Thursday, 23 January 2020

23rd - 25th January 2019

Saturday, 25th January: A hint more breeze, from the south, but it remains grey and overcast....

Selsey Bill: The first Black-thoated Diver of the year, heading west, and a couple of Shags and Sandwich Terns east were the highlights of a slow morning. Full log later. (JA/SH/BI/AH/SR/MO-W/IP)
(0730-0900hrs) (SSE, F3)
Black-throated Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 2W, 1os
Shag - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 4W
Common Gull - 1E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 2E


(1405-1435hrs): (CBC/MaC) Very quiet, the only birds of note were Mediterranean Gulls 10E and Sandwich Tern 1W.

Shag at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were five Snipe tucked in by the road again this morning, but the pool only held eight Shelduck and 20 Teal, with two Gadwall flying over into the harbour. 
Most of the wildfowl, including a handful of Shoveler and Mallard, c50 Teal and c150 Wigeon were on the flood opposite the Visitor centre. (AH)


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



Drayton House Pit: A Marsh Harrier appeared briefly, but otherwise it was quiet beyond c50 Shoveler and c100 Pochard on the water. (AH)


Marsh Harrier at Drayton Pit (AH)

Church Norton: A single Slavonian Grebe was close offshore, but the harbour was fairly quiet, though the Peregrine on its island, and three Bar-tailed Godwits and c100 Knot were among the commoner waders. (IP/RM)
Later there were two Goldeneye in the harbour and plenty of waders, with the Peregrine still present. (SH)

North Wall: This morning the horse paddocks contained the same assortment as yesterday: Kestrel, Grey Wagtail, Redwings, Song Thrush and several Blackbirds. Long-tailed Tits were present at the sluice gates but the Wall was quiet apart from a calling Cetti's Warbler, while the main body of Brent Geese were out in the harbour. 
Later, both a Barn Owl and a Marsh Harrier again appeared mid afternoon. (IH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A very quiet walk along the banks produced just a  pair of Stonechats and a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks this morning, plus a flock of c.50 Linnets on the back fields, whilst the Stilt Pool held six Gadwall, four Ringed Plovers and four Dunlin. (OM)

Chainbridge to Ham viewpoint: Raptors consisted of a Buzzard, 3 Kestrels and a Peregrine, whilst there were just 8 Brent Geese, 160+ Lapwings and a Stonechat. (S&SaH)

Chichester Canal: A look along the canal west of Donnington produced six Yellowhammers, a Reed Bunting, a Fieldfare, c20 Redwings, four Greenfinches and plenty of Goldfinches, plus several calling Little Grebes.
Also, on the adjacent ploughed field there were a pair of Mistle Thrushes and c85 Golden Plovers. (AH)


Golden Plovers (above), Yellowhammer & Reed Bunting at Chichester Canal (AH)



Itchenor Village Pond: There wasn't much of note here, though a handful of Stock Doves were on the nearby fields and a Green Woodpecker, a couple of Goldcrests and c20 Long-tailed Tits were in the trees. (AH)


Stock Dove (above) & Long-tailed Tit at Itchenor Village Pond (AH)


Fishbourne creek: We spent a couple of hours here from 1130-1330 and species of note were a female Long-tailed Duck showing well in the Lavant outfall channel and 10 Goldeneye including 3 adult males. (CBC/MaC)


Chichester channel: A Great Northern Diver was present in the channel around 1500hrs (HB) (exact area not specified - Eds). 



Friday, 24th January: It remains fairly still and gloomy, with heavy cloud persisting....

Selsey Bill: Two Shags flew east and two Fulmars went west, a few Red-throated Divers and a Sandwich Tern went west, but it was otherwise very quiet. Full log below. 
(0745-0900hrs) (wind NNE F1) (BI/SR/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 7W
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Fulmar - 2W
Shag - 2E
Brent Goose -3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 1W, 2os
Turnstone - 5E
Sandwich Tern  1W
auk sp. - 3E


Shags at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were at least six Snipe tucked away by the road-side reeds, whilst at least 40 Shoveler and 75 Teal, plus half a dozen Shelducks were on the pool.
Also, at least 25 Avocets and 100+ Black-tailed Godwits were roosting at the far end of Ferry Channel, viewed from the Tramway. (AH)


Snipe on the Ferry (AH)

East Head: Just nine Eider were off the harbour mouth, seen from the boat this morning, after eight on Tuesday and five on Wednesday. (CW)

Fishbourne Creek: The Long-tailed Duck was present again this morning, towards the Lavant outfall with five Goldeneyes. (SR)

West Wittering: Four Egyptian Geese were in road-side fields at Cakeham this morning, before flying off east. (MR)


Egyptian Geese at West Wittering (MR)


North Wall: The Kestrel, three Song Thrushes, the Grey Wagtail and a number of Blackbirds were all present in the horse paddocks again this morning.  Little stirred along the Wall however,  but there was more life between Marsh and Honer Farms where some 2,000 Brent Geese together with a few Curlew and a small flock of Starlings inhabited the usual field. (IH)
Two Marsh Harriers and a Barn Owl were hunting over the reed beds mid afternoon, a Bar-tailed Godwit was visible distantly in the harbour, the Brent Geese were still in the Marsh/Honer Farms area and apparently six Song Thrushes could be found with the Grey Wagtail in the horse paddocks. (IH/SP)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: Four Egyptian Geese were here, too, late this morning, near the farm buildings, whilst at least 20 Cattle Egrets were in the fields towards Bramber among a large flock of Black-headed Gulls.and a Raven went over east.
The hedges and fields were quiet, though, with just a few Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails, plus half a dozen Stock Doves and a couple of Goldcrests noted. (AH)


Egyptian Geese (above), Cattle Egrets, Raven, Stock Doves & Goldcrest at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)





Church Norton: A quick look this morning produced two female Goldeneyes in the harbour, along with plenty of Dunlin and Grey Plovers and a few Teal and Wigeon, whilst at least a dozen Snipe were in the creek by the horse field, the two Peregrines were on their island and a Sparrowhawk went over. (AH/IP)


Snipe (above), Goldeneyes, Teal & Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)







Thursday, 23rd January: Another dank sort of a day, with heavy cloud and a moderate north-easterly breeze, though slightly milder than of late....

Selsey Bill: Half a dozen Sandwich Terns were offshore and a few Red-throated Divers went both ways, but it remains quiet. Full log below. (SR/AH/MO-W/PC)
(0800-0945hrs) (ENE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 6E, 5W
diver sp - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 3W
Common Scoter - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 9os
Common Gull - 5E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 1W, 6os
Razorbill - 1E, 1W
auk sp - 13W
Turnstone - 1W


Common Scoter (above) & Gannet at the Bill (AH)


Ferry Pool: There were just a handful of Lapwing and Teal on the pool, with more of the latter and a few Wigeon in the channel opposite. (AH)


Lapwings and Teal on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: In the horse paddocks this morning were ten Blackbirds, three Song Thrushes, two Redwings and a Grey Wagtail, all overseen by the regular Kestrel on a post. In the nearby Ash, a Green Woodpecker was present and a Long-tailed Tit and Goldcrest were in the hedgerows.  
Along the Wall a Water Rail called and a Reed Bunting flitted about while between Marsh and Honer Farms about 2,000 Brent Geese grazed. (IH)

Fishbourne Creek: The long-staying Long-tailed Duck was showing well off of Dell Quay this morning on the high tide, and there were also eight Goldeneyes and up to four Red-breasted Mergansers on the water, along with a few Little and Great Crested Grebes. Wildfowl numbers were low, doubtless due to the man shooting near the Lavant outflow, though half a dozen Pintails were among the 50 or so Wigeon present and c300 Brent Geese flew over.
At least five Greenshank were among the tightly packed roosting waders, whilst c150 Black-tailed Godwits and c40 Turnstones were disturbed by a boat and a Kingfisher flew along the harbour edge.
There were up to ten Rock Pipits in their usual area, but fairly flighty, and a Stonechat was nearby, but the only other passerines seen were a few Long-tailed Tits. (AH).


Long-tailed Duck (above), Goldeneyes, Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe, Black-tailed Godwits, Rock Pipit & Stonechat at Fishbourne Creek (AH)







Chi GPs: Drayton House pits - Highlights this morning were a Woodcock which flew up from a damp copse, a single Snipe and the pair of Coal Tits. It was otherwise fairly mundane, with all the regular wildfowl present in fairly average numbers, though Shoveler were pushing the 150 mark. Later a single Marsh Harrier was present over the North pit. (OM)


Coal Tit at Drayton House North pit (OM)

Ivy Lake complex - with undergrowth clearance and noisy chain saws in action I avoided the 'main' pits and concentrated on New Lake and beyond. There wasn't too much on New Lake itself however, with less Shovelers than recently, though the Treecreeper, a Goldcrest and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were present.
Runcton Lake held a few Pochard and Tufted, plus a Cetti's Warbler and 12 Long-tailed Tits, whilst Vinnetrow Lake held 33 Pochard, 45 Tufted Ducks and another Great Spotted Woodpecker and Peckham Lake held just a few more Pochard and Tufted. (OM)

Itchenor: The Great Northern Diver was present in the channel again between Itchenor and Cobnor, whilst a Raven passed overhead. (PH)

Monday, 20 January 2020

20th - 22nd January 2020

Wednesday, 22nd January: It remains cold and still, but it was gloomy and grey, with periods of misty fog ........

For info: Our esteemed Selsey sea-watch Log-keeper JA informs us that 1,267 hours were watched at the Bill in 2019 (beating the previous best of 1,171 in 2016), covering 333 days of watching. A great effort; well done to all involved and especially to JA for keeping and submitting the records on our behalf.  (Eds)

Selsey Bill: It was very quiet again, with a Guillemot east, a Sandwich Tern west and single Great Northern and Red-throated Divers on the sea the only birds of note. Full log below. (SR/AM/MO-W/P&LH)
(0815-0915hrs) (NNW, F2)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E
Turnstone - 6W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 2os


Great Northern Diver (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)


Ferry Pool: The pool remains frozen, with four Snipe ad a few Black-headed Gulls being the only birds present. A Buzzard and about 200 Lapwings were on the field, whilst at least another 500 of the latter were on the arable fields slightly further south, opposite Knight Fencing. (AH/SR)


Snipe (above) & Buzzard at the Ferry (AH)


North Wall: A Marsh Harrier cruised over the harbour and eventually headed off north, upsetting an otherwise tranquil high tide wader roost, including at least 500 Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwings. 
Otherwise it was very quiet in the murk, with few small birds seen and nothing on the fields, though a few Pintail, Wigeon and Teal were around White's Creek. (AH) 




Marsh Harrier (above), Pintail, Wigeon & Black-tailed Godwits at the North Wall (AH)





East Head: I took a circular walk along the shore this morning. Unfortunately the area was shrouded in mist so no Eider were about, but I did see a few other birds of interest. At low tide there was an impressive flock of 32 Sanderling along the shore and 20 Golden Plover were out on the mudflats alongside 9 Grey Plover, c40 Dunlin, 3 Turnstones and 11 Curlew. A Sandwich Tern flew overhead, whilst 7 Great Crested Grebes with 9 Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore and a pair of Stonechats were in the grass. There was also a mixed flock of Brent Geese and Lapwings on the green - say up to 1000 birds. Amusingly, what was presumably a Hermit Crab in a whelk shell spent some time waving at me on the shore! (SR)


 Sanderlings and Golden Plover at East Head and (below) presumed Hermit crab in a whelk shell on the beach (SR)



Itchenor channel: A Great Northern Diver drifted down-channel past Itchenor early afternoon. (PH)



Tuesday, 21st January: The settled spell continues, with a sharp overnight frost giving way to a mostly bright and still morning........

Selsey Bill: It was a  quiet morning on the high tide. Full log below. (SR/AH/IP)
(0800-0900hrs) (NNW, F2)
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 4W, 5os
diver sp - 1W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 4W
Gannet - 1W
Shelduck - 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 7W
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 6W
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 15E, 18W


Red-throated Diver (above), Sandwich Tern & Red-breasted Merganser at the Bill (AH)



Ferry Pool: The pool was frozen all morning, with just a handful of Lapwings and 30 Wigeon on the field, with another dozen of the latter, plus similar of Teal in the channel opposite. Also, the resident Buzzard was seen off by the local Jackdaws. (AH)


Buzzard and Jackdaw (above) & Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)


North Wall: There were at least two Cattle Egrets, and probably more, in Owl Copse this morning, and the Barn Owl and a Marsh Harrier were again showing well till late morning. (IH/SR)

South Mundham:  The stubble field along Honer Lane held six Fieldfares, four Redwings, five Pied Wagtails, c300 Lapwing, c400 Starlings and a mixed flock of corvids plus a Buzzard.  Punches Lane had a Kestrel, seven Long-tailed Tits and a Firecrest. (SR)

Park Farm, Selsey: This afternoon there were two Shovelers and five Tufted Ducks on the reservoir and c200 Golden Plovers and similar numbers of Lapwing came up from the Medmerry direction. (SH)

Drayton Pit: A Marsh Harrier was about this afternoon, but there wasn't much else beyond a Green Woodpecker and plenty of Pochard and Shovelers. (MO-W)

Church Norton: A single Slavonian Grebe, a Great Northern Diver and five Great Ctrested Grebes were all that could be found offshore this morning, whilst the harbour was quiet, too, though the regular Whimbrel and a good roosting flock of Dunlin and Grey Plovers were present, along with a Peregrine and a few Wigeon and Teal.
Also, a least 15 Snipe were on the creek by the horse field, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard, but not seen, in the Priory and a few Long-tailed Tits were along the path to the harbour. (AH/IP)



Snipe (above), Teal & Long-tailed Tit at Church Norton (AH)



Medmerry: East side - A total of five Jack Snipe and over 150 Common Snipe were counted this morning, along with just a single Corn Bunting and several Stonechats. (HB/AW/MW)
Later, the Peregrine was on the derelict building on the reserve, a Kingfisher was out near the breach, a Greenshank was heard, but not seen, and a few Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings were along the banks.
There were also at least 75 Fieldfares on the cropped fields by Ham Farm. (AH)


Peregrine (above) & Fieldfare at Medmerry (AH)


Medmerry: West side - A Barn Owl was out hunting again this afternoon and a Dartford  Warbler was heard along the banks. (HB/AW/MW/KJ et al)


Monday, 20th January: Another cold and almost still morning, though a little cloudier than yesterday....

Selsey Bill: It was generally quiet until a lot of auks appeared, going in both directions and settling on the sea. Full log below. (AH/IP/MO-W)
(0755-0930hrs) (NNW, F2)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 4W
diver sp - 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 5E, 2W, 3os
Gannet - 6W
Common Scoter - 3E, 9W
Red-breasted Merganser - 21E, 7W, 4os
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 1os
Razorbill - 22E, 36W
auk sp - 42E, 116W, 60os


Slavonian Grebe (above), Red--throated Diver, Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull & a dramatic sunrise at the Bill (AH)





Ferry Pool: The pool was still frozen by late morning, though c100 Wigeon and c500 Lapwings, plus a Buzzard, were on the field. (AH)


Wigeon and Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)


North Wall: The Barn Owl was out and hunting for at least an hour this morning, and a Marsh Harrier was also out and about, too. (PC)

Church Norton: It was quiet here again, with just a handful of Great Crested Grebes offshore and the Whimbrel the only wader of note in the harbour beyond the regular Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plovers and Redshanks.
Otherwise, the Peregrine was on its island, a pair of Little Grebes and a few Wigeon and Teal were on the water and two Snipe were in the creek by the horse field. (AH/IP)


Whimbrel (above), Little Grebes & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)





Chichester Canal: Early this afternoon there were three Bullfinches along the canal, west from Donnington. A Cetti's Warbler showed well briefly, as did a Kingfisher, a Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards and a flock of around 10 Redwing. (AW)


Bullfinches (above) & Cetti's Warbler along Chichester Canal (AW)


Chichester Marina: Another Cetti's Warbler and a Kingfisher was seen from the hide while the Black Swan was in the marina. (AW)

Black Swan at Chichester Marina (AW)