Sunday, 29 January 2017

29th - 31st January 2017

Tuesday, 31st January: A truly dismal day, with persistent heavy drizzle, intermittent fog and a cold and brisk south-easterly.....

A message from Pagham Hbr RSPB, via Warden Ivan Lang.....
'Last year a whole bunch of enthusiastic volunteers ventured out in to Tern Island, in the centre of the harbour (at low tide I may add) to carry out a vegetation clearance project (weeding) to ensure that there is plenty of open shingle for the returning Little Terns in April. It is an ideal opportunity to view the reserve from a different aspect, which few have the opportunity to do.

If you are interested and want more information or wish to join us then please contact me on or 01243 641508. To join us meet at Church Norton Car Park, which is at the end of Rectory Lane off the B2145 just before reaching Selsey at the times shown on all or any of these four dates.........

22nd February 2017 meet at 13.45,  8th March 2017 meet at 13.00,  22nd March 2017 meet at 11.30  and 5th April 2017 meet at 12.30

Please ensure that you have wet weather gear, warm clothes as it can be chilly out on the island, and wellingtons are essential to cross to the island. If you have work gloves and a garden fork that would be useful to bring but not essential. Thank you, your help will be appreciated by all the birds that use the Island this summer.' (IL)

 Weed clearance on Tern Island last year (per IL) ..... (above) just starting......
 (centre)... after day one
(below)....after day two.....that's better.

Selsey Bill: (0810-0910hrs)
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Gannet - 17E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E
Sanderling - 3p
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 1W

Sanderling at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper was at the back and three Black-tailed Godwits were at the front, and there were also six Shelduck, four Shovelers and eight Teal on the pool and c300 Wigeon in the adjacent arable field. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above) & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There was nothing but two Tufted Duck and six Mallard on the pool, but in Ferry Channel there were a Spotted Redshank, four Avocets, four Pintail, c100 Dunlin, 20 Grey Plovers, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and plenty of Redshank, Teal and Wigeon. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Spotted Redshank and Dunlin, Dunlin & Avocet in Ferry Channel (AH)

Monday, 30th January: After an initially clear but drab start a big bank of fog rolled in for most of the morning - all very frustrating - before finally clearing a little by early afternoon....

Selsey Bill: There were a few bits moving before the fog came in at around 0930, including a Long-tailed Duck and a Fulmar east, a Black-throated Diver that dropped in on the sea, a few Red-throated Divers going west and 50+ Gannets feeding well offshore. Full log below....
0800-1000hrs: (AH/OM)
Red-throated Diver - 6E, 33W
Black-throated Diver - 1W settled os
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 50E, 30W, 50os
Brent Goose - 3W
Common Scoter - 2E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 2W, 4os
Long-tailed Duck - 1E
Razorbill - 6E
auk sp - 32E
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 5W
Rock Pipit - 1ob
Song Thrush - 1 singing Bill House garden.

Distant!! Long-tailed Duck (above), Common Scoters & Red-throated Divers past the Bill (AH)

Song Thrush in full song in the fog at Bill House garden (OM)

Drayton Pit: Persistence paid off this morning, with the Bittern finally appearing and flying across the pit, and there were also two male Bullfinches and a couple of Goldcrests in the hedges, and the usual mix of Gadwall, Pochard, Shovelers and Coots on the water. (CRJ)

Church Norton: There was not much to see in the fog, with zero visibility offshore, though the Whimbrel was in its usual area, and a few Dunlin, Grey Plover and Shelduck could be seen in the murk.
A look around the car-park and lane produced at least half a dozen Goldcrests, a couple of Stock Doves, a Jay and a few Goldfinches. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Grey Plover, Dunlin and Shelduck & Goldcrests at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: In a short visit this afternoon a showy male Sparrowhawk was bathing, whilst the only other birds of note were a drake Goldeneye and several pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers. (AB) 

 Male Sparrowhawk at Pagham Lagoon (AB)

Sunday, 29th January: Milder again and generally cloudy, with some showers through the morning and a fresh S/SSW wind force 4-5, but the prospect of heavier more persistent rain by afternoon.....

Selsey Bill: There was a huge amount of activity early on, with over 1700 Gannets and 1000 auks moving west before 9am, though not too much else beyond a few Kittiwakes and Red-throated Divers, though a Velvet Scoter and an Eider did go east. 
It is probable that the Gannet count is a new day-record for the Bill.
(0730-1000hrs) (JA/SH/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver  - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 25W, 1os
diver sp - 2E, 2W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 116E, 1709W
Common Scoter - 7E
Velvet Scoter - 1E
Eider - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 25W, 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Kittiwake - 76E, 32W
Razorbill - 75E, 32W
auk sp - 411E, 1140W

(1130-1230hrs) (JA/SH)
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 22W
Gannet - 66E, 104W, 40os
Teal - 1E
Long-tailed Duck - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 7W, 4os
Bonxie - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Kittiwake - 5E, 12W
Razorbill - 24W
auk sp - 16E, 91W

Gannets (above), Great Northern Diver & Red-throated Divers at the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: There were c40 Common Scoter and four Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea, with another four of the latter east, two Red-throated Divers west and another two east, and c30 Gannets lingering offshore. (AH)
Also, a Raven was with Carrion Crows near Crablands Marsh. (RS)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two Stonechats present today, along with two Great Spotted woodpeckers, 20+ Linnets and 30+ Meadow Pipits. (S&SaH)

Great Spotted Woodpecker at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

Church Norton: A pair of Ravens came in from the west and settled on the beach, unconcerned by the Carrion Crows and even displaying, before heading off east.
Offshore up to 80 Gannets were feeding quite close in, with c40 Razorbills coming and going further out, four Slavonian and two Great Crested Grebes were on the sea, and four Red-throated Divers and 15 Kittiwakes went west and six Common Scoter went east.
In the harbour there was a feeding frenzy of Cormorants and large gulls, but there was not much else of note beyond the Whimbrel in its usual area, and at least 500 Brent Geese that came in from Greenlease Farm. (AH/JD)
Late this afternoon a drake Goldeneye was in the harbour and there were still 20+ Gannets and five Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. (S&SaH)

Ravens (above), Raven and Carrion Crow, Kittiwake & Gannets at Church Norton (AH)

Ivy Lake: The Bittern showed again this morning and the Scaup and Long-tailed Duck were both still present. (R. Simpson per SOS)
The Scaup and Long-tailed Duck were still about this afternoon, along with c60 Pochard and c80 Shoveler, and two Mistle Thrushes flew over. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (above) & Shoveler at Ivy Lake (AH)

Kipson Bank Farm, Hunston: There were still 60+ Fieldfares, 50+ Skylarks, 100+ Linnets and 50+ Chaffinches, along with 300+ Starlings in the big stubble field opposite the golf course this afternoon. (AH)

Fieldfares at Kipson Bank Farm, Hunston (AH)

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