Friday, 28 November 2014

28th - 30th November 2014

Sunday, 30th November: Comparatively mild and benign weather conditions on the last official day of late autumn; dry and cloudy with some brightness and a light northerly breeze.
Selsey Bill: (0730-0900hrs) Up to 6 Great Northern Divers and 5 Slavonian Grebes offshore this morning, along with 3 Eider, and a few Common Scoter and Red-throated Diver moving, plus a couple of Shags going east. Full log -
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 6os
Red-throated Diver - 1W, 3E
Slavonian Grebe - 5os
Great Crested Grebe - 3E, 4os
Gannet - 6W, 6E
Shag - 2E
Teal - 2W, 3E
Pintail - 1E

Common Scoter - 1E, 15os
Eider - 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W, 1E, 5os
Curlew - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 1W
auk sp 2W, 3E

Great Northern Diver off the Bill (AH)
Selsey - East beach: It might hardly be worth a mention elsewhere but the Stonechat in bushes along the sea wall this afternoon is the first I've seen along here this year.  There were also 5 Linnets, 7 Pied Wagtails and a couple of Med Gulls in with the Black-headed Gulls and a Sparrowhawk at the pond (SR)
Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - The Spoonbill and a Black Redstart were present this morning, plus an Eider offshore, but no sign of the Great Northern Diver. A pair of Kestrels were also present (RJS/A&YF/DM/DS)

Kestrel at Medmerry (DM)

East Head: A Dartford Warbler was near Snowhill Creek this morning. (BI)

Church Norton: Both IP and S&SaH reported a grey goose in amongst the huge Brent Goose flock, which follows an Intriguing reports of a possible juvenile White-fronted Goose with the Brent Goose flock yesterday by a visitor to IL.Keep your eyes peeled!
Also IP had a pair of Bullfinches between the Severals and a Short-eared Owl in the harbour, S&SaH had a Grey Wagtail and a Chiffchaff on their way from Selsey, whilst in the harbour the two Spoonbills occasionally awoke for a feed, and a Greenshank was in the creek opposite the horse's field. (AH)
This afternoon there were 3 Spoonbills feeding actively in the harbour, and a Peregrine intermittently upsetting everything, and there were two Chiffchaffs on the notrh edge of Selsey. (S&SaH)
Spoonbills with Grey Heron at Church Norton (DM)

Greenshank (above) & Brent Geese flock at Church Norton (AH)
Another shot of the Spoonbills (SH)
Chichester GP's - Ivy Lake complex: I spent the best part of three hours working the various pits in the complex this morning in pleasant sunshine. The only highlight - if that's what Chiffchaffs can be called - was a count of at least 16 birds in the hedgerows and trees surrounding the pits; they seemed to be everywhere and it's quite probable my count is well under-estimated. Also present were 2 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Goldcrests, 20 Long-tailed Tits. and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, plus 2 late Red Admirals still on the wing. Wildfowl numbers were predictably very low however, with just a few Pochard, perhaps 10 Gadwall and a smattering of Tufted Duck, whilst 20 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Little Egrets and a calling Water Rail completed the tally (OM).
Little Egrets, Long-tailed Tit and Red Admiral at Ivy lake this morning (OM)

Saturday, 29th November: A welcome bright, dry and sunny day with some light cloud and a moderate to fresh easterly wind. Highlights of a fairly brief sea-watch this morning were 3 Slavonian Grebes and a Bonxie, plus a few divers......

Selsey Bill (0730 - 0900hrs): Sunny, ESE 4 (Obs: SH/JA)
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 1W

Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W, 2 os
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 2 os
Gannet - 11E, 2W, 12 os
Brent Goose - 3E
Teal - 4E
Common Scoter - 6E, 1W, 13 os

R/b Merganser - 3E, 1W, 2 os
Great Skua - 1E
Med Gull - 4E
Razorbill - 3E
Auk sp - 1E

Sunrise at Selsey Bill (SH)

Fishbourne Creek: A very pleasant morning produced a good selection of birds, the most unusual of which was an adult Little Gull in amongst the many gulls present until just after midday when it got up on its own and flew off east.
Other notable species seen included a minimum of 7 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 10 Goldeneye and similar of Red-breasted Merganser and Little Grebe, 2 pairs of Stonechat, a Grey Wagtail over, and at least 20 Yellowhammers around the riding school.
There were very large numbers of the commoner waders and wildfowl on the low tide, including 30+ Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Teal and 100+ Wigeon, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull and at least 500 Common Gulls were amongst the thousands of Black-headed Gulls. (AH)

Little Gull with Common and Black-headed Gull (above), Greenshank, Yellowhammer & Stonechats at Fishbourne Creek (AH)


East Head: A look around mid-afternoon, with the highlight being a Black Redstart by the crabbing pool before it was inevitably flushed by dog-walkers and also a few Sanderlings on the beach, a single Linnet, a pair of Stonechats and a few Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits. (BI)
Church Norton: This morning there was a Green Sandpiper on Park Farm Reservoir, 1000+ Lapwing and 100 Golden Plover on/over the fields, along with two Buzzards. (SH/SaH/PB)
This afternoon the two Spoonbills were on Tern Island, a Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank and a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits were in the harbour, and the Wigeon and Teal were displaying in the spring-like conditions. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover & Teal at Church Norton (AH)

Friday, 28th November: Another fairly dismal start to the day with heavy cloud and a brisk E/NE wind, but the prospect of brighter interludes later; the latter having been in short supply for much of this month.

Selsey Bill: I did 30 minutes first thing this morning, but not a bird went past, though there were 3 Great Northern Divers, 2 Common Scoters and 2 Great Crested Grebes offshore. (AH)

News from one of the Selsey deep-sea fisherman (via SH) that last weekend/early this week in the foggy weather they were seeing many Fieldfares and Redwings heading towards Selsey over the sea - some of which, sadly, were being picked off by the Great Black-backed Gulls. (AH)
Medmerry: West Sands to the breach - There was a bit more of interest here, including at least one Black Redstart along the rocks, a Spoonbill and the Great Northern Diver in the pools, a Grey Wagtail by the sluice and c20 Common Scoter offshore.
Otherwise there were 30 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 120 Lapwing, 80 Wigeon and 40 Teal in the pools and one or two Meadow Pipits over. (AH)
There were 3 Black Redstarts again later on, and evidence of Barn Owl activity - in the form of a pellet - on a fencepost towards Chainbridge Field. (PH)

Black Redstart (above), Spoonbill, Dunlins and Ringed Plovers at Medmerry (AH)

Ferry Pool: The two Ruddy Shelduck were still in attendance today, along with 35 Common Shelduck, 20 Shoveler and a couple of hundred Lapwing. (AH)
A Raven was heard over the visitor Centre first thing this morning. (PH)

Ruddy and Common Shelduck (above) & Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham: A Raven (possibly the one over the Visitor Centre earlier?) went eastwards over our house on the west of the village late morning, cronking very loudly as it went. Also, a female Bullfinch was in our lane at lunchtime - the first I have seen here since the spring. (AH)

Church Norton: A Raven went over the harbour this afternoon - surely the same bird as the two earlier sightings on the peninsula. (RJS)

Pagham Lagoon: Just a couple of hours available this morning before returning to attend to domestic duties, so I did a circuit of the lagoon to see if anything unusual was around. It wasn't! There were about 25+ Little Grebes, 3 Goldeneye (one drake), 24 Tufted Ducks, a single but noisy Cetti's Warbler and a couple of Goldcrests, but nothing else of note. Extending my walk to cover part of the East side produced lots of the commoner waders including 500+ Lapwings, and also a count of 175 Great Black-backed Gulls on the mudflats (OM).

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