Sunday, 10 January 2016

10th - 13th January 2016

Wednesday, 13th JanuaryA cold, bright morning, still with a nagging westerly, but very pleasant compared with recent weeks.....

Medmerry: Breach area - The Black Redstart was around the sea-defences and adjacent waste-ground, though quite elusive. Also there was a pair of Stonechats and a few Meadow Pipits about, whilst on the pools there were 40+ Ringed Plovers, 20+ Dunlin, 10+ Grey Plovers, a Red-breasted Merganser and a few Teal. (AH)

Black Redstart (above), Meadow Pipit & Ringed Plovers and Dunlin at Medmerry (AH)

Ham Lane to Easton Lane - There were about 20 each of Yellowhammer and Meadow Pipit, plus a dozen or more Reed Buntings in the stubble fields, a couple of pairs of Stonechats along the track and a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard flew around a couple of times. (AH)

Stonechat at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: The Whimbrel was in the harbour again today. (M. Rose)

Whimbrel and Curlew at Church Norton (M. Rose)

Ferry Pool: About 40 Golden Plover were in with 500 Lapwing and 100 Black-tailed Godwits on the field, and about 400 Brent Geese were on the next field back. Not much was on the pool, bar 40 Teal and 20 Redshank. 
Also a pair of Grey Partridges were on one of the arable fields south of the pool. (AH)

Golden Plover (above) & Teal at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall/Fields: Honer 1 field is still impassable and so too is the footpath from Bremere bridge to Sidlesham. On White's Creek were 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 120 Wigeon and a Spotted Redshank. In Honer 1 field were 800 Lapwing and 70 Curlew; in Honer 2 there were 12 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst in Honer 3 field were 380 Brent Geese, I checked through for juveniles but could only find two. In the field immediately east of Owl Copse were a further 1600 Brent Geese and 120 Curlew and along Honer Lane were 7 Yellowhammers and a pair of Stonechats. Just south of Marsh Farm were 600 Lapwing, and In the boggy field between Halseys Farm and the North Wall were 57 Canada Geese, a White-fronted Goose (presumably the Medmerry bird) and a Greylag. Four Roe Deer were also near Bramber Farm. (JDW)

 Canada Geese with White-fronted Goose and Greylag Goose, North Fields (JDW)

 Yellowhammer and Roe Deer, North Fields (JDW)

Great birding on the east side of the harbour today. Large numbers of waders and waterfowl with over 150 Shelduck, 60 Pintail, 20 Shoveler, 6 Red-breasted Merganser and a flock of 140 Black-tailed Godwit among the many hundreds of Wigeon, Teal and Brent Geese. (RH)

Red-breasted Merganser and Wigeon (above) & Curlew on east side of Pagham Harbour (RH)

Tuesday, 12th JanuaryColder and very windy - from the west - this morning, but with a bit of sunshine, too....

Readers may notice a slight change with the blog colour scheme over the near future, as we experiment to see if improvements can be made. I'm sure you'll let us know if you disapprove! (OM)

Selsey Bill: Still three Great Northern Divers and the Eider offshore, but nothing moving bar a Little Gull east and a few Red-breasted Mergansers and Brent Geese. Full log below. (C&ME/AH/TR)
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 3os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Brent Goose - 3E, 24W
Wigeon - 1E
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 12W, 5os
Curlew - 2W
Little Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
auk sp - 3E

Sidlesham Village: Two Ravens went over at 11am. (C&ME)

Ferry Pool: A Peregrine was sat on the grass at the back, whilst at least 400 Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool this morning, along with a couple of Redshank, 200 Lapwing and 50 Teal, though no Shovelers. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: The two Peregrines were busy again, disturbing all the waders, including the seven Bar-tailed Godwit, a few Ringed Plovers, 100+ Knot and Grey Plover and 500+ Dunlin, though there was not much else of note in the blustery conditions. (AH/OM/BFF/DM et al)

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

Monday, 11th January: Another miserable start with heavy cloud and rain, though the forecast for a drier day later with lighter cloud and a moderate westerly breeze proved correct.....and even produced a few sunny interludes!

Late update on the female-type Scaup/Tufted at New Lake, Chi GPs: I have previously raised a number of doubts concerning the identity of this bird to several observers, and for me the jury has been out on its true ID until conclusive views were obtained. The following was posted on the SOS website today by ARK...
"The female type Scaup/tufted duck on New Lake, Chi Pits has been discussed quite a bit. When we saw it on 4th Jan its tuftless, rounded head lead us to favour Scaup despite its small size, black-tipped bill and lack of cheek patches. On returning to New Lake at 14.00 today and waiting for it to come out of the lakeside willows I saw that it (at least believed same bird) now does show a sort of rear crown tuft and therefore I proclaim it as a Tufted Duck after all (ARK)." 
I share the same concerns but still consider hybrid origins quite likely and await any further comments... (OM)

Selsey Bill (1315-1445hrs):  WSW 4, hail showers!   (Obs: C&ME)
Red-throated Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E

Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser -  7E, 1W, 2os                  
Mediterranean Gull - 3W

Selsey (West): Warners Lane/area:  Fifteen Snipe and 2 Stonechats were around the flooded meadows (OM).                    

Medmerry: West Beach to the Breach area - The Black Redstart was around the waste ground at the far end again, four Reed Buntings were by the sluice and a Stonechat and a flock of Goldfinches was near the Go-kart track. (SR)
Also, on the big pool there were c60 Grey Plover, c40 Ringed Plover, c120 Dunlin, 5 Curlews, 20 Teal and two redhead Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst in the field east of the windmill there were 30+ Mediterranean and Common Gulls in among several hundred Black-headed Gulls and a flock of 200 or so Brent Geese looked like they were heading for the Chainbridge field. (AH)

Grey Plovers (above), Ringed Plover & Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: Very quiet on the high tide - just a Goldeneye, two Great Crested and two Little Grebes in the harbour, along with plenty of roosting waders, nothing save a handful of Mediterranean Gulls offshore and three or four Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests along the hedges by the mound.(AH)  As the tide started to recede, the Whimbrel was in its usual place near the bench, whilst a roosting flock of 30 Avocets was in the harbour, viewable from the reedy marsh area, but there were few other avian highlights. It felt however almost spring-like there for a while, with little wind and sunny spells, several clouds of small insects, two larger flies buzzing about, and even two bumble bees on the it really early January? (OM) 

 Whimbrel at Church Norton (OM)

Chiffchaff (above), Goldcrest, Teal and strange weather at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: It was full of Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Lapwing early on, but by mid-morning there were just 30-40 Redshank on the pool, though there were a couple of hundred Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwits on the floods in the field. (AH)

Chichester Hbr:

Fishbourne Creek was not very productive this morning with the tide well up. The usual 30+ Yellowhammers were in the horse paddock, whilst several Rock Pipits and plenty of Meadow Pipits were in and around the saltmarsh area and several Red-breasted Mergansers were in the channel.

Dell Quay: The channel here was delightfully calm, allowing good views of c.100 Wigeon, half a dozen R/b Mergansers and a similar number of Goldeneye. There were also four Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank roosting amongst 50+ Common Redshank on the far bank.

Chi Marina: Nothing unusual, although plenty of Teal and Lapwing around the flooded marsh and several more R/b Mergansers in the channel.

Birdham Pool: No sign of any Mandarins here, but 28 Tufted Ducks and 2 Gadwall, plus the usual Mallards and a dozen Little Grebes. (Note that the pool has flooded the footpath and is now all but impassable even with wellies!) (OM)

Sunday, 10th January: Yet another dreary morning, with cloud, heavy rain and near gale-force SW winds, though clearing up a bit later before more rain! It begins to feel as if it will never end.... yet it will, as the forecast is for a change from early next week to much colder conditions and northerlies....

Selsey Bill (0745 to 0930hrs):  (Obs: JA/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Diver sp - 1E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 2E, 4W
Brent Goose - 19E
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 6W, 5os
Auk sp - 2E, 2W

Little Gull - 1W, 1os
Kittiwake - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W

Chichester GPs: The 1st-w female Scaup was on New lake (Peckhams Lane) this morning at 11.00 (S&SaH).

West Wittering/Snowhill: Two Spotted Redshanks, a Snipe 150 Lapwing, a Kingfisher, a few Shelduck and plenty of Teal and Wigeon at Snowhill, plus four Red-breasted Mergansers off Ellanore (W.Wittering). (BI)

Fishbourne Creek: A Jack Snipe and the wintering Whimbrel were logged this morning; also present were Curlew, Redshanks, a Cetti's Warbler, Rock Pipits, Meadow Pipits, Stonechats, Wigeon, seven Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, and also Yellowhammers on the foreshore. (BI)

North Wall: Everywhere is very soggy; Honer 1 field is impassable. The Short-eared Owl was again hunting over the reed beds and 2 Rock Pipits were along the Wall. Behind the Breech Pool were 1200 Lapwing and in Honer 1 field there were 200 more, along with 33 Redshank. In Honer 2 field there were 140 Curlew and 50 Black-tailed Godwits. A flock of around 600 Black-tailed Godwits were in the Harbour, whilst 11 Little Egrets were roosting at Owl Point. (JDW)

 Views of the flooded North Wall area today (JDW)

Pagham village: This morning there were 2 Jays, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a female Blackcap on my garden feeders. (JDW)

Great Spotted Woodpecker in Pagham village garden (JDW)

Church Norton: Early this afternoon there was a Grey Wagtail at Park Farm, a Cetti's Warbler in the first Several, two Buzzards nearby and a Goldeneye and two Peregrines in the harbour. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: At Easton Lane late this afternoon there were four Redwing by the first sluice near the poplars, a Stonechat nearby and a Buzzard over. (S&SaH)
Also, the three Spoonbills were showing well on the Stilt Pools. (S. Sutton per SOS)

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