Friday, 20 February 2015

20th - 22nd February 2015

Sunday, 22nd February: A lovely bright, sunny and frosty morning with a light SSW breeze; however according to the forecast it is set to be all change this afternoon with heavy rain sweeping in and a strengthening wind...we shall see.... and sure enough they were right!
Selsey Bill: (0655-0930hrs) (SH/JA/IP/PC)
Great Northern Diver - 7os
Red-throated Diver -9W, 8E
diver sp - 7E
Slavonian Grebe - 1W, 5os
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Fulmar -2W
Gannet - 3W,1E
Brent Goose  7E
Common Scoter - 4E
Eider 3E, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 13os
Sparrowhawk - 1W
Dunlin - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W, 7os
Sandwich Tern - 1os
auk sp - 14W, 1E

Additional (1400 - 1530hrs):  SSW5, rain (Obs: SH)
Red-throated Diver - 2W
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 11W
Razorbill - 7w,1os
Auk sp - 2w
Mediterranean Gull - 1w

Pagham Lagoon: It was fairly quiet, but there were 25 Mediterranean Gulls, three Goldeneye and a Kingfisher. (BI)

Goldeneye (above) & Mediterranean Gulls on Pagham Lagoon (BI)

North Wall: Also quiet here, but there was a Spotted Redshank and a Grey Plover in White's Creek, and a calling Cetti's Warbler and single Black-tailed Godwit on the Breach Pool, along with a few Teal and Wigeon. Also many Brent Geese in and over the harbour, giving the general impression that they were unsettled and could be on their way any time soon. (BI)

Grey Plover on White's Creek (BI)

Apuldram Marsh: There were more Brent Geese here, probably a 1000 or more, plus six Snipe and 100 each of Black-tailed Godwit & Curlew, as well as another calling Cetti's Warbler. (BI)

Church Norton: The first evidence of a movement of migrating Brent Geese this morning, with up to 800 birds heading east, with firstly, a huge distant flock of 500, followed by a closer flock of 80 and then another distant flock of 200 birds. 

There were also up to 5 Sandwich Terns offshore, before gradually moving off west, four Goldeneye in the harbour, along with a few Red-breasted Mergansers, and 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 Buzzards, plus a Stonechat in the area. 
Also, 'Owls About Town' have moved into Park Lane with Snowy Owls, Eagle Owls and many other exotic species on show in cages beyond Park Farm. (S&SaH/IP)

Buzzard at Park Farm (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were between 250-300 Golden Plovers around the Ferry this morning, preferring the recently ploughed fields and seeming to almost outnumber the Lapwing when they took to the air. Also there was a flock of 4-500 Brent Geese on the fields, along with 40 Black-tailed Godwits and 500+ Wigeon. (AH)

Golden Plover over the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Ham-Chainbridge area - The army were out near the breach, detonating yet another piece of unexploded ordnance from the days when the area was a shelling range, and a huge bang put everything up, except the Spoonbills - though they did wake up for a feed! And when they did, there proved to be four of them, over on the very far side of the reserve. 
Among other birds disturbed was a flock of 60+ Stock Doves, 40 Golden Plover, 200 Lapwing, 1500 Brent Geese and 20 Shelduck. There were also 20+ Skylarks, 80+ Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Reed Buntings and Pied Wagtails along the track, plus at least six different Kestrels. (AH)

The army blowing things up (above), very distant Spoonbills, Stock Doves & Reed Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 21st February: Cloudy with some brighter periods and the odd light wintry shower, but with the increasing risk of heavier rain later. Cold due to the brisk NW wind 4-5. Both blog editors are absent from the Peninsula for most of the weekend, so many thanks to all the regulars who have provided information today (and hopefully tomorrow..!) The birding highlights today have been few, though up to seven wintering Sandwich Terns were present, Great Northern Divers again reached double-figures and a couple of Slavonian Grebes and the regular Green Sandpiper were also logged.

Selsey Bill (0700 - 0900hrs): NW4-5 Cloud. (Obs: SH/JA)
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 9os on a rising tide
Slavonian Grebe - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 4E, 3W

Brent Goose - 5E
Eider - 1 os
Common Scoter - 1os

R/b Merganser - 3E, 6 os
Auk sp - 2wTurnstone - 6w
Sandwich Tern - 1W

Mediterranean Gull - 6 os

Common Scoter and Mediterranean Gull at Selsey Bill (SH)

Church Norton: There were 6 R/b Mergansers in the harbour, whilst 2 Ravens flew from Norton towards Selsey East beach. Also the Green Sandpiper was feeding in a puddle nearby and a Cetti's Warbler was calling from the second of the Severals reedbeds (S&SaH). En route to Norton there was a Grey Wagtail and a couple of Chiffchaffs in the Park Farm area (IP/SH).

Drake Red-breasted Merganser in the harbour at Church Norton and Chiffchaff at Park Farm (SH).

Itchenor: A look around the area produced no less than six Sandwich Terns in the channel, a Grey Wagtail, three R/b Mergansers, two Great Crested Grebes and plenty of Dunlin, Grey Plovers and Lapwings, as well as a few Ringed Plover. Good numbers of Brent Geese and Teal also present with a scattering of Shelduck (BI).

Fishbourne creek: There were 15 Yellowhammers at the stables and good numbers of ducks in the harbour including Wigeon, a few Goldeneye and two dozen Pintail. Forty Black-tailed Godwits were near the sluice and three Rock Pipits were also present here (BI).

 Black-tailed Godwits, Rock Pipit and Ringed Plovers at Fishbourne Creek (BI)

Medmerry: Chainbridge: About 600 to 800 Brent were grazing the football pitch till put by a dog; also a Kingfisher in the rife, 1 Sparrowhawk, 300 Lapwing, 100 Golden Plover and 30 Pintail (SH).

Brent Geese at Chainbridge field, Medmerry (SH)

Friday, 20th February: Very dull and cloudy with persistent rain and drizzle and just a light northerly breeze.... with the prospect of a few brighter periods by afternoon. The late February doldrums are now well upon us, with a certain degree of sameness as winter flocks dwindle and we begin to yearn for the first early migrants of spring, but there's a way to go yet. The weather will doubtless bring a few surprises before spring truly arrives and let's hope the birds do likewise; there's only one way to find out and that's to be out there searching, so  keep at it!

North Wall: There was a Spotted Redshank along White's Creek this morning, plus another one, calling out in the harbour, and there were seven Red-breasted Mergansers and two Little Grebes on the water. About 60 Golden Plover were in with 2-300 Lapwing and similar of Dunlin on the mud.
Not much to report along the wall - there were two or three Reed Buntings flitting about, two Shelduck and 20 Teal on the Breach Pool, 100+ Wigeon on the fields and a steady stream of Brent Geese (probably as many as 1000 birds) going inland to feed. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Red-breasted Merganser, and with Little Grebe & Golden Plovers along White's Creek (AH)

Later on, from the sluice on the North Wall at high tide - a handful of Wigeon, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers and four Pintail, plus a few Reed Buntings about and a Kestrel on the sign post. (BI)
Wigeon (above) & Reed Buntings from the North Wall (BI)

Pagham Lagoon: There were as many as 12 Goldeneye this morning, along with three Red-breasted Mergansers and the usual Tufted Ducks and Little Grebes, plus three Mediterranean Gulls. (AH)

Adult Goldeneyes (above), first-winter males & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge Field area - There were three Spoonbills on the reserve from the bank at Chainbridge, along with  a Short-eared Owl, 15 Pintail and 170 Golden Plovers. (PH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: This afternoon there were 8 Canada Geese, 7 Little Egrets, 50 plus Curlew, one Mediterranean Gull (nearly in full hood) amongst the many Black-headed Gulls, a Chiffchaff, a Grey Wagtail, 5 Shelduck, a Stonechat and good numbers of Teal and Wigeon. A large flock of maybe 500 Brent Geese flew over. (BI)

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