The Peninsula Bird List: As 2016 ended the Peninsula List stood at a creditable 339 species - using official British Ornithologists' Union (BOU) British List rules and including a couple of historic records. However, the 2017 total as from now is 337 species....a reduction of two from the preceding year....how come? The reason for this is that the BOU have now decided to adopt the world species list as compiled by the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) - officially from the start of 2018. However, this being the case, it surely makes sense to hit the ground running and adopt this new species list now, so with immediate effect this has been done.
So what's changed on the new British List that affects the Peninsula List? There are currently very few changes that affect us, but two that do are Hudsonian Whimbrel and Lesser Redpoll.
There was a real surprise in 2015 when a Hudsonian Whimbrel appeared at Church Norton, drawing crowds of observers from far and wide, at the time being deemed a new and valid species recently split from European Whimbrel. This 'lumping' of the two forms as a single species again is a bit of a shock to listers and it will be interesting to see whether this is reviewed and they are split again. As the newest species to be added to our Peninsula List it didn't last long, but many observers will feel it is a distinctive enough bird to warrant full species status....time (and perhaps DNA) will tell!
The other 'loss' to the List is Lesser Redpoll, which is no longer treated as a separate species but is now treated as a form of Common Redpoll (formerly Mealy Redpoll). Given the minefield that is Redpoll taxa and identification this does make sense, but unfortunately results in a drop in our species list total! Let us hope we can further add to the species list in the near future. (OM)
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 35W, 3os
Black-throated Diuver - 1W
diver sp - 14E, 5W
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 88E, 173W, c100os
Brent Goose - 5E, 5W
Mallard - 2W
Common Scoter - 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 6W, 4os
Bonxie - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 82E, 7W
Razorbill - 18E, 76W, 84os
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 1074E, 16W
Ferry Pool: This morning there were three Black-tailed Godwits, 25 Teal and up to 300 Wigeon on the pool. (AH)
Park Farm, Selsey: A big Peregrine went through this morning, though not much else beyond a few Curlews and Meadow Pipits could be found. (AH/IP)
Later on there were three Stonechats and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers present. (S&SaH)
Church Norton: This morning there were four Slavonian Grebes, three Great Crested Grebes and two Red-throated Divers well offshore, with another of the latter going east and a distant feeding flock of c40 Gannets also present, whilst there were 20+ Mediterranean and Common Gulls along the foreshore.
In the harbour there were four Goldeneye (including a drake), a drake Red-breasted Merganser, at least six Little Grebes, the pair of Peregrines and plenty of commoner waders, with a pair of Stonechats in the horse field and half a dozen Skylarks along the spit.
Also, there were six Tufted Duck on the second Several. (AH/IP)
Chichester GPs: At Drayton, the Bittern flew into the reeds opposite the phone mast at mid-day but otherwise it was much the same as yesterday: plenty of Coots, a few Gadwall, c.30 Pochards and the Buzzard. The Long-tailed Duck was present on Ivy Lake this morning (P.Denyer) and later there were over a hundred Canada Geese, the raft of Shovelers and Pochard on the water, a flock of mixed Tits along the path and a Great Spotted Woodpecker near the parking. The Common Gull was still on Nunnery Lake. (BI)
Medmerry: Easton Lane to Marsh Barn - At dusk this evening there were five Fieldfares and three Yellowhammers about, but not much else. (S&SaH)
Friday 27th January: Not as cold as yesterday, and with a bit more sunshine, but still a very cold and brisk southerly breeze...
Red-throated Diver - 23E, 27W, 1os
diver sp - 4E, 5W
Gannet - 27E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 1W, 11os
Kittiwake - 20E, 1W
Razorbill - 532E
Guillemot - 3E
auk sp - 356W
0800-1200hrs: SE4-5, cloud (AH/OM/TR/RS)
Red-throated Diver - 16E, 84W
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 10E, 6W early on, then 240 feeding os
Brent Goose - 4W
Common Scoter - 3W, 8os
Red-breasted Merganser - 24E, 8W
Sanderling - 1ob departed E
Razorbill - 60 os departed mainly E
auk sp - 80E, 240W
Kittiwake - 2E, 3W, 10os
Common Gull - 4E
Mediterranean Gull - 9E
Selsey East Beach Pond: A pair of Teal had joined the usual 35 Mallard, pair of Mute Swans, half dozen Coot and Moorhen and the ugly resident Muscovy Duck. There were also 3 Long-tailed Tits but it was otherwise quiet.
Chi GPs - Drayton Pit: alongside the A259 I had a very brief view of the Bittern (whilst DM was looking the wrong way and missed it!) as it dropped down into thick reeds. (BFF/DM)
Fishbourne Creek: at least 30 Yellowhammers were near the dung heap. At the edge of the harbour the Water Pipit was confiding with 2 Rock Pipits, and nearby another Whimbrel and 2 Jack Snipe were on the edge of the saltmarsh.(BFF/DM)