Thursday, 26 January 2017

26th - 28th January 2017

Saturday, 28th January: Milder again with the wind having shifted to a moderate south-westerly, and also brighter with broken cloud and sunnier breaks, but with the chance of rain developing by evening....

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 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)

Selsey Bill: Another morning with a large movement of auks, plus a Bonxie and quite a few Red-throated Divers and Gannets. Full log below. (JA/IP/AH)
(0730-0930hrs) SW3/4 sun/cloud
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 35W, 3os
Black-throated Diuver - 1W
Great Northern Diver - 1os
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

Distant Bonxie past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: This morning there were three Black-tailed Godwits, 25 Teal and up to 300 Wigeon on the pool. (AH)

Wigeon on the Ferry (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)

Curlew (above) & Meadow Pipit at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

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)

Mediterranean Gull (above), Skylarks, Wigeon & Red-breasted Merganser at Church Norton (AH)

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)

Long-tailed Duck with Pochards at Ivy Lake (P.Denyer) 

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...

Selsey Bill: There were large numbers of auks on the move again, including over 500 Razorbills, plus quite a few Red-throated Divers. Full log below. (JA/AH)

(0740-1000hrs) S3/4 sun/cloud
Red-throated Diver - 23E, 27W, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 2os
diver sp - 4E, 5W 

Gannet - 27E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 1W, 11os
Kittiwake - 20E, 1W
Razorbill - 532E
Guillemot - 3E
auk sp - 356W

Red-throated Divers (above) & Gannet past the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: Between 9.30 - 10.00 am there were 80+ Common Scoters that flew in from the west and landed on the sea, joining two other small flocks making at least 100 birds in total. Also a Great Crested Grebe 11 Red-breasted Mergansers were on the sea , (plus four of the latter west), 23 Razorbills, 12 auk sp east and six Red-throated Divers all went east and two Turnstones were on the beach. (SR)

Common Scoters off the Coastguard Station (SR)

Snowhill Creek/West Wittering: A Greenshank was in Snowhill Creek this morning, and on the nearby road between Cakeham and West Wittering a Grey Wagtail was among some Meadow Pipits feeding on a sugar-beet field. (MR)

Greenshank on Snowhill Creek (above) & Grey Wagtail and Meadow Pipit at West Wittering (MR)

Church Norton: The harbour looked very empty of birds on the high tide, though the Whimbrel was in its usual spot and at least 20 Shelduck and eight Little Grebes were on the water. There was nothing offshore, save a few Mediterranean and Common Gulls along the shoreline, and there were three of the latter and two Tufted Ducks on the second Several. (AH)

Whimbrel (above) & Common Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Shoveler, 18 Teal and c150 Wigeon on the pool and a scattering of Lapwing on the field this morning. (AH)

Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

Chichester GPs: The Long-tailed Duck was still on Ivy Lake this afternoon near the chalets along with 50 Canada Geese, a few Tufted Ducks and 40 each of Pochard & Shoveller. A Common Gull was on Nunnery. At Drayton there was no sign of the Bittern in a quick look but there were hundreds of Coots, two Grey Herons, more Pochards & Shovelers and a Buzzard was in a roadside tree. (BI)

Long-tailed Duck on Ivy Lake (BI)

Thursday, 26th January: A bitingly cold and grey morning, with a brisk south-easterly breeze......

Selsey Bill: The first Fulmars of the year went west this morning, and there was a steady movement of Red-throated Divers (mainly) west and a big feeding flock of Gannets and Razorbills gathered for a while offshore. Full log below......
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

Gannets (above) & Red-breasted Mergansers at the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: There were no scoters to be found, though there were a Red-throated Diver and eight Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea and up to 20 Gannets milling about offshore. (AH)

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.

 Drake Teal and dubious-looking Muscovy at East Beach pond (SR)

Medmerry (east): Very few gulls about early afternoon and no sign of yesterday's Glaucous around the breach; just 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and 20 Grey Plover of note within the reserve. There was a surprise however, with a small flock of eight scoter offshore from 'Toe end' of which at least 2 were Velvet Scoters. Unfortunately there are now a lot of new sea-defence works going on at this point, which frustratingly means that access to the beach is fenced off... by the time I'd moved to an accessible point the scoters had drifted a long way out on a choppy sea! (OM)

Church Norton: There was nothing on the sea, though a flock of seven Red-throated Divers flew west, half a dozen Gannets were lingering far offshore and 10+ Mediterranean Gulls and 4+ Common Gulls were along the foreshore.
There was very little out of the ordinary in the harbour, with half a dozen Little Grebes and plenty of Wigeon, Teal and Brent Geese on the water and plenty of Grey Plover and |Dunlin roosting on the edges. (AH) The Whimbrel was still present and 2 Goldeneye were in the harbour. (BFF/DM)

Common Gulls (above), Mediterranean Gull, Little Grebe, Curlew & Grey Plover and Wigeon (AH)

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)

Water Pipit at Fishbourne creek (DM)


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