Monday, 10 November 2014

10th - 12th November 2014

Wednesday, 12th November: The run of Atlantic depressions currently reaching us shows no sign of abating at present and this morning was once again wet and blustery but mild, with a strong SSW wind gusting almost gale force. There is the prospect of some brightness but conditions look set to remain changeable for a while yet.
On a different note, with all the Pom Skuas of the last couple of weeks, it is ironic that Chris Janman should find an old document in one of his diaries...... the 'Janman/Jones Pom Probability Projection' of circa late 1980's - early 1990's vintage! Thought to have been lost in the mists of time, this esteemed document predicts the chances of seeing a Pom Skua off the Sussex coast in spring....... it is now reproduced on the Pom King info & data page, just click the page link on our title page.
One item of birding news so far concerns the colour-ringed Spoonbill recently seen at Pagham Hbr; it's a little less than straightforward, but enquiries currently indicate it was probably ringed in Hungary or Belgium (per IL/DS).
Selsey Bill (0740-0850hrs): SSE F5 (AH/AB)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Black-throated Diver - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 4W, 1os
Gannet - 1E, 6os
Brent Goose - 110W
Shelduck - 3W
Eider - 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 16W, 6os
Dunlin - 37W
Sanderling - 7W
Mediteranean Gull - 2W
Eider (above) & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)
Medmerry: West Sands to the breach: The Great Northern Diver was still on the big pool, but not much else to see in dire conditions - 10 Brent Geese and 30 Teal on the pool, along with 2 Curlews, a Grey Plover over and 2 each of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail was about it. (AH/AB)
Church Norton: A quick look between heavy squalls didn't produce a lot - a few Curlews by the concrete spit, and c40 Teal, c20 Wigeon and c20 Mallards have quickly colonised the newly flooded area around the horse's field. (AH)
Curlew (above) & Wigeon and Teal at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 11th November: A brightish start swiftly turned to a strong, gusting south-south-easterly with heavy cloud and the threat of rain.... which duly arrived late morning and then lingered for much of the day.

Selsey Bill (0745-1045hrs): Cloud then rain, SSE 6-7.  (Obs: DF/OM/CRJ/DS/JD/GJ)
DF was first in position this morning and was rewarded soon after with a Little Auk moving west before it disappeared into the wave troughs. It was a bit of a false dawn however as there was little movement over the sea thereafter, except for a Long-tailed Duck also heading west, first picked up by CRJ. The very minimal log follows...
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Gannet - 5W
Shelduck - 2W
R/b Merganser - 5E, 2W
Common Scoter - 10E
Long-tailed Duck - 1W (0900hrs) - apparently dropped onto the sea well to the west
Kittiwake - 1W
Med Gull - 1W
Ferry Pool: Wildfowl currently predominate on the pool, with 6 Shelduck, c40 Teal, c60 Wigeon and c30 Shoveler the most numerous birds present, with just a single Black-tailed Godwit and a dozen Lapwing being the only wader representation. (AH)
Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)
Long Pool: Most notable sight early this morning was the constant movement of Brent Geese out of the harbour and heading west, presumably to Medmerry. A couple of Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits, plus a Chiffchaff in a small mixed Blue and Long-tailed Tit flock were the only small birds noted, and there were c16 Avocets at the south end of Ferry Channel. (AH)
Brent Geese over the Long Pool (AH)   

Church Norton: The two Spoonbills were again present in the harbour, plus 3 Greenshank and 11 Avocets. Watching from the newly-refurbished hide was the best option for much of the time and on the rising tide an oddly dark-plumaged bird caused a few heartbeats to quicken, before it was joined by 25 of its congeners and its ID was firmly established as a Knot! Also logged were 83 Great Black-backed Gulls, a single Wheatear on the concrete slabs, and an unusual sighting of a Bonxie swimming between the hide and tern island!(CRJ/DF/DS/JD/GJ) Also late news from yesterday of a drake Velvet Scoter, unusual in the harbour, seen near the harbour mouth area by the Hide repair team at Norton!

Monday, 10th November: A very wet night with thunderstorms, giving way to changeable weather... heavy showers, cloud and brighter spells. The wind gradually picked up through the morning, backing from a moderate WSW to a fresh SSE, always with the threat of a heavy squally shower. Lost camera: I've managed to lose my Lumix bridge camera today somewhere between the Bill - Northcommon farm - Church Norton.... if you should find it I'd be pleased to know and a small reward may come your way! (OM).
Shelducks past the Bill (AH)
Selsey Bill (0725 to 1045hrs): Five Little Auks passed the Bill going west this morning - a group of four at 8am, then a single three minutes later. Otherwise it was very routine - a Red-throated, 2 Great Northern Divers and a few Shelduck west, the 3 Eider and 3 Common Scoter on the sea, and a few waders - mostly Dunlin - also heading west. (OM/AH) Log below:
Red-throated Diver  - 1W
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 7W, 1os
Shag - 1E
Gannet - 2E, 5W
Brent Goose - 1W
Eider - 3 os
Shelduck - 6W
R/b Merganser - 7W
Common Scoter - 3 os
Dunlin - 15W
Sanderling - 1W
Sparrowhawk - 1W, gardens
Little Auk - 5W
Auk sp - 2E
Med Gull - 2W       

Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - The Great Northern Diver was still in residence this morning on the big pool, along with 16 Brent Geese, 4 Pintail and 20 Wigeon. There were c110 Golden Plovers roosting close in and out of the wind, along with 200+ Lapwing, 10 Ringed Plover, 22 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Grey Plover and 4 Curlews. There were 6 Mediterranean Gulls and 8 Common Gulls in with 100+ Black-headed Gulls, and a Stonechat and a few Meadow Pipits were along the rocks. (AH)

Great Northern Diver (top), Golden Plovers (above), Dunlin & Mediterranean and Common Gull at Medmerry (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were over 30 Shelduck on the pool this morning - the most I've seen this autumn - along with 40 Shoveler and 20 Teal, but no waders bar a half dozen Lapwing, as last night's rain has raised the water level. (AH)
Church Norton: The sturdy band of volunteers were hard at it again today, working on the roof and putting in the finishing touches to the Hide, in order to waterproof it, repair the previous vandalism and hopefully make it much more sturdy. This has taken several days of effort spread over three weeks, but will now benefit us all in the days ahead. However the often thankless work can easily go unnoticed... so a big thank you to Bernie Forbes, Dorian Mason, Dave Sadler, Trevor Gibson Poole, Dave Sneller and John Dodd for a job well done;  the RSPB should be proud of you! (OM}
 Three views of the team at work on the Church Norton Hide this morning (DM}


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