Sunday, 20 December 2015

20th - 22nd December 2015

Tuesday, 22nd December: The prolonged period of changeable but mild weather goes on; wet and windy overnight, giving way to a grey, cloudy day with strong to gale-force SW winds and periods of rain..... sea-watching would seem to be the best option!

Selsey Bill: Sadly sea-watching was not a good option - as totals below indicate! (AH)
Gannet - 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 11W

Ferry Pool: No waders at all this morning, save an over-flying Snipe, whilst around/on the pool were 30 Brent Geese, 75 Shelduck, 85 Shoveler, 40 Teal and 150 Wigeon. (AH)

Medmerry: There were c90 Curlew and c75 Pintail on east side this morning, and a Spotted Redshank was on the Stilt Pools. (PH)

Chichester Harbour:
Marina - Four Goldeneye and six Red-breasted Mergansers, plus a few Little Grebes were on the water, a couple of Rock Pipits were along the edges, whilst in the fields along Salterns Way there were 120 Curlews, but no gulls or geese. 

Red-breasted Merganser from Chichester Marina (AH)

Birdham PoolThe four Mandarins were under their 'regular!' tree at the back, along with three Gadwall, and there were four Grey Herons around the pool. 

Mandarin and Gadwall at Birdham Pool (AH)

West Itchenor - A Whimbrel flew out from a roost of Curlew and Lapwing - about the same spot as one was present last winter, but very little else was about, bar a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe. (AH)

Red-breasted Merganser (above) & with Great Crested Grebe from West Itchenor (AH)

Monday, 21st December: Mid-winter's day, and yet another mild, very windy morning, with a brief show of the sun after a wet start, before the rain set in again.... the weather and the shortest daylight hours of the year combining to make a totally uninspiring day for birding!

Selsey Bill: (0815-0915hrs) (AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 30E, 75W, 30os
Common Scoter - 7E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 10E, 40W, 20os
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 1E, 3W

Gannet past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just the usual this morning, including 75 Shoveler, 20 Shelduck, 40 Teal, 200 Wigeon (on the field), two Brent Geese, a single Black-tailed Godwit and 150 Lapwing. (AH)

Church Norton: Two Peregrines chasing the waders was the highlight, otherwise very slim pickings, including two Red-breasted Mergansers and a Mediterranean Gull offshore, and plenty of Dunlin, Knot, Turnstone, Curlew, Ringed and Grey Plover in the harbour, plus a few Brent Geese but nothing unusual, and a Jay and a Green Woodpecker in the churchyard were about the only landbirds seen. (AH)

Ringed Plovers and Turnstones (above), Curlew & Dunlin and Teal at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 20th December: Still very mild but a bit of a mixed bag today, with cloud, periods of hazy sun and fairly frequent light showers - plus a fresh to strong SW breeze....

Selsey Bill (0740-0900hrs): variable, SW5-6  (Obs: JA/SH/AH et al)   Not a whole lot going on this morning, the clear highlight being five Slavonian Grebes offshore. Full log below...
Red-throated Diver -  3E, 2W
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 3E, 2os
Slavonian Grebe - 5os
Gannet - 4W
Brent Goose - 4E, 7W
Shelduck - 4W
Common Scoter - 5W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 1W, 4os
Teal - 3W
Kestrel - 1 area
Auk sp - 3W
Kittiwake - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os

Church Norton: Mid-morning there were 10 Red-breasted Mergansers (6 offshore and 4 in the harbour), and 2 Redwings and 2 Reed Buntings in the Greenlease Farm orchard behind the Severals, whilst nearby a Chiffchaff was at Park Farm (S&SaH)

North Wall: Very little worth a mention on the Breech Pool, but in White's Creek a Spotted Redshank was about the best on offer, along with c70 Pintail and 1000+ Lapwings. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Pintail from North Wall (AH)

East side and Pagham Lagoon: A flock of c.300 Linnets was very obvious and around 20 Reed Buntings were also logged. There were four Goldeneye in the harbour channel  and a fifth bird was on the Lagoon, along with a Kingfisher, and there were 500+ Brent Geese, 150 Great Black-backed Gulls, with a couple of Lesser Black-backed among them, and plenty of the commoner waders. (AH).

Goldeneye and Wigeon in the harbour (above), Little Grebe on the lagoon & Reed Bunting along the east side (AH)

Chichester GPs: Drayton Pits - As might be expected, wildfowl numbers were well below average due to the prevailing mild weather, with no more than a dozen Shoveler present and just a handful of Teal. The more regular ducks were a little more numerous, in particular Gadwall (55), Tufted (c.100) and Pochard (30) and of course several hundred Coots. Three Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff and two Green Woodpeckers were the best of the rest (OM).

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