Wednesday, 23 December 2015

23rd - 25th December 2015

Christmas Day, Friday 25th DecemberFirst of all, we would like to wish all our readers and contributors a very happy Christmas.
However the weather is anything but seasonal, mild and blustery and drizzly again......

Selsey Bill: (0750-0830) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 1W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 11W
Wigeon - 3W
Common Scoter - 7W
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W

Mediterranean Gull - 3W, 2os
Common Gull - 4W
Kittiwake - 4W, 1os

Guillemot - 1
auk sp - 1W

Seawatch from West Beach (0900-0930hrs) (SR)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Brent Goose - 2E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W, 1os.
Eider - 1os (juv male)
Turnstone - 50p
Sandwich Tern - 1E
Pied Wagtail - 2p

Medmerry: Breach area - On the rough ground at Toe End there were a Black Redstart, two Rock Pipits, three Pied Wagtails and eight Meadow Pipits. (SR)

The Breach at high tide (SR)

Ferry Pool: Very large numbers of birds on the pool on the big tide, including 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, 400 Brent Geese, 500+ Lapwing, 80 Shoveler, 60 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon, 100+ Teal and a pair of Gadwall. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above), Brent Geese, Gadwall and Wigeon and Wigeon, Shoveler and Curlew on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool to Church Norton: Again nothing unusual, but a lot of birds moving about on the high tide - including 22 Avocet and 20+ Snipe at the end of Ferry Channel, numerous Redshank, Curlrew, Grey Plover and Dunlin, at least 500 Brent Geese, 1000 Lapwing and 80 Golden Plover up over the North Wall and many Wgeon, Teal and Shelduck. Along the west side there were a few Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Stock Doves, whilst at Norton there were a Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldcrests. (AH)
Late this morning there was a Grey Wagtail at Park Farm, Selsey, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers offshore/in the harbour and a Jay was in the first Several. (S&SaH)

Avocets (above) Curlew and Snipe from the Long Pool (AH)

Thursday, 24th December: As expected, a return to the blustery, cloudy and changeable but mild conditions, with periods of rain and a strong to gale force south-westerly....

Selsey Bill: A very brief sea-watch in difficult conditions, with the wind more or less due south,  produced the following -
(0830-0900hrs) (AH/CN)
Gannet - 10E, 20W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 2os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 5E, 12W

Ferry Pool: (8.30am) The water level was very high;  nothing out of the ordinary but the sheer numbers of birds and their constant activity was impressive.  A minimum of 150 Brent Geese were on the water with small flocks flying in to join them at regular intervals; also c250 Wigeon, c100 Teal and the same of Shoveler, 12 Canada Geese, c150 Lapwing, with others flying in, and a large flock of c100 Black-tailed Godwits at the back of the pool, plus a Tufted Duck, a Snipe and a Kingfisher that dashed across the pool. (SR)
Not much to add later on, though six Golden Plovers flew over and back, but didn't settle. (AH)

Shovelers (above) & Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Birdham Pool: The two pairs of Mandarin were under their usual trees this morning, with possibly a third female present as well. (SH/BI) Also a surprise drake Red-crested Pochard present later, consorting with the dozen Tufted Ducks. Also a few Little Grebes & Cormorants, a Kingfisher, a Great Black-backed Gull and a few Black-headed Gulls.
At Saltern's Way, two Little Gulls again, but no sign of the Black Brant with the Brent Geese.(BI)
Mandarins in the gloom (top two) and Red-crested Pochard at Birdham Pool, and Little Gull off Salterns Way (BI)

Apuldram: fifty Yellowhammers and two Stonechats around the dung heap.(BI)

Yellowhammers at Apuldram dung-heap (BI)
Church Norton: Nothing much out of the ordinary in the dire conditions and with a big tide, though there were a couple of Mediterranean Gulls offshore, a few Turnstone and 40 Greenfinch on the beach, and plenty of Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew getting moved about the harbour by the rising water. (AH)

Mediterranean Gull (above), Redshanks & Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 23rd December: At last a bit of welcome sunshine, with drier conditions and a clear bright morning sky, though gradually becoming cloudier as the day progressed. Still generally mild, despite a fresh to strong WSW wind, but this brief respite is not set to last as a return to changeable weather with rain and strong winds is due by tomorrow and through the Christmas period..... not exactly what we all asked Santa for!

Selsey Bill (0745-1000hrs): Hopes of anything unusual with the change of weather and rough sea this morning were soon dashed and it turned out to be very routine fare. (C&ME/SR/OM)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 5W
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 2os
Diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 28W
Brent Goose - 16W
Pintail - 1W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 2E, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 14E, 8W, 7os
Turnstone - 30ob
Kittiwake - 32W
Black-headed Gull - c.100 feeding close in along the surf
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Razorbill - 1W

At the Bill this morning: Early morning sun and clear skies - with so little of this on offer recently it was worth recording! Below - Mediterranean Gull and Black-headed Gulls feeding over a rough sea (OM)

Selsey (West): Warner Lane/Crablands - On the flooded fields there were 23 Snipe and 62 Curlew plus 2 Stonechats (OM).

 Stonechat and flock of Curlew at Warner Lane/Crablands (OM)

North Wall: Watched a tremendous Peregrine hunt at 08.25 this morning. I was watching from the tramway next to the Ferry channel and 2 (possibly 3) Peregrines were hunting the waders over White’s creek/Pagham side, repeatedly stooping as the waders headed for safety of the Breech pool or cleared out across the harbour. Anyone on the North Wall would have had a spectacular view of the action, which went on for 5 minutes or so. Needless to say, a few flocks of waders (mostly Godwits) headed over my head onto the Ferry pool whilst the Peregrines were in the air, though I didn’t see a kill. (PH)

Ferry Pool: There were 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, 50+ Curlew and about 400 Lapwing on the field today, along with 40 Canada Geese and 200 Wigeon, with the usual numbers of Shoveler and Teal, plus 25 Shelduck on the Pool. (AH)

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

Long Pool: A Spotted Redshank was in the channel this morning, along with 22 Avocets and 12 Snipe, but the Long Pool itself was completely birdless. (AH).

Spotted Redshank, Curlew and Avocets (above) & Snipe on Ferry Channel (AH)

Chichester GPs: Not much to report around the Ivy Lake complex today - a few Pochard and Gadwall and 30 or so Shovelers on New Lake with 50 or so Tufted Duck, whilst on Runcton Lake there was not much other than 100 or so Coots. There were 32 Greylag Geese on Copse Lake and just a few Pochard and Tufted Duck on Ivy Lake. (AH)

Greylag Geese on Chichester GPs (AH)

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