Friday, 11 December 2015

11th - 13th December 2015

Sunday, 13th December: Mild again and generally cloudy, though with some hints of brightness, but less windy with a light-moderate south-westerly.....

Selsey Bill: There was more westerly movement today, with 21 Red-throated Divers, 450 Kittiwakes and 150 Gannets being the most notable counts, plus a Merlin coming in from a long way out. (JA/SH/SR/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 1W, 20W, 2os
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 146W, 80os
Brent Goose - 11E, 14W
Common Scoter - 2W, 1os
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W, 8os

Merlin - 1 in off sea then west
Kestrel  - 1p

Dunlin - 30W
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Common Gull - 4os
Kittiwake - 484W, 40os
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp. 4W

Red-throated Divers (above) & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: Among highlights this morning were the Dartford Warbler in the gorse by the second Several again, eight Kittiwakes going west offshore, four Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea and a Kingfisher in the harbour. (IP)
To add to the Dartford Warbler sighting above,  I saw one in the gorse along the west side of the harbour, where the rife curves, and heard another further along at the marshy reed area but couldn't get sight of it. (SR)
During the WeBs counts I had offshore from Church Norton -
Red-throated Diver 2 os, 3 south
Great Northern Diver 1os, 1 south
Slavonian Grebe 2 os
Red-breasted Merganser 7 os
Great Crested Grebe 3 os (IL)
Also there was a Jack Snipe and a Short-eared Owl along the west side this afternoon. (RJS)

Ferry Pool: At least 200 Brent Geese were on the pool and the field, along with similar of Lapwings and regular numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal. (AH)
Att 11.30, when the tide was high, the pool held 11 Avocets, 53+ Golden Plover, c250 Lapwings, 14 Brent Geese, 42 Shelducks, 20+ Black-tailed Godwits, 15+ Redshank, 60+ Shoveler, c200 Wigeon, c150 Teal, 8 Curlew, 2 Stock Doves and a large noisy flock of c75 Starlings.
Also, a Firecrest showed well from the path by the Discovery Area. (SR)

Brent Geese at the Ferry (AH)

Birdham Pool: No sign of the Mandarins this morning and there were just half a dozen Little Grebes, a few Tufted Ducks and Mallards, seven Cormorants and 20 Black-headed Gulls on the water. (BI/IP)    

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - Ham - Chainbridge - Not much around Porthole Farm, just 50 Pied Wagtails on the ploughed fields and a few Reed Buntings, though there were three pairs of Stonechats along the path to Ham, plus a single Grey Partridge in with a dozen or so Red-legged Partridges.
A Merlin - possibly the one at the Bill earlier - went speeding over the reserve twice in half an hour, but there wasn't too much else of note, though there were 700 Brent Geese on the arable fields north of Chainbridge, and on the tidal pools there were half a dozen Pintail, 50+ Wigeon, 20+ Teal and a few Curlews. (AH)

Reed Bunting (above) & Stonechat at Medmerry (AH)

Highlights from the WeBS count at Medmerry today –
3 or even 4 different Kingfishers around the site, 2 Peregrines, 690 Brent Geese just NE of reserve near Ham.
East side - 20 Pintail, 1 Great Crested Grebe,
Breach - 25 Dunlin, 13 Oystercatchers and 40 Ringed Plover roosting at hide tide.
West side- 2 Greenshank, 2 Green sandpipers and at least 330 Teal.
Stilt pools - fairly quiet, 1 Black-tailed Godwit being the only wader.

This afternoon there was a Common Sandpiper (which must qualify as a wintering bird) on the Stilt Pool, along with a couple of Black-tailed Godwits and plenty of Wigeon Teal and Canada Geese, and there were three Red-breasted Mergansers in the big pool opposite. Also a huge flock of Brent Geese flew off west - presumably the big feeding flock of earlier.
There were a couple of pairs of Stonechat, a couple of Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Yellowhammers along the banks and lastly, a Short-eared Owl hunting opposite Marsh Barn in the twilight. (AH/S&SaH/PH)

Common Sandpiper (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, Yellowhammer & Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 12th December: More of the same, with mild but changeable conditions: rain at first, mainly cloudy and dull with a fresh SW wind.....

Selsey Bill (0730-0915hrs):  (Obs: JA/SH/PB)
Red-throated Diver - 10W, 2os
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Diver sp - 3W
Gannet - 3E, 47W
Brent Goose - 1E, 3W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 1E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W, 1os
Grey Plover - 1W

Auk sp  - 4W
Kittiwake - 22E, 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W 

(1345-1545hrs) (SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 6W
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 119W
Brent Goose - 3W
Common Scoter - 1W, 5os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3W, 2os

Arctic Skua -1 (dark phase) os - dropped on sea
Kittiwake - 18W
Razorbill - 1W
Guillemot - 5W
auk sp. - 2E, 1W

Red-throated Diver (above) & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

North Wall: Spent a windy afternoon watching a Peregrine putting up large flocks of Golden Plover, Dunlin and Lapwing along the north wall. This one landed close by after snatching an unsuspecting victim from White's' Creek. Sad for the wader, but mighty impressive. (RHa)

Peregrine from North Wall (RHa)

Birdham Pool: Sadly a trudge through the mud in search of the Mandarins proved fruitless today and just the usual Mallards, Moorhens and Little Grebes were seen! (SR)
Just to make those who missed them a bit more hopeful, they were present back on 23rd October, so presumably have been in the area ever since. (HR/DM)

Chichester GPs: Drayton - Plenty of Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Ducks, a few Pochard and Gadwall and two Little Grebes here this morning.
Ivy Lake - There were a couple of Common Gulls with the Black-headed Gulls, and plenty of Cormorants and Great Crested Grebes. There were nine Little Egrets in the roost but little else.
The smaller pits were all pretty quiet with just a scattering of Tufted Ducks and Pochard between them, and the only other thing of note was 21 Greylag Geese on New Lake. (BI)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: Still at least 300 Lapwing and 40 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, plus 85 Shoveler, 200 Wigeon, 40 Teal and 25 Shelduck.
There was very little along the Long Pool early on, save a couple of Little Grebes, whilst in Ferry Channel there were a couple of Grey Plovers and 30+ Redshank and Teal. (AH)

Church Norton: Fairly quiet today (late morning); the only notable sighting was of 6 Red-breasted Mergansers - two in the harbour and the rest offshore. Also noted offshore moving west were a Red-throated Diver, 20+ Gannets and 4 Kittiwakes (S&SaH)

Fishbourne Creek: There were four Greenshank and probably four (but definitely three) Spotted Redshank among the many Redshank opposite the Sailing Club quay, plus a Kingfisher there and up to six Goldeneye and 20 Red-breasted Mergansers on the water, along with about ten Little and Great Crested Grebes. Also flock of around 40 Fieldfare flew up into one of the trees on the far bank in the same area.
Along the Creek there were probably ten flighty Rock Pipits, the wintering Whimbrel, 30 Turnstones,and five Pintail and six Gadwall among many hundreds of Wigeon. At the northern end there were 20+ Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing and Redshank roosting, plus about 50 Common Gulls.
There was an impressive flock of about 50 Yellowhammers in the arable field before the Riding School, and a Grey Wagtail by the stables, but few other passerines were seen in the windy conditions. (AH)

Goldeneye (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, distant (!) Greenshank and Spotted Redshanks, Rock Pipit & Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Curlew in Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Friday, 11th December: Generally cloudy and dull with early showers, a brisk westerly wind and the prospect of heavier rain later. Feeling distinctly cooler today, although overall temperatures are still mild for the time of year....

Selsey Bill (0740-0930hrs): Cloudy, light showers, WSW5 (Obs: JA with a solo effort!)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 7W
Great Northern Diver - 6os
Gannet - 177W, 40os
Cormorant - 122W, 77os
Slavonian Grebe - 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 5W, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 10W, 7os
Kittiwake - 19W
Common Scoter - 3W, 3os
Herring Gull - 680W, 300os
Great Black-backed Gull - 339W, 200os
Mediterranean Gull - 16W
Common Gull - 17W
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 13W
Black-headed Gull - 60p
Guillemot - 1E
Razorbill - 3W
Auk sp - 2E, 4W

Ferry Pool: Much quieter than yesterday, though there were still six Avocets, 40 Black-tailed Godwits and a single Dunlin among the 300+ Lapwing, and there were 100 Wigeon in the field, plus the regular Teal, Shoveler and Shelduck numbers. (AH)

Avocets, Lapwings and Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were three Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour, plus another offshore, and plenty of Grey Plover, Dunlin and Redshank, plus the Whimbrel, were roosting on the end of the concrete spit. A Green Woodpecker, a dozen Skylarks and 40 Greenfinch were on the spit, and a couple of Chiffchaffs were near the car-park. (AH)

Grey Plovers and Dunlin (above) & Teal at Church Norton (AH)

Birdham Pool: At long last! I have waited all year for a Mandarin on the peninsula, and then I get four, with the little group under the trees at the back of the pool exactly where they were earlier in the week. Also present were a dozen Tufted Ducks and Little Grebes, plus eight Common Gulls and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. (AH)

Mandarins on Birdham Pool (AH)

East Beach Pond: It has doubled in size, after all the rain and is now flowing into the car park. Nice and quiet with no dog walkers as you can’t walk all the way through but having said that all I could find this morning with limited time was a handful of Long-tailed Tits and three Chiffchaffs. (SR)

A flooded East Beach Pond (SR)

Chichester Gravel Pits: New Lake - The drake Red-crested Pochard, first reported yesterday, was still present today on the lake (which is the easternmost of the Ivy Lake complex, on the other side of Peckhams Copse Lane), with around 70 Pochard and 30 Shoveler. (AH)

Red-crested Pochard and Pochard on Chichester GPs (AH)

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