Wednesday, 27 November 2013

27th - 29th November 2013

Friday, 29th November: Dry, cloudy and fairly murky, with a fresh W/NW wind 4-5.
I arrived at the Bill this morning to find AH and JA already in situ. There was a bit of movement going on, albeit fairly standard fare  - Gannets, auks and Kittiwakes - but at least we had chance to discuss such things as previous records and plans for the future. Further updates will follow...

Selsey Bill (0800-1200hrs): Cloudy, W/NW 4-5  (Obs: JA/AH/OM)
Gannet - 19E, 148W
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Red-throated Diver - 9W, 1os
Diver sp - 3E, 1W
Brent Goose - 24W
R/b Merganser - 4E, 10W
Eider - 1 os
Common Scoter - 2E, 13 os
Teal - 1E
Wigeon - 8E, 4W
Auk sp - 251E, 102W
Razorbill - 15W
Guillemot - 3W
Kestrel - 1p
Med Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 2E, 57W
Pied Wagtail - 7W, 3ob
Goldfinch - 15W
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens


 Andy House (left) and Justin Atkinson in action at the Bill when I arrived (OM)

Common Scoters on a rough sea at the Bill (A. House)
Pagham Hbr: I paid a quick visit to Church Norton this morning, meeting Bob Turner near the car-park. Two Ravens came out of the wood cronking and went down on the shingle spit. At first offshore I could only find 3 fem Long-tailed Ducks, but later all five were feeding together, and later still I had very good views of the 2 males feeding off of the 2nd Several breakwater. There were also c30 Brent and a fem Shoveler offshore, but I didn’t see any scoters or strangely any  Slavonian Grebes, perhaps because the tide was falling (CRJ).
The North Wall area held 102 Canada Geese and 2 Water Rails (Breech Pool), c.400 Golden Plover, c. 1000 Lapwings, 25 Black-tailed Godwits, and a single Spotted Redshank - the whole lot taking to the air with other wildfowl when shooting began on adjacent farmland (an increasingly common situation). A check of Pagham Lagoon failed to provide any excitement; a single Goldeneye and a Pochard were the only noteworthy additions to the usual cast of Coots, a handful of Tufted Ducks and around 40 Little Grebes (OM)
Selsey: I took a walk around East Beach Pond in the hope against all hope of seeing something different.  In a way my wish came true but not quite in the way I'd hoped, as I found myself mobbed by 7 Muscovy Ducks, so presumably Swanbourne Lake at Arundel is missing a few!!  Much as I like seeing something other than Mallard, Coot and Moorhen, I would like something WILD next time (SR).

A motley collection of birdlife at East Beach Pool, Selsey this morning! (Sarah Russell)

Thursday, 28th November: Another grey, gloomy day with a very light NW breeze. 
Andy House was again at Church Norton beach this morning where the sea was flat calm; the group of 5 Long-tailed Ducks was still present, together with 5 Velvet Scoters and a Goldeneye. Whilst on the subject of Andy, he will be running the blog this weekend so all details to him please for those days; meanwhile it seems he saved the day again blog-wise, with no other reports received.

Pagham Hbr: Back to Church Norton beach again to make the most of the still conditions. The five Long-tailed Ducks were still offshore and now five Velvet Scoters as well. Also offshore were the dozen Eider, a single Common Scoter, a minimum of 24 Slavonian Grebes, 17 Great Crested Grebes, 32 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Goldeneye (with another in the harbour mouth). A single Sanderling was on the beach and the Peregrine was upsetting everything in the harbour (AH).
Slavonian Grebes and fem Goldeneye offshore at Church Norton beach (A. House)

Wednesday, 27th November: A dull, damp, grey and dreary day with frequent light drizzle and light wind. The only report received so far is from Andy House who had a productive morning at Norton beach...

Pagham Hbr:  Church Norton: Spent the morning on the beach and the spit looking offshore. The light was awful, but the flat-calm sea allowed me to see just how much activity there was. There are now FIVE Long-tailed Ducks, staying as a two and a three, offshore (I think 2 x 1st winter males, 2 x 1st-winter females and a juvenile type). Also, I made a conservative count of 26 Slavonian Grebes, plus 16 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Velvet Scoter, 11 or 12 Eider, 2 Red-throated Divers and 32 Red-breasted Mergansers. Also, the regular female Merlin was on the spit (AH).
above and below: groups of two and three Long-tailed Ducks off Church Norton (A. House)
Slavonian Grebes and Merlin at Church Norton (A. House)

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