Saturday, 23 January 2016

23rd-25th January 2016

Monday, 25th January: Another pleasant day, bright early on, but due to deteriorate later.....

Selsey Bill: (0745-1000hrs) (C&ME)
Great Northern Diver - 2W, 2os
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 1os
Gannet - 3E, 4W
Brent Goose - 3W
Pintail - 5E
Common Scoter - 14E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 4W, 2os
Kittiwake - 3W
auk sp - 3os

Red-throated Diver - 6E
diver sp - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 3W
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1W, 1os (possibly a Little Auk, but couldn't be 100% certain)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - The Dartford Warbler was singing in gorse by the sluice, just opposite the barn near Easton viewpoint and there was also a Kestrel, snipe Snipe, four Gadwall, two Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Lapwing and the usual Teal and Wigeon. Skylarks were in full song and there was a flock of around 30 Chaffinches and similar of Meadow Pipits. Eight Stonechats were along the route but very little on the Stilt Pool apart from four Shoveler, a Little Grebe, six Canada Geese and a handful of Teal. (SR)

Church Norton: A walk around from 1030-1230 today produced a Spoonbill in the harbour, and a flock of 20 Long-tailed Tits around Greenlease Farm. There was a movement of around 500 Brent Geese in various sized flocks, all moving west. (CRJ)

West Itchenor: The highlight was a group of four Great Northern Divers feeding along the far bank, drifting in with the tide up the Bosham Channel. 
Also the wintering Whimbrel was again present, half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes were on the water, and large numbers of waders were moving about on the rising tide, including a flock of 30 Bar-tailed Godwits, and there were still plenty of Brent Geese and a few Teal about.
A look around Westlands Copse failed to produce much beyond a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Song Thrush. (AH)

Great Northern Divers (above), Bar-tailed Godwits, Brent Goose, Teal, Grey Herons & Curlew and Redshank at West Itchenor (AH)

Birdham Pool: Not much to see beyond a Grey Heron, a Gadwall and a dozen each of Tufted Duck and Little Grebe. (AH)

Pagham Lagoon/Spit: There were five Goldeneye (two pairs and a spare redhead!), four Red-breasted Mergansers (two pairs), four Pochard (two pairs) and 44 Tufted Ducks. From Pagham Spit as the big tide came up, roosting over on Tern Island were the leucistic Curlew and a Spoonbill. (ARK per SOS)

North Wall: On the fields there were say 2500 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Black Brant, which was well scoped, and a Water Pipit flew from the back of the Breach Pool, landed on the wall and then, at the sight of my camera, flew to Heron Island! (ARK per SOS)

Sunday, 24th January: Notably milder today, but a dank grey day after a very foggy start....

Firstly, a message from Ivan Lang, RSPB Warden for Pagham Harbour - 

“Each year at Pagham we venture out on to Tern Island, in the centre of the harbour (at low tide I may add) to carry out a vegetation clearance project (weeding) to ensure that there is plenty of open shingle for the returning Little Terns in April. It is an ideal opportunity to view the reserve from a different aspect, which few have the opportunity to do.
If you are interested and want more information or wish to join us then please contact me on or 01243 641508
To join us meet at Church Norton Car Park, which is at the end of Rectory Lane off the B2145 just before reaching Selsey at
11.30 on 3rd Feb 2016, or 13.00 on 4th Feb 2016
Please ensure that you have wet weather gear, warm clothes as it can be chilly out on the island, and wellingtons are essential to cross to the island. If you have work gloves and a garden fork that would be useful to bring but not essential.
Thanks you, your help will be appreciated by all the birds that use the Island this summer
Watch this space for further projects.”

Selsey Bill: (1150-1350) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 4W, 1os
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 2E, 1W
Eider - 1os 
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 1W, 6os
Common Gull - 3W, 1os

Mediterranean Gull - 1W

Razorbill - 1W, 1W, 1os (pretty sure they were different birds)

Guillemot - 1os

Church Norton: Not much out of the ordinary, but a fair selection this morning, including a Spoonbill roosting in the harbour, as many as 15 Bar-tailed Godwits on Tern Island, the Whimbrel in its usual area near the bench and a pair of Stonechats by the horse field.
Wildfowl numbers have dropped off considerably in the harbour, but there are still plenty of the commoner waders, including at least 40 Ringed Plovers in with the roosting Dunlin and Grey Plover. There were just four Red-breasted Mergansers and the 'Selsey' Eider offshore, plus a couple of Common Gulls, whilst on the water at high tide in the harbour there were just four Little Grebes. 
Also a Green Woodpecker was by the first Several, a Mistle Thrush went over southwards, a dozen Skylarks came up from the spit and 37 Red-legged Partridges were on the fields behind the Severals.
A huge flock of Brent Geese - c1500 birds - built up during the morning on the arable fields between Rectory Lane and the main road, with a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose lurking among them. (AH/IP/S&SaH/IL/RJS et al)

Pale-bellied and Dark-bellied Brent Geese (above), Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Green Woodpecker & Dunlin and Turnstones at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: At least 100 Lapwing were on the pool and field this morning, along with 40 Redshank and c100 Wigeon, whilst a flock of 50 or so Golden Plover drifted over from the harbour, but didn't settle, and a flock of a dozen or so Long-tailed Tits were right by the road. (AH)
Three Snipe were at the end of the Long Pool (and another dead Snipe was on the nearby path), whilst the Grey Wagtail was in the Environment Agency yard by the Ferry. (BI)

Golden Plover and Lapwings (above) & Long-tailed Tit at the Ferry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: In Apuldram churchyard a Firecrest was in the ilex with a Goldcrest, a Song Thrush and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, and there were 40 Yellowhammers around the dung heap at the riding school. 
The Whimbrel and six Curlew were on the salt marsh, A Cetti's Warbler, four Stonechats, 10+ Meadow Pipits and three Rock Pipits were along the path. There were 11 Goldeneye, fewer Wigeon than of late, but still plenty of Brent Geese on the water and there were 150 Lapwings in the flooded field, and four Reed Buntings in the reeds. (BI)

Whimbrel (above), Reed Bunting & Stonechat at Fishbourne Creek (BI)

Medmerry: Chairbridge Field to Ham Viewpoint - The field held c60 Brent Geese, two Song Thrush and a flock of 20+ Linnets. At Ham there were around a dozen Skylarks singing, five Reed Buntings, eight Yellowhammers, five Stonechats, a Cettis Warbler and c75 Stock Doves, but only one Tufted Duck and two Coots on the pools. 
Towards the breach there was a single Great Crested Grebe and c40 Brent Geese along with a few Wigeon and Teal. Pleasant in the mild weather but generally quiet. (SR)
A Green Sandpiper was on the flooded track near Chainbridge, whilst on the tidal area on the east side of the reserve there were ca.90 Grey Plover, ca.140 Dunlin, ca.40 Ringed Plover, ca.90 Brent Geese, a Red-breasted Merganser and a Great Crested Grebe. (PH)

Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - 
A Dartford Warbler was singing to itself - or possibly another bird present - in gorse on the seawall near Easton viewpoint and two Red-breasted Mergansers were on the reserve. (PH)
Later on the Common Sandpiper was on the Stilt Pool, there were 20 Wigeon and three Gadwall on the tidal areas, and a dozen Yellowhammer and the odd Skylark and Meadow Pipit along the banks. (AH)

Skylark (above) & Yellowhammers at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 23rd January: Foggy and rather cool at first, with cloud and a light SW breeze...followed by a bit of brightness as the fog lifted....

Selsey Bill  (0730-1000hrs):  (Obs: JA/PB/SH/IP/C&ME)
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 3W, 1os

Great Northern Diver - 2W, 3os
Slavonian Grebe - 12W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 5W
Brent Goose - 46W
Shelduck - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 14W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 2W 

Red-breasted Merganser 7E, 5 W
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Gannet - 7 os

Pagham Lagoon and Spit:  On the Lagoon, four Red-breasted Mergansers, three Goldeneye, 20 Common Gulls and four Mediterranean Gulls were the best. From the Spit, a Spoonbill was with the  Great Black-backed Gull flock and plenty of the usual wildfowl in the harbour. (BI)

 Spoonbill and Great Black-backed Gull, Pagham Spit (BI)

 Mediterranean Gull and Red-breasted Mergansers, Pagham Lagoon (BI)

Church Norton: A Slavonian Grebe and two Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore in a quick look early on. (AH) A midday walk produced a Chiffchaff on the northern edge of Selsey, a Water Rail on the first Severals and a single Peregrine on its island (S&SaH)
In the arable fields between the B2145 and Rectory Lane there were 1050 Brent Geese and a Black Brant among them. (IL)

Ferry Pool: A pair of Shoveler - not so regular since the drop in water - were on the pool, along with c30 Teal, c30 Redshank and at least 500 Lapwings. (AH/BI)

Shoveler and Teal (above) & Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Breach area - The Black Redstart and a Rock Pipit were on the waste-ground beyond the caravans this morning, plus a few Meadow Pipits and a Kestrel. (BI/IL)

Kestrel near West Beach viewpoint, Medmerry (IL)
Black Redstart at Medmerry (BI)

Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The Common Sandpiper was on the Stilt Pool, with a Kingfisher in the channel opposite and 2 Spoonbills were out by the old hut. (S&SaH)
Also a total of 9 Stonechats and a Green Sandpiper were logged in the area. (IL) 

Runcton: around the area early afternoon, on the flooded fields a Green Sandpiper and five Pied Wagtails, and nearby two Chiffchaffs together. (CRJ)

Birdham: Further to reports of Coal Tits in West Wittering, there are also daily sightings in my garden in Birdham. (GT)
(It seems that both Coal Tit and Nuthatch may be more regular on the west of the peninsula than was previously thought - a bit more investigation is clearly needed! (Eds)

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