Thursday, 13 November 2014

13th - 15th November 2014

Saturday, 15th November: A fairly pleasant morning with cloud and sunny spells and a moderate S-SSE breeze force 3-4. On the birding front not too much new stuff to report, though some of the previously-reported species continue to please, including the Great Northern Diver still showing well at Medmerry and the Ruddy Shelducks in the harbour.....

Selsey Bill: (0700-0900) (SH/JA/C&ME)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 4W, 1E
diver sp - 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Great Crested Grebe 1W, 4E, 4os
Gannet - 12W
Brent Goose - 69W
Wigeon - 1W
Common Scoter - 6W, 8E

Velvet Scoter - 1os
Eider - 4W, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3os
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
auk sp - 6W
Meadow Pipit - 8N

Black Redstart - 1p
Tall ship behind the Mile Basket at Selsey Bill (SH)

Selsey area: Drift Lane Marsh: 6 Snipe a-sleeping, 1 Grey Wagtail a-bobbing  and a bouncing Jay!  
Coastguard Field: 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 male Stonechat
Chainbridge/Archery Field: 3 Stonechats, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Kestrels, 1 Buzzard, 3 Pied Wagtails, and c150 overhead heading toward Ham.(SR)

A rather feeble rainbow just about discernible to the right of the windmill, during a brief shower over Drift Lane Marsh this morning (SR} 

Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - The Great Northern Diver was still present on the easternmost part of the pools this morning, and there were 6 Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe offshore.
A Black Redstart was actively feeding around the viewpoint, with a pair of Stonechats nearby, and 30-40 Meadow Pipits were around the rough ground.
A group of 6 Corn Buntings flew over from the fields beyond the pools along with a dozen or more Skylarks, and at least 50 more of the latter could be seen over the fields. On the pools there were a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew, c12 Grey Plover, c40 Dunlin, c100 Golden Plover and c200 Lapwing (with at least double that out in the middle of the reserve). (AH)


Black Redstart (above) & Grey Plover at Medmerry (AH)

Ham Farm - A couple of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests in the hedge near the new pond, and at least 1000 Brent Geese came into one of the arable fields. Also a Little Owl was present at a nearby private site that usually holds a pair, but where I hadn't encountered one since the spring. (AH)

Church Norton: On the walk from Selsey this morning, totals were - 1 Swallow over the Severals, 1 Snipe in the Severals, 1 Stonechat, 1 Grey Wagtail, 10+ Goldcrests in the oak copse, 1 Blackcap at Park Farm and 1 Red-breasted Merganser offshore, whilst in the harbour there were 2 Ruddy Shelducks and 2 Greenshank. (S&SaH)
Also seen in the harbour from the small spit were the Whimbrel, a total of 3 Greenshank and a Sanderling, along with the commoner waders. (AH)
Blackcap at Park Farm (above), Starling and 'leucistic' Black-headed Gull at Church Norton (SH)

  Friday, 14th November: A grey, very wet and gloomy start to the day with heavy overnight rain persisting into the morning and with a fairly strong SW wind 5-6 occasionally gusting 7, though by late morning the sun had come out. It still remains comparatively mild due to the southerly based winds and this weather pattern shows no sign of abating as yet.

The long dark nights and inclement weather are a good time to get on with birding paperwork, and I also hope to find time to update some of the pages on the blog; the editors assisted by IP are currently working on fully updating the Peninsula bird list, so watch this space (OM). 
One more thing....... seems the hackers and spammers are still targeting me with phishing emails  - mainly but not entirely fake BT ones - and despite a new PC and various safeguards the odd one purporting to be from me may still sneak through to you. So, if it looks odd just don't open it, but meanwhile I would advise all my regular contacts I now have two more email addresses which I shall use privately IN ADDITION to the normal one as above for the blog - so don't be surprised if you think the address seems wrong when you go to reply. Thanks for your patience! (OM}.
Church Norton: The weather was awful, early on, but an unexpected bonus came in the form of the two juvenile Spoonbills out on the mud, quite close in from the bench. Initially the unringed bird was on its own, then the ringed one appeared from a creek and sidled up next to it, whereupon there was a bit of a spat - hard to know if it was fighting or flirting - before they settled down and wandered off to preen and roost together.
Not much else in the dismal conditions - the Whimbrel was present amongst the commoner waders, as were 6 Black-tailed Godwits, and a Red-breasted Merganser flew into the harbour. (AH)
Spoonbills at Church Norton (AH)
West side/Long Pool: The Ruddy Shelduck was visible over towards the North Wall side, Milky the Curlew was still out and showing well (but never very close!) and 3 Avocets, 1 fem Merganser and 4 Great Crested Grebes were in the channel, plus a Greenshank near Tern Island. A walk up past the Long pool resulted in a nice fem Merlin perched up out in the fields - very distant as the dodgy record shots show!! Also c500 Brents in the far fields too and lots of Red-legged Partridges still around and still 1 male Common Darter around the first pool. (AB}.
Below: Red-legged Partridges and Merlin, West side fields (AB}

Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - The Great Northern Diver was still present, though it has moved further back into the furthest pool. Also, the 2 Stonechats were still on the rocks and 10 Skylarks flew over, whilst on the pools there were c80 Golden Plover, 8 Grey Plover, c150 Lapwing, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Curlew and 25 Dunlin, plus c120 Brent Geese near the breach. (AH)
Great Northern Diver (above) & Stonechat at Medmerry (AH)
East Side: There were two Ruddy Shelducks together on the east side of the harbour this afternoon. (TG per Pagham Birder) (Hopefully this is last winter's pair re-united, after the single bird having frequented similar haunts since its return. ed.)
A Black Redstart was reported near the harbour mouth. (per Birdguides)

Selsey area: One of my East Beach neighbours had a male Black Redstart in his garden early morning but it had moved on by the time I got there early afternoon.
Northcommon Farm: 2 Kestrels, 1 Buzzard, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Med. Gulls amongst the 428 Black-headed Gulls but generally very quiet.
Horse Paddocks, Warner Lane: Large numbers of Blackbirds and 2 Mistle Thrushes yanking out of the ground massive worms, 1 calling Cetti's Warbler and that was about it.
Drift Lane Marsh: 2 Snipe were just about visible, one moved along and started bobbing but it was a bit feeble and didn't last long. (SR)
Ferry Pool: There were 2 Snipe at the back this morning, plus the Green Sandpiper, and 8 Shelduck, 12 Teal and 30+ Shoveler were on the water. At least 200 Lapwing were on the field, along with 6 Black-tailed Godwits and 4 Curlews. (AH)

Snipe (above) & Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)
Thursday, 13th November: A fairly bleak day, with a cold, gusty south-easterly making conditions somewhat unpleasant....and with rain arriving by afternoon.

Selsey Bill: (0745-0915hrs): SE F5 (AH/PC/TR et al)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Gannet - 1E, 5os
Shag - 1E
Common Scoter - 4E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 4W
Turnstone - 40E
Mediterranean Gull - 5W, 2E
Common Gull - 2E, 4W
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Meadow Pipit - 10N, 1p

Juvenile Gannet past Selsey Bill (AH)
Church Norton: Not much to report in pretty horrible conditions. The Whimbrel was again present, along with 20+ Curlews, including the leucistic bird, and there were at least 50 Knot with 200+ Dunlin out on the mud. There were one or two Goldcrests lurking in the bushes, 30+ Goldfinches flew around the mound area and a Sparrowhawk went over. (AH/TR)

Whimbrel (left) & with Curlew at Church Norton (AH)
Ferry Pool: The Ruddy Shelduck was present this morning, along with a dozen Common Shelduck, 40 Shoveler and 20 Teal. A Green Sandpiper was also present, as were 12 Black-tailed Godwits and 50+ Lapwing. (AH)

Ruddy Shelduck (above) & Green Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

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