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)


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