Tuesday, 10 February 2015

10th - 12th February 2015

Thursday, 12th FebruaryA repeat of yesterday's weather; grey and overcast but dry, with a light but cold E/SE wind.... 

Ferry Pool: There were notably fewer Lapwing this morning - barely a couple of hundred birds present, though there were the usual numbers of wildfowl, including 30 each of Shelduck and Shoveler, 300 Wigeon, six Tufted Ducks and 40 Teal, plus 80 of the latter in Ferry Channel. (AH)
Teal in Ferry Channel (AH)
Chichester Marina: There was a huge flock of Brent Geese in Apuldram Manor Farm Marsh - nearer 2000 than 1000 - but the Black Brant didn't give itself up.

Brent Geese on Apuldram Manor Farm Marsh (AH)

In the harbour, from the Marina, there were 39 Little Grebes, 13 Goldeneye and 11 Great Crested Grebes on the water, of which a pair of the latter were showing signs of spring's arrival. Also a Greenshank sped through and four Stock Doves went over. (AH)
Greenshank (above) & Stock Doves from Chichester Marina (AH)


Great Crested Grebes showing some amorous intent....
Then an unwelcome interloper appears....
...who is quickly seen off....
And now...., where were we?

Wednesday, 11th February: Grey, dull and cloudy again, with a chilly SE breeze F2-3 and a forecast of dry but overcast conditions through the day....

Meanwhile, a little bird whispered in my ear that our longest-serving and much-loved regular Beryl James has been poorly recently, resulting in a week in hospital, although I understand she is now at home recuperating. I must confess I was unaware of all this until now, though I am glad to learn she has at last joined the 'silver surfers' and uses a tablet to follow this blog! Well Beryl, if you are reading this, on behalf of myself and all of your many friends and admirers on the Peninsula and elsewhere....GET WELL SOON! If you've got to be ill then these cold months are the time to do it, so we hope to be seeing you down the Bill again soon on those fine, sunny spring mornings. (OM).

Beryl at the Bill in earlier times - you haven't changed a bit and we expect to see you there again in the spring (OM)
Pagham Lagoon/Spit: Not much on the Lagoon bar eight Pochard, 12 Teal, 20 Tufted Duck and 20 Little Grebes.
There were four Red-breasted Mergansers and eleven Goldeneye in the channel to the harbour mouth, with much displaying and excitement going on, but very little else worthy of report, bar a Raven over high and going west, calling as it went.
Offshore from the Yacht Club, there was a single Red-throated Diver, seven Slavonian Grebes, five great Crested Grebes and a further eight Red-breasted Mergansers. (AH)

Red-breasted Mergansers (above) & Goldeneye - including all 11 together - off Pagham Spit (AH)

North Wall: Very quiet - 60 Teal and a Grey Heron on the Breach Pool and several hundred Wigeon and Lapwing, plus a few Black-tailed Godwits around White's Creek. (AH)

Grey Heron (above) & Wigeon from the North Wall (AH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge Field - One Short-eared Owl was present at around 1540hrs. It appeared to have prey and went up high, being harrassed by a Kestrel, before dropping down over the bank into the reserve. (AB)

Easton's side; A late report received of a Common Sandpiper on the 'Stilt pool' on Mon 9th Feb - presumably a wintering bird rather than an early migrant? (JWo).

Tuesday, 10th February: A grey, somewhat murky and cloudy morning, with just a light E/NE wind 2-3 but feeling cold...
First news today (09.30hrs) comes from CRJ, where the Black Brant was re-located at Chichester Marina.... 

Chichester Marina: The Black Brant was located again this morning amongst a flock of c.700 Brent Geese, although quite distantly out on the marsh; also 6 Gadwall and 12 Black-tailed Godwits there (CRJ). 
In the nearby Chichester channel several Goldeneye were also present (DM).

On the flood itself were also c35 Snipe, c50 Blackwits, an Oystercatcher and a Lapwing, and a Tawny Owl called weakly from along the entrance road but I couldn't find it unfortunately. (AB)

Black Brant amongst flock of dark-bellied Brent Geese at Chichester Marina marsh (AB above & DM below)

Drake Goldeneye in Chichester channel (DM)

Birdham Pool: There was no sign of the Mandarin this morning but a Kingfisher was present (AH/CRJ/AB). 
Common Gull at Birdham Pool (AB)

Chi GP's: At East Trout Lake the Tundra Bean Goose was again on the water with Greylags (CRJ). This has led to some speculation as to whether it could be 'plastic' - although there is nothing otherwise to suggest this and its previous actions thus far have apparently been okay for a wild bird.
Tundra Bean Goose at Chichester GP's (DM)
Selsey Bill: This morning there were 6 Great Northern Divers on the sea, three Red-throated Divers landed far offshore, and three Gannets and seven Wigeon went west. (JD/DF/DS)
Church Norton: A flock of 32 Brent Geese went purposely through early on, with heads down, low and fast to the east, and looked suspiciously like they were on the move, but there was no other indication of migration here or at the Bill. 
There were seven Slavonian Grebes offshore this morning, eight Goldeneye in the channel to the new harbour mouth, and - viewable from the spit - there were at least nine Avocets at the other end of the harbour. There were 20+ Skylarks along the spit, and some were displaying - bobbing up and down, raising and lowering their tails and showing off the white outer edges - but it's not certain if it was competing males or courting couples! (AH/JD/DF/DS)

Brent Geese at Church Norton - on the move? (AH)
Goldeneye (above) & displaying Skylarks at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 30+ Golden Plover in with 1000+ Lapwing and 500 Wigeon on the field and 30+ Shoveler and six Tufted Duck on the water. (AH)

Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

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