Monday, 7 December 2015

7th - 10th December 2015

Thursday, 10th December: Normal service was resumed today - very windy (from the south), very grey, but still quite mild....though decidedly cool in the coastal wind!


Selsey Bill (0800-1000hrs): (Obs: C&ME/OM/SR/AH/PC/RJS) Not the easiest of conditions for a sea-watch this morning; the strong (and chilly!) SSW wind was straight in our faces with little option of shelter, whilst a big swell on the sea made it hard to track anything moving. Even so, there was just enough to keep the interest, and most notable were the several large flocks of waders - apparently all Dunlin and Grey Plover - going west near high tide. Otherwise, a flock of Red-throated Divers and a few Gannets went west and the Eider and at least three Great Northern Divers were offshore. Full log below....
Red-throated Diver - 8W
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Diver sp - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 2E, 35W
Brent Goose - 3E, 2W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 3W, 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 17W
Wigeon - 3W
Dunlin - 650W
Grey Plover - 120W
Guillemot - 1W
Auk sp - 1E, 2W
Kittiwake - 22W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W

Eider (above), Red-throated Divers & Dunlin at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: A Merlin flew along the field beside Rectory Lane mid-morning, and one of the Peregrines was on the island, but the harbour was severely lacking in birds, with just a few Redshank, Wigeon, Teal and Brent Geese on show.
There were a couple of Chiffchaffs and a few Goldcrests around the mound area, along with 50+ Goldfinches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, whilst a Green Woodpecker and a few Greenfinches were along the beach. (AH/RJS)

Chiffchaff at Church Norton (AH)

 We know that Robins are not every birdwatchers favourite bird, but.......

RJS and his new friend! (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 125 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool and the field this morning, along with a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 200+ Lapwing, 85 Shelduck, six Avocets and the usual Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler, and around 80 Golden Plover flew over from the harbour, but didn't settle and retreated. (AH)  Later, At 13.00hrs the Ferry channel held a Spotted Redshank, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Crested Grebe and 2 Gadwall, plus Teal, Mallard, Redshank and Curlew. In the Ferry field were about 75 Golden Plover and 60  Black-tailed Godwits with the usual Shelduck and wildfowl (PH).  

Lesser Black-backed Gull (above), Avocet & Shelducks and Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

East Head: Too windy and the sea very rough so little found.... 2 Stonechats and 25 Skylarks around the saltmarsh. In the lane down to Snowhill, Chiffchaff and 2 Firecrests, whilst around Snowhill there were 46 Golden Plover, a Spotted Redshank and a Jack Snipe. (BFF/DM)
Chichester Marina: In the fields to the west of New Barn Farm (off Salterns Way) were 2 Black Brants with around 2000 Brent Geese. (BFF/DM)

One of the Black Brants, to the north of Chichester Marina (fields off Salterns Way) (BFF/DM)

Wednesday, 9th December: A lovely, sunny morning with less breeze than of late......and rather more chilly too!

Selsey Bill (0800-1115hrs):   (Obs: C&ME/SR)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 5W, 1os 
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 9W
Gannet - 9E, 10W
Brent Goose - 10W    
Common Scoter - 10E, 6W
Red-breasted Merganser -  5E, 11W  
Pintail - 5E
Wigeon - 1W            
Razorbill - 1E, 2W
Auk sp - 22E
Kittiwake - 6W
Mediterranean Gull - 10W
Meadow Pipit - 10N from sea                  

North Wall: A lot of Brent Goose activity this morning but they were fidgety and hard to accurately count. There were 1800 on the Church Farm golf course early on, 700 on Owl Water, 300 up towards Marsh Farm and odd groups dotted around - well on the way to 3000, I reckon.
A Great Crested Grebe was on White's Creek, but the Breech Pool was very full and only held a few Teal and Mallards, 3 Mute Swans and 2 Common Snipe, whilst a Yellowhammer was along the Wall.
In the field behind the Pool were 60 Wigeon, 36 Canada Geese and a Greylag, plus 2 Roe Deer. All 3 Honer Fields held Curlew and they totaled 170. Otherwise very quiet in the fields but it was nice to see the sun! (JDW)

Ferry Pool: At least 300 Lapwing were around the pool, plus 20 Black-tailed Godwits and the usual Shoveler and Teal numbers. (AH)

Lapwings over the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A Fieldfare was along pool this morning, plus several Song Thrushes and Reed Buntings, and a Shoveler on the water. Not much was in the channel beyond good numbers of Redshank and Teal. (AH)

Shoveler on the Long Pool (AH)

Birdham Pool/Chichester Marina: No sign of the Mandarins on the Pool this morning - just lots of Mallards, a dozen or more Little Grebes and a fleeting Kingfisher. There was very little off the Marina on the high tide - just a handful of Red-breasted Mergansers and Little Grebes and lots of Brent Geese. (AH)

Little Grebes on Birdham Pool (AH)

West Itchenor: It was quiet here, bar plenty of Brent Geese and a few Curlews, though there were a pair of Mistle Thrushes along the path, plus a couple of Jays in the wood, and around 50 Black-tailed Godwits flew over. (AH)

Mistle Thrush (above), Brent Geese & Black-tailed Godwits at West Itchenor (AH)

Tuesday, 8th December: Yet another mild, windy morning, gloomy to start, but brightening as the day progressed.............

Selsey Bill: A Bonxie went west, the Eider was still offshore and a few Great Crested Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers moving was about it this morning. Full log below....
(0800-1000hrs): SSW5, mainly dry with the odd shower (Obs: OM/DS/DF/JD/BFF/DIS)
Red-throated Diver - 4W
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 7W
Gannet - 1E, 23W
Brent Goose - 1E
Eider - 1W then os
Common Scoter - 5W
Red-breasted Merganser - 15W, 4os
Teal - 1W
Turnstone - 35 ob
Auk sp - 3W
Great Skua - 1W
Kittiwake - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 8W

 At the Bill this morning: Mediterranean Gull and gentlemen of a certain age... (OM)

Ferry Pool: At least a hundred Lapwing and 30 Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool at high tide, but just one Avocet, and fewer wildfowl, too, though there were still 60+ Shoveler. (AH)

Church Norton: A Firecrest was along the footpath from the car-park this morning, and two Peregrines were out upsetting the waders, including 200+ Golden Plover and 1000+ Lapwing up over the far side. Not much else about, though there was a Goldeneye and a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers on the water. (OM/BFF/DIS)

Pagham Lagoon/Spit: The Great Northern Diver was still in the harbour, viewable from the spit hide, and there were a few Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes in the vicinity as well, and some big roosts of Dunlin, Knot and Grey Plover. A female Goldeneye and six Little Grebes were on the spit lagoon and there were a handful of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits about.
On the Lagoon there was just another female Goldeneye, twenty Little Grebes and similar of Tufted Duck of note. (AH)

Goldeneye on Pagham Lagoon (above), Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Knot, Dunlin, Turnstone and Grey Plovers & Dunlin flock in Pagham Harbour (AH)

North Wall: Not much to report - a big flock of Brent Geese and Wigeon on White's Creek, but just a couple of dozen Wigeon and Teal on the Breech Pool and 50 or so Curlews with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits in the field behind. (AH/IB)

Curlew (above) & Wigeon from North Wall (AH)

Chichester Marina: The main reed-bed in front of the hide was very quiet except for 14 Snipe, which took flight when a Grey Heron flew over low. A walk out from Salterns Way revealed a large flock of Brent Geese feeding in the fields towards New Barn; these were joined by many others flighting in until up to about 1500 were present, and after close scrutiny a Black Brant was located amongst them. In the channel there were a few Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes, a Kingfisher flew by, then a surprise when 2 Sandwich Terns appeared (OM/BFF/DIS) 

Birdham Pool: There was another surprise today when four Mandarin Ducks were located here (two pairs). This is a scarce species on the peninsula and anyone attending to see them should be advised that the footpath beside the pool is wet and muddy (wellies recommended) and the birds can easily be overlooked as they are tucked away under the tree roots on the far side of the pool. Also seen were a Water Rail, 40 Mallard and 10+ Little Grebes (OM/BFF/DIS)

Mandarin Ducks at Birdham Pool; the distance, shaded location and gloomy light made them almost impossible to photo (by me anyway), but with a little cropping at least you can get some idea! (OM)

Monday, 7th December: Cloudy and rainy for the first part of the morning, giving way to drier conditions and some brightness, with the promise of sunny spells later. Still very mild, with a fresh onshore breeze SSW4....

Selsey Bill: No sign of the Grey Phalarope, and nothing was moving offshore, though the first-winter drake Eider was present and there were a couple of Mediterranean Gulls with the Black-headed Gulls. (AH/SR)

Eider at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were three Snipe and nine Avocets present early on, plus a couple of Black-tailed Godwits, 50+ Lapwings and the usual Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and Shelduck numbers, whilst a Kingfisher shot over the road and up the rife. (AH)

Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A Short-eared Owl came up from the harbour-side bank and flew off to resettle near the creek along the Tramway. Not much along the pool, but in Ferry Channel there were five Gadwall, and at the far end around 17 roosting Avocets. (AH)

Avocets (above) & Gadwall from the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: The Whimbrel was in the harbour, but waders were otherwise few on the high tide, there were four Red-breasted Mergansers on the water (though there was nothing offshore), and a Chiffchaff and a few Goldcrests were around the churchyard/hide area. (AH)

Whimbrel (above) & Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry - Easton to Stilt Pool:  (Easton): 4 Stonechats, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Redwings, 1 Reed Bunting, 3 Skylarks singing, 2 Stock Doves, 1 Kingfisher, 12 Yellowhammers, 8 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Green Sandpipers, c25 Pied Wagtail, c20 Gadwall in with the Teal and Wigeon.  (Stilt Pool): 1 Kingfisher, 5 Lapwings, 3 Greylag Geese, c30 Canada Geese, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Little Grebe, 4 Stonechats, 7 singing Skylarks, c20 Meadow Pipits, c30 Wigeon, c30 Teal, (but no sign of the Dartford Warbler). (SR)

North Wall: The family of five Pale-bellied Brent Geese were in White's Creek, along with a Spotted Redshank this afternoon. (IB)

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