Saturday, 23 January 2021

23rd - 25th January 2021

Monday, 25th January: A cold, bright morning, after a sharp frost, with a moderate north-westerly breeze ....

Selsey Bill: Everything was a long way out again this morning, but there were still eight Red-throated Divers and 400 auks moving west and a flock of 80 or so Gannets feeding well offshore, whilst seven Sandwich Terns were also about.

Sandwich Terns (above), Mediterranean Gull & Common Gull at the Bill


Ferry Pool: There were at least a dozen Snipe in the reeds, c20 Black-tailed Godwits roosting along the edges and probably 1000 Lapwings on the field this morning, with wildfowl represented by four Gadwall, six Shelducks, c75 Teal and Shoveler and at least 200 Wigeon.

Snipe (above) & Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings, Shoveler and Wigeon on the Ferry

North Wall: At Shipverling Barn there were a pair of Stock Doves, a pair of Grey Wagtails and a single Pied Wagtail, whilst In the field north-west of the barn were three Foxes, of whom were mating, several times. 
In the flooded field due west of the barn were 60 Lapwing, nine Dunlin, a Redshank and a Grey Heron, but the highlight this morning was three Marsh Harriers in the air together over the reeds due west of Church Barton reservoir, two females and a male. I have previously seen two males, but never two females. 
It was very quiet along the Wall, but was surprised to see a Buzzard sitting on a footpath sign.

Buzzard (above) & Fox around the North Wall

Later on, there were a Stonechat, a Grey Wagtail and five Song Thrushes around the dung heap in the horse paddocks, whilst in the harbour there were plenty of Curlews, Redshanks, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwits and Grey and Golden Plovers.
Also, two Buzzards were displaying overhead and a Kestrel showed well.

Song Thrush (above), Buzzard & Kestrel at the North Wall


Pagham Lagoon & Spit: On the Lagoon there were five Pochard (of which four were drakes), but otherwise there was nothing out of the ordinary, with 16 Tufted Ducks, a dozen Little Grebes and a Great Crested Grebe, plus just a few Mediterranean and Common Gulls.
Along the Spit a Kingfisher was fishing on the little (now breached!) lagoon, whilst two Goldeneye were in the harbour channel. As the tide receded the regular wildfowl and waders began to show from their roosting locations, including at least 200 Knot, whilst further towards White's Creek a flock of 200+ Golden Plover were on the mudflats.

East Head: The Snow Bunting was again present, though elusive, this morning.

North Mundham to Fisher crossroads: There were 17 Redwings seen morning, along with three Mistle Thrushes, four Song Thrushes and two Meadow Pipits.

Fishbourne Creek: It was fairly quiet here on the high tide, though three Goldeneye (one drake), a pair of  Red-breasted Mergansers, a pair of Pintail and 200 Wigeon were on the water, with several hundred Brent Geese coming and going.
Two or three Greenshanks and Spotted Redshanks were among the masses of roosting waders, which also included a single Snipe,100+ Black-tailed Godwits and 500 Lapwing, but passerines were few, beyond half a dozen Rock Pipits.

Rock Pipit (above), Goldeneye, Spotted Redshank, Wigeon & Brent Geese at Fishbourne Creek




Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The Barn Owl popped out this afternoon for about five minutes, caught a vole and retreated. Also, the family of five White-fronted Geese were again present, and seemed to have adopted a Brent Goose!.


Barn Owl (above), White-fronted Geese, White-fronted Goose and Brent Goose & the view over the Stilt Pool at Medmerry






Sunday, 24th January: A lot of weather this morning, with a strong southerly early on pushing through belts of sleety drizzle and some heavier rain, followed by a brief period of still, before the wind reverted to a fresh north-westerly, leaving a cold bright day ....

Selsey Bill: The highlight this morning was undoubtedly the Sooty Shearwater that went west just a few hundred yards offshore at 8.20am.
There was a lot of other westward movement, too, in a busy morning, including 536 Gannets, 1023 Razorbills, 18 Guillemots, two Fulmars, 189 Kittiwakes and seven Red-throated Divers.


Sooty Shearwater (above), Kittiwake, Fulmar, Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Guillemot and Razorbills & Razorbills at the Bill







Ferry Pool: There were at least 300 Wigeon and 800 Lapwings around the field and pool this morning, along with c60 Shovelers and c100 Teal, with a handful of Snipe in the reeds and the Kingfisher briefly in the channel opposite.

Kingfisher (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry

East Head: The Snow Bunting was again present at the north end of the head this morning.

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey Wagtail, a pair of Pied Wagtails, a Green Woodpecker and lots of Meadow Pipits were around the fields this morning, along with two Brent Geese.

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt pools - A Barn Owl was in the flint barn area this afternoon and the family of five White-fronted Geese were still present, too.

North Wall: Two Marsh Harriers were over the reed beds this afternoon and two Snipe flew south over the Wall into the harbour. Five Song Thrushes and a Stonechat were present at the horse paddocks, a Kingfisher flew across the Breech Pool and a party of Long-tailed Tits briefly raised hopes of Bearded Tits in the reeds by the Breech Pool.
Also, 1500 Brent Geese flew south over the wall and across the harbour. 

Church Norton: The Merlin had a run-in with one of the two Peregrines that were about, but there was not much unusual to be found in the harbour, where 300+ Knot and large numbers of Dunlin and Grey Plovers were on the mud along with just a handful of Brent Geese and 50+ Teal and Wigeon.
Offshore was quiet, too, with just three Great Crested Grebes and a few Common and Mediterranean Gulls present, whilst the only other birds of note were a Snipe by the horse field and a Stonechat at Greenlease Farm.


Merlin (above), Dunlin & Wigeon at Church Norton


Birdham: A pair of Firecrests were showing well and displaying in the garden this afternoon.

Firecrests in a Birdham garden







Saturday, 23rd January: After a grey start, a fine and bright, if cold, morning, with just a light northerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A Long-tailed Duck that flew in from the west and dropped on the sea a fair way out was the highlight, whilst otherwise 14 Red-throated Divers,145 Gannets, 82 Razorbills and over 500 auks went west. Later on, another 17 Red-throated Divers went west, too.

Red-throated Diver (above), Gannets, Red-breasted Mergansers & Great Crested Grebe at the Bill



Ferry Pool: Five Gadwall were among c200 Wigeon and 50+ Teal and Shovelers on the pool, whilst ten Snipe were at the front, 500 Lapwings were on the field and the Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite.

Spotted Redshank (above), Teal & Gadwall and Shovelers around the Ferry


Park Farm, Selsey: The fields held a Grey Wagtail, a Stonechat, 30 Meadow Pipits, two Green Woodpecker and two Brent Geese, with a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel over.

Church Norton: There were two Dartford Warblers, a Cetti's Warbler, two Stonechats and two Goldcrests along the front, with six Snipe in the creek by the horse field, whilst offshore there were a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, ten Common Scoters, six Slavonian Grebes, six Red-breasted Mergansers, with another three Red-throated Diver going west. 
Lots of the usual waders and wildfowl in the harbour, including at least 30 Pintail and 36 Avocets in the main channel, a hundred Golden Plover on the mud and four Red-breasted Mergansers near the harbour mouth, with the two Peregrines on their island and a Kingfisher seen, too.


Dartford Warblers (above) & Goldcrest at Church Norton

North Wall: Two Goldeneye were in White's Creek this morning.

North Mundham to Fisher crossroads: This morning there were three Egyptian Geese, six Redwings, two Mistle Thrushes and four Song Thrushes seen along my route.

Hunston Copse: A Tree-creeper was briefly seen and heard, but little else was about, save ten or so Goldcrests, whilst the adjacent stubble fields held 100+ Meadow Pipits.

Goldcrest (above) & Meadow Pipit at Hunston Copse

Drayton Pits: A Lesser Redpoll that was briefly in the birches was a surprise, whilst otherwise there were four Egyptian Geese, c30 Shovelers and an impressive count of 165 Pochard.

Lesser Redpoll (above), Egyptian Geese, Pochard & Shovelers at Drayton Pit




Medmerry: Porthole Farm - Late this afternoon there were c50 Fieldfares in the maize stubble fields, whilst at least six Corn Buntings and 20 Yellowhammers were along the hedges. 

Corn Bunting (above) & Fieldfare at Medmerry