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).

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