Saturday, 1 February 2014

1st - 3rd February 2014

Monday, 3rd February: Cloudy with some sunshine and dry through the day, though with a strong, cool SE wind, force 5-6.

South Mundham area: The two Whooper Swans were on the flooded fields between Bowley Lane and Lagness this morning, there were also c10 Mute Swans there, but they flew off just as I left, hope the Whoopers didn’t follow them. Honer Reservoir was almost full to bursting, the highest I have seen it, but no birds on it. At the western end a mixed flock of 60 birds comprising Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch. Not much to see down Fisher Lane apart from a small flock of c30 Greenfinches and Chaffinches and a single obliging Common Buzzard. (CRJ)
Pagham Hbr: North wall: A Lapwing morning; 1300 behind the Breech Pool and a further 1600 in the flooded field north of the Welbourne stables. Other waders included 90 Black-tailed Godwits, 48 Golden Plover and 33 Curlew. Just a few Wigeon, Teal and Tufted Ducks on the Breech Pool. White water rafting on White's Creek soon!! All the footpaths across the fields remain flooded. (Jim Weston)

East Head: OM & I went looking for the reported Snow Bunting and the Dartford Warbler without success this morning, but did find a flock of approximately 34 Barnacle Geese, which flew low across the harbour from the west, settled on the water for a while, before setting off east after much circling and uncertainty. (AH).

Barnacle Geese off East Head (AH)

Not on a par with Andy's goose shots I know, but my somewhat distant record shot shows, I think, the Barnacle flock consisted of 33 birds (OM).

There were 3 Sandwich Terns, about a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, one Great Crested Grebe and a few Skylarks around, and several hundred Dunlin and a few dozen Ringed Plovers amongst the Brent Goose flock on the grass behind the cafe. (AH). I stayed on a while after Andy left, determined to find something noteworthy, but didn't really succeed. The large Brent flock all seemed to be dark-bellied, whilst another try for the Dartford again drew a blank. A single Med Gull nearby seemed amused by my efforts. I checked out a couple of sites for Jack Snipe but there was just no sign of them or even of Common Snipe; the water levels are clearly too high and the weather too mild.   Snowhill Marsh also held high water levels, but amongst the roosting wildfowl at high tide were 3 Greenshank and 3 Spotted Redshanks. (OM).

Sandwich Tern off East Head (AH)

Amused Med Gull watching the efforts of a bemused birder! (OM)
Sunday, 2nd February: Mainly sunny and dry with cloud building through the day. A short sea-watch at the Bill didn't produce a great deal and generally it was more of the same today.

Selsey Bill: 07.15-08.15hrs: (SH) Bright sunshine and a stiff westerly
Common Scoter 2 E & 3 os
Red-breasted Merganser 3 W & 4 os
Grey Plover 4 W
Oystercatcher 3 E
Guillemot 1 W

Church Norton:  A Grey Wagtail at the start of a walk from Park Farm, Selsey, plus 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Eider & 12 Red-breasted Mergansers en route to Church Norton. (S&SaH) Not much to add, but big numbers of Grey Plover, Dunlin and Knot in the harbour. (AH)

Knot & Grey Plover in the harbour (AH)
Pagham Lagoon: The Slavonian Grebe was giving nice close views this morning, plus a female Goldeneye, c25 Mediterranean. Gulls and c30 Little Grebes. (SR)
Sidlesham Ferry: The two Ruddy Shelduck still present. Also 66 Shoveler, 50 Curlew and at least 300 Brent Geese on the fields with the Wigeon and Lapwing flocks. (AH)
Part of the Brent Goose flock on Ferry field (AH)

Chi GPs: I decided to pay a visit to the Drayton pits to see if anything unusual had appeared, but couldn't find anything fitting that description. Perhaps surprisingly though the most numerous bird (excluding Coots) was Gadwall, with at least 110 counted between the two pits. Other totals included 45 Greylag Geese, 80 Tufted Ducks, 45 Pochard, 45 Shoveler, 6 Great Crested Grebes, c.10 Little Grebes, 3 Snipe, a Common Buzzard and 2 Cetti's Warblers. A visit to Westhampnett North (windsurf) pit was less productive; just 20 Tufteds, a few Pochard and several each of Great Crested and Little Grebe.(OM).
Medmerry banks: Earnley to Bracklesham  (SH).
800+ Brent Geese
300+ Lapwing
30+ Golden Plover
2 Buzzards
100 Stock Doves (one flock)
5 Stonechat
13 Pied Wagtail
20+ Yellowhammer
50+ Chaffinch
5 Reed Bunting
Saturday, 1st February: Sunny and windy during the morning then cloudy with heavy showers later. A fairly quiet seawatch today in the bright and mainly westerly conditions, the highlight being two wintering Sandwich Terns offshore.

Selsey Bill: 07.15-0900hrs: Sunny with cloud, showers later, wind fresh W/SW 
(Obs: JA/SH/AH)
Red-throated Diver -  1W
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Diver Sp - 4E
Gannet - 4E, 2W
Brent Goose - 1E
Eider - 1E
Common Scoter - 5 os
Dunlin - 1W
Sanderling - 3 ob
Guillemot - 1E, 1w
Auk sp - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 2 os
Additional seawatch: 1530-1630hrs: (SH)
Great Northern Diver - still 1 os
Diver sp - 1E
Common Scoter - 6 os
R/b Merganser - 5 os
Little Gull - 2 lingering os
Kittiwake - 6W

Two of the three Sanderling at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: Fifteen Avocets were feeding in the main channel, the Peregrine was on his island, a huge flock (500 birds, perhaps) of Black-tailed Godwits flew around several times, and plenty of Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plover were on the mud. (AH)
Later the Peregrine flew around causing havoc with the waders, and 40+ Med Gulls were also present (SH).

Part of the Black-tailed Godwit/Lapwing flock swirling around the harbour (AH)

Sidlesham Ferry: The two Ruddy Shelduck present again, plus 3 Common Snipe, 40 Golden Plover, 200 Brent Geese and the usual wildfowl. (AH)
Ruddy Shelduck on the Ferry field (AH)

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