Saturday, 28 December 2013

28th-29th December 2013

Sunday 29th December 2013

A beautiful winter's day, but a bit less birding activity today,though a good selection at the Bill.

Selsey Bill:

Great Northern Diver 1E, 2W & 3 o/s
Red-throated Diver 9E, 3W & 5 o/s
diver sp 2E & 1 o/s
Slavonian Grebe 13 W
Great Crested Grebe 6E, 3W & 2o/s
Gannet 1E
Shag 1E
Brent Goose 3W
Common Scoter 10E, 3W & 5 o/s
Eider 5E & 7 o/s
Red-breasted Merganser 14E, 3W & 6 o/s
Kittiwake 22W
Razorbill 3W
auk sp 5E & 3W

Fishbourne Creek: Plenty of birds about this morning though the tide remained high enough to keep the scarcer waders hidden. Highlight was a total of about 15 Yellowhammers in the cow fields. Also seen were the very tame Grey Wagtail, 3-4 Rock Pipits, a Bullfinch heard but not seen, a couple of Spotted Redshanks amongst its commoner cousins, 2 drake Goldeneye, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Peregrine and then a Buzzard disturbing the tranquil scene and large numbers of Wigeon and Brent Geese.

Yellowhammers at Fisbourne Creek (8 in a tree above) 29/12/13 (AH)

Grey Wagtail at Fishbourne Creek 29/12/13 (AH)
West Itchenor: Best bird was a Red-throated Diver in the channel, along with about 20 Red-breasted Mergansers, though otherwise quite quiet - several hundred Brent Geese and about a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits being the best of the rest.

Shelduck & Bar-tailed Godwit, West Itchenor 29/12/13 (AH)

Pagham Harbour: Paul Bowley reported seeing one of the Ruddy Shelducks in White's Creek early this morning.
Below a summary from Ian Pitts of his regular walk from Park Farm, Selsey to Church Norton this morning -
 'It was one of those days where nothing of any great note was seen, but there were lots of birds about, I did hear a Cetti's Warbler in full song behind the first Several (as you know they have been very quiet this Autumn).
Offshore was also very quiet, disappointing since the sea was beautifully flat for searching. 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 female Eider, a fly-by Red-throated Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebes was all I could manage, until I met Sam and Sandra, who then found a single male Long-tailed Duck about a mile offshore feeding furiously (my excuse for missing it!)
All the common waders were in evidence in considerable numbers within the harbour, plus a lone Peregrine on its island,  and a Chiffchaff popped out of the lone bush at the southern end of the harbour and sang to me!
Apart from a Jay over the second Several that just about sums up three hours of glorious weather, not much of that forecast for tomorrow!' (A total of 61 species - his second highest count of the year)

Finally, below a selection of shots by Chris and Juliet Moore, from the Church Norton area this afternoon in the splendid winter sunshine:

from the top: Kingfisher (C. Moore), exposed ironwork of the old harbour entrance, gathering of gulls including Black-headed and Med, Mediterranean Gull, and Little Egret (J. Moore)

Saturday 28th December 2013

A bright and pleasant morning to be out and about, but a dull, dank afternoon followed.

Selsey Bill 07.45 to 09.45 SH, CN & SR:

Great Northern Diver - 1E & 1 o/s
Red-throated Diver - 4E & 4W
diver sp 1E & 3 o/s
Great Crested Grebe 2E, 2W & 1 o/s
Gannet 1W
Brent Gooe 3W
Pintail 2W
Common Scoter 9E, 2W & 7 o/s
Eider 7E & 4 o/s
Red-breasted Merganser  16E, 1W & 6 o/s
Kittiwake 21W
Guillemot 5W
Rock Pipit 2 ob
Meadow Pipit 1 ob

Pagham Harbour: Walked the east side of the harbour this morning - nothing out of the ordinary but the harbour is teeming with birds at the moment. At least 500 Black-tailed Godwits and 300 Golden Plover were along White's Creek on the falling tide, along with a few Bar-tailed Godwits, though the flooded fields behind the Breach Pool were surprisingly empty - 100+ Curlew and similar of Wigeon was about it and around 1000 Lapwings periodically taking to the wing. The Lagoon held 2 Goldeneye and a Red-breasted Merganser, plus at least 30 Little Grebes. (AH)

Brent Geese over the Breach Pool 28/12/13 (AH)

Part of the Golden Plover flock in White's Creek 28/12/13 (AH)

Grey Plover in White's Creek28/12/13 (AH)

Church Norton: Accumulated highlights from IP, S&SaH & AH as follows -
Offshore there were still 3 Long-tailed Ducks, 6 Eider, 3 Slavonian Grebe, a Red-throated Diver, 8 Red-breasted Merganser and 6 Great Crested Grebes.
In the harbour there was a flock of 16 Avocets in the central channel, and the two Ruddy Shelducks were there again late this afternoon, though there were no reports of the unusually plumaged Golden Plover amongst the several hundred still present. Also seen in the harbour were a Peregrine, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Chiffchaff by the second Several.
Two other bits from IP - firstly he had 5 Sanderlings on the beach yesterday (rare in winter at Pagham), and secondly, there appears to be a wintering Grey Wagtail at Park Farm, Selsey.

To prove Ian & I can count - 16 Avovets in the twilight! 28/12/13 (AH)

Medmerry: Sarah Russell reports - From the breach at Medmerry looking across to Bracklesham: a Peregrine perched on the fence, c75 Lapwing, soon joined by 32 Shoveler and c50 Brent Geese. The new reserve shaping up nicely with the banks of the breach channel constantly crumbling away into the water and the shingle bank looking narrower than before. Medmerry itself had the usual Buzzard on his post, a hunting Kestrel, 3 Little Egrets, c100 Lapwing, c100 Brent Geese and no doubt a good deal more further out of sight. I look forward to the footpaths being complete and open.

East Head: The two Snow Buntings were reported again today, via SOS.

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