chilly start, after a light frost, but warming up in the light easterly breeze and unbroken sunshine..... 

Selsey Bill: A flock of a dozen Eider dropped in on the sea this morning, as did the Velvet Scoter, but not much was on the move. Full log below. (P&LH/AH/MO-W/SR/IP)
(0725-0855hrs) (ENE, F3-4)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 12W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1os
Gannet - 3E
Shelduck - 4W
Eider - 12os
Velvet Scoter - 1os
Common Scoter - 1E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 10W, 7os
Turnstone - 3
Mediterranean Gull - 
Sandwich Tern - 4os
auk sp - 6W

Ferry Pool: The Green Sandpiper was again in the roadside pool, along with a Redshank, whilst there were two Snipe and nine Avocets on the main pool, along with c60 Shovelers and c150 Teal, with c200 Wigeon mostly on the field, together with a Common Gull. (AH)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - The Purple Sandpiper was again near the breach this morning, along with four Knot, c50 Grey Plovers, 200 Dunlin, a Curlew, eight Turnstones and 600 Lapwings.
The pair of Black Redstarts were also still present on the old crazy golf course by the Windmill, along with a Stonechat, with five Skylarks and a couple of Meadow Pipits nearby. (P&LH/EB)

North Wall: Both the male and the female Marsh Harriers were over the reeds this morning, and two Fieldfares, a Song Thrush, a Kestrel, three Greenfinches and a few Long-tailed Tits were in the nearby trees.
The lone Brent Goose was still in the paddock and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming nearby, whilst there were still huge numbers of birds out in the harbour, predominately Lapwing, but plenty of all the other regular species too, and a pair of Tufted Ducks were on the Breech Pool. (LP)

Church Norton: There were at least seven Slavonian Grebes offshore this morning, along with a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, two Great Crested Grebes and a Red-breasted Merganser, whilst two female Goldeneye were in the harbour, on the far side and half a dozen Skylarks were along the spit.
The harbour was full of birds again, with at least 2000 Lapwings taking to the air on several occasions, whilst at least 300 Knot, 50 Ringed Plovers, 100 Grey Plovers and 500 Dunlin were on the mud, c30 Avocets and 500 Golden Plovers were along the west side and two Little Grebes and c60 Pintail were among the many Wigeon and Teal. (AH et al)





Sunday, 5th February: A fairly cold, but bright and sunny morning in a light to moderate north-easterly breeze..........

Selsey Bill: Over 30 Red-throated Divers went west and the Velvet Scoter dropped in on the sea again, but it was generally quite quiet this morning. Full log later. (SH/BI/PB/MRB/PM/SR/AH/IP)
(0710-0910hrs) (NNE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 39W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 3E, 12W
Teal - 2W
Velvet Scoter - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 19W, 5os
Oystercatcher - 1
Turnstone - 4
Kittiwake - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 4os
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 3E, 138W

Red-throated Divers (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Green Sandpiper was in the roadside pool again this morning and the Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite, along with a Brent Goose, looking a bit sorry for itself, whilst two Goldcrests were in the adjacent hedges.
The pool was full of ducks, including c200 Wigeon and Teal, c80 Shovelers, a drake Gadwall, c20 Mallards and ten Shelducks, and there were also two Avocets, a Black-tailed Godwit and two Redshank present. (AH/PB/MRB/PM/NM)

Avocet and Wigeon (above) & Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Shovelers and Mallards at the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - The Purple Sandpiper was again among the waders near the breach this morning, and the pair of Black Redstarts were again around the tyres on the old crazy golf course by the Windmill. (S&SaH/IP)

Park Farm, Selsey: Three Pied Wagtails were feeding in the fields, along with a flock of 21 Oystercatchers, whilst two female Sparrowhawks cruised over the trees and two Buzzards were seen riding the thermals. There were also two Long-tailed Tits in the lane. (IP)

Church Norton: The pair of Long-tailed Ducks were offshore again this morning, along with at least even Red-throated Divers, whilst a female Goldeneye was in the harbour, together with plenty of Pintail, Wigeon and Teal. 
Also, a Black-tailed Godwit and c100 Knot were among the Dunlin and Grey Plovers on the metalwork and a Bar-tailed Godwit was on Tern Island, whilst 30 Avocets and huge numbers of Lapwings and Golden Plovers were further down the harbour.
Four Ravens were around together before two went east and two went west, but the only other passerines noted were a Cetti's Warbler, a Goldcrest and two Long-tailed Tits in the Severals area. (IP/NM/PB/MRB/PM)

Runcton. Not much around the village this morning, just a pair of Egyptian Geese over, a Buzzard and the local Herring Gulls, getting ready to breed, but nice to hear a Skylark singing. (CRJ)

Herring Gulls at Runcton (CRJ)

North Wall: A Raven was around almost continuously this morning, but a single Marsh Harrier only popped up briefly, along with a Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel, whilst the paddocks held a lone Brent Goose, a Grey Wagtail, six Pied Wagtails and a Jay.
Also, a Kingfisher was by the sluice, a Snipe dropped into the grass by the rife, five Grey Herons were in the fields behind the Breech Pool and a Skylark and a Meadow Pipit were at Halsey's Farm.
The harbour was spectacular on the rising tide, with a pheromonal number of birds moving around, including -  very roughly! - 3000 Lapwings, 1000 Golden Plovers, 400 Black-tailed Godwits, 300 Knot, 100 Grey Plovers, 800 Dunlin, 50 Curlews,1500 Brent Geese, 80 Pintail, 50 Teal and 300 Wigeon. (AH/LP/CT)


Raven (above), Marsh Harrier, Golden Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, Knot and Grey Plovers (AH), Black-tailed Godwits and Curlew, Brent Goose, Grey Herons, Skylark & Buzzard (LP) at the North Wall















Saturday, 4th February: The north-westerly breeze had eased, but it was still a fairly cool and very overcast morning.....

Selsey Bill: There wasn't much on the move, though six Great Northern Divers were offshore this morning. Full log below:  (SH/PB/BI/AH/SR/IP)
(0720-0900hrs) (WSW, F2)
Red-throated Diver - 7W
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Gannet - 2W
Shag - 1os
Brent Goose - 2E, 5W
Shelduck - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 19W, 9os
Turnstone - 7
Oystercatcher - 2
Sandwich Tern - 2os
auk sp. - 6W
Razorbill - 1os
Fox - 2

(1350-1520hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 54W
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W, 1os
Gannet - 5E, 11W, 1os
Shelduck - 7W
Common Scoter - 3E, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 11os
auk sp. - 3E

Great Northern Diver (above), Sandwich Tern & Red-breasted Mergansers at the Bill (AH)


Ferry Pool: Two Snipe were in the roadside reeds for the first time since before Christmas, but the Green Sandpiper wasn't around, with, otherwise, four Avocets, a Redshank, c75 Shoveler, c150 Teal, c30 Mallards and six Shelducks on the pool and c125 Wigeon and a dozen Rooks on the fields. (AH)

Snipe (above), Teal & Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)


Church Norton: The harbour was again full of the usual birds, including a flock of 30 Avocets along the west side, at least 14 Red-breasted Mergansers in small groups and a lone female Goldeneye near the harbour mouth, but there was only one Knot amongst the numerous Grey Plover and Dunlin flocks, whilst, once more, there were very large numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover present.
Two Great Crested Grebes were the only birds seen offshore, whilst on land, a Raven flew over Priory Wood, heading west, two Cetti's Warblers, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a squealing Water Rail were around the first Several, a Goldcrest was in Bluebell Wood and two Fieldfares flew out from the nearby pines. (IP)

This evening a single Marsh Harrier came in to roost at the Severals, with a Dartford Warbler and a calling water Rail nearby, too. (S&SaH)

Pagham Spit: The Snow Bunting was still present on the spit this afternoon, four Goldeneye were in the main channel and a Kingfisher was on the metalwork. (TG)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The banks were busy this morning, with it less breezy, with four Dartford Warblers, five Stonechat, 16 Yellowhammers, 13 Reed Buntings, a Redwing and seven Song Thrushes all noted.
Also, a Raven went over, with two Marsh Harriers, a Buzzard and two Kestrels also seen, whilst two Avocets and c300 Lapwings were on the reserve, a Greenshank, four Snipe, two Dunlin and six Ringed Plovers were on the Stilt Pool and c300 Brent Geese were on the arable fields. (SH/PB)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - A Purple Sandpiper was among the roosting waders - including c100 Ringed Plovers, c80 Grey Plovers, six Knot, c400 Dunlin and at least 1000 Lapwings - near the breach his morning, along with c40 Brent Geese, c100 Teal and two Red-breasted Mergansers, with at least ten more of the latter offshore.
There were three Black Redstarts around the old crazy golf course by the Windmill - what appeared to be a pair moving around together and another male, but a female Stonechat there was just about the only other bird seen. (AH/BI)

Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin and Ringed Plover (above), Black Redstarts, Stonechat, Red-breasted Merganser, Grey Plovers, Dunlin and Grey Plovers (AH), Purple Sandpiper and Dunlin & Black Redstart (BI) at Medmerry 









Hunston: Three Cattle Egrets were with the cattle opposite the stables at noon. (BI)

Fishbourne Creek:  A Kingfisher was around the outfall and creek this morning, a Grey Wagtail flew over and at least six Goldeneye were spread between here and Dell Quay but otherwise it was the usual mix of the regular wildfowl species. Oddly, there were no pipits of any type noted. (BI)

Kingfisher at Fishbourne Creek (BI)









Wednesday, 1 February 2023

1st - 3rd February 2023

Friday, 3rd February: A mostly overcast and cool morning, with the westerly breeze freshening during the day......

Selsey Bill: A very quiet morning, with just small numbers of the regular species about. Full log below. (BI/AH/SR)
(0740-0855hrs) (W, F4-5)
Red-throated Diver - 3W
Gannet - 1W
Brent Goose - 2W
Common Scoter - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 2os
Oystercatcher - 1E
Turnstone - 6
auk sp - 1E, 5W

Red-throated Diver at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Green Sandpiper was missing early on, but back on the concealed pool later, whilst four Avocets and a Redshank were around the main pool, along with c75 Shovelers, c150 Teal and six Shelducks.
Also, the Spotted Redshank and six Redshanks were in the channel opposite, before the tide rose too high. (AH/BI)


Green Sandpiper (above), Spotted Redshank & Avocets at the Ferry (AH)


Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: It was quiet around the fields this morning, with just one Cattle Egret seen, and with the flooded fields towards Bramber Farm empty of birds, too, though c50 Curlews flew over from the fields by Chalder Farm, and at least 1000 Starlings were around the dairy unit, along with a few Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and Chaffinches.
The Firecrest was present again by the rear gate to the churchyard, along with a Chiffchaff, but six Jays were all that could be found in the churchyard and three Stonechats and four Stock Doves were the only birds along Church Farm Lane. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Jay, Stock Dove, Curlews & Starlings around Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)




North Wall: There were plenty of the usual wildfowl and waders in the harbour around high tide, with a pair of Shovelers being the only unusual addition.
A Rock Pipit was along the wall and a Marsh Harrier was up briefly over the reeds but, apart from a few Long-tailed Tits down the lane, that was about it. (LP)

Rock Pipit (above) & Shovelers at the North Wall (LP)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A pair of Egyptian Geese were in the fields along Easton Lane late this afternoon, whilst a Marsh Harrier was over the reserve and c1000 Brent Geese were in the arable fields towards Earnley.
Also, a Dartford Warbler was along the banks, together with six Yellowhammers and five Stonechats. (SH/AH)

Egyptian Geese at Medmerry (AH)








Thursday, 2nd February: Another fairly mixed and cool morning, with the breeze still brisk and from the west......

Selsey Bill: A flock of c40 Lapwings appeared to be lingering distantly offshore before heading slowly west, and two Gadwall went west, but otherwise it was a quiet morning. Full log below. (SR/AH/MO-W)
(0745-0900hrs) (WSW, F4-5)
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E, 1os
Brent Goose - 4W
Gadwall - 2W
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 3W, 3os
Oystercatcher - 1E
Lapwing - 40W
Turnstone - 6E, 2W
Razorbill - 1os
auk sp - 17E, 36W

Common Scoter at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper was on the small, concealed roadside pool, now that the water level has begun to drop, though, otherwise, it was just the usual mix of c60 Shovelers, c150 Teal, c20 Mallards and eight Shelducks, mostly around the banks. (AH)

The Spotted Redshank was also in the channel opposite this morning (GSh), whilst later on, the Green Sandpiper was still present and four Avocets were on the pool (RP).

Green Sandpiper at the Ferry (AH)

Earnley: A male Bullfinch was in hedges along Almodington Lane this morning. (SH)

Fishbourne Creek: This morning off the Lavant Outfall there were seven Goldeneye, including three males, two Pintail, two Great Crested Grebes and a Spotted Redshank, whilst roosting on the saltmarsh there were 100+ Black-tailed Godwits. (RW)

Spotted Redshank at Fishbourne Creek (RW)

Pagham Spit and Lagoon: A Short-eared Owl was on the new tern island before being chased off by a Peregrine and heading over the Church Norton Spit.
The Snow Bunting was still around, but more mobile than usual, and a Kingfisher shot through over the spit. There was a large number of Brent Geese spread throughout the harbour and plenty of Turnstones, Oystercatchers and Ringed Plovers along the banks.
A Common Seal was out on the saltmarsh and four Red Breasted Mergansers were on the water, with two more in the new lagoon.
The main body of the Lagoon held just a few Little Grebes, but down by the boardwalk there were a Goldeneye, four Tufted Ducks, two Mute Swans, 18 Coots and 12 Mallards together, with a few more Little Grebes. (LP/TG)

The Snow Bunting was still present later on, when a Slavonian Grebe was in the nearby channel. (CS)

Short-eared Owl (above), Short-eared Owl and Peregrine, Snow Bunting, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser & Shelducks and Common Seal at Pagham Spit (LP)





Church Norton: A single Egyptian Goose circled several times before finally dropping in near the old harbour mouth, whilst a Pale-bellied Brent Goose was among the c1500 Dark-bellied Brent Geese present and two female Goldeneyes were near Tern Island.
At least 400 Black-tailed Godwits, 1000 Golden Plovers and 2000 Lapwings were put up by a Marsh Harrier on the far side of the harbour, with another of the latter flying over Priory Wood, and there were also at least 40 Avocets among the large numbers of regular species on the rising tide.
Two Linnets and a dozen Skylarks were around the start of the spit, but it was quiet offshore, with just a Great Northern Diver, a Slavonian Grebe and a Great Crested Grebe on the sea, all a long way out. (AH)

Egyptian Goose (above), Pale-bellied Brent Goose and Brent Geese, Goldeneye and Brent Geese, Brent Goose, Marsh Harrier and Lapwings, Knot and Grey Plovers, Skylark & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)







Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The banks were quiet in the brisk breeze, with just a couple of Buzzards and the odd Skylark to be seen. The highlight of the Stilt Pool was three sheltering Snipe and a Stonechat, which was the one bird to sit up. (GSh)

Snipe (above) & Stonechat at Medmerry (GSh)







Wednesday, 1st February: A fairly cool morning of sunshine and cloud, in a fresh westerly breeze......

Selsey Bill: A Slavonian Grebe and a Sanderling west were the only things this morning, other than the usual species, including 13 Red-throated Divers and 163 auks going east, all a long way out to sea. Full log below.(SR/AH)
(0750-0905hrs) (WNW, F4-5)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 13E, 4W
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E
Brent Goose - 2W
Wigeon - 3W
Common Scoter - 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 14W, 3os
Sanderling - 1W
Turnstone - 5
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
auk sp - 163E

Slavonian Grebe at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: It was just the usual mix of c50 Shovelers, c100 Teal and half adozen Shelducks on the pool this morning, though the Spotted Redshank was back in the channel opposite.
Also, a Marsh Harrier was hunting over the saltmarsh south of the Tramway, putting everything in the harbour up, including at least 500 Golden Plovers and 1000 Lapwings. (AH)

Later on, there were two Spotted Redshanks in the channel, with a Peregrine and a couple of Snipe also seen in the viciniy, whilst the Water Rail was showing well again in Red Barn Ditch. (TG-P/NR)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Marsh Harrier at Ferry Channel (AH)

North Wall: A Grey Wagtail, a Stonechat, a Song Thrush and a Fieldfare were around the paddock this morning, and both Marsh Harriers and a Kestrel were further back, whilst a Rock Pipit was by the sluice, two Tufted Ducks were on the Breech Pool, 12 Goldfinches and two Greenfinches were along the wall and 30 Curlews were in the fields.
The usual Wigeon and Teal were along White’s Creek, and further out there were large numbers of Brent Geese, Lapwings, Black-tailed Godwits and Golden Plover, whilst at Halsey’s Farm there were six Cattle Egrets in the fields and a Buzzard was in one of the distant trees. (LP)

Marsh Harrier (above), Stonechat & Greenfinch at the North Wall (LP)


Church Norton: Just one Marsh Harrier came in to roost in the Severals this evening, whilst two Water Rails and a Cetti's Warbler could be heard. (S&SaH)

Donnington: A Barn Owl went over the B2201 near Southend Barns, well before dawn this morning. (IP)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake complex - There weren't very many wildfowl about this morning, with totals spread across the various pits including c30 Pochard, c50 Tufted Ducks, c20 Shovelers, c10 Gadwall, two Greylag Geese and c50 Canada Geese, plus a handful of Little and Great Crested Grebes and c80 Coots.
At least three Chiffchaffs and half a dozen Goldcrests, plus a calling Cetti's Warbler and a Little Egret, were along the paths, but that was about it. (AH)

Chiffchaff (above), Goldcrest, Gadwall, Pochard & Shovelers at Chichester GPs (AH)




Medmerry: Coastguards to the Breach - The female-type Black Redstart was seen briefly around the former go-kart track and two Skylarks were about.
At Toe End it was good to see a native hedge being planted between the new caravans and breach viewpoint, but I couldn't find any more Black Redstarts, though it was very windy. There were plenty of waders in the inter-tidal area: 62 Ringed Plover, 75 Lapwings, 41 Dunlin, 19 Grey Plover and six Turnstones, along with 27 Brent Geese and 28 Shelducks, whilst two Stonechats and 18 Meadow Pipits were around the banks and a flock of c750 Brent Geese flew over. (SR)

Meadow Pipit (above) & Brent Geese at Medmerry (SR)