Saturday, 13 February 2016

13th - 15th February 2016

Monday, 15th February: A chilly but dry day with a brisk northerly wind, but mainly bright with periods of sunshine and some cloud.... though it didn't seem to entice many observers into the field on the Peninsula...!

Ferry Pool: Pretty standard fare this morning - c500 Lapwing, c200 Brent Geese, c50 Teal and c200 Wigeon on the field and pool, along with up to ten Snipe and a dozen or so Shoveler, Curlew and Redshank. (AH)

Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A typically quiet day for the time of year - in the harbour there was a Peregrine on the island, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and several hundred Dunlin with a few Knot and Grey Plover among them on the mud.
There was nothing offshore, though a handful of Mediterranean Gulls, Turnstones and Grey Plover were on the beach, and Greenlease Farm yielded just a Green Woodpecker and a couple of Song Thrushes. (AH)

Grey Plover (above) & Mediterranean Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 14th February: An altogether better day; dry with some sunshine and cloud and a brisk but cool NE wind....

A bit of advance notice for anyone interested.... I am giving an illustrated talk to the Chichester RSPB at 7.30pm on Thursday, 25th February. Fuller details will appear here later, but the talk is entitled 'Birding the Selsey Peninsula; from a hut to a blog 1959-2015'....and there's every chance some of you will appear in it! (OM)

Selsey Bill (0700 - 0900hrs):   (Obs: PB/SH/IP/SR/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W, 1os
Gannet - 6W
Brent Goose - 7W
Shelduck - 2E, 1W 

Pintail - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 2W, 5os
Curlew - 1E
Turnstone - 7E
Sanderling - 1E, 1ob
auk sp - 5W
Sandwich Tern - 2os
Mediterranean Gull - 2os

Church Norton: A mid-morning visit produced 3 Buzzards over the Severals, a Great Northern Diver offshore and a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel near Park Farm Selsey (S&SaH)

Kestrel at Park Farm (S&SaH)

Also seen this morning were 11 Bar-tailed Godwits (one flock of ten flying offshore that then landed on the shoreline between the two Severals and a single bird that was in the same location an hour earlier), and at least fifteen of the Avocet flock were feeding on the mud in the north-western corner of the harbour.

Other than that a Jay flew north near Park Farm (not very regular in that area) and there were lots of the common waders mainly on the shoreline, and a group of five Grey Herons at the back of the horse field. (IP)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Around a dozen Redwing were in the poplars first thing, but weren't present later on, whilst along the banks there were at least a dozen Stonechats, 50+ Skylarks and Meadow Pipits and just a few Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers.
The Black Redstart was around Marsh Farm buildings again, though fairly elusive, whilst on the Stilt Pool the only waders present were a Spotted Redshank and the wintering Common Sandpiper, and the only activity offshore was a group of three Red-throated Divers heading east. (AH)

Black Redstart (above), Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Skylark, Stonechat & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

This afternoon a Merlin was about, a Green Sandpiper was in the usual area, a couple of Stonechats and 20 Yellowhammers were along the banks and 50+ Golden Plover were with 500+ Lapwing on the reserve. (S&SaH)

Pagham Lagoon: A very quick look produced three Goldeneye, including a drake, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and 20 each of Common and Mediterranean Gull. (AH)

Mediterranean Gull on the Lagoon (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were around 200 Golden Plovers and 600 Lapwing on the pool this afternoon, along with a couple of Snipe, 40 Redshank, a dozen Shoveler and twenty Teal. Also there were two Gadwall and a Little Grebe in the rife. (AH)

Golden Plover and Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Porthole Farm: There were at least a dozen Chiffchaffs in the sheltered hedge to the south of the Sewage Farm, four or five Stock Doves around the buildings and a Sparrowhawk put up 100 or so Lapwing from the ploughed fields. (AH)

Chiffchaff at Porthole Farm (AH)

Saturday, 13th February: A truly awful morning; cold, grey, very wet and windy, with persistent rain and a strong E/NE wind..... the sort of day when fieldwork may be at a minimum, though doubtless the hardy regulars will come up with something before the day is out!

It was recently brought to my attention that a couple of the links to other websites from this site were not opening correctly...hopefully this has now been rectified. The pages accessible from the title bar have also been updated where necessary. (OM)

Selsey Bill (0720 - 0845hrs): (Obs: SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Shelduck - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2os
Wigeon - 1W
Pintail - 2W then back E
Curlew - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1os

Red-breasted Merganser - 2os

Great Northern Diver (above), and the sad end of the 'Middle Triangle' - a familiar sighter for tracking birds at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: At least eight Snipe were about, being very flighty and unsettled, and there were well in excess of 1000 Lapwing present, plus 20 or so Redshank. Also at least 600 Brent Geese and 200 Wigeon were on the fields before taking flight, and half a dozen Shoveler and Teal were on the pool. (AH)

Snipe (above) & Brent Geese at the Ferry (AH)

Late this afternoon there was a good selection, doubtless brought in by the very high tide, including the Spotted Redshank, two Green Sandpipers, a Grey Wagtail, a dozen Avocets and 40 Redshank.
There was not much along the Long Pool, though 20 or so Avocets were roosting at the far end and at least ten Snipe were around the bench. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Grey Wagtail & Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A look along the sheltered bits (!) produced the wintering Whimbrel, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and a pair of Goldeneye, at least 20 Great Crested Grebes, a dozen Little Grebes, 500 Dunlin, 50 Black-tailed Godwits and 200 Wigeon, plus a couple of Goldcrests. (AH) In addition there were two Stonechats were on the fence and a Greenshank in the creek. (BI)

Stonechat on the fence at Fishbourne Creek (BI)
Whimbrel (above), Red-breasted Mergansers & Wigeon at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Dell Quay: There were six Little Grebes, 15 Great Crested Grebes, two Grey Plover, 10 Wigeon and a one-legged Redshank! (BI)

Grey Plover at Dell Quay (BI)

Chichester Marina: There were up to 20 Redwings feeding with Blackbirds and Song Thrushes under the trees at the start of the approach road this morning, and there was also a pair of Jays there.
A Greenshank was in the creek by the jetty, half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers were spread out on the water, and at least 30 Shelduck, 300+ Dunlin, 50 Grey Plovers and a couple of hundred Lapwing were on the mud. (AH)

Redwing (above), Jay & Greenshank at Chichester Marina (AH)

Nearby at Birdham Pool little of interest other than half a dozen Little Grebes. (BI)

Little Grebe at Birdham Pool (BI)
Church Norton: A late morning walk in the wind and rain produced 50+ Mediterranean Gulls, including 30 in the fields at Park Farm and a mixed flock of 20+ Meadow Pipits and Skylarks and a Buzzard over the Severals. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Green Sandpiper by the usual puddle by second sluice and a Spotted Redshank was on the stilt pool briefly. (S&SaH)

Spotted Redshank at Medmerry (SH)

East Head/West Wittering: I did a WeBS count today...fortunately it started after the rain stopped! In no particular order:
Shelduck 9
Mallard 6
Teal 110
Wigeon 2
Redshank 56
Curlew 7
Greenshank 1
Brent 275
Grey Plover 4
Little Egret 1
Dunlin 8
Lapwing 12

Roost on east side of E Head:
Dunlin 400
Grey Plover 8
Great crested Grebe 1
(Offshore – you must be joking! Wild water, plus sailors. I did look for divers etc but saw nothing).

Oystercatcher 51
Ringed Plover 39
Redshank 4

The rest of the geese – estimated 2,100 of them – were in one of their favourite fields off Elms Lane SZ 792982.

West Wittering: on the beach were 52 Sanderling, outside the SPA but I counted them anyway. They could not have coped at East Head with the high tide and endless dogs!! (AdP) 

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