Saturday, 4 February 2017

4th - 6th February 2017

Monday, 6th FebruaryAfter a sharp frost, a very pleasant, still and bright sunny morning before clouding up later on and with the wind increasing....

Selsey Bill: Best bird of the morning was a Glaucous Gull (1st-winter) that drifted in fairly close from the west at 9.12am, before circling around and heading back out to sea in an easterly direction.
There was very little moving, beyond a few Red-throated Divers, but early on there was another huge movement of auks, coming in from the east and settling among the large feeding flocks of Gannets. A conservative count was 500 Razorbill and 1500 auk sp (with 700 counted in one five minute spell), and at least 500 Gannets. Full log below....
0800-1000hrs: (AH/OM)
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 11W
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 500+ os
Shag - 1E
Common Scoter - 8E, 12os
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Razorbill - c.500 os
auk sp - c.1500 os
Kittiwake - 5 os
Mediterranean Gull - 1 os
Glaucous Gull - 1E (1st-w)
Rock Pipit - 1ob

(above) Glaucous Gull off the Bill (AH). The bird was heading out and gaining distance before any record shots were possible; overall it looks a little deceptively pale here in bright sun, but in the field clearly showed the dark-tipped pinkish bill and darkish-biscuit upperparts of a 1st-winter.   
Razorbills, Razorbills and Gannets, Shag, Common Scoters, Red-throated Diver & Fulmar chased by Herring Gulls at the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: There was a Great Northern Diver offshore, two Red-throated Divers went east and five west, but the Common Scoter flock (of c50 birds) was a long way out. (BI)
North Wall: Two Bearded Tits were seen along the edge of the reeds at the Breech Pool early on (per PC) before they then disappeared deeper into the reedbed. They had not re-appeared by around 1300hrs.....
Bart Ives not seeing the Bearded Tits at the North Wall this morning..... for those that don't know him, Bart is our deputy blog editor. (OM) 

Church Norton: There was very little offshore this morning, with just a few Gannets and Razorbill well offshore, among a huge large gull flock, and a dozen Common Scoters were a little closer inshore. Along the beach there were eight Mediterranean Gulls, and in the harbour there were a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and Goldeneye, one Peregrine plus half a dozen Little Grebes and the usual waders. (AH/BI)

Mediterranean Gulls (above) & Red-breasted Merganser at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Marsh Harrier went over the Stilt Pool at 12.50, upsetting everything on it. Also a Green Sandpiper was near the sluice by the poplars. (PLS)

East side - Breach viewpoint: Much disturbance here and restricted access to the beach (for the next couple of months) due to the ongoing sea defence works at 'Toe End.' As a result small birds in the area were almost non-existent, save for a couple of Skylarks. Inside the reserve were 3 Red-breasted Mergansers and a pair of Gadwall, and a handful of Curlew but little else of note....thus I didn't stay long! (OM)

Ivy Lake: The Long-tailed Duck was still on Ivy Lake this morning, with two Little Egret and a pair of Bullfinches nearby, and on New Lake there were 47 Shoveler. (CRJ)

Sunday, 5th February: Generally cloudy and grey, and feeling cooler with a fresh NE wind.....

Selsey Bill: Once again there were masses of birds off the Bill, with another possible 'day-record' - this time for Razorbills, with around 1700 birds offshore, many heading east early on before returning west, with many settling on the sea There was also a few Guillemots with them, over 20 Slavonian Grebes going east, another respectable movement of Red-throated Divers, lots of Gannets and Kittiwakes, the first-winter Little Gull again, and a couple of Fulmars. Full log below. (PB/JA/SH/IP/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 40E, 25W, 11os
diver sp - 3W
Slavonian Grebe - 22E, 6os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 1W, 2os
Fulmar - 1E, 3W
Gannet - 370os
Shelduck - 3W
Wigeon - 2os
Pintail - 1os

Common Scoter - 7E, 35os
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 3W, 10os
Little Gull - 1W (1st winter)
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 2W
Common Gull - 64E
Kittiwake - 61E, 40os
Razorbill - 1700 os
Guillemot - 40 os
auk sp - 791E,130W
Rock pipit  - 1p

(1400-1530hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 4W, 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 18os
Wigeon - 3os
Red-breasted Merganser -  4W 2os

Common - Gull - 1E
Razorbill - 4os
Guillemot - 1E
auk sp - 7E, 7W

Red-throated Divers (above), Fulmars, Razorbills & Little Gull at the Bill (AH)

Coastguard Station: About 40 Common Scoters were well offshore this morning, with just a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers closer in. (AH)

Red-breasted Mergansers off the Coastguard Station (AH)

Selsey East Beach: A flock of 63 Brent Geese headed NW this morning (over the observer's garden!) (SR)

Park Farm, Selsey: The three Stonechats were present again today. (S&SaH/IP)

Church Norton: There was lots offshore here again, too, with at least half a dozen Red-throated Divers on the sea and similar going west, at least 200 Razorbills constantly going east and west as they came off the sea, up to ten Common Scoters and Red-breasted Mergansers, six Great Crested Grebes, a couple of Kittiwakes and at least 50 distant feeding Gannets.
The very obliging pair of Ravens settled briefly on the spit, a few Common and Mediterranean Gulls were along the beach with lots of Grery Plover and Dunlin, plus a few Knot, and in the harbour there were the two Peregrines, two Goldeneye, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Bar-tailed Godwit among the commoner stuff.
Also, at least 500 Brent Geese came off the fields at Greenlease Farm to settle in the harbour, and around the vast Lapwing flock - probably over 1500 birds - came up several times, with one or two Golden Plover among them. (AH/IP/S&SaH)

Ravens (above), Mediterranean Gull & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Grey Wagtail dropped in briefly, and the Green Sandpiper and two Black-tailed Godwits were again present, along with six Curlews and c20 Teal. Also, there were ten Shoveler among c200 Wigeon in the creek on Ferry Field. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above), Shoveler & Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: Quiet in general with just five Red-breasted Mergansers, a drake Common Pochard and a handful of Tufted Ducks, Little Grebes & Great Crested Grebes present along with c.40 Black-headed Gulls and a few Herring Gulls. In the fields along Pagham Road there were 40 Great Black-backed Gulls and 20 Curlews. (BI)

Saturday, 4th February: After a very wet and gloomy start, the morning progressed into fairly bright sunshine and light winds....

Selsey Bill: Another busy day at the Bill, with a Puffin recorded among the Razorbills, a Little Gull,  four Velvet Scoters and a potential day-record of 191 Red-throated Divers heading east. Full log below.....

(0720-1030hrs) (JA/SH/PB/AB)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Red-throated Diver - 191E, 1W, 4osdiver - 1E, 3W
Slavonian Grebe - 4os
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 219E, 36W, 22os
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 14WWigeon - 4E
Common Scoter - 9E, 1W
Velvet Scoter - 4E
Little Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 3E, 2os
Common Gull - 89E
Kittiwake - 35E
Puffin - 1W (at 10.25am)
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 25E, 20os
auk sp - 709E, 95W

Also 1245-1445hrs: (C&ME)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 2W
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 5os
Diver sp - 2E 
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 150 os fishing
Shag - 1W
Common Scoter - 1W, 4os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 5os
Grey Plover - 8E
Razorbill - 3E, 7W
auk sp - 174E
Kittiwake - 6W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 3W                    
Park Farm, Selsey: There was a Grey Wagtail and four Stonechats present this morning. (IP/S&SaH)

Church Norton: The tail-end of the Red-throated Diver passage at Selsey was apparent around 10am, with at least 50 birds seen going west in a short time, with a further half a dozen birds recorded going in east and west thereafter, and at least another half a dozen were on the sea. Also offshore were 20+ Razorbills, up to 20 Common Scoter, up to five Slavonian Grebes, a dozen Great Crested Grebes, half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers and Mediterranean Gulls, and a very distant flock of at least feeding 100 Gannets.
The first Cetti's Warbler of the year was heard on the Severals, four Ravens went over the harbour, the Whimbrel was in its usual spot, and there were two Goldeneye and eight Red-breasted Mergansers near the harbour mouth, plus at least a dozen Skylarks on the spit, and large numbers of Dunlin, Grey and Ringed Plovers were being dispersed by the two Peregrines. (AH/IP/S&SaH/PB/AB)
Also there was a Yellow-legged Gull and ten Bar-tailed Godwits seen off the end of the spit. (IL)
Also, earlier on, and in addition to the above, a Great Northern Diver and four Goldeneye went east and two Velvet Scoters flew in from the west and landed on the sea. (NB)

Peregrine (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, Skylark, Dunlin & Green Woodpecker at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: On the pool there was just a couple of dozen Teal, two Black-tailed Godwits and a few Lapwing, plus the regular 2-300 Wigeon on the arable fields,  though a huge flock of up to 1000 birds milled around over the Visitor Centre for quite a long time before some dropped back into the harbour and others settled on Ferry Field. (AH)
Also, early on, the Green Sandpiper was at the back again. (NB)

Wigeon (above) & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Two Ravens went over early on, and there were c30 Avocets at the end of Ferry Channel. Also, the huge flock of Lapwings went over, with at least 250 Golden Plover among them, before the latter all headed off westwards. (AH)

Raven (above) & Avocets at Ferry Channel (AH)

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: In a brief visit this afternoon there was nothing unusual, though there were still good numbers of wildfowl present including 100+ Shovelers and 60+ Pochards. Twenty Snipe were around the damp grassy areas and amongst other species logged were two Buzzards, two Jays, a Water Rail, two Green Woodpeckers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. (OM) 

 Buzzards over Drayton pits (OM)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - Two Mistle Thrushes flying over the farm were unusual, but otherwise it was quite quiet this afternoon, with the only other passerines present being a pair of Stonechats and two or three Meadow Pipits. There were also four Tufted Ducks on the ponds, and a few Golden Plover among the Lapwings towards the Breach. (AH/IP)

Stonechat (above) & Meadow Pipit at Medmerry (AH)

Snowhill Creek: There were seven Red-breasted Mergansers offshore this evening. (MR)

Red-breasted Mergansers off Snowhill Creek (MR)

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