Wednesday, 13 February 2019

13th - 15th February 2019

Friday, 15th February: Another splendid morning, after a very frosty and misty start, with the light south-easterly persisting.......

Selsey Bill: It was another quiet morning, though three Great Northern Divers were on the sea and three Shags went east. (AH/IP/HR/DM) 
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 5E
Gannet - 25W, 10os
Shag - 3E
Brent Goose - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 2os
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 6E

Red-throated Divers (above) & Red-breasted Mergansers past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were six Gadwall, 54 Shovelers, c100 Teal and c200 Wigeon on the pool, with c200 very flighty Lapwings on and over the field. (AH)
Later on, a Green Sandpiper was in the concealed pool. (HR/DM)

Shoveler (above), Shelduck & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Two Great Crested Grebes, two Little Grebes and four Tufted Duck were on the pool, whilst there were five different Stonechats at the far end (possibly early migrants?)
Also, a Spotted Redshank was in Ferry Channel, along with plenty of Teal and Redshanks, but there were no Avocets showing. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Stonechat from Long Pool (AH)

Ivy Lake: There were two Greylag Geese and two Barnacle Geese on the Trout Lake this afternoon. (HR/DM)

Marsh Farm, SidleshamThe four Grey Partridges were still present in fields near the buildings this morning, whilst a singing Chiffchaff and a male Bullfinch were along Church Farm Lane. (OM)

No it won't win any prizes, but to satisfy AH at least I tried to photo this Bullfinch! (OM)

Fishbourne Creek: there were two Spotted Redshanks in the creek this afternoon. (AW)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - Two Great Northern Divers, c40 Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe and a Red-breasted Merganser were offshore, with another four of the latter in the tidal pools, along with a Bar-tailed Godwit and a few Grey Plovers and Curlews.
Otherwise, it was quiet, with just a pair of Stonechats, a Pied Wagtail and 20 or so Meadow Pipits seen. (AH/IP)

Common Scoters (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, Bar-tailed Godwit, Stonechat & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall: This morning the Brent Geese very very skittish - initially some 2400 landed in the field behind the Breech Pool before being disturbed and returning to the harbour. They checked out the Breech Pool field several times but it was not to their liking, and later they settled in a field immediately north of the reed-beds, but as I was leaving they were streaming back into the harbour. Estimated number 2650. (JDW)
A Short-eared Owl was hunting over the North fields late afternoon (IB/IH/BI) and a Marsh Harrier was also around the Breech pool. (DSh)

Brent Geese from the North Wall (JDW) & Short-eared Owl (BI)

Hunston: In the field east of the Electricity sub-station, the Cattle Egret flock totalled nine birds at 2.20pm, with next field east holding a solitary Egyptian Goose. (CRJ)
Later on, all 17 Cattle Egrets were back in the field. (AB)

 Cattle Egrets at Hunston (AB)

Thursday, 14th February: A lovely early spring morning, after a frosty start, with a light south-easterly and unbroken sunshine.......

Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning! (AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Gannet - 20W
Brent Goose - 16E, 20W, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 10os
Razorbill - 6W

Brent Geese past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Grey Partridge was among 20 or so Red-legged Partridges on the edge of the arable fields this morning. Also, a couple of hundred Lapwings were on the fields, whilst c40 Shoveler, c40 Teal, c100 Wigeon and a handful of Shelducks were around the pool. (AH/IP)

Grey Partridge and Red-legged Partridges at the Ferry (AH)

Marsh Farm to Bramber Farm, Sidlesham: This morning there were four Grey Partridges in the fields just west of Marsh Farm, whilst later on, six Cattle Egrets - seen a little earlier in flight near Bramber Farm - were in the field next to the buildings.
Otherwise, two pairs of Stonechats, a pair of Yellowhammers and 30+ Meadow Pipits were along Church Farm Lane, one or two Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits were along the paths and in the churchyard, a few stock Doves were among the many Wood Pigeons, at least five Buzzards were seen and 40+ Curlews and a few Shelduck were on the fields. (AH/IP/BI)

Cattle Egrets (above), Grey Partridge, Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Long-tailed Tit, Buzzard & Meadow Pipit around Marsh and Bramber Farms, Sidlesham (AH)

Church Norton: This morning the two Peregrines were sitting together, whilst four Slavonian Grebes were off the East Beach area. 
Also of interest, yesterday a ringed Brent Goose was seen amongst the flock in a field at the end of Park Copse. This bird (Red H/Black H) was first ringed in 2010 in Holland and has been sighted every spring since in Holland, Germany and twice at Selsey/Pagham. It has also been seen once in autumn (Oct 2015) on the Thames. (AW)

 Peregrines (above), Slavonian Grebe and yesterday's ringed Brent Goose at Church Norton (AW)

North Wall: The Brent Geese gave Marsh Farm a miss this morning, but by 11.00am they had left the harbour and a flock of 1600 were on Honer 1 field. Shortly afterwards, just as I was trying to count juveniles, they were spooked by a Fox and returned to the harbour, though an hour later they all returned to the field behind the Breech Pool. 
Otherwise things were very quiet along the Wall, though there was a mischief of Magpies at Owl Copse, 18 birds in all, and the first Grey Heron was back on nest renovation duty. (JDW)
This evening there were 2800 Brent Geese behind Pagham Village Hall. (JDW)

Brent Geese from the North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry: West side - The two Barn Owls were both out and hunting the banks this afternoon. (IP)

Barn Owl at Medmerry (IP)

Drayton Pit: The Great White Egret was present again today. (BI)

Hunston: The flock of Cattle Egrets - 16 today - were looking very settled this afternoon in the small field with a few sheep in, immediately east of the roundabout and Electricity sub-station (on the B2166). (AH)

Cattle Egrets at Hunston (AH)

W.Wittering: A pair of Song Thrushes present at Snowhill marsh today were possibly showing interest in nesting areas. (MR)

Song Thrush at Snowhill marsh (MR)

Wednesday, 13th February: Another morning of sunshine and light cloud, with a fairly light southerly breeze.......

Selsey Bill: There was a large gathering of birds offshore, with up to 1000 auks (including many Razorbills), on the sea, but by 9am they had all melted away again. Full log below. (AH/IP)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 20E, 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1E, 4W
Gannet - 50E, 50W, c150os
Brent Goose - 6E
Common Scoter - 80os
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 4W, 6os
Turnstone - 6W
Mediterranean Gull - 30os
Common Gull - 2E, 4W
Kittiwake - 80W, c40os
Sandwich Tern - 3W
Razorbill - 500W, 500os
auk sp - 500W, 500os

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

Ferry Pool: There was a Green Sandpiper at the back and c200 Lapwings and similar of Wigeon on the field, plus a Stock Dove, whilst two Gadwall, eight Shelducks, 43 Shoveler and c50 Teal and Wigeon were around the pool. (AH/IP) 

Stock Dove (above) & Gadwall (AH)

Pagham Spit: The Hooded Crow was showing again this morning on the beach. Also a Golden Plover was on the pebbles on the south side of the main lagoon. It was on its own and did not fly when I flushed it, just moved away as though it was leading me away from a nest. As I left it went back to its original position. Still there when I went back two hours later.(MP/TG)

Hooded Crow (above) & Golden Plover on Pagham Spit (MP)

Church Norton: Late this morning the Hooded Crow was showing well on the shingle on the west side of the harbour mouth, whilst three Goldeneye were on the far side, the two Peregrines were on their island and at least 800 Brent Geese decamped from the harbour entrance back towards the North Wall.
There was nothing offshore at all, though a couple of Meadow Pipits and 20+Skylarks were along the spit, but the harbour was almost devoid of waders save the Whimbrel, a few Curlews, Grey Plovers and Dunlin. (AH/IP)

Hooded Crow (above), Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Whimbrel & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Yesterday, a ringed Sandwich Tern (Orange V97), was one of 4 seen at East Beach. It was ringed as a nestling in June 2015 in Holland, was sighted in Holland again in June 2017 then in Chichester Harbour in November and December 2017. It was seen again in the harbour in March and April 2018 and then Holland in July....clearly, it appears that this tern does not migrate to Africa during the winter. Also of interest, one of the adults yesterday was in summer plumage!  (AW)

Sandwich Terns seen yesterday at East Beach (AW)

North Wall: Generally quiet along the Wall, with just a few Mallard, Teal and Tufted Ducks on the very full Breech Pool though up to 700 Lapwing were alongside White's Creek. Around 8.30am there were at least 1500 Brent Geese out in the harbour but as the morning proceeded they began moving off to the large field just south-east of Marsh Farm, and by 10.30am there were 1690 there. Apparently they have been using this field in increasing numbers since last Friday. (JDW)

Brent Geese from the North Wall (AH)

Hunston: We saw the long staying Cattle Egrets - 17 of them at 3.30 pm. We watched them for 20 minutes from a distance about 40 yards on the left hand side of the B2166 just before it meets the roundabout with the B2145 Selsey Road. (Chris Pedroza/Bob Newton/Rose King per SOS)