Sunday, 17 January 2016

17th - 19th January 2016

Tuesday, 19th JanuaryA lovely crisp bright morning with hardly any breeze....but remaining cold, after a heavy frost.

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing at the moment is the number of Dartford Warblers present on the southern tip of the Peninsula.... by my reckoning there are currently up to five! Just after watching one today at the reedy marsh, Church Norton, two visiting birders reported to me another bird along the West side near to the end of Long Pool (presumably the one seen by AT recently). Add to that the bird intermittently reported from between the two Severals, plus the one seen recently (by BI) at Pagham Spit, and we are up to four at Pagham Harbour alone. Then there is the bird seen on occasions at Medmerry (and seen this morning by AH), so that's the five. Surely a record winter here.... but I just wonder if there are yet more waiting to be discovered! (OM)

Selsey Bill (0740-0810hrs): Cold, mainly sunny, NE2. (Obs: OM/DF/DS/JD et al)
Three Great Northern Divers were offshore, along with the Eider, and a small number of Red-throated Divers were on the move, whilst 30+ Red-breasted Mergansers went east as well. Full log below....
Red-throated Diver - 8E, 11W
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 2os
Diver sp - 3E
Great Crested Grebe - 2W, 1os
Eider -1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 32E, 5W, 4os
Pintail - 8E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E

Selsey Bill just before 08.00 - I arrived in time to capture the sunrise on a cold but lovely morning (OM)

Ferry Pool: Just 60 Lapwing and a few Black-headed Gulls on a frozen pool this morning. (AH)
West Side: A Dartford Warbler was reported from the hedgerow/gorse near the top of Long Pool, not far from the bench (per OM, see above).

Church Norton: The Spoonbill was roosting with the Great Black-backed Gulls in the harbour again this morning, the Dartford Warbler was again at the far end of the 'Reedy Marsh', along the path near the large bramble, there were 40+ Knot among the Dunlin on the mud and two R/b Mergansers and two Goldeneye were in the harbour. (OM)

Spoonbill at Church Norton; distant and barely discernible I know, but in the absence of anything better......! (OM)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Highlight was a Dartford Warbler in the gorse on the high bank opposite the path to Earnley. Also a Green Sandpiper flew into the rife by Marsh Barn and there were four pairs of Stonechats along the bank. 
There were plenty of Yellowhammers - including 52 together in their favourite bushes early on, plus 20 or more Reed Buntings and Skylarks and 50+ Meadow Pipits, and there were at least a dozen Stock Doves about. 
At least 1500 Brent Geese were feeding on the grass fields, there were 200 Teal around the creek by the poplars, and a further 50 plus 40 Wigeon on the Stilt Pool, but the only waders present were a handful of Lapwing and a single Dunlin, though there were a couple of Snipe and a few more Dunlin down towards the Breach. (AH/PLS)

Stonechat (above), Stock Dove, Meadow Pipit & a Fox upsetting the Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

Porthole Farm - A quick look produced a couple of Skylarks on the ploughed fields, 15 Red-legged Partridges in the cropped fields and two Grey Wagtails and 200 Pied Wagtails on the settling tanks, plus a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk over. (AH)

Grey Wagtail at Porthole Farm (AH)

Birdham Pool: A quick check of the pool failed to locate much of interest; a Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming frequently, a dozen Tufted Ducks and five Little Grebes were on the pool amongst the Mallards and three Little Egrets and a Grey Heron were roosting in the far corner. (OM)

Apuldram/Fishbourne: The Black-tailed Godwit flock opposite Apuldram was at least 545 this afternoon, mostly resting & preening in the shallows on the Bosham side as the tide rose very slowly. Also at least one Spotted Redshank there. (AdP)

Birdham to Itchenor: Walked the fields from Westlands Farm to the copse at the end of Spinney Lane ( Westlands Copse), where there were the expected birds, including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinches and Great Tits, but also an unexpected Nuthatch. In the hedgerow between the fields there was a pair of Stonechats and a Buzzard flew over. (GT)

Monday, 18th January: A chilly, cloudy and grey morning, though mainly dry, with a cool and brisk SE wind....

Thanks for the feedback from those who have commented on our 'colour scheme' trials so far (!)....please be patient as decisions will be made soon on this and other issues, when a short update will be published. (OM)

Selsey Bill: (0820-0920) (AH/TR/RS)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
diver sp - 2E
Common Scoter - 6W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W

1200-1330hrs: (Obs: BI)
Black-throated Diver - 1E (1241hrs)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Pintail - 4W
Velvet Scoter - 2W (1321hrs)
Common Scoter - 1W
Dunlin - 2E
Razorbill - 1W
Auk sp - 1W
Great Skua - 1E
Kittiwake - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Ferry Pool/Channel: A Spotted Redshank was on the Ferry with a dozen Redshanks before relocating into the Channel. There was not much else on the pool, though, save a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and 30 Teal, and there were 50 Wigeon and a Little Grebe in the Channel. (AH/TR/RS)

Spotted Redshank in Ferry Channel (AH)

Long Pool: On the pool itself just 5 Little Grebes and a single female Tufted Duck, in the bushes a Goldcrest and a Buzzard overhead.  The ploughed fields alongside were impressively active with c300/400 feeding Lapwing and Golden Plover plus 2 Song Thrushes.  The sluice end of the channel had a Little Grebe close to the sluice that had a shock when there was a sudden discharge that sent it flying up the channel!  Further along a Kestrel and a Kingfisher were successfully hunting along the bank, half a dozen Wigeon and a few Teal were along the banks along with a Spotted Redshank and a dozen or so Redshank with two Grey Plover.  At the end of the channel were 19+ Avocet, 22 Curlew and a large flock of Grey Plover and Knot amongst the usual Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck. (SR)

Church Norton: A Spoonbill was roosting near Tern Island, there were five Red-breasted Mergansers near the harbour mouth and a Peregrine was on the island. Along the spit there were four Linnets and a dozen Skylarks, whilst in the harbour there were reasonable numbers of Dunlin and Grey Plover, though few Knot, and a few Mediterranean and Common Gulls, plus at least 200 Great Black-backed Gulls. Also, near the Mound there were a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Song Thrush. (AH/TR/RS)

Red-breasted Mergansers (above), Peregrine, Chiffchaff, Grey Plover & Great Black-backed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 17th January: A truly dismal day, with heavy cloud and drizzle, backed by a sharp south-easterly wind - not quite what was forecast in the week!

Selsey Bill: Very little was moving early on, though two Black-throated Divers in the company of a Red-throated going east was a bonus. A Fulmar going past a couple of times, a couple more Red-throated Divers west  plus the usual handful of Great Northern Divers offshore was about it. (JA/SH/IP/PB/AH)
Later on three Velvet Scoter, a Bonxie, a Sandwich Tern  and a small movement of Red-throated Divers perked up the raw and cold morning (OM) Full log below...
0745 to 0930hrs:  (Obs: SH/JA/PB/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 2W

Black-throated Diver - 2E
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Diver sp - 1W
Fulmar - 1os
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W, 3os
Pintail - 7E

Teal - 2E
Razorbill - 1os
Kittiwake - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 3os 
0940 to 1210hrs: (Obs: OM)
Red-throated Diver - 24E
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
Diver sp - 1E, 5W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1W
Brent Goose - 6E, 15W
Eider - 1 os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3W, 4 os
Common Scoter - 1W
Velvet Scoter - 3W (circled round, headed E then back W)
Wigeon - 7E
Pintail - 5E
Auk sp - 2E, 1W
Great Skua - 1E (1125hrs) settled os short while
Sandwich Tern - 1E
Kittiwake - 2E
1345 to 1445: (Obs: SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 23W (inc. flock 8) 
Great Northern Diver - 4os  

Diver sp - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser -  2W, 3os
Teal - 1E
Great Skua - 1os
Auk sp - 1W
Kittiwake - 1W

Mediterranean Gull - 1os

Pintail past the Bill (above-AH, below OM)

Selsey (West): Warners Lane/Crablands - the flooded fields held 30 Snipe and a Sparrowhawk (OM)
Pagham Spit: Dartford Warbler (BI)

Ferry Pool: About 300 each of Brent Goose and Wigeon were on the field, plus at least 500 Lapwing, but on the pool there were just a dozen Redshank and 40 Teal. (AH)

Halsey's Farm to the North Wall: Not much to report of note, though there were 500 Brent Geese, 300 Wigeon, 100+ Curlew, 40 Golden Plover and 1000 Lapwing on the flooded fields to the north of the path, plus a Buzzard over. (AH)

Wigeon (above) & Golden Plover, Lapwing and Curlew at Halsey's Farm (AH)

Hunston: There were half a dozen Fieldfare near the buildings at Kipson Bank Farm (on the south edge of Hunston), and on the big arable fields to the south there were 200 Lapwing, 400 Starlings and 50 Common Gulls among many hundreds of Black-headed and Herring Gulls, all put up when a Peregrine circled over them. (AH)

Peregrine (above) & Common Gull at Kipson Bank Farm, Hunston (AH)

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