Wednesday, 4 January 2017

4th - 6th January 2017

Friday, 6th January: Still almost no breeze, but a bit cloudier today after another frosty start....

Selsey Bill: A reasonable selection  this morning, with a lot of auks on the move once again. (JA/C&ME/TR)
(0745-1000hrs) NE F1 then SW F3, cloudy
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 13E, 9W
diver sp - 3E, 4W
Gannet - 26E, 46W
Brent Goose - 65E
Shelduck - 2E
Shoveler - 7W
Wigeon - 5W
Teal - 2E
Common Scoter - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 4W, 2os
Sanderling - 2E, 1W
Bonxie - 1W
Kittiwake - 1E, 28W
Guillemot - 2E, 12W
Razorbill - 15E, 128W
auk sp - 597E, 1403W

Fishbourne Creek: The Water Pipit was present again this morning, along with up to half a dozen Rock Pipits and a couple of Meadow Pipits, and there were up to 20 Yellowhammers and ten Reed Buntings along the bushes at the edge of the harbour.
Out in the harbour there were three Spotted Redshanks and three Greenshanks, along with many Dunlin, Redshanks, Curlews and Black-tailed Godwits, and there were half a dozen Gadwall and  50+ Pintail among the 500+ Wigeon and 1000+ Brent geese present.
Also, a Jack Snipe popped out from one of its favoured haunts, and there were two Kingfishers present. (AH)

Water Pipit (above), Kingfisher, Greenshank, Spotted Redshanks, Yellowhammer & Reed Bunting at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Itchenor Pond: A pair of Bullfinches was in the gardens at the back of the pond, and there were numerous Goldcrests, Long-tailed Tits and Goldfinches about this morning, but not too much else. (AH)

Bullfinches (above) & Goldcrest at Itchenor Pond (AH)

East Head: A Snow Bunting was reported from here today by Birdguides. (Eds)

Runcton: Around the village today there were Coal Tit, a Firecrest, and on fields just to the south a flock of 32 Mute Swans, a Black Swan, 11 Canada Geese and 15 Greylag Geese. During the last few days there have also been single sightings of Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher and Chiffchaff. We also seem to be host to dozens of Long-tailed Tits. (CRJ)

North Wall: Two White-fronted Geese were reported from here by Birdguides today. (Eds)

East Side: At 11:20, on the sea from Pagham Beach were four Slavonian Grebes, one Great Crested Grebe, one Eider and 12 Common Scoter and flying east were one Red-throated Diver and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers. 
Pagham Lagoon was bereft save for two Pochard, whilst in the the Harbour channel were two Goldeneye, 
Out in the Harbour and later flying in demented fashion back and forth over the far North Fields were some 2000 Brent Geese, with at one time, two White-fronted Geese alongside, and in total there were many hundred Teal and Wigeon but no Pintail at all, along with lots of Shelduck and waders including both Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits. (ARK per SOS)

Thursday, 5th January: A very bright and still, if chilly, morning.....

Just a word of warning for potential visitors - there are traffic lights by the Ferry for 'essential gas main work' that are likely to be in operation for the next three weeks, and the queues into Selsey were already back into Sidlesham village at 8.30 this morning.

Fishbourne Creek: Masses of wildfowl on the falling tide this morning with 800+ Wigeon, 500 Brent Geese and 30 Pintail notable amongst them. A Jack Snipe was probably the highlight, but there were also a few Common Snipe, 2 Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank amongst the wader flocks. A Kingfisher was along the Lavant near the sewage works, but small birds were few, though a dozen or so Yellowhammers were in the hedgerows. (OM) Later in the day there was a Water Pipit present along with two Rock Pipits, a few Reed Buntings in the hedges and, at Apuldram Church, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. (BI)

The Lavant outflow into the Fishbourne channel, with masses of wildfowl, above (OM)

Water Pipit, above, & Kingfisher at Fishbourne Creek (BI)

Sidlesham Churchyard: A quick look early on produced a Tree-creeper and several Goldcrests and Greenfinches, but not too much else, though a Buzzard was in a tree by the main road, nearby. (AH)

Tree-creeper (above) & Buzzard around Sidlesham Churchyard (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Most notable were Stonechats, with at least ten along the banks, and the Dartford Warbler briefly showed near the first viewpoint. There were four or five Redwings and at least a dozen Song Thrushes about, but other passerines were few, with just a couple of Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings and a couple of dozen Meadow Pipits and Skylarks to be seen.
The Common Sandpiper was still on the Stilt Pool, with a handful of Lapwings, but the only other waders seen were a couple of Curlew on the reserve, where a big Peregrine had a go at one of the 500+ Brent Geese present. There were also half a dozen Stock Doves about, and a few Wigeon and Teal. (AH/GT)
Also, a Marsh Harrier went over the Stilt Pool at 2.25pm this afternoon. (PLS)

Common Sandpiper (above), Stonechat, Skylark, Song Thrush & Wren at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - There were at least four Grey Wagtails with c30 Meadow Pipits and c200 Pied Wagtails around the sewage farm this morning, there were several Chiffchaffs and Song Thrushes in the hedges and c100 Lapwings were on the stubble fields. (AH)

Grey Wagtail at Porthole Farm (AH) 
West Itchenor & Pond: A nice morning to be out but not a whole lot to report....a couple of Redwings, half a dozen Goldcrests and a Jay around the pond, whilst the harbour area held 4 Snipe and the same of Rock Pipits on the saltings, a couple of hundred Brent Geese and two Red-breasted Mergansers. (OM)
Redwing at Itchenor pond (OM)
Chichester Marina: On the marsh there were 120 Teal huddled on the unfrozen back corner but nothing else bar a couple of Snipe. A Nuthatch appeared in Salterns Copse and showed well briefly - continuing to show that there is probably a very small population on the far west side of the Peninsula in suitable woodland whilst it remains very scarce elsewhere on our patch. In the channel there were 40+ Little Grebes and 9 Goldeneye plus about 250 Brent Geese. (OM)
 Nuthatch at Salterns Copse, Chichester Marina (OM)

Ivy Lake: The Long-tailed Duck and the Scaup were both still present, along with the Black Swan family and 30+ Shoveler, whilst there were half a dozen Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs among at least 50 Long-tailed Tits in the bushes. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (above), Scaup & Goldcrests at Ivy Lake (AH)

North Wall: A bright, brisk morning along the Wall. On White's Creek there was a Spotted Redshank along with 40 of its common cousins, whilst Breech Pool was largely frozen over and only contained Mallard, Teal, Wigeon and 56 Black-tailed Godwits. Along Pagham Rife there were 460 Wigeon, ironically, in a field full of bird scaring devices. On Honer reservoir were 17 Tufted Ducks, 6 Gadwall, 32 Coot, 8 Little Grebe and a Grey Wagtail and a Little Owl near Bramber Farm. In the field north of Bremere bridge were 90 Curlew, and Lapwings were in a number of fields, with 380 north of Chalder Farm and 240 north of Marsh Farm. Coming back along the Wall 2 White-fronted Geese flew over heading north east. A large flock of Brent Geese appeared from the fields at Sefter Farm and dropped into Becket Barn reservoir before dispersing into the Harbour..... I estimated 1600 birds. (JDW).

(above) Mainly Black-tailed Godwits with Teal and Mallard on the Breech pool and (below) Sorry Jim you stumped me......Grey Wagtail???(JDW)

Wednesday, 4th January: Another bright, cold morning, with a brisk north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Despite the wind coming from the least promising quarter this morning there was a lot of activity, though much of it was well offshore. Between 8.30 and 10am there was a huge loose feeding flock, with very conservative counts of 600 Gannets, 250 Kittiwakes and masses of auks - at least 1250 moving east and 850 west (with those identified all Razorbills), first moving eastwards past the 'Mile Basket', then (presumably the same?) back west, before going east again and gradually dispersing. Beyond that it was fairly quiet, with a few Red-throated and Great Northern Divers about, and a couple of Sanderling on the beach again. Full log below.....
0830-1000hrs: (OM/AH/C&ME) NW3-4
Red-throated Diver - 7E
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Gannet - 600+ fishing/feeding os
Brent Goose - 2E
Shelduck - 1W
Common Scoter - 5E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 7W
Dunlin - c.250W
Grey Plover - 50W
Turnstone - 40W
Sanderling - 2 ob
Auk sp - 1250+ E & 850+ W
Kittiwake - c.250 os, gradually drifting E & W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W

Gannets (above), Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Mergansers & Common Scoters off the Bill (AH)

Selsey Coastguards: The loose flock of c.100 Common Scoter was still present, though no other oddities were found amongst them, but also present were a Great Northern Diver, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and 2 Red-throated Divers east. (OM/C&ME)
Ferry Pool: Not much on the pool this morning - just a Black-tailed Godwit, five Curlews, four Shoveler and four Lapwing, though there were 18 Black-tailed Godwits in the channel opposite and c250 Wigeon on the arable fields. (AH)

Shovelers (above) & Black-tailed Godwits around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was very little offshore, with just 20 or so distant Gannets and four Red-breasted Mergansers being the total, and the harbour seemed quiet on the low tide, though there were plenty of Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew and Grey Plover about, plus the regular Whimbrel.
There were also a couple of Jays about, and c500 Brent Geese came up and dropped back down behind the Severals. (AH)
A bit of info on the colour-flagged Knot seen in late Dec 2016 in the harbour.... seems it was ringed in NE Iceland in May 2011 or May 2014 (details imprecise as full details of flag not obtained) ...though not too many have appeared on the south coast. (per PH)

Later an excellent selection of reports from this afternoon's high tide.....
a large feeding flock of 300+ Gannets and gulls with a supporting cast on the sea on 34 Slavonian Grebes, 6 or so Great Crested Grebes, a Red-necked Grebe, 12 Common Scoter, 3 Kittiwakes,  20+ Razorbills, a female Eider and a Great Skua heading east. (IL)

Whimbrel (above) Jay, Grey Herons & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs - Ivy Lake complex: I spent a long time at Ivy Lake today but had little luck, the Scaup being the only bird of real interest. There were c30 Shoveler, 22 Pochard, 28 Greylag Geese, c25 Canada Geese, 8 Gadwall, a Common Gull and 2 Chiffchaffs but no sign of yesterday's Long-tailed Duck or Bittern. Most of the action was happening around Copse Lake where an unfortunate Black-headed Gull had become entangled in fishing line then entangled in an overhanging tree and was caught by one wing. The RSPCA were called and performed an excellent rescue - the bird being taken to Brent Lodge. (SR) 

Rescue of entangled Black-headed Gull at Copse Lake (SR)


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