Monday, 14 December 2015

14th - 16th December 2015

Wednesday, 16th December: A grey and cloudy day again, with a fresh to strong W/SW wind and the chance of rain later - though remaining very mild....

Selsey Bill (0815-100hrs): (Obs: AH/JF/GB et al)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 1os
Gannet - 2E, 4W
Brent Goose - 3E, 17W
Common Scoter - 3os
Eider - 3W, 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3W
Kittiwake -1W

Eider (above) & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Thirty or so Black-tailed Godwits were in the far corner and there were similar of Redshank, plus 300 Lapwing, twenty Canada Geese and Shelduck, along with the usual Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal numbers. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings and Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Very little new today - four Red-breasted Mergansers were on the sea, and there were large numbers of Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover and Lapwing being upset by something unseen. Also about 500 Brent Geese came over from the Selsey area into the harbour. (AH)

Wigeon (above) & Redshank at Church Norton (AH)

East Beach Pond: A Sparrowhawk flew through and two Chiffchaffs were in the trees but there was nothing else of note. The water level has risen, resulting in the island being almost submerged and there are nearly as many Mallards and Coots swimming in the car park as on the pond! (SR)

Tuesday, 15th December: Staying uncannily mild for the time of year with more southerly winds, as a whole series of fronts and depressions continue to arrive from the Atlantic. Dull and grey today with a forecast of a mainly dry morning and rain by afternoon....  

Selsey Bill (0745-0945hrs): (Obs: AH/DF/JD/DS)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 8E
Gannet - 25E, 5W
Shelduck - 5W
Common Scoter - 12E
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 6W
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Kittiwake - 3E
auk sp - 1W

Great Northern Diver (above) & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton and the west side: The Whimbrel was in the harbour and there were c200 Knot in with 500+ Dunlin and 100+ Grey Plovers, plus plenty of Wigeon and Teal. At least 1000 Lapwing came up a couple of times on the far side, but visibility was too poor to make out much else.
There was a singing Song Thrush and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the car-park, a Chiffchaff in the churchyard and a few Goldcrests in with a flock of Long-tailed Tits near the mound, whilst along the west side there were a couple of Jays and Reed Buntings, half a dozen Stock Doves and there were 40 Lapwings and a Grey Heron on the ploughed fields.

Whimbrel (above), Knot, Song Thrush & Great Spotted Woodpecker at Church Norton (AH)

Long Pool: There was very little bar a Tufted Duck and a couple of Little Grebes, plus a couple of squealing unseen Water Rails on the Long Pool, whilst in Ferry Channel there were a couple of Grey Plovers, a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Reshank and 40 Teal, plus a Kingfisher zipping towards the Ferry. (AH)

Tufted Duck (above) & Redshank from Long Pool (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were a dozen or more Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank in the far corner, plus 100 or more Lapwings, and there were 40+ Shelduck and numerous Shoveler, Teal and Wigeon around the edges. (AH)

Shelduck and Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

Chichester Harbour: Fifteen SOS members gathered at Chichester Marina car park this morning for a stroll down the harbour to Fishbourne Creek. The weather was dull damp and overcast with little wind, but the birds proved far more uplifting than the predicted weather forecast . In  the reed bed at the Marina a couple of squealing Water Rails were heard with fleeting views of a Common Snipe. In the channel off the Marina at least 3 Sandwich Terns were patrolling back and forth and a Great Northern Diver was snorkelling in the gloom. Plenty of Red-breasted Merganser with small parties of  Little Grebes were found. Taking the Salterns Way track we found a delightful adult Little Gull hawking on the wing with a flock of other gulls, the dark underwing showing really well. The Brent Geese were divided into two flocks one of the Black Brants was found really close and we all enjoyed good views noting the critical features that separate this sub species .
At Dell Quay we spent some time scanning from the wall, finding 6 Goldeneye that flew close with 4 Greenshank and 3 Spotted Redshank as well as the usual waders. A Kingfisher was found sitting on one of the yachts, with another two birds flying together downstream.
In Fishbourne Creek a Whimbrel was seen and heard and on the opposite bank a pair of Ravens were canoodling  in a tree! We also noted a pair of Stonechats, calling Cetti's Warbler and at least 8 Rock Pipit. On the return walk two flocks of 30 & 20 Yellowhammers were seen plus a pair of Grey Wagtails at New Barn Farm. By now the rain had started  to dampen our spirits although we still had further views of the Black Brant and Little Gull on the walk back. Still, a really good days birding in damp and dull conditions thanks to all who attended for helping out with the birding finding and ID. (BFF)

Monday, 14th December: Another mild day with a southerly airflow; mainly dry though generally cloudy, with the promise of a few brighter interludes by early afternoon and showers by evening....

Selsey Bill (0800-1100hrs): Another interesting morning, with the highlight being four Velvet Scoters east (with a single Common Scoter in tow), but there were also a dozen Red-throated Divers going east and west, up to six Great Northern Divers and the Eider on the sea, a few Brent Geese east and a few Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks going mostly west.  (Obs: AH/C&ME/SR)   Full log below....
Red-throated Diver - 10E, 14W
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 5os
Diver sp - 4W
Gannet - 14E, 42W

Great Crested Grebe - 5E
Brent Goose - 45E, 1W
Eider - 1os

Shelduck - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 11W

Common Scoter - 1E, 11W
Velvet Scoter - 4E
Pintail - 1E

Kestrel - 1 area
Razorbill - 2E
Auk sp - 4E
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Kittiwake - 32E, 7W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E         

Great Northern Diver (above), Red-throated Divers, Gannets & Kestrel at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: It was good to see a group of five Bar-tailed Godwits - which have been in very short supply this autumn - in the harbour, in with a group of a dozen or so each of Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plover. Not much else of note was on view, though there were plenty of Brent Geese and Wigeon, whilst offshore there were five Red-breasted Mergansers and four Common Gulls went west. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and Dunlin (above), Grey Plover & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There was a Short-eared Owl hunting over the back of the field late this morning, though the rising water level has reduced bird numbers on the pool itself. There were just a half dozen Black-tailed Godwits, a couple of Curlews and 40 Lapwing present this morning, with 100+ Wigeon and Teal and perhaps half that of Shoveler around the edges, and the Kingfisher shot perilously low over the road.. (AH)

Short-eared Owl (above) & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Pagham Hbr East side: Highlights today at high tide were an immature Spoonbill off the spit, a Peregrine and the five Pale-bellied Brent Geese, plus a massive mixed flock of Dunlin/Knot/Grey Plover swirling about (ARK, per SOS/TG).

Medmerry: A Firecrest was in bushes next to Earnley car park at 10.00.

Stilt pools – A White-fronted Goose was present today and also the wintering Common Sandpiper. A Greenshank was roosting nearby on the southern edge of another pool and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers were nearby.
Marsh Barn – A Merlin appeared very briefly,  and three Redpolls flew overhead. (PH)

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