Tuesday, 13 December 2016

13th - 16th December 2016

Friday, 16th December: A mild and pleasant day, with light southerly winds, bright early on before clouding over....

Selsey Bill: (0740-1110hrs) (C&ME/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 5E, 1os
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 4W, 1os
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Brent Goose - 10E, 4W
Eider - 1W
Common Scoter - 9W
Red-breasted Merganser - 11E
Turnstone - 30p
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Meadow Pipit - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 3p

Stonechat - 1ob
(also c.200 Brent Geese in fields to the north of Selsey opposite Park Lane)

Coastguard Station: There were still 100+Common Scoters offshore today. (AH)

Common Scoters off the Coastguard Station (AH)

Medmerry: Breach - There were two Black Redstarts today along the sea-defence rocks, and also about were two Stonechats, a Rock Pipit and a couple of Meadow Pipits. 
There were at 300 roosting Grey Plovers, with lesser numbers of Dunlin, Knot, Turnstone and Ringed Plover, but on the pools there were just a handful of Wigeon and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls. (AH)

Black Redstarts at Medmerry (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers, five Black-tailed Godwits and 110 Lapwing on the pool, and c60 Wigeon on the field. Also a Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher flew over. (AH)

Green Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A surprise this morning in the form of a female Bullfinch at the back of the moat by the Mound, which sat preening deep in cover for a couple of minutes before flying off. There were also a couple of Redwing and at least three Jays in the churchyard, but I couldn't find any crests at all.
In the harbour the Long-tailed Duck and the Whimbrel were still present, along with at least eight Red-breasted Mergansers, though it was fairly quiet offshore, with at least four Velvet Scoters (visiting birders reported up to eight at high tide) and similar of Red-breasted Mergansers being about the only birds present. (AH) Over the high tide a single Slavonian Grebe and two Great Crested Grebes were also offshore. (BI)

Long-tailed Duck and Little Grebe (above) & Redwings at Church Norton (AH)

A bit of sad news to report: my old dog, Bonzo - a friend to some of the birdwatchers of the peninsula, and a menace to others! - passed away today, a few months short of his 16th birthday. (AH)

Bonzo in his younger days (AH) 

Ivy Lake: Not a great deal to report with the highlight again being a few Common Gulls in with the Herring Gulls and c.45 Common Pochard on the far side. On Nunnery Lake, the Gadwall were still present with a few Tufted Ducks and there was a small flock of Long-tailed Tits along the path as usual. (BI)

Gadwall on Nunnery Lake (BI)

East Head: There were several Stonechats around today and one Rock Pipit, along with hundreds of Dunlin in some dense flocks, quite a few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits, two Red-breasted Mergansers and one Sandwich Tern. (M Ro)

Stonechat (above), Rock Pipit, Skylark & Dunlin at East Head (M Rose)

Thursday, 15th December: A very gloomy morning, but fairly mild and with only a light southerly breeze....and brightening a little later.

Selsey Bill: Despite the weather forecaster saying it was going to be mild it felt really cold with a stiff SE breeze coming in off the sea. Just offshore a Black-throated Diver drifted west with at least four Great Northern Divers doing the same, and there were also five Red-throated Divers offshore, whilst a single Velvet Scoter flew west. (BFF/DM)

Coastguard Station: There were still 100+Common Scoters and two Great Northern Divers offshore. (BFF/DM)

Medmerry East: Breach Viewpoint - There were two Stonechats and a single Black Redstart present this morning. (BFF/DM)

Church Norton: Offshore this morning there were a group of six Eiders, including two drakes, a Great Northern Diver, a Slavonian Grebe, two Great Crested Grebes and two Red-breasted Mergansers, with two of the latter and a Red-throated Diver flying west, as well.
There were just a few gulls on the beach, with two or three Mediterranean and Common Gulls among them, a couple of Skylarks were on the spit and there were plenty of common waders roosting, including at least 50 Knot. (AH)

Common Gull (above) & Knot, Grey Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper and four Redshank were on the pool, along with a couple of Shelduck and Teal, and there were at least 100 Wigeon on the field. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above) & Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Chichester Marina: There were twelve Goldeneye together off the end of Salterns Copse this morning, and there were also nine Red-breasted Mergansers, four Great Crested Grebes and at least 30 Little Grebes on the water, and at least 500 Brent Geese and a few Lapwing and Redshank were near the lock-gates.
There were also quite a few Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits in the edges of the copse, and there were about 40 Curlew in the fields opposite. (AH)
Later, at high tide, I couldn't find a single Goldeneye - so presumably they moved further up the channel - but it was otherwise much the same except for a nice flock of four Greenshank which were flying around calling. (OM)
At the Marina marsh and reedbed three Buzzards were present, plus a couple of Sparrowhawks and five Teal, but small birds were few apart from a handful of Goldcrests and a Treecreeper. (OM/PH)

Goldeneye (above)& Red-breasted Mergansers at Chichester Marina (AH)

Birdham Pool: Not much to report from a quick look this morning - just two Grey Herons, 12 Tufted Ducks, 10 Little Grebes, about 30 Mallards and five Goldcrests. (AH/OM)

Grey Heron at Birdham Pool (AH)
West Itchenor: A morning visit to the village pond and woods area was not so productive as on previous visits; however I logged 3 Chiffchaffs, 12 Goldcrests, 18 Long-tailed Tits, a Buzzard, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Mistle Thrush and 4 Redwings. (OM)

Wednesday, 14th December: An altogether more pleasant day, dry with a moderate southerly breeze and prolonged spells of sunshine....

Selsey BillNot too much moving but over a dozen Red-throated Divers went west and three Great Northern Divers were on the sea.  Full log below....
0820-1105hrs:   (Obs: OM/C&ME)
Red-throated Diver - 16W
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 2W, 3os (perhaps all relating to the 3 offshore birds?)
Diver sp - 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W, 1os
Gannet - 4E, 3W
Brent Goose - 79E, 3W
Common Scoter - 8W, 22os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 2W
Razorbill - 1os
Auk sp - 1E
Kittiwake - 1E
Common Gull - 2E
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Pied Wagtail - 6E
Rock Pipit - 1ob
Goldfinch - 15 p

 Brent Geese passing east and Goldfinch at the Bill (OM)

Coastguard stationThere were still at least 60 Common Scoter offshore early this morning, along with eight Brent Geese. (AH)  Later on, the Common Scoter count had risen to 110, plus a flock of ten Brent Geese, a Great Northern Diver and a Great Crested Grebe offshore and a Rock Pipit on the beach. (OM)

Common Scoters (above, AH) and Brent Geese (below, OM) off the Coastguard Station and Rock Pipit on the beach. (OM)

Ferry Pool: There were 40 Redshank and close to 200 Lapwing roosting on the pool this morning, and c40 Teal and c60 Wigeon in the field. (AH) 

Lapwings (above) & Lapwing and Redshank at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was not too much offshore - a Red-throated Diver (plus three west), two Slavonian Grebes, four Great Crested Grebes and six Red-breasted Mergansers being the sum. 
There were 20+ Mediterranean Gulls and a few Common Gulls along the beach, and in the harbour the Long-tailed Duck was with two Red-breasted Mergansers and there was also a pair of Goldeneye near the harbour mouth.
There were a couple of Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Skylarks along the spit, and among the roosting waders there were half a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits and at least 50 Knot. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (above), Goldeneye, Red-throated Divers, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls, Knot, Knot and Turnstone & Knot, Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham Churchyard: There were four Goldcrests and a Firecrest (or probably two) present early afternoon. (OM)

Tuesday, 13th December: A really dull, dank and murky day, with misty low cloud and periods of rain pushed on by a moderate southerly wind..... and barely getting properly light the whole day.

You might have guessed it, but after yesterday's confident editorial an unforeseen problem has just arisen, so may I ask all contributors to copy in our assistant editor Bart Ives (bart.ives@talk21.com) on all their submissions for the time being..... many thanks. (OM) 

Selsey Bill: Very quiet this morning in difficult conditions, with just a few auks noted out in the murk. (BFF/DIS/DM)

Selsey (west): Coastguards: A flock of 105 Common Scoter were offshore (no adult males seen to be present) and a Great Northern Diver was close inshore, plus a Rock Pipit on the beach. (BFF/DIS/DM)

Church Norton: A single Slavonian Grebe was offshore with 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst in the harbour were 250 Knot, the wintering Whimbrel, another 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Long-tailed Duck, a Kingfisher and a Merlin beating up the waders. Three Firecrests in the churchyard were a nice bonus. (BFF/DIS/DM/IL)

North Wall: On White’s Creek 1000 Lapwing and 66 Pintail were the highlight, whilst there were nine Yellowhammers, 80 Linnet, 30 Reed Bunting and two Corn Buntings in the Slipe field this afternoon. (IL)

Ferry Pool: A quick look late morning produced no waders, but between the field and the pool there were two Shelduck, five Shoveler, four Mallard, 60 Teal and 200 Wigeon. (AH)

Wigeon (above) & Teal on the Ferry (AH)

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