Sunday, 1 January 2017

1st - 3rd January 2017

Tuesday, 3rd January: Another cold, bright day, after a very sharp frost, with a north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: We start we a brief resume of the effort put in by the sea-watchers last year. Our vigilant Log-keeper JA informs us that a total of 1,170.5 hours were logged in 2016 and a total of 321 days were watched. This sets a new record - the previous record of days/hours watched having been set just the year before (2015). Well done to everyone involved and our thanks as ever to JA for his mean task with that many hours to log! (Eds).

(0800-0900hrs) Not too much moving, this morning, though two Sandwich Terns went west and three Sanderlings were on the beach. Full log below....(AH/DF/JD/DS)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 5E, 2W
Gannet, 3E, 7W
Shag - 1os
Brent Goose - 31W
Shelduck - 3W
Common Scoter - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 3W
Sanderling - 3p
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Common Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 2W

Mediterranean Gull (above) & Sanderling at the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: There were still at least 100 Common Scoter offshore this morning, plus three Red-breasted Mergansers. (AH)

Common Scoters off the Coastguard Station (AH)

Ivy Lake: A big surprise at lunchtime, when a Bittern got up from the reeds on the north side, flew about thirty yards and dropped down again. Also the Long-tailed Duck and the Scaup were showing well. (AH/MH)
Just after 4pm the Bittern showed again, briefly, in the same area roughly in line with the thin silver birches on the far side. Despite a vigil until darkness the bird was not seen subsequently. (BI)
Earlier on the Long-tailed Duck was absent, but the Scaup was still present. Also about were the four Black Swans, 22 Pochard, 6 Shoveler, a Firecrest and numerous Goldcrests among the Long-tailed Tits. (SR)

Scaup and Tufted Duck on Ivy Lake (AH)

Medmerry (East): No sign of the Black Redstart by the diggers, though there were a Stonechat and a couple of Meadow Pipits nearby, and there was a Black Redstart at the Breach end, around the newly fenced compound near the rocks. Also in that area were at least four Stonechats, four Reed Buntings, two Skylarks, ten Meadow Pipits, c30 Linnets and c50 Goldfinches.
A Sanderling was on the beach, and around the pools there were ten Grey Plovers, five Curlew, at least 300 Dunlin and six Gadwall. (AH)

Black Redstart (above), Stonechats, Meadow Pipit, Sanderling & Gadwall at Medmerry (AH)

Hunston: At lunchtime there were half a dozen Fieldfares in with about 20 Blackbirds in the small orchard on the main road, just south of the village at Tennessee Farm. (AH)

Fieldfare at Tennessee Farm, Hunston (AH)

Ferry Pool: A flock of 19 Avocets were flying around early on, but there was nothing on the frozen pool, though later on there were six Snipe and 50 Lapwing on the field and c200 Wigeon on the arable fields. (AH)

Avocets (above) & Snipe at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Firecrest and a couple of Goldcrests were briefly in the trees at the end of the path to the harbour. (A&YF)
There was not much offshore today, though the tide was low, with just a single Slavonian Grebe and two Great Crested Grebes to be seen, plus a Red-throated Diver on the sea and another east, and a few distant Gannets. There were plenty of Knot in the harbour, though not much else of note, whilst the big Brent Goose flock came in off the fields around Greenlease Farm. (AH) Later there were four Slavonian Grebes offshore and another Red-throated Diver east. (BFF/DM)

Brent Geese over Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: Highlights were were two Goldeneye, five Spotted Redshank and a Kingfisher today. (BFF/DM)

Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd January: A cold, bright day, with a bite to the northerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A much quieter day than yesterday, but there was a Velvet Scoter and a Sandwich Tern about and a few Great Northern Divers offshore. Full log below...
0730-1000hrs: (JA/SH/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Red-throated Diver - 7E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 48E, 5W
Brent Goose - 36E, 30W
Shelduck - 3W
Velvet Scoter - 1os
Common Scoter - 120os
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 3W, 6os
Sanderling - 2p
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Kittiwake - 10E
Sandwich Tern - 1os
auk sp - 53E, 1W 

Brent Geese (above) & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: What was presumably the same Velvet Scoter as seen off the Bill - an adult male - was offshore, along with c120 Common Scoter, two Great Northern Divers and up to eight Red-breasted Mergansers, and six Brent geese went west. (AH/IP)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey Wagtail and a Stonechat were again about, and a Raven went over (possibly one of those seen over Church Norton - see below). (SH)

Grey Wagtail at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

Ferry Pool: The two Water Rails were showing along the southern bank again this morning, and there were also 12 Shoveler, ten Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Wigeon, c50 Lapwing, 25 teal and two Shelduck about. (AH/PC)

Water Rail (above), Shovelers & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Four Ravens dropped into the trees on the edge of Priory Wood and were messing about for several minutes before dispersing. 

Offshore there were two Velvet Scoters and six Common Scoters, plus up to eight Red-breasted Mergansers, five Slavonian Grebes and six Great Crested Grebes, plus a few distant Gannets and Common Gulls along the shoreline, whilst the two Peregrines and two Goldeneye were in the harbour and at least 1000 Brent Geese were in the fields at Greenlease Farm (AH/IP/SH)

Velvet Scoters (above), Ravens (AH) & Brent Geese (SH) at Church Norton

Ivy Lake: The Long-tailed Duck re-appeared today, back by the chalets where it remained for most of the morning playing to an ever-growing gallery of admirers! The Scaup was also present further down opposite the island and there were also a few Shovellers and Canada Geese present, two Greylag Geese, Tufted Ducks and about 30 Common Pochards. Along the path were two Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests. (BI)

Scaup (above) & Long-tailed Duck at Ivy Lake (BI)
Scaup & Great Crested Grebe at Ivy Lake (DP)

Medmerry: (Eastons Lane to Stilt pool) There was a large flock of 200+ Golden Plover and 2 Stonechat in the area. A flock of 56 Fieldfares were roosting in the dead elms and later a flock of 30+ Redwings flew in. Two Barn Owls were out briefly around the flint barn area. (SH) 
A Snipe was at the first pool this morning with a few Teal, a 100 each of Canada Geese and Wigeon were feeding near the first sluice and a Dartford Warbler was showing well on and off opposite the Easton viewpoint in the gorse/broom/brambles. (BI)

Dartford Warbler at Medmerry (BI)

Medmerry, East: A Black Redstart was around the rubble/caravan area today. (C.Corrigan)

New Year's Day, Sunday, 1st January: A Happy New Year to everyone, on what looks like it is going to be a fairly damp and breezy start to the new bird-watching year.....

The Review of the Year for 2016 is now ready and can be accessed from the title bar above. 

Selsey Bill: A good start to the year, with plenty of Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks on the move and a Bonxie east. Full log below. (JA/SH/IP/PB/AB/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 7W
diver sp - 1E
Ggreat Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 726W
Shag - 1E, 1os
Brent Goose - 4E
Shelduck - 1W
Common Scoter - 17E, 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 7W, 4os
Curlew - 3W
Bonxie - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Kittiwake - 15W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 10W
auk sp - 3E, 102W,12os
Great Northern Diver (above) & Gannets off the Bill (AH)

PB enjoying the weather (above) & SH having a few technical issues at the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: There were still at least 100 Common Scoter present this morning, but the only thing with them was a female Red-breasted Merganser. (AH/IP/BI)

Common Scoter off the Coastguard Station (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were three Stonechats present again this morning, and a Shoveler was on the reservoir. (S&SaH)

Shoveler at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

Ferry Pool: The Green Sandpiper was present early on, along with eight Shovelers, and a bit later on there were two Water Rails out along the edge of the bank. By late morning there was still one Water Rail on continuous show, along with a Black-tailed Godwit, up to six Snipe, c40 Lapwing, c30 Teal and c200 Wigeon, whilst a Buzzard was out on a fence-post and a flock of up to 30 Stock Doves were flying around at the back. (AH/AB/PB/IP/BI)
The two Water Rails were back out in the open late this afternoon and there was also a Jay there. (IP)

Water Rail (above) & Snipe on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Long-tailed Duck was present again in the harbour, along with at least one Goldeneye, two Red-breasted Mergansers, c40 Pintail, at least six Little Grebes, the regular Whimbrel, a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits, the pair of Peregrines and plenty of waders.
Offshore the two Velvet Scoters were showing well, along with a Red-throated Diver (and another two west), six Slavonian Grebes, eight Great Crested Grebes and up to ten Red-breasted Mergansers, with at least 50 Gannets going west and one or two Common and Mediterranean Gulls along the breach.
Also, the Dartford Warbler showed briefly a couple of times in the gorse on the beach, a couple of Stonechat were in the horse field and six Skylarks were on the spit. (AH/IP/BI/S&SAH et al)

Velvet Scoters at Church Norton (AH, above & BI,below)

Long Pool: Eight Avocets were flying around at the far end of Ferry Channel late this afternoon and a Water Rail was on the path. (IP)

Ivy Lake complex: The first-winter drake Scaup was still present in the middle of the lake, and there were also 30+ Pochard and 20+ Tufted Duck and Great Crested Grebes about, plus a few Common Gulls and a Black Swan, there were at least a dozen Gadwall on the smaller lakes and c50 Shoveler on New Lake.
A Kingfisher was heard, but not seen, and there were a couple of Chiffchaff and Goldcrests among the large numbers of mobile Long-tailed Tits. (BI/AH/IP/OM)

Scaup (above) & Shoveler around Ivy Lake (AH)

Scaup with Tufted Ducks, below (BI)

Medmerry: There were about 70 Fieldfares and 60 Redwing around the poplars area at Easton Lane area this afternoon. Also a Greenshank was by the sluice with a Redshank and a Grey Plover and 20 Golden Plovers were among the Lapwing flock. (IP)

Apuldram: The flock of c30 Yellowhammers was in the hedges towards the Lavant outflow a Rock Pipit was on the harbour edge and six Goldeneyes (including three drakes) were on the water. (IP)

Birdham Pool: Ten or so Little Grebes were present here early afternoon with a Grey Heron, a Little Egret and numerous Mallards. In the Pool marina were two more Little Grebes and a couple of Coots. (BI)

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