Saturday, 17 January 2015

17th - 19th January 2015

Monday, 19th January: A very cold night with heavy frost, giving way to a dry, bright but cold day with sunshine and a light to moderate northerly wind.
A quick check of the Peninsula year-list shows the total is currently about 123 species, hopefully with a good few winter visitors yet to come, so keep looking, especially during this cold spell. Also, I don't want to speak too soon, but it looks as if the editors may well have resolved their technical issues with the blog, so we may be able to get back to normal. Finally, just a reminder that I have a new email address for the blog (see title page); if you do get a message purporting to be from me now under my old defunct address ( please ignore and delete it. (OM).

Pagham Lagoon: The Scaup has moved from the Breach Pool and was showing well on the Lagoon at 9am. (Christian Melgar). It was still showing well late morning when there were also eight Goldeneye and a dozen Pochard present. (BI) However, later another search for the Scaup this afternoon was negative and it wasn't at the Lagoon or Breach Pool at 1530hrs (SR).

 Displaying Goldeneyes (above) and 1st-w drakeScaup on Pagham Lagoon this morning (BI).

Pagham Hbr (entrance)At about 1100hrs, in the bottle-neck entrance to the harbour were three smart Goosanders (two drakes and a redhead) (ARK per SOS)
They were on the Lagoon at 1335, but five minutes later they flew south over the houses and out onto the sea. There was also a Chiffchaff in the bushes. (AB)

Goosanders on/over Pagham Lagoon (AB)

North Wall: There were four Spotted Redshanks deep water feeding on the harbour side this morning. (ARK, per SOS website)
Not much along the North Wall later on, with nothing unusual amongst the c800-strong Brent flock. There was still one Spotted Redshank and a Little Egret showing well in White's Creek, near the sluice, a Water Rail calling from the Breach Pool and a big female Sparrowhawk spooking the area. Also a flock of c30 Skylarks were flying around over the back fields. (AB)

Spotted Redshank, White's Creek (AB).

Chichester GP's: The Dusky Warbler was again reported today (per RBA).

Selsey Bill: (0815-0900hrs) (AH/GH)
Great Northern Diver - 8os
Slavonian Grebe - 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 2W, 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W

Great Northern Diver off the Bill (AH)
Selsey: East Beach pondearly this morning a Water Rail and a Chiffchaff were present (SR).

Sidlesham Ferry: There were 30+ Shovelers feeding like mad in the only unfrozen bit of water early this morning, with another 20 scattered around the edges with similar of Teal and Shelduck, and there were 70 Black-tailed Godwits and at least 500 Lapwings on the field, along with 200 Wigeon. (AH)

Shovelers (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Birdham: There were at least 1000 Brent Geese feeding on an arable field just north of Sidlesham Lane. (AH)

Brent Geese at Birdham (AH)

Medmerry: At Chainbridge sluice a Short-eared Owl and the Barn Owl were present late afternoon, plus a Buzzard, a Kestrel, a Heron and a pair of Stonechats. Fifty Golden Plover were in the fields west of Ham Farm, and the Southern Pochard was still on its usual pool (TGP).

Sunday, 18th January: Cold and cloudy but mainly dry, with sunny periods due later. There was a big count of Slavonian Grebes off the Bill this morning, and more Spoonbill sightings, though quite how many are around the peninsula is still uncertain - possibly up to seven, but the bird of the day was a first-winter Scaup on the Breach Pool.

Selsey Bill: (0730-1000hrs) (SH/JA/PB/AB/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 8os
Red-throated Diver - 2W, 2os
Slavonian Grebe - 14W, 17os
Great Crested Grebe - 3E, 3os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 3W, 3E
Brent Goose - 17W
Common Scoter - 1W, 3E, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 66E, 17os
Eider - 1E

Peregrine - 2p
Great Skua - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 4os
Kittiwake - 2W
auk spp - 47W, 3E

North Wall: Highlight was a first-winter drake Scaup with 17 Tufted Ducks on the Breach Pool this morning. A few Mallard, Wigeon and Teal also there and 170 Curlew sited across various fields as were 370 Brent Geese. 400 Wigeon in fields west of Bremere bridge along with 90 Canada Geese. A Peregrine causing havoc amongst the Lapwing north of Honer; also 2 Brown Hares and 4 Roe Deer in various fields. The flooded field north of the stables was bird empty apart from a Pheasant and Buzzard. (JDW/PC) .

The Scaup was still there this afternoon, mostly sleeping amongst the Tufted Ducks, and a Spotted Redshank and a Kingfisher were in White's Creek. (AH/IP)

First-winter drake Scaup on the Breach Pool (above) & Spotted Redshank in White's Creek (AH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge Field - A Short-eared Owl went over the bank and settled on the saltmarsh this morning. (PH)
This evening the Short-eared Owl was again over the field, and a Barn Owl appeared briefly over the bank and promptly vanished before finally it re-appeared hunting along the hedgerow at the back at dusk. (SH/IP/AH)

Short-eared Owl on Chainbridge Field (AH)

Easton Lane west - The three Spoonbills were out in the middle of the reserve again this morning, though there was not a lot else of note. A female Red-breasted Merganser was in one of the tidal pools, there were 30+ Gadwall, 80 Teal, 20 Wigeon, 4 Shelduck on the various pools, many Brent Geese were coming and going, and there were c40 Common Scoter well offshore. The only wader was a single Curlew.
There were at least three pairs of Stonechats, 20+ Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings along the banks. (AH/PH)

 Reed Bunting and Spoonbill at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: There was a Spoonbill at rest to the rear of Tern Island this morning, there were two Water Rails on the first Several, a Great Northern Diver went west offshore and there were at least 10 Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour and offshore. (S&SaH) Also a Firecrest was at the bottom of the path to the harbour. (AB/PB)

Ferry Pool: A Merlin was sat on a fencepost in the field late morning and there were still c250 Black-tailed Godwits on the field, along with several hundred Wigeon and Brent Geese and a thousand or more Lapwing. (AB/PB)

Pagham Lagoon: This afternoon two pairs of Goldeneye looked their best in the sunshine, a Water Rail flew into the reeds next to the boardwalk and another squealed nearby, there was also two Pochards, 26+ Little Grebes, 22+ Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swans, 56 Mallards and 22 Coots. (SR)

Runcton: A Great Spotted Woodpecker was showing well in my garden today, also a Tawny Owl calling at night in Runcton over the past few weeks. (CRJ)

Great Spotted Woodpecker in a Runcton garden (CRJ)
Sidlesham: A Tawny Owl has been calling regularly right outside our house again this winter, too - this must be the most under-reported species on the peninsula. (AH)

Saturday, 17th January: A very frosty and bright start with sunshine and cloud, remaining cold throughout the day...

Selsey Bill: (0740-0930hrs) (SH/JA/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 6os

diver spp - 1W, 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 4W, 9os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 34E, 1W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 2E, 4W, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 22E, 10W, 8os
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Common Gull - 25W

Kittiwake - 2E, 7W
auk spp - 2E, 1W

Sidlesham Golf Course/B2166: A ringtail Hen Harrier flew low over the road this morning, heading towards the golf course. (A&YF)

Church Norton: Still quiet - just single Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe in front of Tern Island, and the Peregrine buzzed over briefly, otherwise just the usual waders and wildfowl in the harbour, a Green Woodpecker and two Mediterranean Gulls along the beach, and 2 Goldcrest and 20+ Long-tailed Tits around the bushes. There were a few Redshank, Grey Plover, Wigeon and Teal along Ferry Channel/Long Pool area, but otherwise quiet. (AH/BI)

Ferry Pool: Masses of birds on the field again today, including at least 250 Black-tailed Godwits, 60 Curlews, 1500 Lapwing, 400 Brent Geese, 200 Wigeon and 40 Canada Geese, whilst there were 40+ Shoveler, Teal and Shelduck around the pool. (AH)

Round-up of today's birds; large flock of Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry Pool (top two pics), and below, three R/b Mergansers at Selsey Bill and a Med Gull at Church Nortonill (AH).

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Ham Viewpoint - Very quiet this morning: highlights being single Reed Bunting and Stonechat, plus a Snipe and the Southern Pochard at Ham. (IP)

Chainbridge Field to Ham Viewpoint: Success at last! Standing at the Chainbridge where I was watching a highly verbal SEO perched a-top the red dog poo bin, I turned round to see a Barn Owl flying toward me in the adjoining field. It caught a vole and took it back to the large black pipe spanning the ditch but wasn't allowed to eat in peace as a Kestrel landed at the other end of the pipe. The Owl lowered its head and tried to stare the Kestrel out but this didn't work so the Owl took it's meal elsewhere, with the Kestrel in hot pursuit. This was at 4.15, it was still daylight.
From Ham Viewpoint two Spoonbills were actively feeding quite some distance away on the other side of the rife, and I was amused to see one running toward it's partner that had just flown in. (SR)

Sidlesham: Not one, but two Ravens over the garden going west at lunchtime, calling quietly to each other. My third sighting this year at my own personal Raven hotspot! (AH)

Snowhill Creek: This afternoon the three Spoonbills were here, mostly asleep, along with a Spotted Redshank, with another in the Creek. (ARK per SOS) 
There was also a single Dartford Warbler in the gorse and scrub alongside Snowhill Marsh, with at least five Stonechat. (J-PC per SOS)

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