Saturday, 17 March 2018

17th - 19th March 2018

Monday, 19th MarchAnother very cold day, with more flurries of snow after more fell last night, and with a very bracing easterly continuing to blow...

Note: Due to work being carried out by SGN starting on 19th March 2018, to replace the gas pipe over the Ferry Channel, the section of path between the tramway and the pump will be closed. Therefore there will be no direct access from the Visitor Centre to the footpath running up the West Side (the works will not affect the public Right of Way running up the West Side), so the advice is to park in Church Norton Car park for the easiest access to the west side. This work is due to take two weeks to complete. Sorry for the inconvenience. Any questions please contact the Visitor Centre on 01243 641508. Thank you for your patience.

Ivan Lang, Warden Pagham and Medmerry

Ferry Pool and Visitor Centre: At least three Bramblings were still around the feeders outside the Visitor Centre this morning, including the very smart male.
On Ferry Pool there were eight Gadwall, 18 Shoveler, four Shelduck and 25 Teal, with c150 Wigeon on the field. (AH)

Brambling (above), Long-tailed Tit, Shoveler & Wigeon around the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were eight Golden Plovers on the fields this evening. (SH)

Church Norton: The male Wheatear was on the spit again this morning, briefly on the old harbour mouth, and two Meadow Pipits were nearby.
There was a Little Egret near the harbour entrance, the female Eider, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and c200 Brent Geese were on the far side, a couple of Knot were among the scattering of Dunlin, Grey Plovers, Turnstones and Redshank present, whilst along the beach there were a few Mediterranean Gulls along with 50+ Common Gulls and single Sandwich Tern, with another four of the latter in the harbour.
Also, there were still at least 250 Golden Plovers on the fields along Rectory Lane, along with 20 or so Lapwings and c40 Linnets. (AH/AW)

Wheatear (above), Knot, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Turnstones, Meadow Pipit, wintry scenes (AH), Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gulls, Golden Plovers & Little Egret (AW) at Church Norton

Pagham Lagoon & Spit: The Lagoon held 12 Pochard, 13 Tufted Ducks, 10 Mallard and just a couple of Little Grebes, plus at least 25 Mediterranean Gulls, though the cold weather had not induced anything more unusual to drop in. Along the hedgerows there was also a Firecrest, but the Spit was devoid of any passerines, and in the harbour channel there was little of note - just a couple of Great Crested Grebes and a small number of Wigeon and Dunlin. (OM)

 Pochard and Mediterranean Gulls on Pagham Lagoon (OM)

North Wall : A Spotted Redshank was in White's creek, with 140 Black-tailed and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits - many now assuming summer plumage. There were also 200+ Wigeon and a small number of Pintail scattered along the creek and a Sparrowhawk went over. The Breech Pool held just 22 Tufted Ducks and a couple of Teal, whilst the Honer fields held several small flocks of Wigeon and Teal and 4 Gadwall. (OM)

The Spotted Redshank in White's Creek, and below a wintry view of the North Wall with not a human (or bird!) in sight....(OM)

Honer Reservoir: The Long-tailed Duck was still on the water, along with four Tufted Ducks and a Coot, and 40 Golden Plovers went over, but the hedges were devoid of life today. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck on Honer Reservoir (AH)

Itchenor Pond:  It started snowing just as I arrived so, not surprisingly, there was little about, though there were still two Treecreepers, a Chiffchaff, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, seven Long-tailed Tits and four Goldfinches to be found. (SR)

Tree-creeper (above) & a snowy view at Itchenor Pond (SR)

West Itchenor:  A quick look at the harbour from the jetty produced c175 Brent Geese, 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, 9 Curlew, 27 Dunlin, 18 Grey Plover, two Great Crested Grebes, two Shelduck, a Mediterranean Gull and a Pied Wagtail, and a Chiffchaff was in the High Street. (SR)

West Wittering: A Brambling - first for the garden - was on the feeders today. (GM)

Brambling in a West Wittering garden (GM)

Medmerry West: There were an amazing 930 Golden Plovers spread across both sides of the reserve today, whilst on the west side there were still around 1000 Linnets on the feed crop near Marsh Barn, a male Wheatear on the path to the Stilt Pool, and 76 Avocets and c200 Mediterranean Gulls around the pool itself. (BO'D)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - This evening there were still c500 Golden Plovers among the sheep (presumably part of the above count), with 50 Lapwing there, too, a pair of Buzzards displaying over the farm and two Avocets, two Knot and 20 Dunlin on the tidal area. (AH)

Golden Plovers (above) & Avocet at Medmerry (AH)

Sunday, 18th March: Snow overnight, giving way to another bitingly cold day, with grey skies and a strong, raw NE wind, force 5-6.

Selsey Bill: A good turnout of local observers, given the awful conditions....Full log below:
0630-0900hrs  (JA/SH/PB/IP/AH/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 3os
Gannet - 9E, 2W, 8os
Red-breasted Merganser - 13E, 7os
Common Scoter - 3E, 45os
Wigeon - 1E
Teal - 11E
Tufted Duck - 1E
Dunlin - 2E
Golden Plover - 23E
Sandwich Tern - 18E
Mediterranean Gull - 15E, 6W
Common Gull - 9E, 3W, 7os
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1E, 1os
Meadow Pipit - 2 ob

Sandwich Terns (above), Sandwich Tern and Lesser Black-backed Gull & hardy regulars at the Bill (AH)

Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gull at the Bill (SH)

Selsey East beachA real surprise this morning in the form of a smart drake Scaup on East Beach pond (SR/IP), although there was little else of note there. Unfortunately it didn't linger too long before flying off and out to sea, when it was soon lost to view by the two lucky observers.

 Drake Scaup on East Beach pond this morning (SR)

Selsey: There were two Firecrests together in my garden (100 yards from the High Street) at 1.45pm today. (J Wootton)
A Chiffchaff was in my garden near the seafront late this afternoon. (IP)

Selsey, Park Farm: A Green Sandpiper was on the new balancing pond this morning, with 4 Lapwings, 5 Pied Wagtails and a Sparrowhawk in the area. (SH/IP)

Ferry Pool and Visitor centre: There were up to five Bramblings in the trees around the feeders by the Visitor Centre this morning, and still present late this afternoon. (BO'D/NR et al)
On the Ferry Pool there were eight Gadwall, 18 Shoveler, ten Shelduck, c30 Teal and c200 Wigeon this morning. (AH)

A little video of one of the Bramblings is here

Bramblings (above), Shovelers & Wigeon around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: At least 280 Golden Plovers were present on the lettuce fields on Rectory Lane this morning, along with 30 Lapwings, c50 Linnets, c200 Starlings and a pair of Red-legged Partridges. (AH)
Along the beach there were three Stonechats and there were masses of gulls, including 75+ Mediterranean Gulls and 75+ Common Gulls. plus 3 Buzzards over Priory wood and a Sandwich Tern in the Harbour.(S&SaH)
This afternoon a pair of Stonechats were at the front of the horse field, a Sanderling flew into the harbour and later another or the same bird flew out (an hour later), a fine male Wheatear flew across the harbour to the metalwork and then made its way north up the spit, and it or another later flew south back down the spit.
The Whimbrel and female Eider were both in the harbour, along with at least twenty Knot and the female Peregrine was on her island. A Lesser Black-backed Gull was also roosting on Tern Island and a pair of Sandwich Terns were flying around the harbour and roosting on the metalwork. Also, a lone Golden Plover flew into the harbour. (IP)

Golden Plovers (above) & Red-legged Partridge at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This afternoon there were two Green Sandpipers on the Stilt Pool, but only six Avocets. There were also 50+ Golden Plover and four Brent Geese on the reserve, 20+ Yellowhammers along the banks and a Sparrowhawk over. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm -  A Barn Owl was hunting around both Porthole and Ham farm late this afternoon, and there were huge numbers of Golden Plovers about - c300 between the two farms and c400 on the sheep field at Ham, with at least three Snipe and a few Dunlin among them. 
Also, there were 50+ Linnets and 100+ Goldfinches, plus half a dozen Stock Doves at Porthole Farm, and c200 Brent Geese, a Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Knot, c30 Grey Plovers, c20 Redshank and c50 Dunlin, plus a dozen Shelduck on the tidal area. (AH/BO'D)

Barn Owl (above) & Golden Plovers at Medmerry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: I accidentally flushed a Jack Snipe today, ironically while I was trying to avoid the muddier areas! Other than that there were a few Pintail and Great Crested Grebes, 50+ Black-tailed Godwits, at least five Rock Pipits and a handful of Mediterranean Gulls. (J-PC)

Pintails (above), Rock Pipit & Little Egret at Fishbourne Creek (J-PC)

Saturday, 17th March: A bitingly cold morning, with heavy cloud clover and a strong east-north-easterly breeze and some flurries of snow.....

Selsey Bill: Once again little was on the move, bar a few Pintail and Brent Geese, though a drake Common Scoter close inshore and a couple of Sanderlings on the beach provided a bit of interest. Full log below. (JA/IP/SR/AH/BI)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 2W
diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 5E, 9W
Brent Goose - 74os, then W
Pintail - 5E
Common Scoter - 2E, 31os
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 3W, 2os
Sanderling - 2p
Redshank - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 2W
Wood Pigeon - 1N
Meadow Pipit - 2N
Chiffchaff - 1p
Starling - 2N

A video of the Common Scoter is here

Common Scoter (above), Pintail & Sanderling at the Bill (AH)

(1400-1530hrs) (SH/JA)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1os
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 6E, 10W
Common Scoter - 52os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 2W, 5os
Mediterranean Gull - 6E, 1W
Kittiwake - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 1E, 2W

Ferry Pool: There were still eight Gadwall on the pool, along with a pair of Shoveler, six Shelducks, c40 Teal and c150 Wigeon this morning. (AH)

Shoveler (above) & Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a dozen Curlews, a few Oystercatchers, four Pied Wagtails, a couple of Stock Doves and a Common Gull around the farm, and two Fieldfares flew over, whilst a drake Teal was on the small pond in the new housing development.. (AH/IP/BI)

Common Gull (above) & Teal at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: There were up to five Sandwich Terns, three Gannets, a couple of Mediterranean Gulls and a dozen Common Gulls offshore, plus a Great Crested Grebe on the sea, whilst in the harbour there were a dozen Pintail, a few Wigeon and Teal and 100+ Brent Geese.
One of the Peregrines was on its island and a Buzzard was up at the back, but waders were fairly thin on the ground, but did include one or two Ringed Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits, whilst passerines were all but non-existent, save a Chiffchaff at the back of the Severals. (AH/IP/BI)

Sandwich Terns (above) & Gannet off Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs - Drayton pits: Little to report, with the wildfowl numbers much reduced as the spring progresses.... the best on offer were 35 Shoveler, 55 Pochard, 75 Tufted and 7 Snipe.... though an agitated pair of Greylags and 2 pairs of Canada Geese looked like they were planning to settle in for the breeding season. (OM)