Sunday, 16 November 2014

16th - 18th November 2014

Tuesday, 18th November: The promised easterly winds duly arrived with a fresh E/NE blowing this morning and the prospect of a drier day ahead after early showers.

Selsey Bill: (0745-0845hrs): NE 3-4 (Obs: AH/DF/DS)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Little Egret - 3W
Brent Goose - 9E, 44W
Common Scoter - 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 9W

Church Norton: The first 2 Firecrests of the autumn were along the path to the harbour this morning, and in the harbour the 2 Spoonbills were on show again, along with the Whimbrel and 3 Greenshank. (BFF/DM et al)
Firecrest at Church Norton (DM}

Medmerry: West Sands to the breach -  There were a remarkable six Black Redstarts this morning along the sea-defence rocks, in the company of a pair of Stonechats and a few Meadow Pipits. Also a female Merlin was hunting low over the rough vegetation at the back when it put up a Short-eared Owl, that flew around for a few minutes before settling back exactly where it had been disturbed from.
The Great Northern Diver was still on the far pool, and there were c18 Common Scoters together offshore. At least 1000 Brent Geese, along with 150 Canada Geese and a single Greylag, came in from all directions for a wash and brush up before dispersing again, though there were not many waders about - just a few Curlew, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers around the pools, plus a flock of 500+ Lapwing that came up from the middle of the reserve. (AH/DF/DS) Also 2 Red-throated Divers were on the sea. (BFF/DM)
Chainbridge - Ham: A Jack Snipe was present this am in the rife behind the new sea wall (J. Wootton).

West side: A Wheatear was on the rocks on the west side of Medmerry this afternoon. (PH)

above - Black Redstart at Medmerry (DM)
Black Redstarts (above), Stonechat & part of the Brent Goose flock at Medmerry (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Green Sandpiper was again present this morning, though all the wildfowl - c30 each of Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal and Mallard - plus 2 Black-tailed Godwits were on the flooded creek in the field. (AH)
Fishbourne & Dell Quay: 20 Yellowhammers feeding around the manure pile in the horse paddock. Out in the creek 8 Greenshank, single Spotted Redshank and wintering Little Stint. Water Rail squealing from the reed bed plus a Stonechat with a couple of Chiffchaffs calling. On the salt marsh 3 Rock Pipits and 2 Kingfishers near Dell Quay. (BFF/DM)

Birdham: A Barn Owl flew over the Birdham Straight this evening at 8.20pm, just before the Sidlesham turning. Sadly, this is my first and only sighting of the year. (AH)
Monday, 17th November: Another real 'November day', with leaden skies and heavy drizzle increasing to steady rain.... then remaining wet all day. The wind was a moderate WSW to start but by midday had eased round to a light SE; however with the promise of more easterly winds for the next few days it will be interesting to see if any late migrants drop in.

Selsey Bill: (0745-1015hrs): Still nothing much moving - the most interesting bird was a first-winter Shag that dropped onto the sea very close in, but otherwise there were a couple of Great Northern Divers moving offshore plus a small westerly movement of Great Crested Grebes. Full log of just eight species below! (AH/OM)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 2W
Great Crested Grebe  - 19 W (including 1E that settled os and flew back W}
Gannet - 3W
Shag  1 os, close in
Brent Goose - 8E, 12W
Common Scoter - 3W
R/b Merganser - 2E, 1 os
Med Gull - 4W
 Shag off Selsey Bill (AH)
Selsey area: Little to report despite the effort put in.... it was a case of trying to keep as dry as possible whilst checking out the trees and hedgerows. At Northcommon Farm the best on offer were a measly 6 Goldcrests around the fir trees, whilst other species seen included a Buzzard, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 5 Curlew, a Mistle Thrush and 15 Med Gulls amongst c.300 Black-headeds on the flooded sports field. Wellies were necessary to check out the Drift Lane marsh area but I only came up with 12 Snipe and a Little Egret. Other areas including Coastguards drew a blank and the birding seemed to match the weather for me today (OM}.
Church Norton:  Not a lot to report in the miserable weather this morning - highlights being two Greenshank flying about and calling, the Whimbrel and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour, 7 Great Crested Grebes on the sea (with 5 more in the harbour) and a couple of Skylarks over the spit. (AH)
Red-breasted Merganser at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: West Sands/Breach Viewpoint - A brief visit this afternoon produced 2 Black Redstarts flitting about the rocks at the viewpoint, along with half a dozen Meadow Pipits, quite oblivious of the rain. Offshore close to the breach were 3 female Eider and the Great Northern Diver was in the distant pool to the right. There was also 2 Pintail, 43 Brent Geese, 36 Ringed Plover, 3 Curlew, c150 Lapwing, and good numbers of Teal and Wigeon (SR)  

Sunday, 16th November: A dank and gloomy November day, with a lightish SSE wind and the odd heavy shower....

Selsey Bill: (0710-0930hrs): (SH/JA/SR/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 1W
diver sp - 1W, 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 6W, 2E, 1os
Gannet - 23W, 4E
Brent Goose - 67W
Common Scoter - 8W, 3E
Eider - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 2os
Bonxie - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 4W, 4os
auk sp - 1W, 4E

Church Norton: The two Spoonbills were showing well again this morning from the bench, before settling to feed in the channel by Tern Island. Also a Spotted Redshank was nearby, a Red-breasted Merganser was offshore and the Ruddy Shelducks were distantly visible on the far side of the harbour. (AH)

Spoonbills (above), with Little Egret & Spotted Redshank at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon there was a Wheatear on the beach - our latest sighting ever. In the harbour the Spoonbills were back asleep again, and there were still 2 Greenshank present, and at Park Farm, Selsey there was a Grey Wagtail and 50+ Pied Wagtails. (S&SaH)
Wheatear at Church Norton (SH)
Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper and a Dunlin were on the pool this morning, along with 80 Lapwing, 55 Shelduck and 30 Shoveler. (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane eastwards to Greenwood Farm - There were about 20 Yellowhammers and 12 Reed Buntings coming up into the bushes along the path, particularly where it turns in from the bank. There were also 2 pairs of Stonechat present, along with a single Skylark, and a few Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails. (AH)

Reed Bunting (above), Yellowhammers & Stonechat at Medmerry (AH)

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