The pleasantly sunny day drew out plenty of birders to the Peninsula this morning, plus one or two less regular visitors, including a small and welcome contingent from Beachy (R. Haggar et al) and that old Selsey pioneer Tony Marr (visiting from Norfolk), who joined me for the day (OM).
Church Norton: A second-winter Glaucous Gull was offshore from the spit early this afternoon, though it could not be refound later. (IL)
A quick look earlier on produced the Whimbrel, a Great Northern Diver offshore and a Red-breasted Merganser and both Peregrines in the harbour. (AH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
North Wall: The controversial female Scaup or hybrid resurfaced this morning on the Breech Pool, and a Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek. (OM/BAEM) The ID of this Aythya duck has been the subject of much discussion and some disagreement for a while (not least between the editors) and indeed there is the possibility that more than one bird may be involved (yes, the two-bird theory!) However, as regards today's bird, my feeling is that it is a hybrid: this is based on a combination of factors rather than a single one, including overall small size no different than a Tufted, head shape which looks fine sometimes but less so at others, no pale cheek patch, overall mantle/flank colouration and especially small bill with too much dark on tip (no neat nail) and a possible pale band behind the dark tip. When first seen, this bird appears a candidate for a Scaup ID, until further scrutiny reveals these apparent defects. I was pleased to have BAEM along this morning, who came to the same conclusions as me - but I doubt we've heard the last of it! (OM).
Ferry Pool: There were 30 Redshank and a few Teal on the pool and at least 1000 Lapwing, 100 Brent Geese and 100 Wigeon on the fields. (AH)
Wednesday, 27th January: Grey, wet and windy, with SW gales and rain predicted to last through most of the daylight hours... a foul day!
Medmerry: There were two Green Sandpipers on the track near Chainbridge this morning and two Red-breasted Mergansers on the Stilt pools (PH).