Tuesday, 16 February 2016

16th - 18th February 2016

Thursday, 18th February: An altogether better day after a cold and grey start, with long sunny spells and the wind fairly light, albeit from the north.....

A bit of a turnout from the more mature section of the Selsey faithful this morning, with the appearance of former regular (and now Welsh resident) Mervyn Jones, who graced us with a short visit and achieved almost celebrity status as folks arrived to say hello. It turned into a pleasant day, with some nice birds seen and plenty of banter from old friends...

Mature glamour line-up outside the Visitor centre this morning with some of the old friends who paid a visit.... left to right are: Chris Janman, Eric Soden, Mervyn Jones, Bernie Forbes, Dorian Mason, Mick Locke and John Faithfull. The camera never lies gentlemen! 

With this lot, sometimes you've just got to laugh!!!  (DM)
Ferry Pool: Not a great deal of change from yesterday with c.500 Lapwings on the fields and pool and c.50 Redshank.
Nearby, a view of the harbour from the Tramway at the rear of the Vis centre area revealed a roosting flock of 35 Avocets huddled together amongst the wildfowl. (BFF/DM/OM/MJ/CRJ et al)

Roosting Avocets viewed from the Tramway (DM)

Church Norton: Offshore there were 2 Great Northern Divers and 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst in the harbour 2 Goldeneye were in the main channel and 2 Peregrines on Tern Island. The Peregrines made a couple of sorties, scattering everything and revealing masses of Dunlin on the far side and several hundred Brent Geese. There was no sign of the Whimbrel, but 'milky' the leucistic Curlew appeared to pay his respects!  (BFF/DM/OM/MJ/ ES/CRJ /JF/ML/C&ME = many obs!)

North Wall: Nothing but a Shelduck and two Little Grebes on the Breech Pool and 80 Curlews in the fields, but there were a lot of birds in the harbour. Conservative estimates of the species present would include 2500-3000 Brent Geese early on, on the dropping tide, along with 2000 Lapwing, 1000 Dunlin, 250 Knot, 100+ Grey Plover, 200 Golden Plover, 30 Pintail, 60 Shelduck, 100 Teal and 300 Wigeon, plus 80 Black-tailed Godwits flew over north. (AH)

Knot (above), Teal, Grey Plover and Dunlin, Wigeon & Curlews from the North Wall (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: There were five Goldeneye (including two drakes) and four Red-breasted Mergansers (including one drake) on the Lagoon this morning, along with 30 Tufted Duck and a dozen Little Grebes. (AH)

Goldeneye (above) & Red-breasted Mergansers on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Pagham Spit: There were four Linnets, a few Skylarks and c30 Greenfinch on the spit itself, whilst in the harbour there were a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and a Peregrine put up many of the numerous waders present. There were also 25 Mediterranean Gulls at the harbour mouth. (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Viewpoint - A flock of 28+ Fieldfares, with a Redwing and two Song Thrushes among them, were on the stubble field near the Poplars. Among other birds seen were two Yellowhammers, a Kestrel, 24 Gadwall marching down to the water, three Curlews, c75 Lapwings, c30 Redshank and plenty of Teal and singing Skylarks, though strangely I didn't see any Stonechats. (SR)
There were four Stonechats on path and a Spoonbill was feeding on the opposite side of the path to the Stilt Pool, close to the shingle bank. (Tim Roe)

Spoonbill (above) &Stonechat at Medmerry (T. Roe)

Apuldram/Fishbourne creek: The usual gathering of c.20 Yellowhammers was around the horse paddock dung heap area. A Whimbrel was close in along the creek, whilst a single Greenshank and 30 Knot were in with the masses of ducks and waders feeding at low water. A Jack Snipe and 2 Rock Pipits were in the salt-marsh, with 2 Stonechats in the bushes and a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk over the fields (many obs).


Kestrel and Whimbrel at Fishbourne creek (DM)


Chichester Marina: At least 25 Little Grebes and 10 Red-breasted Mergansers in the channel plus 7 Goldeneye. The main flock of Brent Geese (c 1200) was feeding in the channel towards Dell Quay, with a single Black Brant lurking amongst them,  whilst overhead we heard a cronking Raven. (BFF/DM)


Wednesday, 17th February: A pretty typical day for the time of year - cold, grey and with a brisk breeze, this time from the south.......

Selsey Bill: (0800-0900hrs) (AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 5os
Red-throated Diver - 1W,
Common Scoter - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Kittiwake - 1E

Red-throated Diver (above) & Great Northern Divers at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Still a couple of Snipe, a Black-tailed Godwit and a dozen Redshank present on the pool, and at least 50 Brent Geese, 200 Wigeon and 500 Lapwing on the field, plus a pair of displaying Stock Doves. Also, three Gadwall were in the rife. (AH)

Stock Dove (above) & Gadwall at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Mistle Thrush, a Jay and 50 Goldfinches were in the Mound area, whilst in the harbour the Whimbrel and a Peregrine were in their usual haunts, and there were at least 1000 Dunlin and 100 Grey Plover on the mud, plus a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and 200 Brent Geese, but surprisingly no Knot. (AH)

Mistle Thrush (above), Jay, Brent Geese & Black-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)

Northcommon Farm: Nothing of note save a Buzzard sat out in a field. (AH)

Buzzard at Northcommon Farm (AH)

Tuesday, 16th February: A cold, crisp and frosty start giving way to a bright and mainly sunny day, with a light E/SE breeze.....
Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit, at least eight Snipe and 30 Redshank were on the pool this morning, plus a couple of Mediterranean Gulls, and on the field there were 20+ Golden Plover in with 1000+ Lapwing and 300 Wigeon. (AH)
Earlier there was a Grey Wagtail at the sewage farm and a(nother?) Green Sandpiper went over. (JD/DS)

Green Sandpiper and Snipe on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A couple of noisy Cetti's Warblers were along the reeds and a Chiffchaff, and a couple of Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits were also briefly present, whilst in Ferry Channel there were at least 30 Shoveler in with 100+ Wigeon and Teal and plenty of Redshanks but not much else. (AH)

Redshank & Shoveler along Ferry Channel (AH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge - A Short-eared Owl was present this morning (PH)
Easton Lane to Stilt Pools - At least 4 Green Sandpipers were on the floods near the poplars, and the Common Sandpiper was at the Stilt pool. Also logged were c.500 Brent Geese, 25+ Skylarks, 4 Yellowhammers, 14 Stonechats, 8 Redwing, 2 Stock Doves and 2 Buzzards (C&ME)
Also a Raven went east over Easton Lane. (PH)

Chichester Marina: The flooded marsh was partially frozen this morning, so nothing was on the pool, but the reedbeds and meadows held at least 80 Snipe - and doubtless there were more in the inaccessible areas. There were also 60 Teal, 2 calling Water Rails, a Kingfisher on a quick fly-by, a Cetti's Warbler, 2 displaying Buzzards, 3 Grey Herons and 2 Jays.
In the channel (at very low tide) were 9 Goldeneye, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, 15 Great Crested Grebes, 35 Little Grebes and a variety of the commoner waders, including masses of Dunlin; three large flocks of c.2-300 were very flighty whilst others were still feeding and the total must have been well in excess of 1000 birds.
An update on the early swans nest with eggs, situated on the canal, is that it clearly seems to have been abandoned. There are now only four eggs, which appeared damp and frost-covered, with no sign of any swans in the vicinity. (OM)

Distant record shot of drake Goldeneye with Great Crested Grebes in the channel, and Common Buzzard over the marsh (OM).

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