Thursday, 1 December 2016

1st - 3rd December 2016

Saturday, 3rd December: Cool, but dry with cloud and sunshine and a light-moderate north-easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A bit of variety this morning included five Great Northern Divers offshore, a Red-necked Grebe and three Velvet Scoters heading west and a Merlin in northwards.....
0730-0930hrs: (SH/JA/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 3W
Great Northern Diver - 5 os
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Red-necked Grebe - 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 1 os
Gannet - 12E, 33W, 10os
Brent Goose - 7W
Common Scoter - 8E, 24W, 60os
Velvet Scoter - 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4W, 6os 
Merlin - 1N
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1E
Kittiwake - 32E
Mediterranean Gull - 2W, 1os
Guillemot - 2E
Razorbill - 2 os
auk sp - 21E, 43W

Velvet Scoters (above) & Great Northern Divers off the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: The 70 or so Common Scoters were fairly close offshore again this morning, with five Red-breasted Mergansers among them, and a flock of six Red-throated Divers went east further out. Also, a Rock Pipit was around the sea-defences. (AH)

Common Scoters (above), Red-throated Divers & Rock Pipit from Coastguard Station (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were six Black-tailed Godwits, two Redshank, two Shelduck and 40 Teal on the pool, with 50 of the latter in the channel opposite, and c100 Wigeon were in the field. (AH)

Church Norton: This morning there were two Stonechats near Park Farm, two Green Sandpipers flew into the first Several, two Buzzards were on hte wing and a Red-throated Diver went west offshore. (S&SaH) 
Also the Whimbrel was in the harbour, along with four Bar-tailed and a dozen Black-tailed Godwits among the many Grey Plover and Dunlin, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were along the channel by the spit and a dozen Skylarks were on the spit. (AH)

Red-breasted Mergansers (above), Whimbrel & Bar-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AH)

Snowhill Creek: A smart Black-tailed Godwit was among the waders on the creek this morning (MR)

Black-tailed Godwit in Snowhill Creek (MR)

Friday, 2nd December: A very dull, fairly still day, though a little milder under the heavy cloud.....

Selsey Bill: 0730-0830 & 0850-0950hrs: (JA/SR) A fairly quiet day...Full log below....
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 2W
Great Northern Diver - 4 os
Great Crested grebe - 2W
Brent Goose - 1E, 2W
Common Scoter - 2E, 11os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W, 9os
Sanderling - 1ob
Kestrel - 1 p
auk sp - 2E, 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Pied Wagtail - 2 ob
Carrion Crow - 10 in N

At 10.15am from the car park off Hillfield Road there were two Great Northern Divers, 63 Common Scoters, a Great Crested Grebe and three Red-breasted Mergansers offshore an auk sp went east and there was a Chiffchaff in the gardens. Also a Seal was eating its breakfast close offshore. (SR)

Common Seal off the Bill (SR)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper, two Redshanks and three Black-tailed Godwits, plus a Shelduck and 20 Teal were on the pool and c80 Wigeon were on the field. (AH)

Green Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There were two Rock Pipits along the wall this morning, a few Reed Buntings around the Breech Pool and a Stonechat was at the back. On the Breech Pool, there were a couple of lurking Snipe and a squealing Water Rail, but beyond that there were just four Black-tailed Godwits, two Wigeon, ten Teal, a Grey Heron and 60 Mallards, and White's Creek just held a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and a handful of Redshank. (AH)

Rock Pipit (above), Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit & Grey Heron from North Wall (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: There was a probable first-winter Scaup on the Lagoon this morning, but generally it was quiet, with just five Pochards, ten Wigeon and 30 Mediterranean Gulls of note beside the usual Little Grebes and Tufted Ducks. (AH)

Probable Scaup (above) & Pochards on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Pagham SpitThe Spit was a bit more interesting, with a Kingfisher and a Rock Pipit along the metalwork by the harbour mouth, a female Goldeneye, six Red-breasted Mergansers and four Great Crested Grebes on the water, 16 Little Grebes on the small lagoon and the two Peregrines out on the saltmarsh with a kill.
Also, offshore from the harbour mouth were a Long-tailed Duck, four Slavonian Grebes and four Great Crested Grebes. (AH)

Kingfisher (above), Rock Pipit, Peregrines, Red-breasted Mergansers & Little Grebes around Pagham Spit (AH)

Church Norton: Presumably the same Long-tailed Duck that was viewed from Pagham Spit was also visible near the harbour mouth from Church Norton beach. More Slavonian Grebes were also viewable from here, too, with a total of eight on the water. (BI)

East Head: The Snow Bunting was still present this morning, in the same area at the end very end of the dunes. (BI)

Snow Bunting at East Head (above BI & below PH)

Selsey Coastguard Station: There were two rafts of Common Scoter offshore early afternoon totalling 23 & 27 birds each. A Great Northern Diver was also on the sea and a Red-throated Diver and a Great Crested Grebe both went east. (BI)

Common Scoter at Coastguards (BI)

Thursday, 1st December: Another glorious, bright and cold morning, though with just a touch more northerly breeze than yesterday.....

A brief update on the putative Caspian Gull at Church Norton on 26th Nov: one birder (LGRE) today contacted me to advise that after consulting others he felt that the bird in question is actually a Herring Gull. Obviously not an easy identification - but all information has been forwarded to the Sussex Ornithological Society's Records Committee (SOSRC) for their consideration and adjudication in due course. (OM)
East Head: The Snow Bunting was present again this morning and showing really well, oblivious to dogs, people and cameras, at the usual area at the very northern end.
Offshore (in the harbour) from there, were a Slavonian Grebe, a Great Northern Diver, three Eider, 14 Red-breasted Mergansers and a dozen Great Crested Grebes, and there were at least half a dozen Sanderling along the foreshore.
Around the dunes and saltmarsh there were at least 20 Reed Buntings, 20 Meadow Pipits, 50 Skylarks, a couple of Stonechats and 50 Linnets, but there were just a handful of Lapwing and no more than six Brent Geese on the fields. Early on, there were at least three Greenshanks in the harbour, before the higher tide arrived. (OM/AH/BFF/DM)

Snowhill Marsh proved to be very disappointing; a single Greenshank was the only highlight amongst a few Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits and an average number of Teal. (OM/BFF/DM)


Snow Bunting (above) & Sanderlings at East Head (AH) and (lower) Greenshank in the harbour (OM)

Itchenor: Highlights around the village pond and woods were a Firecrest and a Nuthatch - the latter still a very scarce bird on the Peninsula. Also present were 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, a dozen Long-tailed Tits, 2 Green Woodpeckers and a Little Egret. (OM)

Ferry Pool: This morning there were just two Redshank and a Shelduck on the pool, 50 Wigeon in the field and a dozen Teal in the channel opposite. (AH)

Teal (above) & Shelduck around Ferry (AH)

Selsey Coastguard Station: There was no sign of the Black Redstart in a quick look this morning, though there were 60+ Common Scoter in a distant flock and five a little closer in. (AH)

Common Scoter off the Coastguard Station (AH)

Church Norton: There were six Slavonian Grebes and eight Great Crested Grebes offshore this morning, though distant, and there were another four of the latter and four Little Grebes in the harbour. The Whimbrel was present again its usual area and there were plenty of roosting Grey Plover, Dunlin and Turnstones. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Little Grebes & Grey Plover and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: A walk down the west side of Medmerry to the sea and back after lunch produced a distant juv/female type Scaup diving continuously on a large pool looking east from the seawall, a Marsh Harrier picked up very high over the sea that then flew inland, and also a Greenshank. (PJ per SOS)

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