Thursday, 17 January 2019

17th - 19th January 2019

Saturday, 19th January: A very grey and gloomy morning, with drizzle never far away, though a little milder of late in a moderate south-easterly breeze ......

Selsey Bill: The highlight was undoubtedly a Black Guillemot west at 8.25am, though an Arctic Skua offshore was unusual, and there was plenty of auk, Kittiwake and Gannet movement - initially west in the hour after dawn and then back east. Full log below. (JA/IP/BI et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 9W
diver sp - 3E
Slavonian Grebe - 10E
Fulmar - 2E, 1W
Gannet - 1205E, 1075W, 50os
Brent Goose - 3E
Common Scoter - 7E
Eider - 3E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 27E, 14W, 24os
Arctic Skua - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 5E
Common Gull - 3E, 2W
Kittiwake - 397E, 176W
Razorbill - 2461E, 2243W, 300os
Guillemot - 16E, 8W, 3os
Black Guillemot - 1W (8.25am)
auk sp - 159E, 1426W, 60os

This afternoon a white-winged gull, probably a Glaucous Gull, was distantly on the bar but unfortunately did not linger for more than a few minutes. (JA/IP)

Ferry Pool: There were just the usual 300+ Wigeon, and 30 or so Shoveler and Teal on the pool this morning. (AH)

Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A quick look early on produced the Firecrest near the car park, at least 500 Brent Geese, plus lots of Wigeon, Teal, Grey Plovers and Dunlin in the harbour and a dozen Mediterranean and Common Gulls, plus a few distant Gannets were offshore. (AH)

Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A total of nine Goldeneyes, including three drakes, half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, c40 Pintails, c200 Wigeon and at least 1000 Brent Geese were on the water at high tide this morning, whilst six Greenshank, five Spotted Redshank and 100+ Black-tailed Godwits were among the roosting waders.
Also, at least six Rock Pipits and a Grey Wagtail were along the edges, four Yellowhammers were in the bushes and a Kingdfisher was briefly along the outflow channel. (AH/IP)

Greenshanks (above), Grey Wagtail, Goldeneyes, Red-breasted Mergansers, Yellowhammers, Pintail and Wigeon & Black-tailed Godwits and Grey Plovers in Fishbourne Creek (AH)

West Wittering: A Marsh Harrier was over Snowhill Marsh at about 1000hrs (PH)

Ivy Lake: Unfortunately the "scrub clearance" is still continuing apace along the lakes drastically reducing much of the habitat for small birds. Despite this a Tree-creeper was present around mid-day favouring the path between Ivy & Triangle Lakes along with a few Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and a small mixed Tit flock. It remained quiet on the water with just a few Pochards of note. (BI/IP)

Treecreeper at Ivy Lake (BI)

Medmerry Toe End: Two Corn Buntings, one singing, were on the fence by the caravans today. (BI)

Corn Bunting at Toe End (BI)

Friday, 18th January: Another cold but mostly sunny morning, despite the moderate breeze coming from the south......

Selsey Bill: There plenty of Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Gannets going west early on, before many birds appeared to return eastwards. There were also another couple of Fulmars and a few Red-throated Divers. Full log below. (AH/IP/BI/JA/PM/TR)
Red-throated Diver - 9W
Great Crested Grebe - 3os
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 290W, 202E, 400os
Brent Goose - 3E
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 20E, 12os
Kittiwake - 155E, 156W
Common Gull - 25W
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 3W
Guillemot - 5E, 5W, 1os
Razorbill - 90E, 1158W
auk sp - 1619E, 66W

Red-throated Diver (above), Razorbiill & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Drayton Pits: The Great White Egret flew over, heading for the South Pit, this morning and later was sat on one of the islands. Also a Kingfisher, 11 Snipe, 140 Shoveler and two Chiffchaffs were on South pit, whilst 138 Pochard were on North pit (BI/OM)

Great White Egret at Drayton (BI)

Church Norton: A redhead Goosander was feeding busily in the harbour mouth this morning, with a Red-breasted Merganser nearby and two Goldeneye in the main channel. 
Offshore a Guillemot and a few Razorbills were on the sea, with more of the latter flying about, but otherwise there were only a handful of distant Gannets and half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers and eight Great Crested Grebes on the sea.
The harbour was fairly quiet, with low wader numbers, though the Whimbrel and a Peregrine were present and several hundred Brent Geese were coming and going, whilst a Firecrest, a couple of Goldcrests and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits, plus a couple of Jays, were in the bushes between the car-park and the harbour and at least 30 Skylarks were along the spit. (AH/IP/BI/PM/TR)

Goosander (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Whimbrel, Skylark & Jay at Church Norton (AH)

Off Church Norton earlier on, there was a large passage of Razorbills, with one or two dropping onto the sea, along with a Guillemot on the sea, another flying west, and a Slavonian Grebe nearby, whilst the pair of Stonechats were on the horse-field again. 
Sadly a Peregrine killed a Curlew which had taken to grazing lately in a field along Rectory Lane. Initially it was mobbed by crows before they left it in peace. (AW)

Guillemot (above), Razorbills, Peregrine & Stonechats at Church Norton (AW)

Ferry Pool: There were 350 Wigeon, two Shelducks, 35 Shoveler and 25 Teal on the pool this morning, with c500 Lapwings around the field,and two Black-tailed Godwits and 80 Teal in the channel opposite. (AH)
Later on, a Green Sandpiper and at least four Snipe were around the pool, and two Stonechats were in the field, whilst the Water Rail was in Red Barn Ditch and at least 25 Avocets were at the far end of Ferry Channel. (SA)

Teal (above), Black-tailed Godwit & Shoveler and Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Thursday, 17th January: A very cold but bright morning, with the fresh breeze veering back round to north-westerly......

Selsey Bill: It was inevitably quieter than yesterday, but there were still hundreds of Razorbills on the move, along with reasonable numbers of Kittiwakes and Gannets, plus three Goosanders, three Eider, a Slavonian Grebe and a few divers. Full log below. (AH/OM/IP/PC)
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 7W
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 92E, 50+ os
Brent Goose - 21W
Eider - 3W
Common Scoter - 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 12E, 30W
Goosander - 3W (redheads)
Kittiwake - 125E, 40W, c.100 os
Common Gull - 3E, 10W
Mediterranean Gull - 4E, 2W
Guillemot - 3W (the only ones identified!)
Razorbill - 140E, 480W

auk sp - 100E, 360W

Red-throated Divers (above), Kittiwake & Razorbills at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Green Sandpipers were on the concealed pool, whilst at least 500 Lapwing and 300 Wigeon were around the field and pool, along with a couple of Shelduck, c20 Shoveler and c40 Teal. (AH/PC/OM)

Lapwing and Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

Westhampnett North Pit: The first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was back on the pit this morning. (GH)

Church Norton: There was no sign of the Barnacle Geese this morning, though large numbers of Brent Geese were flying around over the North Wall, whilst in the harbour there were two Goldeneye, a Peregrine, the regular Whimbrel and a few Knot.
There were at least 50 Gannets feeding offshore, with similar of auks (all of which that were identifiable being Razorbills) and up to 20 Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst among the huge gathering of gulls there were at least a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and Kittiwakes and 50+ Common Gulls. (AH/IP/AW)

Gannets (above), Whimbrel, Mediterranean Gull & Knot at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A low-tide visit, not helped by a man out bait-digging in the channel, but even so there were good numbers of birds present, especially several hundred each of Wigeon and Brent Goose. Three Spotted Redshanks and two Greenshank were busily feeding, whilst Dunlin, Grey Plover, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits were all obvious too, although passerines were restricted to a couple of Rock Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and a solitary Yellowhammer. (OM)

Monday, 14 January 2019

14th - 16th January 2019

Wednesday, 16th January: A very grey,  cool and blustery morning, with a brisk south-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A slight shift of wind direction round to the south-west (and possibly connected to the northerly airflow in the North Sea) produced a spectacular movement of 1977 Kittiwakes, 1388 Gannets and 5200 auks (mainly Razorbills) this morning, all heading west close inshore. The 3500 Razorbnills recorded was a new day record, whilst the counts for all auks and Gannets were the third highest ever. Full log below. (AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 4W
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 1388W
Brent Goose - 23W
Common Scoter - 1E, 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 15W
Common Gull - 60W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Kittiwake - 1977W
Razorbill - c3500W, 8os
Guillemot - c200W
auk sp - c1500W

Fulmar (above), Kittiwakes, Kittiwakes and Gannet, Gannets & Guillemots and Razorbills past the Bill (AH)

Tramway area: A flock of c30 Barnacle Geese were out in the middle of the harbour, viewable from the Tramway this morning, and c20 Avocets dropped into the channels nearby. (AH/IP)

Barnacle Geese and Avocets (above) & Barnacle Geese from the Tramway (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just four Gadwall, a Shelduck, c30 Shoveler and c50 Teal on the pool, with c300 Wigeon on the field this morning, but unusually there were no Lapwing at all. (AH/IP)

Church Norton: Later in the day, between 125 and 150 Barnacle Geese were flying around the harbour. (T-GP/AW)

Barnacle Geese at Church Norton (AW)

Tuesday, 15th January: Another cool morning, with a mix of cloud and sun and a light to moderate north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: It was fairly quiet early on, though the first Fulmar of the year went west a little later on. (AH/IP/DF/DS/KJ et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 2W, 1os
Gannet - c40os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8os
Kittiwake - 20E
Sandwich Tern - 3E
auk sp - 50E

Later a Fulmar went west and three Great Northern Divers were on the sea, with a few more Gannets, Red-breasted Mergansers, Kittiwakes and auks seen, whilst a huge flock of 1000+ Dunlin, with a few Knot and Grey Plover among them went west.. (KJ et al)

Red-throated Diver at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers around the concealed pool this morning, before one flew off, and a Snipe was also present, with at least 500 Lapwing and 300 Wigeon around the field.
Eight Gadwall and a shelduck were on the pool, along with the regular c30 Shovelers, with similar of Teal on the pool and in the channel opposite. (AH et al)

Green Sandpiper (above), Snipe, Wigeon & Wigeon and Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Firecrest was around the bottom of the path to the harbour, along with a handful of Goldcrests and c25 Goldfinches were in the trees.
What was presumably the same mixed flock of waders seen at the Bill flew out over the beach heading west, and consequently few remained in the harbour, which was very quiet beyond a big flock of Brent Geese and a few Wigeon, Teal and Liitle Grebes, plus the two Peregrines on their island. (AH/IP/DF/DS et al)

Peregrine (above) & Little Grebe at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The creek was full of waders and wildfowl this morning, including three Spotted Redshanks and five Greenshanks and at least 1000 Brent Geese. (IP)

Chi GPs - Drayton Pits: Early this afternoon the Great White Egret was roosting on the island on the South pit. (AB)
I made a late afternoon visit, concentrating on the North pit, and stayed until it was virtually dark. Unfortunately there were no scarce herons on offer - and indeed only one Grey Heron - but once again there was a nice little show from the Starling murmuration, though less birds were involved this time (guestimate at 1000). A small flock of c.200 appeared at 1605hrs over the east side of the lake and railway hedges, soon being joined by others to increase the flock to a thousand. They all descended to roost at 1625hrs, but not before a dramatic moment when a Peregrine scythed through the flock but missed! Two Buzzards were also seen and at least three different Water Rails were squealing. (OM)

 Starling flock at Drayton North pit (OM)

Brief video of the Starling flock (best played in full screen mode)

Monday, 14th January: A sunny but cool morning, with a moderate north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There were a few more divers about this morning, plus a couple of Sandwich Terns, with more auks moving well offshore. (AH/IP/AM)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 4W, 5os
Gannet - 30E
Red-breasted Merganser - 10os
Dunlin - 30W
Common Gull - 2W, 1os
Kittiwake - 40E
Sandwich Tern - 2E
Razorbill - 10E, 5os
auk sp - 300E, 40os

Red-throated Diver (above), Sandwich Tern & Common Gull at the Bill (AH)

Chalder Farm: A single Cattle Egret was in fields near the farm this afternoon. (TG-P)

Ferry Pool: There were three Green Sandpipers around the concealed pool this morning, plus a couple of Snipe, with at least 500 Lapwings and 300 Wigeon on the fields, whilst c30 Shoveler and c40 Teal were along the sheltered side of the pool, with c80 more of the latter in the channel opposite. (AH)

Green Sandpipers (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey Wagtail was present this morning. (IP/RM)

Church Norton: A Peregrine was seen catching a Feral Pigeon over the harbour, whilst a Bar-tailed Godwit was among the regular waders, a Slavonian Grebe was offshore and two Goldeneye and three Red-breasted Mergansers were seen on the far side.
Also, the pair of Stonechats were in the gorse by the horse field and a Jay and a Song Thrush were in the first Several. (IP/RM)

Pagham Lagoon/Spit: There was nothing much on the lagoon beyond a dozen Little Grebes and Tufted Ducks, c40 Canada Geese and the usual gulls and Coots, though there were two Chiffchaffs in the bushes around the adjacent houses.
There were a few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits along the spit and a Peregrine was on its island, whilst in the harbour were the two Goldeneye and three Red-breasted Mergansers, a few Pintail among the Wigeon and at least 1500 Brent Geese. (AH/IH)

Chiffchaff (above), Peregrine, Brent Geese & Coot around Pagham Spit (AH)

North Wall: About 80 Teal and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits were on the Breech Pool, with c100 more of the latter in Whites Creek, along with c500 Lapwing and plenty of Wigeon and Redshank, whilst a sparrowhawk and a Kestrel went over. 
There were also 250 Brent Geese on the fields along Pagham Road.(AH/IH)

Sparrowhawk and Carrion Crow (above) & Teal and Black-tailed Godwits from North Wall & Brent Geese along Pagham Road (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Dartford Warbler and two Stonechats were near the  first viewpoint this afternoon, and a Greenshank and five Black-tailed Godwits were on the stilt Pool, whilst one of the Barn Owls was out at around 4.30pm. (IP)

(East side) Toe End - Breach:  There was no sign of the Hooded Crow, but a pair of Stonechats, two Pied Wagtails and about 15 Meadow Pipits were around the caravans and a female Black Redstart was opposite the restaurants near West Sands. (AM)

Chi GPs - Drayton pits: The Great White Egret was seen early afternoon, but soon flew off (per RBA)