Tuesday, 3 December 2013

3rd - 5th December 2013

Thursday, 5th December: Still mainly dull and cloudy, but much cooler and windier, W/NW force 5-6, gusting to 7. 
Andy House reports from Pagham Hbr:
Went to the North Wall for a change, but pretty quiet in a very blustery wind. Breech Pool (now full of water again): 40 Wigeon and 80 Teal but no waders. 100+ Canada Geese and 40 Curlews in the fields and a lot of Brent Geese coming and going but not settling. White's Creek: 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 30 Black-tailed Godwit, and a few Wigeon and Redshank. Pagham Lagoon: A lot of Coots, a few Little Grebes and Tufted Duck and one Pochard (AH).
Bar-tailed Godwit in White's Creek (A. House)
Wednesday, 4th December: Another dull, overcast day with a period of drizzly rain late morning. Quite cool, wind light N, 2-3.   
Highlights today were again the divers and wildfowl off Church Norton beach, though with a change in the weather predicted over the next few days it will be interesting to see how long they remain.
Selsey Bill, 8.30-9.15am: Slow! 1 Red-throated Diver and 35 Gannet W, 1 Common Scoter E and 2 Great Northern Divers offshore (AH). 
Pagham Hbr: Back to Church Norton again, where quite a crowd had gathered on the beach, and they weren't disappointed. A tight group of 4 Black-throated Divers offshore was the highlight, well supported by 3 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 Goosanders, 2 Velvet Scoters, up to 20 Slavonian Grebes, 30+ Red-breasted Mergansers and 8 Great Crested Grebes along with a few Gannets going west. In the harbour the Peregrine was back on its island and 5 Goldeneye were near the harbour mouth. The only downside to the morning was a Chinook helicopter going back and forth over the harbour and a shooting party on the west side, including beaters waving orange flags along the footpath, that were constantly disturbing the roosting wildfowl and waders (AH).


 At Church Norton this morning: persistently annoying Chinook, a gathering of Slavonian Grebes and the regular Peregrine on its look-out spot (photos: Andy House)

Being somewhat restricted for time again I paid a visit to the Chichester GP's this morning, hoping for something decent. Alas it seems that all the activity is on the coast and my sortie was fairly unproductive. The best I could come up with was 15 Shoveler, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 120 Lapwings and a Grey Wagtail at Westhampnett North (Windsurf) pit, and at Drayton pits an unremarkable c.50 Gadwall and a similar number of Tufted Duck amongst the regular wildfowl (OM).  To add insult to injury, I note a Red-necked Grebe was later located, close to the bank/ A259 on the south pit - the bit I didn't cover on my circuit! (Chris Seaton/SOS).

Medmerry: Sarah Russell reports "I imagine you're pretty tired of Snow Bunting pictures by now but I couldn't resist taking this one of a couple perched on the line of rocks alongside the rough piece of ground at Medmerry this afternoon, they sat there quite happily and allowed me to get fairly close.  The usual pair of Stonechats were flitting around, and 7 Pied Wagtails along with a couple of Meadow Pipits." Actually Sarah, I never tire of Snow Bunts which are delightful; it also makes me wonder how many are on the Peninsula right now!

Tuesday, 3rd December: Dry but still overcast and rather dreary with light wind, N 2-3.

First report of the day is from Andy House: Spent the morning at East Head where highlights were the first-winter female Long-tailed Duck close inshore from the northern end, a pair of Snow Buntings nearby on the beach and three redhead Goosanders feeding close in at the harbour mouth (possibly the same three that were at Church Norton yesterday). Also a Great Northern Diver, 50+ Red-breasted Mergansers and half a dozen Great Crested Grebes in the harbour, 3 Eider in the harbour mouth, one Rock Pipit on the beach and plenty of Skylarks and Sanderling about, including several colour-ringed birds (AH).
Selection from East Head today; from the top - Goosanders, colour-ringed Sanderling, two Snow Buntings and Long-tailed Duck (all photos: A. House)
Interested to see the photo of ringed Sanderling - expect you know this but it is from Hayling Island. I was talking to Andy Johnson when I went to see the Semi-p Plover there. He told me that they had ringed lots of Sanderling with those blue flag rings, think it was this year.
Looks like a good year for ducks; enjoyed the Long-tailed Ducks yesterday and could not believe the three Goosander, excellent views of ducks not common in these parts. Might become a fan of sea watching if this continues! (R. Pulley, Climping)
Selsey Bill; offshore 4 Great Northern Divers, single Red-throated Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebes (BFF/DIS/DM)    

Next is a full report from the Worthing boys - Bernie Forbes, Dave Smith and Dorian Mason, who spent most of the day birding around Pagham Hbr... "One of those very dull overcast days with no wind and temperatures around 7C. The sea state dead flat calm with loads of birds wherever you looked. Our first birding stop the North Wall where we took a walk down the east side of the harbour to the beach. In the harbour itself a huge flock of Brent Geese and at least 800 Knot with 100 Golden Plover. In the bushes on the east side 6 Chiffchaff and 4 Goldeneye on the Lagoon. Sea watching from Pagham Beach we had 3 female Goosander in the harbour entrance that flew off out to sea. Offshore a tight flock of 3 Black-throated Divers, 5 Red–throated Divers and single Great Northern Diver plus 2 female Velvet Scoter. On the shingle bar a delightful Merlin feeding which eventually took off flying over the caravan site. Around the Breech Pool 7 squealing Water Rail, a couple of Cetti’s Warbler and a Kingfisher. Relocating to Church Norton where again most of the birding activity was offshore we noted the following: 25 Slavonian Grebes, 5 female Goosander, 4 Black-throated Divers (the same 3 +1 that were seen off Pagham earlier) 5 Red throated Divers (again the same flock) single Great Northern Diver, 5 Long-tailed Duck, 6 Razorbill and 2 Velvet Scoter plus a Peregrine."  






Selection from Pagham Hbr today: Bar-tailed Godwit, Goosanders, Kingfisher and Kestrel
(all photos: Dorian Mason)
















No comments:

Post a Comment