Saturday, 16 November 2019

16th - 17th November 2019

Sunday, 17th November: Another brisk morning, though with a lighter north-easterly breeze and a few glimpses of the sun....

Selsey Bill: Seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese passed west at about 0950 hrs, quite high up, but otherwise it was quiet again, though there were three Sandwich Terns, three Great Northern Divers and a couple of Red-throated Divers seen. Full log below.....
0700-1000hrs:  (wind NE 2)  (SH/BI/IP/AH/SR/OM)
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Great Northern Diver - 3 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1W, 2os
Gannet - 3E
Shag - 4E
Brent Goose - 6E, 2W
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - 7W (0950hrs)
Common Scoter - 8E, 4W, 6os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 4os
Sandwich Tern - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
auk sp - 2E
Meadow Pipit - 28E
Pied Wagtail - 3N
Chiffchaff - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 4
Chaffinch - 2

Red-throated Divers (above), Sandwich Tern & Shag at the Bill (AH)




Ferry Pool: There were three Avocets on the pool this morning, along with the usual dozen Shelducks and c40 Teal and Shoveler. (AH)


Avocets and Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)


North Wall: The Brent Geese have moved from the field behind Honer and whilst trying to find the new location I came across four Cattle Egrets in with the cattle south of Marsh Farm.  A bird-scarer caused the flock of around 1,000 Brent to flee from their new field (somewhere between the two farms) to the harbour.  Also, six Shovelers and 38 Curlews occupied the three Honer fields north of the Wall and two Little Grebes and two Great Crested Grebes were in White's Creek. (IH)

Later, there was still very little happening along the Wall, a Grey Wagtail at the sluice gates being the highlight. There were by now at least 10 Cattle Egrets in the Marsh Farm area, whilst the Brent Geese are currently grazing in the field between Bramber and Church Farms. They were initially disturbed and flew back to the Harbour but returned to the original site later.... I counted 800. (JDW)


Cattle Egret near Marsh Farm (JDW)

Medmerry: Toe End - The Snow Bunting was still present at the end of the caravans this morning, along with two Stonechats and a dozen Meadow Pipits, with another pair of Stonechats and a few more Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails  near the Go-kart track.
A flock of seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese (presumably those seen passing the Bill earlier) were on the tidal mud before flying off west over the breach, whilst two Peregrines were sharing a kill on the far bank of the tidal area, and within it there were c20 Shelducks, c20 (Dark-bellied) Brent Geese, ten Grey Plovers, five Curlews and c40 Dunlin. (AH/IP)



Snow Bunting (above), Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Peregrines & Stonechat at Medmerry (AH)




Medmerry: Chainbridge to Ham Viewpoint - Most of the activity seemed to be around the viewpoint with a feeding flock of 5 Reed Buntings, 9 Meadow Pipits, a Yellowhammer and 8 Skylarks along with assorted Goldfinch, Blue and Great Tits feeding at the edge of a waterlogged field. In the far distance, toward the Stilt Pool a large flock of c600 Brent Geese rose up before settling down again out of sight. A Buzzard and 3 Kestrels were about and a Peregrine sat on the derelict building. Five Stonechats were seen, whilst the pools held 10 Tufted Ducks and Skylarks around the banks. Out on the mud were good numbers of Dunlin, Grey Plover, Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck although it was generally on the quiet side. (SR)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool A Jack Snipe near the poplars was the most unusual bird seen, though there were also a Dartford Warbler, 11 Stonechats, a Reed Bunting and 20+ Yellowhammers along the banks and at least 400 Golden Plover and 300 Lapwing out on the reserve. (S&SaH)

Church Norton
The female Eider was once again in the harbour on the Pagham side, while offshore, but at a distance, there were a Red-throated Diver and a Slavonian Grebe. (AW) 


Red-throated Diver (above), Red-throated Diver and Slavonian Grebe & Eider at Church Norton (AW)



Chi GPs - Lakeside complex: I decided to have a look at a number of the less frequently visited lakes in the complex, starting at New lake, where the were c.60 Shoveler present, plus a Cetti's Warbler, a Chiffchaff, a Treecreeper, three Goldcrests and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The other lakes were all fairly quiet for wildfowl, with the exception of Vinnetrow Lake which held 46 Pochard and 30 Tufted Ducks, but the hedgerows and trees along the footpath were busy with numerous Blackbirds and several Song Thrushes, plus another Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Greenfinches, two Cetti's Warblers, five Chiffchaffs and half a dozen Goldcrests. (OM) Ivy Lake, the Trout Lakes and the smaller lakes in the area remained uncannily quiet with just two Tufted Ducks, three Pochards and a few Great Crested Grebes logged throughout. (BI)


Greenfinch near Vinnetrow Lake, Chi GPs (OM)





Saturday, 16th November: A chilly and grey morning early on, with a fresh north-easterly breeze, though warming a little later on as the sun briefly broke through....

Selsey Bill: It was generally quite quiet, though one or two Great Northern and Red-throated Divers and up to four Sandwich Terns were about, and a flock of 13 Gadwall went west. Full log below. (SH/IP/BI/AH/SR)
(0700-0900hrs) (NE F3)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 3E
diver sp - 1W
Gannet - 4E, 7W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 6E, 3W
Gadwall - 13W
Wigeon - 1E
Common Scoter - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 2W
Grey Plover - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 1W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 2os
auk sp - 3W
Meadow Pipit - 1N
Chiffchaff - 1


Red-throated Diver (above), Gadwall, Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gull (AH) & Mediterranean Gull (SR) at the Bill




Medmerry: Toe End - The Snow Bunting was still present at the end of the caravans this morning, along with a Black Redstart and two Stonechats, whilst a drake Goosander was in the tidal pools, along with four Red-breasted Mergansers. (SR)


Snow Bunting and black Redstart at Medmerry (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were just four Shelducks and c40 Shoveler and Teal present this morning. (AH)

North Wall: It was quiet at the Wall early this morning, with  White's Creek containing just the usual Wigeon, Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings and a few hundred Brent Geese, along with two Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe and a Kingfisher.  
The flooded Honer 2 field had merely 19 Curlew and a few Common Redshank on it. (IH)

Church Norton: The female Marsh Harrier was over the harbour early on and then along the west side, whilst three Ravens went over east and the two Peregrines were again around their island.
The harbour held five Avocets and c20 Knot and 40 Grey Plovers were among at least 500 Dunlin, whilst at least 300 Black-tailed Godwits and 500 Lapwing came up a couple of times from the far end. There were also three Red-breasted Mergansers on the water, with another going west offshore, and plenty of Wigeon, Teal and Brent Geese were present.
Among the few passerines seen were a couple of Reed Buntings and Skylarks and a dozen Meadow Pipits. (P&JW/AH/IP/RM/S&SaH/MO-W)


Raven (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Avocets, Peregrine, Wigeon, Dunlin & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)








Chi GPs - Drayton House pits: A rather uninspiring day for a WeBS count, with lower wildfowl totals than of late, probably due to the flooded conditions in the area and the comparatively mild conditions. Even so, there a few brief highlights. At least five different Water Rails were squealing from the reed-beds, a Kingfisher flashed through a couple of times, a couple of Snipe flushed from the margins - and then as dusk approached I was the solo audience for a small but delightful Starling murmuration. The first birds arrived at 1515hrs and the flock soon increased to around 2,000 or so, wheeling around the North pit for 20 minutes, until at 1535 they suddenly dropped into the trees and vegetation to roost in the south-east corner...just amazing. (OM)


Starling murmuration at Drayton House North pit. (OM)








Wednesday, 13 November 2019

13th - 15th November:2019

Friday, 15th November: A cold and gloomy morning, with the wind from the north - light early on, but freshening - and a few spells of drizzly rain....

Selsey Bill: It was a surprisingly interesting morning after a slow start, with the highlight being two Woodcock seen to fly in off the sea, the first of which was barely 30 yards from the observers and flew up between the trees in Grafton Road!
A flock of nine Black-tailed Godwits (rare here, too), a Chiffchaff, a Song Thrush and ten Blackbirds were also seen to come in off the sea, whilst offshore three drake Eider, four Pintail and a mix of other wildfowl were moving about. Full log below.... 
(0715-1015hrs) (NNE, F2 rising to F4)  (C&ME/BI/IP/IH/AH/SR)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1W, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 3W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 7W, 1os
Gannet - 3W
Shag - 2E, 1W
Brent Goose - 3E, 107W
Shelduck - 5W
Pintail - 4W
Shoveler - 10E
Wigeon - 40E, 60W
Teal - 2W
Eider - 3W (all drakes)
Common Scoter - 32W, 11os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 10W, 5os
Turnstone - 5
Black-tailed Godwit -11E
Woodcock - 2N (0830hrs & 0900hrs)
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 2W, 1os
Auk sp. - 2W
Razorbill - 5W
Meadow Pipit - 1E
Pied Wagtail - 1W
Song Thrush - 1W
Blackbird – 10N, 14 (Broadreeds)
Redwing - 1 (Broadreeds)
Chiffchaff – 1
Goldcrest – 1
Long-tailed Tit -12
Linnet – 1N

Great Northern Diver (above), Eider, Black-tailed Godwits, Wigeon & Chiffchaff at the Bill (AH)





Ferry Pool: An Avocet was on the pool this morning, along with 15 Shelducks and 40 Shovelers. (AH)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)


North Wall: I was greeted by a Kingfisher at the sluice gates late this morning, followed by a Marsh Harrier in the field behind the Breech Pool.  
In the region of 1,000 Brent Geese were pushed by rising water from the harbour to, presumably, the field north of Honer cottages and 50 Curlew were feeding In the flooded Honer field 2.  Good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon and Teal were also present as usual. (IH)

Church Norton: A female Marsh Harrier drifted down the west side, putting up 30 Meadow Pipits, plus a handful of Snipe and Reed Buntings, and there were also one or two Goldcrests along the path.
Out in the harbour about 20 Avocets were off the end of Ferry Channel and there were five Red-breasted Mergansers and a dozen Pintail among large numbers of Wigeon and Teal, plus the usual waders, whilst several groups of Brent Geese flew in from the east and dropped in. (AH)

Marsh Harrier (above), Pintail, Brent Geese, Curlew & Grey Plover at Church Norton (AH)






Marsh Farm: There were six Cattle Egrets to the west of the farm today and plenty of Chaffinches around the hedges. Nearby, the churchyard held c.10 Blackbirds, four Goldcrests and a mixed Tit flock. (BI)



Thursday, 14th November: After yet more heavy overnight rain, an almost still morning of lingering fog, dense at times and not clearing until midday....

Ferry Pool: There were ten Shelducks, c50 Shoveler, c20 Teal and c100 Lapwing present this morning. (AH)

Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)


Medmerry: Toe End - The Snow Bunting was still present this morning at the end of the caravans. (BFF/DM)


Snow Bunting at Toe End today (DM)

Long Pool: The hedges were devoid of birds, after a male Sparrowhawk shot through, whilst in Ferry Channel there were two Spotted Redshanks, a lone roosting Avocet and 50+ Teal and Wigeon. (AH)


Spotted Redshanks (above), Avocet & Wigeon from Long Pool (AH)



North Wall: There was little to see early on in very restricted visibility, though a dozen Reed Buntings were along the hedges, at least three Cetti's Warblers were calling and a Sparrowhawk sped through.
At least 200 Brent Geese went over into the fields, where there sounded like many more were present, whilst White's Creek held two Great Crested Grebes, c40 Lapwing, a few Grey Plovers, Redshanks and Curlews and at least 20 Wigeon. (AH/PC)




The lifting mist late this morning slowly revealed 9 Shelduck, 5 Shoveler, 40 Curlew and a Spotted Redshank in the re-flooded Honer 1 field. There were also 2 Shelduck on the Breech Pool together with a few Wigeon and, of course, Mallard. 

The Brent Geese at Honer were evidently disturbed because a flock of in excess of 1,000 circled the area for a few minutes before realighting in presumably the same field north of Honer cottages they previously occupied. Two Song Thrushes, a Sparrowhawk, a few Reed Buntings and about 50 Black-tailed Godwits completed this morning's tally. (IH)


Reed Bunting (above), Brent Geese & Great Crested Grebe and Wigeon along North Wall (AH)






Wednesday, 13th November: A fine, bright and sunny morning, with just a light northerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: It was very quiet this morning, though a couple of Red-throated Divers and three Great Northern Divers went west. Full log below. (C&ME/AH)
(0700-0930hrs) (N F2)
Great Northern Diver - 3W
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Shag - 2E
Common Scoter - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 4W
Common Gull - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Meadow Pipit - 3W
Pied Wagtail - 1W

A walk along from East Beach to the Bill this afternoon turned up a Black Redstart, six Pied Wagtails and nine Turnstones, plus a flock of 16 Brent Geese heading west. (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were 100+ Lapwings on the pool, along with c50 Shovelers, c30 Teal and six Shelducks. (AH)

Shoveler and Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)


Church Norton: There wasn't too much unusual about, though there were plenty of Dunlin, Ringed and Grey Plovers present, along with three Avocets, the regular Whimbrel, half a dozen Pintail and 100+ Wigeon, whilst a Peregrine went over and 20 Skylarks were along the spit. (AH/A&YF)

Peregrine (above), Avocets, Grey Plover, Ringed Plovers  & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)





North Wall: Not too much to report this morning, though there were nine Long-tailed Tits flying through, 41 Curlew in Honer 3 field, two Great Crested Grebes in Whites Creek and 1,200 Brent Geese in the field behind Honer cottages at 9am. (IH)
There were also two Buzzards, 350 Black-tailed Godwits and 200 Lapwing present. (PB)

Chichester Marina Reed-beds: Whilst doing some management and improvement work on the reed-beds a Bittern was inadvertently flushed from the main pool. (per PH)

Medmerry: Toe End - The Snow Bunting was still at the end of the caravans this morning, with a Black Redstart, a Reed Bunting, two Stonechats and c40 Meadow Pipits nearby.
A Peregrine was on the derelict building on the reserve, whilst the tidal areas held 12 Great Crested Grebes, 20 Grey Plovers and c40 Dunlin. (PB/PC)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were at least 12 Cattle Egrets around the sheep and cattle this morning, whilst a Grey Wagtail, a dozen Pied Wagtails and 20+ Meadow Pipits were around the buildings.
Also, a Mistle Thrush, at least four Song Thrushes and a handful of Goldcrests were in the nearby churchyard. (AH)


Cattle Egrets (above), Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit & Mistle Thrush around Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)