Tuesday, 17 January 2017

17th - 19th January 2017

Thursday, 19th January: High pressure continues to predominate, so another cold and bright morning, with a little more of an easterly breeze....

Selsey, East Beach: A female Eider was close offshore, along with 6 Razorbills, 2 Great Crested Grebes and a Red-breasted Merganser. Another Merganser headed west as did 2 Red-throated Divers, a Gannet flew east and along the beach were 33 Turnstones, plus 16 west. (SR)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: Nothing on the frozen Ferry, though a hundred or so Wigeon thought about it before settling for the channel. 
It was quiet along the Long Pool, too, with just a few Reed Buntings and a Little Grebe of note, and Ferry Channel held just a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and a handful of Shoveler among the usual Redshanks, Grey Plover, Wigeon and Teal, plus 30 or so Shelducks and 500 Lapwing which finally settled in. (AH)

Reed Bunting (above), Little Grebe, Black-tailed Godwit and Teal & Wigeon and Teal along Long Pool (AH)

Ivy Lake complex: The first-winter drake Scaup was present again, along with c80 Pochard, c60 Shoveler and c40 Tufted Duck, but the Long-tailed Duck couldn't be found and its favoured area was frozen up. 
New Lake was frozen up and held just a few Shoveler, whilst Runcton Pit had 40+ Gadwall and Tufted Duck plus large numbers of Coots, but not much else beyond a handful of Common Gulls.
There were also plenty of Long-tailed Tits around again, with one or two Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests among them. (AH)

Scaup (above), Pochard & Common Gull around Ivy Lake (AH)

Honer Lane/Reservoir: There was a huge flock - 800-1000 - Lapwings on a stubble field along the lane, with at least 150 Golden Plover in among them, and several large flocks of Brent Geese went both east and west, but the reservoir area was quiet, with just a Grey Wagtail, two Little Grebes and 40 Coots present and no small birds in the hedges. (AH)

Golden Plovers (above), Golden Plovers and Lapwing & Grey Wagtail around Honer Reservoir (AH)

Sidlesham Churchyard: Nothing much to report beyond a few Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits this morning. (AH)

Goldcrest in Sidlesham Churchyard (AH)

Wednesday, 18th January: Another very pleasant day, with plenty of sunshine, despite the frost, and with only a modest easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill (1240-1340hrs): A lunchtime visit produced predictably little; just 2 Great Crested Grebes offshore, a single Red-throated Diver east, 5 Gannets west and a Sparrowhawk which caught a Starling. (OM)
Nearby, a Chiffchaff was in the observer's garden to the north of the 'village.' (SH)

Ferry Pool: There was a Fieldfare in the trees outside the Visitor Centre at first light, but not much else was about, save a few Long-tailed Tits, and the Ferry was frozen up and devoid of birds, though a Raven did fly over eastwards. (AH)

Fieldfare (above), Raven & Long-tailed Tit around Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A Dartford Warbler briefly popped its head up at the far end of the pool, but the only other birds seen along its length were a handful of Reed Buntings.
A Spotted Redshank flew along the Ferry Channel, but disappeared, whilst there were twelve Black-tailed Godwits, twenty or so Grey Plover and Redshank, plus numerous Wigeon and Teal, with a couple of Shoveler among them, and at least 500 Lapwing also present. (AH)

Reed Bunting (above), Black-tailed Godwits, Wigeon & Lapwings along Long Pool (AH)

Coastguard Station/area: Nothing whatsoever was on the sea, with just a distant Red-throated Diver east and two distant Gannets west noted. 
At the small area of nearby marshland, to the west of the village, a quick look produced at least 40 Snipe, but nothing more interesting lurking among them, whilst an adjacent wet field held a notable flock of 94 feeding Curlew and a Buzzard. Sadly, in this area along Warners Lane and opposite the works for the new Bunn's leisure entrance, contractors have removed a very mature and long-established hedge for unknown reasons....an all-too-familiar Selsey situation. (AH/OM)

Snipe over Selsey (AH) 
Warner Lane today....minus its beautiful, thick mature hedgerow adjoining the marshland. Quite why it was felt necessary to obliterate it - a site used annually by nesting and migrant birds - I'm not sure, but sadly it is an all-too-familiar theme around Selsey and the peninsula. (OM) 

Itchenor Pond: After a good bit of searching I managed to locate a Nuthatch here; also present were 2 Jays, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, at least 2 Treecreepers, 7 Goldcrests and a flock of Long-tailed Tits. (SR)

Sidlesham/North Fields: Late morning I cycled down to Marsh Farm, Sidlesham. On the field north of Rookery Lane were 400 Lapwings and 55 Golden Plover, whilst at Marsh Farm was a pair of Stonechats, and in a small hedge bordered field at Fisher, 9 Yellowhammers and 4 Chaffinch. Just south of Runcton were 47 Mute Swans and the pair of Egyptian Geese which soon vanished into the reservoir with 20 Canada Geese.....also en route were two Buzzards and a single Fieldfare. (CRJ). 

Fishbourne Creek: The Water Pipit was still present this morning, showing well (DP/MP)
Water Pipit at Fishbourne creek (DP)

Tennessee Farm, Hunston: A quick look at lunchtime in the orchard just south of the village produced two Fieldfares, four Redwing, up to ten Goldcrests and at least 30 Long-tailed Tits. (AH)

Fieldfare (above), Goldcrest & Long-tailed Tit at Tennessee Farm, Hunston (AH)

Tuesday, 17th January: A splendid winter's day - cool and bright, with just a light E/SE breeze....

Drayton Pits: A frosty morning which I thought might be good for wildfowl, but although none of the scarcer duck species were located, there was an obvious influx of 75 Pochard, with the same of Tufted Duck, 40 Shoveler and c.100 Teal. There were a couple of highlights however; a Bittern flushed from the edge of a small reedbed near the metal gates (A259 Bognor Road) and flew across to the reeds on the northern edge, then later a Jack Snipe was also a surprise, with 16 Snipe and a Chiffchaff nearby. (OM)

 Pochards with Coots at Drayton GPs (OM)

East Head: No sign of the Snow Bunting this morning, though there were up to half a dozen Rock Pipits among c50 Meadow Pipits, c50 Skylarks and c200 Linnets out on the salt-marsh, and a pair of Stonechats on the edge of the dunes.
It was quiet out on the water, with just a Great Northern Diver, two Red-breasted Mergansers and four Great Crested Grebes to be seen, and there were a dozen Black-tailed Godwits on the exposed mud, along with 500 Brent Geese. (AH)
Later there was a flock of no less than 8 Sandwich Terns feeding out in mid-channel, plus the Great Northern Diver, and 2 Stonechats and 2 Rock Pipits around the dune edges. (BFF/DM)  

Rock Pipit (above), Skylarks, Stonechat & Black-tailed Godwits and Brent Geese at East Head (AH)

Snowhill CreekA Greenshank was in the channel opposite the creek, and there were several hundred Wigeon and Teal, plus c50 Redshank on the creek itself, whilst at least 500 Brent Geese dropped into the fields. Also a Chiffchaff and 2 Water Rails.(AH/BFF/DM)


Greenshank (above) & Teal, Wigeon and Lapwing around Snowhill Creek (AH)

Itchenor Pond: A couple of Coal Tits and a couple of Goldcrests were among the large number of Blue and Long-tailed Tits in the trees, where there were also 50+ Goldfinches and a couple Redwings, and several Skylarks were in the adjacent field. (AH)

Coal Tits (above), Redwing & Goldcrest at Itchenor Pond (AH)

Birdham Pool: Very little to report beyond half a dozen Little Grebes, 20 Tufted Ducks and similar of Mallards. (AH)

North Wall: Warm and sunny along the Wall but very quiet on the bird front. A Chiffchaff was in the bushes behind the sluices, the Breech Pool had small numbers of Mallard, Teal and Wigeon, and a very pale Common Buzzard was atop a hedge behind the Pool. 
Honer fields 1 - 3 held around 65 Curlew and 20 Black-tailed Godwits, with all these fields holding small numbers of Moorhen, probably 25 in all. At Owl Copse a Grey Squirrel was being 'bombed' by a party of Long-tailed Tits, and probably up to 1800 Brent Geese flew north to fields beyond Marsh Farm. (JDW)

Moorhens (above), Grey Squirrel and a very muddy Honer 1 field from North Wall (JDW)

Runcton: On the winter wheat field south of Runcton today, Mute Swan numbers had gone back up to 40, still with the single Black Swan. There were 2 distant stocky brown geese on the far southern edge of the field next to the private reservoir; it wasn’t until they flew onto the reservoir and I saw the huge white forewing patches that I identified them as Egyptian Geese (CRJ.)

Fishbourne Creek: Fairly quiet with only a single Rock and Water Pipit in the saltmarsh. Out in the harbour a pair of Peregrines was plucking a kill out on the mud. Around the dung heap 35 Yellowhammers were skittish. (BFF/DM)

Dell Quay; There were 4 Greenshank & 4 Spotted Redshank with an estimated 800 Wigeon (BFF/DM)

Chichester Marina: Little except 9 Goldeneye and 30 Little Grebes in the channel (BFF/DM)

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