Thursday, 13 February 2014

13th - 15th February 2014

Saturday, 15th February: A wild, windy and stormy night, giving way to a drier morning but still with a howling south-westerly.

Selsey Bill (0700-0900hrs):  sun and cloud, wind SW 7-8.  (Obs: SH et al)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 2W
R/b Merganser - 12W, 4 os
Common Scoter - 2E, 1W
Auk sp - 2E
Kittiwake - 3E, 10W

additional 1315-1430hrs: (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
R/b Merganser - 5 os
Common Scoter - 7 os
Great Skua - 2E
Kittiwake - 1W

The morning after the storm before... The Bill takes a battering (Sam Hill).
Pagham Hbr: Church Lane is flooded and care is needed to reach Welbourne. Needless to say all the fields behind the Wall are flooded. The bench beside the Salt House has collapsed. The tide has been over the Wall overnight. Cuttlefish shells along the footpath.  Bird-wise very quiet. Behind the Breech Pool 160 Lapwing and 480 Wigeon. Very few waders around whereas at high tide yesterday there had been close to 700 Black-tailed Godwits in front of Honer Farm. Today the Brent Geese were in the fields just north of Honer Reservoir. (Jim Weston)

The Ferry held 70 Shelduck, 60 Shoveler and the usual flocks of Wigeon and Lapwing, but not much else (AH). Later, a Little Gull was reported this afternoon (IL).

The lane to Church Norton is equally flooded and only just passable, and there wasn't much to report when I got there! Plenty of Brent Geese around, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Great Crested and 2 Little Grebes and 20 Shelduck on the water and the usual mixed flock of Grey Plover, Knot and Dunlin on the last bits of mud before high tide were the highlights.(AH)

Brent Geese (above) & Knot in the harbour (AH)
Sidlesham: This afternoon a flock of about 70 Fieldfares flew up from the brassica field between Boxham Lane & Rotten Row (just west of the main road). (AH)
Medmerry: I visited the Ham side today, it was high tide and a little fresh so not surprisingly there were few birds about.  1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 22 Mallard, 80 Brent Geese, c200 Lapwing, 27 Sanderling, 4 Skylarks, 2 Little Grebes and 3 Coots.  This is the first time I've seen waves lapping against the furthest part of the new bank, very impressive but shame about the large collection of litter caught on the new fence. (SR).
 View from the fence line at Medmerry (S. Russell)
Friday, 14th February: Grey skies, heavy rain and strong winds - the third storm of the week is well on its way.... but not enough to put off one of the stalwarts... well done Andy!

Selsey Bill: 0855-0940hrs  Wind F5/6 E & rain (AH)
Great Northern Diver 1 o/s
Red-breasted Merganser 1 W & 6 o/s
Little Gull (ad) lingering o/s
Common Gull 6 o/s
Kittiwake 17 W (inc one flock of 9 birds)

Little Gull off Selsey Bill (AH)
Chichester Harbour: Not being one that is easily discouraged by a strong easterly wind and heavy rain, I found a bit of shelter around the western edges, starting at Birdham Pool. Not much to report - 6 Little Grebes, 3 Tufted Ducks and a Grey Heron being the total.
West Itchenor was more interesting, the best birds being a close-in Razorbill and 3 Slavonian Grebes. Also present there were 20 Shelduck, 10 Teal, 8 Red-Breasted Mergansers, 2 Great Crested Grebes and a couple of hundred Brent Geese.(AH)

Razorbill off West Itchenor (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: In the pouring rain the Lagoon held three Red-breasted Mergansers, a pair of Goldeneye, a few Little Grebes and Tufted Ducks this morning as well as gulls various.(Bart Ives per SOS)

Thursday 13th February: A respite day between storms with some welcome sunshine later, though unfortunately yesterday's tempest didn't produce any surprises bird-wise.
Selsey Bill: 0750-1050hrs Heavy rain/showers then sunny and bright, wind W 4-5
(Obs: TR / RS / OM / AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2 o/s
Common Scoter -  12 o/s
R/b Merganser - 2W, 12 os
Common Gull - 5W
Little Gull -  1 adult o/s
Kittiwake 1 o/s

And nothing moving at all

adult Little Gull off Selsey Bill (above shot AH, lower two OM) 

Church Norton: Quiet still on the high tide - the Peregrine was on his island, 50 Pintail and 200 Golden Plover got up amongst the other wildfowl and waders when a Chinook helicopter went low over the harbour, and still plenty of Mediterranean and Common Gulls on the beach, though I could find nothing on the sea. Also there were a pair of Stock Doves on the field from Rectory Lane. (AH)
Stock Dove at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey: West beach was quiet except for a single Kestrel and a Guillemot close inshore. A look around Northcommon Farm was decidedly unproductive and the only thing of interest was a single Green Woodpecker and a gathering of 200+ Rooks on a flooded playing field (OM).

A quick visit to the North wall this afternoon produced nothing remarkable, just the large flock of Black-tailed Godwits  and Curlew still on the flooded fields and a selection of the usual wildfowl.
The 2 Whooper Swans were still present on the flood between Lagness and South Mundham (accessible from the footpath near the farm factory) (OM).

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