A tale of two odd ducks - part 2: The 'odd Teal' was again present on Chalder Pond this morning, though proving surprisingly elusive. I attempted a few photos in the gloom which were down to my usual standard - but the bird looked decidedly less colourful or exciting today and importantly there was no sign of the vertical white bar between wing and breast, indicative of Green-winged Teal. The head pattern also looked less strong and clearly not complete, the overall plumage perhaps indicative of a first-winter bird. It was a bit puzzling and I must admit to leaning towards a hybrid or 'plastic' origin for this bird at times; however common sense was screaming it is far more likely to be a 1st- winter drake common Teal. I'd sent the pictures out for comment and also invited other views via the blog..... many thanks indeed to those who contributed. Amongst those offering opinions after consultation was LGRE, who felt it was indeed a common Teal....and on balance I think that's surely the right conclusion.... so we can put this one to bed - unless anyone else has a better theory! (OM)
Ivy Lake: Less controversial, but equally welcome, a Long-tailed Duck was on the lake at lunchtime today, just off the water-ski jetty at the western end, along with 20+ Tufted Duck and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. (AH)
Ferry Pool: There were a Green Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit, three Shovelers and four Teal among at least 200 Wigeon this morning. (AH)
Church Norton: It was very quiet on the low tide, though the trusty Whimbrel was in its usual haunt and at least 500 Brent Geese flew out of the harbour, some to settle on the beach and other on the fields.
Along the foreshore there were 100+ Grey Plover and Redshank and 300+ Dunlin, with a handful of Common and Mediterranean Gulls offshore and a couple of Meadow Pipits and a handful of Skylarks along the spit. (AH)
Coastguard Station/Medmerry Beach: The Common Scoter flock now numbering c.150 birds had drifted down towards the first groyne at medmerry beach early afternoon and unfortunately was quite distant in the gloomy conditions. No "oddities" could be spotted in the murk but there was also a Great Northern Diver and a Razorbill offshore. On the groyne were two Rock Pipits and by the Coastguard station were two Stonechats and a Black Redstart. (BI/ARK)
Sunday, 18th December: Another mild, very cloudy and fairly still day, remaining murky all day, but with just a light northerly breeze......
Chalder Farm: No sign of the Teal early this morning but there was a female Shoveler there and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. (SH)
Selsey Bill: 0745-0900hrs (JA/SH) A quiet morning!
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Brent Goose - 4E
Red-breasted Merganser - 5os
Sparrowhawk - 1 area
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Pied Wagtail - 1 p
Park Farm (Selsey): The Dartford Warbler was still present, as were 3 Stonechats. (SH)
Coastguard Station: The Common Scoter flock - c70 birds - were well offshore this morning, but a Black Redstart unexpectedly popped up in the garden of 'Land's End Cottage,' before promptly vanishing again. (AH)
Also a Peregrine, a Buzzard, 2 Redwings and 3 Stonechats. (SH)
Saturday, 17th December: Still generally mild and dry, though mainly cloudy, with just a very light southerly breeze....
Selsey Bill: (0730-0815hrs) (SH/PB/AB)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Brent Goose - 17E
Common Scoter - 14E,5os
Red-breasted Merganser - 5os
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
There were four more Slavonian Grebes and a single Eider near the harbour mouth and two Goldeneye just inside the harbour itself and along the top path were three Stonechats and two Skylarks. (BI)
There were 55 Wigeon feeding on a nearby cultivated field. (S Allday)