Tuesday, 10 November 2015

10th - 12th November 2015

Thursday, 12th November: Not as good a morning as forecast, with a brisk southerly breeze bringing some heavy squalls of drizzle and rain with it.....

Selsey Bill (0750-1050hrs): SSW3, frequent drizzly showers and cloud. (Obs: OM/PC/RJS et al).  A Great Northern Diver was offshore and a Red-throated Diver went west, but otherwise it was quiet, with just a few Wigeon and Brent Geese going west and a few Goldfinches and Linnets moving about. Log below...
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Gannet - 3W
Brent Goose - 14W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W
Wigeon - 10W
Sparrowhawk - 1 gardens
Woodpigeon - 85 SW
Auk sp - 1W
Meadow Pipit - 2W
Rock Pipit - 1 ob
Goldcrest - 2 gardens
Goldfinch - 40W
Linnet - 52W
Selsey East Beach/Pond: At least a dozen Goldcrests and three Chiffchaffs around the sallows this morning, but nothing more exotic among them! Two late Red Admirals were also on the wing and feeding happily amongst the vegetation. (OM)
  Red Admirals at Selsey East Beach (OM)
Pagham Churchyard: Another Black Redstart here was a bit of a surprise, and once again it seemed to favour the steeple roof - bizarrely also with a Grey Wagtail for some of the time! It was otherwise very quiet except for a calling Chiffchaff (OM).
 Black Redstart on Pagham Church (Church Lane) (OM)
Sidlesham: St Mary's Churchyard: Arriving just as the rain stopped this morning it was a very successful visit with plenty of avian activity.  Along with a flock of 27 Goldfinches feeding in the alder tree were 4 Siskins and a single Redpoll and feeding on the many available berries were 2 Redwings, 3 Mistle Thrushes and c25 Blackbirds.  A Jay was collecting acorns and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was about.  Other birds included c30 Goldcrests, a Pied Wagtail and 2 Buzzards. (SR)
Ferry Pool: The Little Stint was again at the back, and there was also a Snipe, a Redshank, five Avocets, 25 Black-tailed Godwits and c150 Lapwing present. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Breach viewpoint - A Marsh Harrier was hunting over the eastern side of the reserve this morning; also a Peregrine and 14 Knot (RJS)

Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Biggest surprise was two very late Wheatears by the first viewpoint this morning - it is only four months until the first ones will be returning north. There was a  touch of winter nearby, though, with half a dozen Fieldfares and a couple of Redwings flying out of the hedge and over into the poplars early on.
The Merlin appeared a couple of times in the vicinity, chasing some of the many Meadow Pipits, a Spotted Redshank flew around calling, there were two Green Sandpipers opposite Marsh Barn and the White-fronted Goose flew into the ploughed fields with a small group of Canada Geese.
There were plenty of Yellowhammers and a few Reed Buntings along the banks, plus a couple of pairs of Stonechats and 200+ Goldfinches, though the Stilt Pool was quiet, with a single Snipe and c80 Lapwing being the only waders in residence, though there were 50+ Wigeon and Teal present, with many more of both out on the reserve. (AH)

Wheatears (above), Fieldfare, Stonechat, White-fronted and Canada Geese, Goldfinches & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

Wednesday, 11th November: A better day than yesterday, though still a fresh and mild south-westerly breeze blowing, but with the odd glimpse of the sun....

Ferry Pool: The Little Stint was still present, and at high tide there were three Green Sandpipers, eight Avocets, four Dunlin, c20 Black-tailed Godwits, c40 Common Redshank and c150 Lapwing on the pool. Also the Grey Wagtail dropped into the rife, and there were still plenty of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal about. (AH/CRJ)

Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Pretty quiet - a Siskin and a Redwing over were the highlights, with otherwise just a few Goldcrests, a flock of 40 Goldfinches and a couple of Jays about the hide area and pretty standard fare in the harbour, whilst there were 30 or so Linnets and a few Meadow Pipits on the beach. 
Later on there was a Water Rail, a pair of Stonechats, a Chiffchaff with a ring on the right leg, six Goldcrests, a Jay and 40 Greenfinches along the front, plus  a few Siskins over.
Sadly our fears about the churchyard appear to have been realised, with all but the sparsest bit of vegetation along the wall, including trees, having been removed by the contractors in the area they have so far been working on. It will be a very stark place by the time they finish. (AH/CRJ)

Goldfinches (above) & the freshly-cleared churchyard at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: There appears to be a wintering Whimbrel again this year, though wader numbers were very low on the high tide, with just a few Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwing present, though there were four Greenshank among one of several flocks of 100+ Redshank that were about. There were barely a hundred Brent Geese, too, though Wigeon numbers were reasonable, and there were at least 400 Common Gulls at the north end.
There was a good total of up to a dozen Rock Pipits along the edges, and there were probably 30 or more Yellowhammers around the riding school and adjacent hedges, but few other passerines were on show, save a big flock of Long-tailed Tits in the church car-park. (AH)

Rock Pipits (above), Whimbrel, Yellowhammer, roosting Greenshank and Redshank & Common and Black-headed Gulls at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Chichester Marina: The harbour at high tide this morning held a Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Little Grebes, c150 Brent Geese, 12 Redshank and 17 Coots with c200 Oystercatchers roosting on the far bank alongside 17 Curlew and 15 Bar-tailed Godwits; also a Kingfisher flew alongside the copse. 

Birdham Pool was full of water but lacking in birds with just 4 Little Grebes alongside the usual Coot, Mallard and Mute Swans.   

Apuldram Manor Farm Marsh had 12 Pied Wagtails around the sheds, 1 Buzzard, 8 Goldcrests, 16 Long-tailed Tits and 28 Lapwing, whilst the water-level on the canal was also high, with the resident Black Swan present alongside 15 Tufted Ducks (SR).

   The regular Black Swan on the canal at Chichester Marina  (SR)

Selsey: Redwings were flying over my East Beach garden this evening - I went outside to listen and almost walked into a fox! (SR)

Golf Links Lane, Selsey: Nothing nil except for a Mediterranean Gull over fields near Chainbridge. (CRJ)

Tuesday, 10th November: A really grey, blustery day, but very mild still; some very light drizzle early on then just about remaining dry, with a strong WSW wind 6-7...

Selsey Bill (0730-1100hrs):  (Obs: DF/OM/DS/JD/BFF/DIS et al)  After last night's gale force winds and near-gale conditions this morning, hopes were high that something decent like a shearwater or petrel might pass; unfortunately once again the sea-watching was fairly uninspiring, a little trickle of GCG's being about the highlight...!  Log below....
Great Crested Grebe - 9W
Gannet - 1E, 3W
Brent Goose - 3E, 18W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 1W
Common Scoter - 6W
Shoveler - 1E
Guillemot - 2 os
Auk sp - 3E
Turnstone - 35 ob
Oystercatcher - 11 ob
Mediterranean Gull - 2W, 1 os
Common Gull - 2 os
Pied Wagtail - 2 ob
Goldfinch - 30W
Linnet - 24W

At the Bill this morning... Brent Geese over the sea, Turnstones on the beach at high tide and a gathering of old boys 'enjoying' a sea-watch, though from his expression I'm not sure Mr Forbes (standing) rated this morning's watch too highly..... (OM)

(age shall not weary them or the years condemn.....!)

East Beach pond: Two Chiffchaffs and only two Goldcrests were located in the blustery conditions this morning (OM).

Ferry Pool: The Little Stint was still present, as was an Avocet, five Black-tailed Godwits and c150 Lapwing, along with half a dozen Shelduck, c30 Shoveler, c20 Wigeon and c50 Teal.  Also five Redwing flew over west. (AH/BFF/DIS)

Little Stint on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were a few Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits along the more sheltered hedges,plus a couple of Reed Buntings, and a Water Rail squealed from within the reeds. Very little in Ferry Channel except a Curlew and a few Redshank, whilst five Shelduck and a few Wigeon and Teal went over, and a Gadwall dropped in. (AH)

Shelducks over the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: At high tide, two Whimbrel in among the roost were the only waders of note. whilst there were also two Firecrests around the hide area and a Kingfisher was in the harbour. (BFF/DIS)

Apuldram: There was a single Firecrest in the church car-park and six Yellowhammers were in the horse paddock. (BFF/DIS)

Chi GPs - Drayton pits: Disappointing overall as very few wintering duck are currently present, presumably due to the mild conditions. Apart from 3-400 Coots and the regular 50+ Tufted Ducks and a few Pochard, there were just c.30 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler and 15 Teal. The few back-up birds included 2 Jays, a Chiffchaff and a Cetti's Warbler (OM)

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