Wednesday, 7 January 2015

7th - 9th January 2014

Friday, 9th January: A bright, blustery morning, before deteriorating into a grey, windy afternoon, but very mild for the time of year....meanwhile the Dusky Warbler was again reported (via Birdguides) but was being elusive and did not show to some other observers, whilst the Tundra Bean Goose put in an unexpected re-appearance.
Selsey Bill (0800-1000hrs): Sunny, some cloud, wind WSW 5-6 (Obs: OM/KF/SR).
Red-throated Diver - 2W
Great Northern Diver - 2W, 2os
Diver sp - 3W
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Brent Goose - 3E, 3W
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 1W, 5os
Auk sp - 3W
Kittiwake - 24W
Med Gull - 1W
North Wall: The Tundra Bean Goose resurfaced this afternoon, in with about 80 Canada Geese and 20 Brent Geese in the fields behind the North Wall. There were also 2-300 Black-tailed Godwits on the fields and a Rock Pipit was along the North Wall. (AB)
Church Norton: Three Red-breasted Mergansers in the channel, along with four Little Grebes, whilst the leucistic Curlew was on the mud. (BI) The Whimbrel was also present again. (AB)

Medmerry: I was reading the review of 2014 on the blog and was surprised by the low number of records for Barn Owls. In the light of this I thought it worth mentioning I saw a Barn Owl yesterday morning (in the pouring rain) emerging from a barn at a private site on the edge of Medmerry. I saw one here last autumn, too, but I am afraid I can't be more precise about the date. (J.Wootton). Also, a belated report received today of a Barn Owl at Chainbridge last Tuesday, 6th January (per KF).
Chichester GPs: Forty Greylag Geese on New Lake and the Kingfisher in its usual spot on Copse Lake. The Dusky Warbler was reported on Birdguides but didn't show whilst I was there! On Westhampnett Pit, there were just a few Tufted Ducks, Pochard and Black-headed Gulls. (BI)
Kingfisher (above) & Greylag Geese at Chuichester GPs (BI)
Snowhill Creek/East Head: The three Spoonbills were roosting on the pools and at least one Greenshank was in amongst the roosting Redshank, though the light made it difficult. Also a pair of Stonechats, a Snipe and a few Wigeon and Teal were present there, a dozen Golden Plover and c100 Lapwing out on the mud along with plenty of Dunlin and Grey Plover, and 2-300 Brent Geese were on the grass.
Spoonbills in Snowhill Creek (above) & Golden Plovers nearby (AH)
There were 20+ Sanderling along the tideline on East Head, and there were 40+ Skylark and 20+ Linnet feeding along the sheltered side, and there were another two pairs of Stonechats nearby, but generally it was pretty quiet, with nothing out on the water bar a fishing Sandwich Tern and a solitary Great Crested Grebe. (AH)
Sanderling (above) & Skylark on East Head (AH)
Fishbourne Creek: A Firecrest and 8 Yellowhammers were near the horse paddock, but when I arrived at the creek the tide was well up and most of the waders seemed to have left, presumably to roost. The most conspicuous species however was Common Gull; there were masses of them and my count logged at least 760. Otherwise there was nothing unusual with 500+ Brent Geese, several hundred Wigeon, 400 Lapwings and 15 Pintail making up the numbers. Just after I left a single Bullfinch was in a hedgerow, seen from the car (OM).

Thursday, 8th January: A thoroughly wet and miserable morning with murky conditions, poor visibility and a strong westerly wind..... but brighter with some sunshine by afternoon.

Church Norton: A brief constitutional up to the beach and back in the rain produced nothing bar the Whimbrel and a few Curlew, Redshank and Teal. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over the churchyard and a Song Thrush was singing away in the distance. (AH)
This afternoon the remaining Spoonbill was back roosting on Tern Island. (IL)

A bedraggled Curlew in the rain at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just the usual suspects here, too - 50+ Shelduck, 30+ Shoveler and Teal, plus a couple of hundred Lapwing. (AH)
This afternoon there were 40+ Golden Plover and probably 1000 Lapwing on and over the field, along with 80 roosting Black-tailed Godwits and a Grey Wagtail that dropped in by the Pumping Staion. (AH/IL)

Golden Plovers over the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge Field - Late afternoon there was one Short-eared Owl hunting along the ditches in fields at the end of Chainbridge, 2 Kestrels, 9 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Meadow Pipits, 53 Brent Geese, and 1 Grey Heron. (SR)

Note: There is now no vehicular access to Bunns Caravan Park until 1st March. For Chainbridge Field there is a small car park just west of the Warner Lane check-point, next to a big green hangar, and for the Breach, there is a small car-park by the Windmill, then you have to walk through the caravan site for both destinations. (AH)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to Marsh Farm - As the physiotherapist said walking was good for me, I took him to his word this afternoon. There were not many birds on show - the best being the Little Owl at Marsh Farm, and a brief Kingfisher over the tidal area. There were around a dozen Reed Buntings and half a dozen Yellowhammers, mostly keeping low, a Lesser Black-backed Gull amongst a handful of Greater Black-backs and a few Gadwall, Wigeon and Teal on the pools, but the only waders on show were a couple of Redshank and Curlew. (AH)
Little Owl at Medmerry (AH)

Wednesday, 7th January: A day that started brightly but quickly deteriorated as cloud increased and the westerly wind picked up....

Chichester GP's: The Dusky Warbler was calling well and showing on and off in the far corner of East Lake (near the house not the bungalow). Also two Bullfinches, a Cetti's Warbler and 40 Greylag Geese nearby. (BI) The Dusky was still showing intermittently in the bramble clump and the bungalow garden, at the eastern end of East Lake from 2.45-3.10pm (CRJ).

Fishbourne Creek: Highlights this morning included the wintering Whimbrel, 3-4 Spotted Redshanks in the wader roost, 40 Pintail, 5 Goldeneye, two Gadwall, a flyover Grey Wagtail, a couple of Rock Pipits, a pair of Stonechats, a Chuffchaff, 50+ Black-tailed Godwit and many hundred Brent Geese and Wigeon. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Pintail, Stonechat & Rock Pipit at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

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