Wednesday, 29 January 2014

29th - 31st January 2014

Friday, 31st January: Another grey, dreary and cloudy day with the promise of heavy rain later and yet more rain and strong winds thereafter, bringing to a close the wettest January on record. The only compensation to most folk is that the winter has been comparatively mild throughout, though to us birders it's of little use as it usually fails to deliver anything unusual or any exciting movements. It can still all change of course in the next few weeks but time is getting on and it may be that some birds will have dispersed early - time will tell.
Right, on with today's birding news...

Selsey Bill (08.30 - 09.15hrs): Cloud.       (Obs: AH)
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 2E
Brent Goose  - 16E
Common Scoter -  3W & 3 os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2 E, 3W
Kittiwake - 2 E
Guillemot - 1 W

Sidlesham Ferry: The two Ruddy Shelducks present again, along with 6 Gadwall, 40+ Shoveler, 50+ Shelduck and plenty of Wigeon & Teal. (AH)

Wigeon (above) and Ruddy Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Thursday, 30th January: Wind very light N increasing slightly to NW 2-3 later. I arrived at the Bill to find Paul Matson already in situ and some birding interest on the flat calm sea; before long the Worthing boys also arrived. A Razorbill was showing well quite close inshore, whilst a small movement of Slavonian Grebes was apparent, a couple of small groups settling on the sea awhile before moving off. A small movement of wildfowl was also of interest, including a flock of 16 mystery ducks that settled some way out before eventually revealing themselves as Tufted when they flew off.
Selsey Bill (08.30 - 1130hrs): Cloudy then sunny, wind very light N/NW 1-2.
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 6W, 1 os
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 2 os
Diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1 os
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, at least 9W (mostly settled os before moving off)
Brent Goose - 5E, 3W
Eider - 3W
Common Scoter - 13 os
R/b Merganser - 25E, 7os
Shoveler - 20W
Teal - 4W
Tufted Duck - 16E
Razorbill - 1 os
Auk sp - 1E
Med Gull - 4E, 1 os
Razorbill and Med Gull off Selsey Bill (Dorian Mason)

At Church Norton we were greeted by a honking Raven sat in the large pine tree in the car park, it quickly moved off honking around the church yard for a few minutes. In the bushes down to the beach a Firecrest was briefly seen but offshore only three Eider and four Red-breasted Mergansers. Watching from the bench overlooking the harbour at Norton we counted 36 Bar-tailed Godwits and 285 Turnstone roosting at high tide with at least 68 Med Gulls loafing. A small male Peregrine zoomed over the beach causing wader panic and in the far distance we could just make out the Ruddy Shelducks in the harbour at the North Wall (BFF/DIS/DM)

Relocating to Dell Quay we spent the reminder of the day birding around Chichester Harbour with another Raven in trees on the opposite bank. In with the roosting waders we found two Spotted Redshanks and two Greenshanks with six Goldeneye on the water. Around the edge of the harbour a skulking Water Rail and a single Rock Pipit. We located a large Brent Goose flock south of Dell Quay and glimpsed a Black Brant feeding amongst them. We then managed to get fairly close to the flock near New Barn Farm and had much better views (BFF/DIS/DM).

At East Head a Dartford Warbler still present (SR).

A Raven flew south-west over my garden in Sidlesham first thing this morning. (AH)

Wednesday 29th January:

North Wall: Very large numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Golden Plover & Wigeon on the flooded fields, plus a dozen Common Snipe flying about on the high tide. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits behind the North Wall (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: The Slavonian Grebe still present, plus 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 Goldeneye, 40 Little Grebes and 20 or so Common and Mediterranean Gulls. (AH)

Slavonian Grebe (above) & Red-breasted Merganser on Pagham Lagoon. (AH)


Monday, 27 January 2014

27th-28th January 2014

Tuesday, 28th January: Another bright, breezy & chilly day, with the odd heavy shower for good measure.....

East Head: Not much to report with a high tide and strong wind - 20+ Sanderling were along the strandline, 30+ Ringed Plovers and 20+ Skylarks, plus a couple of Meadow Pipits were on the mud, 3 or 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes off the northern tip, and a huge flock of Brent Geese (1000+?) on the grass with 40 Oystercatchers and similar of Lapwing. (AH)

Sanderlings (above) and Oystercatychers at East Head (AH)
Medmerry: The Little Owl was present this morning at its regular, private, site. (AH)
Sidlesham SF: A lot less birds than my last visit, though still a Grey Wagtail and a Reed Bunting among 50+ Pied Wagtails, all disturbed by a low  Buzzard. (AH)
Buzzard over Sidlesham SF (AH)
 Sadly, it was reported that the adult Glaucous Gull, rescued on the spit, and taken to Brent Lodge, failed to recover and died the following day.
Monday, 27th January: A bright and breezy day, with the harbour full of birds, but not much out of the ordinary.....

Church Norton: Huge numbers of Brent Geese around this morning, with well in excess of 1000 birds moving off on the falling tide, and at least that many again up over the North Wall. Plenty of waders, too - 3-400 Knot and similar of Dunlin on the mud, and at least a couple of hundred Black-tailed Godwit & Golden Plover going up over the harbour with 500+ Lapwing. Also, the leucistic curlew was around again.
There were 150+ Mediterranean Gull and 50+ Common Gull along the beach, but all I could find offshore were 4 Eider and 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (+ 3 more in the harbour).(AH)

Brent Geese over Church Norton (AH)

Leucistic Curlew & Knot in the harbour (AH)

Common Gull on Church Norton beach (AH)
Ferry Pool: The two Ruddy Shelduck on there again this morning, along with 64 Shelduck, 44 Shovelar, 6 Gadwall, 35 Teal, and 200+ of Wigeon and Lapwing - almost all of which were asleep! (AH)
Ruddy Shelduck & Shelduck on the Ferry field (AH)

Friday, 24 January 2014

24th - 26th January 2014

Sunday, 26th January: Back to normal weather conditions for this winter! Wet and windy from early on, but even so....

Selsey Bill: 07.30 to 09.30hrs F5 onshore:
At 7.50 I had a very distant Balearic Shearwater gradually moving west then, at 8.30 I picked 2 together going west just beyond mile basket line, before they then turned back heading east. (SH)
Also seen (with AH)
Red-throated Diver 4E
Great Crested Grebe 1W, 1 o/s
Fulmar 2W
Red-breasted Merganser 6E, 6W & 4o/s
Common Scoter 3 o/s
Grey Plover 1W
Mediterranean Gull 1 o/s
Kittiwake 2W
Guillemot 1W

Church Norton: Not much to report in the deteriorating weather, but a huge flock (1000+) Brent Geese in the field behind the churchyard. Also a surprising number of big, well-established trees seem to have either split or fallen in the last few days in the vicinity.(AH)

There were 40 Mediterranean Gulls along the beach and a calling Cetti's Warbler this afternoon.(S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: The two Ruddy Shelduck were on there with Common Shelducks at 3pm.(S&SaH)

Ivy Lake: No sign of the Whooper Swans up till 4.30pm. (S&SaH)

Saturday, 25th JanuaryA brighter, drier morning with some pleasant sunshine, but wet and windy again by mid-afternoon, with more rain due this weekend. First news today was of a short sea-watch at the Bill which produced a few divers, several Slavonian Grebes and an ad Little Gull. Later, the Glaucous Gull at Church Norton was sadly found moribund and taken into care.

Selsey Bill: 07.30 to 09.00hrs: Cloud with some brightness, wind WSW 3-4. (Obs: SH/JA)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 8W, 1 os

Great Northern Diver - 3 os
Diver sp - 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1W, 3 os
Slavonian Grebe - 4E, 1W, 3 os
R/b Merganser - 4E, 4W, 5 os
Eider - 1 os
Common Scoter - 8 os
Little Gull - 1 adult os, then W

Church Norton: Sad news to report from Ivan Lang this morning, that the Glaucous Gull was picked up on the end of the spit, in a very weak state, and taken to Brent Lodge. Fingers crossed that some food and TLC will work. (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A nice selection here this morning, including at least 20 Yellowhammers still, with two or three Reed Buntings for company, the regular Grey Wagtail, a Stonechat, three Rock and a dozen Meadow Pipits along the pathway, and a Cetti's Warbler heard. In the harbour there were single Lesser Black-backed & Yellow-legged Gulls in amongst the gull flock, at least 700 of which were Common Gulls. There were also three Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank and at least 300 Black-tailed Godwits present, but I failed (again) to find the Whimbrel that was around in the autumn. (AH)

Yellowhammer (above), Grey Wagtail & Stonechat along Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Friday, 24th January: So where's all the rain? The forecast was for heavy rain most of the day, but by noon it was still only just damp with a bit of light spitting and drizzly stuff - though it is noticeably cooler today with a fresh SSE breeze.

Selsey Bill: A quick visit with JA (08.45-0910) produced 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 6 Common Scoter and 6 Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea, and a Red-throated Diver and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers west (AH).

Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: Main news of the morning was that the Glaucous Gull was back, this time on the beach. Its left wing appeared to be hanging a bit, but it can clearly fly - not least because an 'injured' adult Glaucous Gull was reported on the Isle of Wight during the week, which must surely be the same bird.

The Glaucous Gull on Church Norton beach (AH)


Otherwise it was quiet - just a single Eider and Red-breasted Merganser offshore, and about 150 Knot and a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits amongst the waders on the beach, along with 30+ Mediterranean Gulls. One other thing that I had not observed before was a Common Gull repeatedly dropping a whelk onto the beach like the Herring Gulls and Crows do to break its shell. Evolution in the making, or a lack of observation on my part? (AH).

Common Gull preparing to drop a whelk on Church Norton beach (AH)
There was still a pair of Goldeneye on Pagham Lagoon this morning amongst the many Tufted Ducks and Coots. A single Slavonian Grebe showing nice and close in amongst the Little Grebes, allowing good size comparison (SR).

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

21st - 23rd January 2014

Thursday, 23rd January: Back to another forecast of plenty of rain over the next few days with fronts still piling in off the Atlantic. This morning's rain altered my plans somewhat and I found myself making a late start down the Bill with a stiff westerly blowing - with a predictable outcome! I managed to last for a little over an hour but there was very little happening so it was time to move on. Fortunately the rain stopped and the sun appeared, making birding a lot more pleasant, but it was all fairly average today with nothing out of the ordinary that I could find (OM).

Selsey Bill (10.00-11.15hrs): Rainy, then sunny, wind W 5.  (Obs: OM)
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Great Crested Grebe - 4W
Common Scoter - 6 os
R/b Merganser - 1E,1W

Selsey West Beach: A brief stop here failed to find any birds worthy of mention, save for a Kestrel hovering over the edge of the eroded 'cliffs.' It should be mentioned that there is a sign saying the footpath along this stretch has officially been closed for the time being for public safety reasons, due to coastal erosion, though there is nothing to physically stop access. The path is mighty close to the edge in a couple of spots and it's surely only a matter of time before it disappears.

West Beach Selsey, looking towards the Medmerry breach. Note the crumbling cliffs on the right, with the footpath right on the precipice and the now very adjacent fence line (OM).
Pagham Hbr: I spent some time at Church Norton on the rising tide, sorting through the Brent Goose flock and the large number of waders on the mudflats, but despite my best efforts I could find nothing unusual. There must have been 300 Grey Plover and a similar number of Golden, perhaps 500 Knot, loads of Dunlin and 6 Bar-tailed Godwits. The dark-bellied Brent Flock of around 1500 was commuting between the mudflats and the adjacent farm fields to the west - and being frequently disturbed on the latter. Two Peregrines were roosting on their favoured island, whilst in the harbour a Goldeneye and several R/b Mergansers were present. A party of Hants birders who walked up the  whole of the west side informed me of at least 10 Avocets in the channel (OM).

Part of the dark-bellied Brent Goose flock at Church Norton, commuting between the fields and mudflats (OM).


Wednesday, 22nd January: Dry and generally pleasant with sunshine and some cloud.

Pagham Spit & Lagoon: Spent the morning around the Lagoon and spit in bright sunshine. Best bird was the very confiding Slavonian Grebe on the lagoon - it's not often we see this familiar, but charming, species so close. Also on there were 5 Goldeneye (including two displaying drakes), 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, at least 40 Little Grebes and 20 Mediterranean Gulls.
In the harbour the two Ruddy Shelducks were still present, along with another 10 or so Red-breasted Mergansers, 30+ Mediterranean Gulls and about 500 Black-tailed Godwits, and there were 6 Skylarks along the spit.(AH)

Three images of the Slavonian Grebe (above) and Goldeneye on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Tuesday, 21st January: A cold and frosty start, with thick fog lingering to mid-morning, then mainly dry and fairly sunny with light wind.
A late start for me as I waited for the fog to clear, before deciding to stick to the west side of the Peninsula to try to find myself a Jack Snipe, a species that has eluded me so far this year. I gave it some wellie (literally) checking out all the regular sites and a few other likely-looking spots - all to no avail as I failed to connect. Fishbourne Creek was a disappointment and the tide was well up on my arrival, the best on offer being just three R/b Mergansers, a Goldeneye and a showy Buzzard. Things were better at Snowhill Marsh (W. Wittering) where the highlights were four Spotted Redshanks with two Greenshank, and a delightful roosting flock of 180 Golden Plover sparkling in the sunlight. Another showy Buzzard was eating worms, whilst the less said about East Head the better. I thought the frosty conditions might have done the trick but perhaps it's still too mild? (OM).

Pagham Harbour:  There was an '-eared owl sp' flushed from the bank along the North Wall early on, but I could find no trace, though a Water Rail flying out of the long grass and into the reeds was a surprising consolation, before I gave up in foggy despair. A brief look at Church Norton failed to find the Glaucous Gull, though it was back on Tern Island late afternoon (per Birdguides). Quiet on the sea, too, with just a single Slavonian Grebe, Eider and Red-breasted Merganser noted. (AH)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

19th - 20th January 2013

Monday, 20th January: Cool but dry with cloud, some sunshine and a light breeze. A lazy start to the day for yours truly, but early news received from CRJ/AH that the Glaucous Gull is still present on its island at Pagham Hbr; viewable from Church Norton or Pagham spit.

Church Norton: The good news is that the Glaucous Gull is still present, the bad that it doesn't appear very well. It was still on the 'Peregrine' island when we arrived, but flew onto the mud and eventually back onto Tern Island, but always immediately sitting back down looking sorry for itself.

The Glaucous Gull during two brief moments of activity (AH)

Elsewhere, from the spit, there were 9 Slavonian Grebes (my best count since before Christmas), 1 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Eider, 6 Great Crested Grebes and 20+ Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, plus a flock of 8 Common Scoter flying east, and in the harbour 2 Spotted Redshanks near Tern Island, 2 Goldeneye, at least 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 30+ Mediterranean Gulls and a huge flock (at least 500 birds, maybe double that) of Black-tailed Godwits, amongst the regular birds.(AH & CRJ). Later a Black-necked Grebe gave close views on the sea off Church Norton (T. Gibson-Poole).
Spotted Redshanks (above) and Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour (AH)

Sunday, 19th January: A crisp, bright and sunny morning with hardly a cloud in the sky at first - a very welcome change this winter! An adult Glaucous Gull was reported around 13.00, found by Dave Smith and Dorian Mason at Church Norton roosting on Tern Island. And just to prove it's been a mild winter so far, a Red Admiral butterfly was seen on the wing today.

Selsey Bill: Sunny, wind light SSE.  (Obs: JA/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Red-throated Diver - 5W, 1os
Diver Sp - 4E, 9W
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 3W, 1 os
Teal - 4W
Wigeon - 2W
Pintail - 21W
Common Scoter - 5 os
Eider - 1 os
R/b Merganser - 1 os
Curlew -  4W
Auk sp - 1E

Selsey East beach - Church Norton: (1000hrs)
1 Slavonian Grebe, 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 1 Eider and 4 R/b Mergansers (S&SaH) Also a Red Admiral butterfly on the wing (just about - see pic!)

 A tatty-winged Red Admiral at Park Farm, Selsey (Sam Hill)
Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: An adult Glaucous Gull was present on Tern Island early afternoon before flying across to settle again on New Island (i.e. the regular peregrine roost spot) (DIS/DM).
It was still present until dusk, sat on the top of the island, not troubled even when all the other big gulls got up. Also 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 12 Common Scoter were offshore. (AH) A Ruff was on the flooded field behind North Wall stables, and 6 Snipe on the saltings (ARK/M.Helps).

The Glaucous Gull sat on its island in the harbour. (AH)

 Another view of the Glaucous Gull, looking paler-mantled in the bright sunlight (Sam Hill)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

16th - 18th January 2014

Saturday, 18th January: Cloudy, grey and cooler with a fresh SSE wind and showers. Drier and sunnier periods in the day.

Apologies for the late update, but reports yesterday afternoon of a flock of Barnacle Geese in Pagham Hbr; presumably feral but who knows. One report concerns an estimate of 50-70 birds (R. Pulley), whilst a later count of 46 was made by warden Ivan Lang. On with today's news...
Selsey Bill 09.20-12.20 (3hrs): Mainly dry and cloudy, becoming brighter, wind fresh SSE5-6. On arrival there was no other observer present and surprisingly it stayed that way throughout my 3-hr watch, despite the SSE wind! It wasn't that bad, with just a trickle of birds to hold the interest...well mine anyway! (OM) Totals were:-
Red-throated Diver - 8W
Diver sp - 4W
Great Crested Grebe - 2W, 1os
Gannet - 1E, 4W
Fulmar - 2W
Shelduck - 1E
Teal - 2E
Common Scoter - 18 os
R/b Merganser - 1E, 3W
Grey Plover - 115W
Dunlin - 5W
Guillemot - 2W
Auk sp - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Med Gull - 1E
Kittiwake - 4E

Pagham Hbr: The harbour was equally as quiet when I arrived at Church Norton and strangely I didn't see another birder in the hour or so I was there at high tide. I did a double-take at the bizarre sight of a Sandwich Tern over Tern Island in January, the bird then drifting across to the East side, but otherwise it was all very mundane. Two or three R/b Mergansers were on show, but most of the waders were roosting, until something unknown (probably a Peregrine?) caused a mass panic of the Lapwings, Grey Plovers and Dunlin. I could see no sign of yesterday's Barnacle Geese from my viewpoint, although there was clearly a mass of birds out on the other side of the harbour towards the North Wall, too distant to identify (OM).

Friday, 17th January: And so it goes on... heavy rain overnight with a strong SSW wind, continuing into the morning, with a forecast of further rain into the weekend and drier spells at a premium. It sounds like sea-watching might be the best option again!

Selsey Bill: 11.30 to 12.45hrs  Cloudy and rainy, wind fresh SSW.  (Obs: C&ME, from the car!!) 
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Fulmar - 3E
R/b Merganser - 5E
Common Scoter - 25E
Auk sp - 1E              
Med Gull - 1E

Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: More time spent dodging showers than looking for birds, and not much new to report - on the sea 2 Eider and 2-3 Red-breasted Mergansers, in the harbour 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, up to a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits and 3-400 Knot amongst the commoner waders, but very few wildfowl, and on dry(ish!) land a couple of Jays and several singing Goldcrests. Also at least 500 Brent Geese in the arable field south of the Ferry.(AH)

Redshank (above) & Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew & Redshanks at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: All of the North Fields are flooded again and most footpaths are impassable. Birds seen: 47 Curlew, 36 Black-tailed Godwits, 210 Lapwing, 2 Greenshank, 180 Wigeon, 54 Teal and 3 Pintail. Also a pair of Sparrowhawks; the female is a big chunky individual. (JW).

Thursday, 16th January: Cloudy, quite cool and fairly windy with frequent showers.
A slow day on the Peninsula with only one item of news so far -  but as I've been absent myself from the patch for the best part of a week, trying to add to my year list, I can hardly complain ! (OM)
Pagham Hbr: a Great Northern Diver in the harbour at 14.08, reported by Ivan Lang.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

14th-15th January 2014

Wednesday 15th January: After the pleasures of yesterday's sunshine it was back to dull, damp and windy weather today. Both Whooper Swans were present at Chi GPs for a while this morning, but it seems they soon departed.

Chi GPs Ivy Lake: The two Whooper Swans were still present at 0900hrs (per Ivan Lang) but it seems they departed later and were not present early afternoon (RK).

Church Norton: Not much to report at a wet and windy Norton today - a group of 7 Bar-tailed Godwits in the harbour, plus a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, and around the bottom of the path to the harbour the Firecrest and the Treecreeper were amongst half a dozen Goldcrests, plenty of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits and 50+ Goldfinches. (AH)
Three of the seven Bar-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)
The two Ruddy Shelducks were again present in the harbour this afternoon, viewable from the North Wall, together with 88 Common Shelducks (Ron 'Chunky' King).

Tuesday 14th January: A glorious winter's day - bright and clear....

Chi GPs: Ivy Lake complex: The hitherto elusive Red-crested Pochard obviously liked the weather and was very obliging this morning, on the small pit at the eastern end of the complex. Also present around the pits were a Kingfisher, 80 Pochard, 20 Shoveler and 54 Greylag Geese. (AH)

Female Red-crested Pochard on Chichester Lakes (AH)

Later, the 2 Whooper Swans appeared on Ivy Lake early-mid afternoon (Matt Eade).
Whooper & Mute Swans on Ivy Lake (AH)
Honer Farm area: The two Whooper Swans were with Mute Swans near Bowley Farm this morning before being disturbed by shooters. Around the Honer Farm reservoir there were 2 Stonechats, 6 Meadow Pipits and 10 Yellowhammers. (CRJ)

Hunston: The large flock of Fieldfare (circa 150 this morning) was still at Kipson Bank Farm this morning, along with about half a dozen Redwing and similar of Yellowhammer. (AH)

Fieldfares (above) and Redwing at Kipson Bank Farm, Hunston (AH)


Saturday, 11 January 2014

11th - 13th January 2014

Monday 13th January: Dry periods with fairly frequent heavy showers. Wind SW4-5.

Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: Very little on the sea -  a close in female Eider and 4 Great Crested Grebes was all I could find. A female Red-breasted Merganser was in the harbour and a huge flock of Brent Geese dropped in, but otherwise nothing unusual. A Song Thrush was singing in the Priory. (AH)

Eider off Church Norton (AH)

 Ferry Pool: The two Ruddy Shelduck were showing nicely this morning, along with 60 Common Shelduck, 40 Shoveler, 50+ Teal, at least 200 Wigeon and a single Gadwall. A Kingfisher was in Ferry Channel, as was a Red-breasted Merganser, and Trevor Gibson-Poole reported 8 singing Song Thrushes around Yeoman's Field. (AH)

Ruddy Shelducks on the Ferry (AH)

SOS walk: Thirteen members joined Audrey Wende and Jim Weston for a muddy walk from the Information Centre at Sidlesham to the beach at Church Norton and back. First stop was the Ferry Pool which yielded the two long staying Ruddy Shelduck, 18 Shoveler and a lone Gadwall. On the walk down to Church Norton seven Avocets, some 600 Black-tailed Godwits and battalions of Brent Geese flying SW were noted. In the adjoining fields were a Buzzard, Kestrel and six Roe Deer. The beach watch was very disappointing with only a single Great Crested Grebe seen. Lunch was in the hide at Church Norton and birds seen included Knot, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers and a single Bar Tailed Godwit. The highlight took place at the end of the track leading down from the Church Norton car park where a single Treecreeper was seen. Quite a rarity for Pagham. A Water Rail was heard on the return journey (JW/SOS website)


Sunday, 12th January: Not as sunny as anticipated but just about remaining dry through the day, though cool and windy.

Selsey Bill 0745 to 1000hrs: Cool, SE4/5, cloudy: (Obs: JA/SH/IP/PB)
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 11E, 1W, 1os
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 5E
Slavonian Grebe - 2W, 1 os
Gannet - 4E, 11W
Fulmar - 2E
Brent Goose - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 12E, 8 os
Common Scoter - 4E, 17 os
Eider - 2W
Shelduck - 2W
Peregrine - 1p
Kestrel - 1p
Curlew - ca. 100E
Turnstone - 7 ob
Kittiwake - 8E, 19W
Razorbill - 2E
Guillemot - 2E, 2W
auk sp - 6E, 20W 
Rock Pipit - 2 ob.

Selsey Park Farm - Church Norton: I walked from near Park Farm to the edge of the harbour and back (1115-1345hrs) with Sam and Sandra Hill  half an hour behind me! Very little of note on a cold and choppy sea.....Two Eider and Five Common Scoter, with lots of common waders along the shore as the tide fell. The harbour held one Peregrine.The area around Park farm produced the overwintering Grey Wagtail, plus the best bird of the day in the shape of a Firecrest (IP).

Pagham Lagoon/North Wall: Had a fruitless look on the Breech Pool for the Red-crested Pochard this morning - and fruitless for just about everything else bar a few Teal & Tufted Duck! No sign on the Lagoon either, though there were 6 Goldeneye (including one drake), at least 30 Tufted Duck and 50+ of both Common & Mediterranean Gull. (AH)

One of six Goldeneye on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Hunston: At Kipson Bank Farm, just south of the village there was a huge flock of birds on the first half-flooded arable field from the main road, comprising at least 250 Fieldfare, up to 10 Redwing and similar of Yellowhammer, plus at least 100 each of Chaffinch and Starling. I'm not sure what is so appetising there, but it is a field that often attracts birds. (AH)

Fieldfare at Kipson Bank Farm, Hunston (AH)

After reading Ian's report I don't feel quite so bad about not seeing very much at Church Norton today.  At the foot of the path leading from the car park a flock of 12 Long-tailed Tits and a Treecreeper that obligingly 'froze' to the side of the tree as I took one of my bad photos.   I hadn't visited the hide for a while and it was a shame to see one of the benches had been defaced, as had the tree standing outside the hide.  A spot of sandpaper would probably bring the bench back to normal.  Low tide and poor visability, good numbers of waders but nothing out of the ordinary, a Peregrine sending up waves of Knot, Lapwings and Grey Plover.  There were at least 8 Red-breasted Mergansers and 7 Little Grebes but it wasn't the best day to visit Norton so I was glad to head for home (SR).
Treecreeper at Church Norton (S. Russell)

Saturday, 11th January: At last a very welcome and gloriously sunny day with mild conditions. It seems that this induced some of the Peninsula regulars to take the opportunity of going off-piste, heading inland for year-listing purposes! Even so there was coverage, and Sarah Russell and Steve (the hat) came up with the bird of the day in the form of a female Red-crested Pochard at the back of the Breech Pool - it was sleeping amongst a small group of Mallards for most of the time I was there, avoiding any hope of a photo.
On the downside I must mention that recently I seem to be having a few technical problems with this blog site; currently this is resulting in some difficulty with loading any photos onto the blog. I am not sure if this is just due to my pc being incompatible with some aspects of the site, or whether it is a more general issue. Fortunately Andy House still seems able to upload data, so could you if possible send any info/photos to both he and I for the time being; Andy's assistance has proved invaluable in running the blog and I continue to be grateful for his input (OM).
Pagham Hbr: North Wall: A female Red-crested Pochard at the back of the Breech Pool. Other info gained whilst I was there includes reports of a Marsh Harrier this morning, the 2 Ruddy Shelducks again in the harbour, 300+ Golden Plovers and a hunting Peregrine (with thanks to Dave Shepherd and Steve) (OM).
Record shot of fem Red-crested Pochard (S. Russell)
Selsey to Church Norton: (1400hrs)
One Long-tailed Duck, 6 R/b Mergansers, 3 Eider offshore, and a single Redwing at Park Farm (SH).

 Redwing, Park Farm, Selsey (S. Hill)