Tuesday, 17 December 2013

17th - 19th December 2013

Thursday, 19th December: Fine and sunny all morning, and remaining dry until late afternoon when cloud and showers arrived. Talking of arriving I had the journey from hell this morning, with hold-up after hold-up on the roads, before I eventually arrived at the Bill. When I got there AH and Peter Callis were watching a flock of divers passing, and divers on the move was really the highlight other than 4 Slavonian Grebes. Elsewhere the 2 Ruddy Shelducks were again present in the middle of the harbour and a Merlin was disturbing the waders big-style. 
Selsey Bill (0830-1230hrs): Sunshine and cloud. Wind SW3  (Obs: AH/PC/OM)
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 65W
Black-throated Diver - 3W
Great Northern Diver - 3W
Diver sp - 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 4W settled os
Shag - 1 os, flew off E then later returned os
Brent Goose - 11E
Gannet - just 1W
Eider - 2E, 1os
R/b Merganser - 12E, 36W, 8os
Common Scoter - 1E, 10 os
Auk sp - 8W
Guillemot - 8W
Kittiwake - 4W
Med Gull - 5W, 2os
Rock Pipit - 2 ob
Pied Wagtail - 2 ob

 Selsey Bill this morning: Red-throated Divers moving west (A. House), looking east along the wall  with not a soul around during a big tide, and Peter 'Palace' Callis (OM).
Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: Difficult viewing offshore with a huge swell running, but the two Long-tailed Ducks obligingly got up and briefly flew around. Also offshore, at least six Eider, two Common Scoter, up to 10 Great Crested Grebes and 20 Red-breasted Mergansers. Quiet in the harbour, but at least 150 Grey Plover, 100 Knot and 100 Dunlin roosting on the old harbour entrance (AH). A later visit failed to locate the Long-tailed Ducks and indeed most of the birds noted earlier by AH; just a few Mergansers, Great Crested Grebes and an Eider were located, plus a couple of divers of which one was a probable Black-throated. The 2 Ruddy Shelduck were seen somewhat distantly in the middle of the harbour, and a Merlin was reported by several observers. A massive flock of c.2000 Lapwings with several hundred Golden Plovers was disturbed by the latter over the North Wall side (OM/DM/DIS).

Roosting waders at Church Norton (A. House)
Wednesday, 18th December: A blustery day with cloud and sunshine  during the morning then rain and strong winds during the afternoon; the wind increasing by evening with overnight gales forecast. At the Bill, a brisk southerly and bright sun made viewing difficult, but there was still a bit on the move when Andy House visited.

Selsey Bill 0815-0915hrs:  Sunshine with cloud, S 5-7  (Obs: AH)
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 5W
Diver sp - 2E,1W
Gannet - 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Kittiwake - 23E
Guillemot - 15E, 40W
Auk sp - 10E, 22W
Pagham Hbr: Ferry Pool: The two Ruddy Shelduck were present this morning (one of them sadly is quite lame) amongst 94 Common Shelduck. Also 48 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 22 Teal, 200+ Wigeon and 200+ Lapwing (AH). A very breezy morning on Pagham Lagoon produced 23 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, 120 Coot, 8 Common  and 5 Med Gulls (J.Weston ).

 Seven Eider off West Itchenor, and the Ruddy Shelducks on the Ferry Pool (A. House)

West Itchenor: A walk south from here produced a nice flock of seven Eider, up to a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, 200 Brent Geese, 2 Great Crested and 4 Little Grebes and a few Curlew, Redshank and Grey Plover on the high tide (AH).

Tuesday, 17th December: Despite the promise of a brighter day it was still fairly gloomy overall, mainly overcast with a light-mod NE wind. The 2 Ruddy Shelducks were still at Pagham Hbr, viewable from the North Wall, although they were reported earlier as being present on the Ferry Pool. I finally caught up with this colourful duo, with the added bonus of seeing dear old Ron 'Chunky' King, erstwhile Hants resident, long-time twitcher and occasional visitor to the Bill - still going strong as he approaches 80!
Ron 'Chunky' King ticking off the Ruddy Shelducks at Pagham North Wall (OM)

Selsey Bill 0830-0930hrs: Dull, drizzly, wind light NE. (Obs; AH/JD)
Red-throated Diver - 10 came off the sea and then W, 3 dropped onto sea
Red-necked Grebe - 1 W then o/s (per JD)
Slavonian Grebe - 1 o/s
Great Crested Grebe - 2 o/s
Gannet - 7E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 5W 5 o/s
Kittiwake - 5 far o/s, lingering
Auk sp - 12 E, 10+ o/s
Rock Pipit - 1 ob
Pied Wagtail - 1 ob

Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: Dave Potter reported 2 Long-tailed Ducks offshore but I couldn't locate them. Otherwise 4 Eider, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebes and at least 20 Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea and 3 Red-throated Divers flew west.. (AH)
North Wall: The 2 Ruddy Shelducks were still present with Common Shelducks, out in the harbour and viewable from the Salthouse sluice, although they eventually drifted out of view. Other birders present reported that they had earlier been on the Ferry Pool. Also seen were a Kingfisher, a couple of hundred Golden Plovers and what must have been about 2000 Lapwings; something kept spooking them but Chunky and I couldn't see what - possibly it was a Merlin reported by other birders (OM).

This morning on Pagham Lagoon were eight Goldeneyes including two full males. Also here were a pair of smart Red-breasted Mergansers, some 30 Tufted Ducks, a Pochard, two Gadwall, a few Med Gulls and Water Rails kik-calling in reeds at eastern end (ARK/SOS website).

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