Tuesday, 28 November 2017

28th - 30th November 2017

Thursday, 30th November: Despite the more or less unbroken sunshine it was a bitingly cold morning in the fresh northerly breeze.....

Selsey East Beach: I was unable to find the Snow Bunting this morning. A Teal had joined the usual Mallards at the pool, there were two Pied Wagtails and 33 Turnstones on the beach but it was otherwise very quiet. (SR)

Teal on East Beach Pond (SR)

Medmerry: Toe End - There were two Sandwich Terns offshore this morning. (SH)

Ferry Pool: The main pool was still frozen and birdless by late morning, though a couple of Snipe were on the concealed pool and c200 Wigeon and c40 Lapwing were on the field. (AH)

Snipe on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There was not much along the pool beyond half a dozen Reed Buntings and a couple of Song Thrushes, plus a couple of Skylarks over, though there were plenty of birds roosting at the end of Ferry Channel, including c40 Avocets, three Shovelers, a dozen Pintail and lots of Wigeon, Teal, Dunlin, Grey Plovers and Redshanks. (AH)

Avocets (above), Pintail, Teal & Reed Bunting around the Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: The Velvet Scoter was still in the harbour this morning, along with a few Little and Great Crested Grebes, whilst offshore there was another half a dozen of the latter, plus a Slavonian Grebe and two Red-breasted Mergansers, and a group of a dozen or so Common Scoters dropped in off the sea a long way out.
The Whimbrel was in its usual haunt, whilst there were a couple of Golden Plovers among c40 Lapwings on Rectory Lane, whilst a female Bullfinch and a couple of Goldcrests were near the hide and a pair of Stonechats were by the concrete wall. (AH/TB/NR)

Bullfinch (above), Velvet Scoter, Slavonian Grebe, Whimbrel, Stonechat, Golden Plovers, Brent Geese & Turnstone at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester GPs: Drayton Pits - Despite the hard frost most of the water was unfrozen, allowing a good check of the pits in sunny conditions. The highlight was a Jack Snipe, and there were also 12 Common Snipe, whilst a total of 105 Shoveler indicated a bit of a cold weather influx, but otherwise there was nothing unusual. Wildfowl included 55 Gadwall, 30 Teal and a reduction of Pochard numbers to 20, plus 280 Coots, 5 Great Crested and 10 Little Grebes. The trees and hedgerows held 4 Chiffchaffs, half a dozen Goldcrests, 20 Long-tailed Tits and a Bullfinch, and at least 3 Cetti's Warblers along the margins. Five Green Woodpeckers, 2 Buzzards, 2 squealing Water Rails and a Jay were also logged. (OM)

Shovelers at Drayton pits (OM)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake complex - It would seem that the Drayton Pochards were at this site, today, with c60 on New Lake, along with at least 50 Shovelers and 30 Tufted Ducks, and another 20 or so on Ivy Lake, plus a handful of Gadwall and Shovelers, with 40 Greylag Geese on Copse Lake.
Also there were at least ten Chiffchaffs among a big and fast-moving flock of Blue and Long-tailed Tits. (AH)

Shoveler (above), Pochard, Greylag Geese & Chiffchaff around Ivy Lake (AH)

Wednesday, 29th November: Another bright and brisk morning, with the cold north-westerly breeze persisting....

Selsey Bill: Half an hour of watching from 7.40am produced just two Slavonian Grebes east and a Gannet and an 'auk sp' west. (AH)

East Beach The Snow Bunting had moved slightly east this morning, it was initially along the sea wall at Lifeboat Green but was very restless and flew around the green, disappearing into Fraser Close on the opposite side of the Kingsway.  There was also a Stonechat on the green and another on Selsey Common. (SR)
The Snow Bunting  was back on the path west of the Lifeboat station this afternoon, and two Red-throated Divers went west offshore. (AB)

Snow Bunting at East Beach (SR)

Coastguard Station to the Windmill: There was nothing at all offshore, but a Rock Pipit was along the undercliff and a Chiffchaff and a pair of Stonechats were by the Go-kart track. (AH)

Rock Pipit (above) & Stonechat around the Coastguard Station (AH)

Medmerry: Toe End - The Spoonbill was still in the pool near the breach, and offshore there were 30+ Common Scoters, an Eider, a Red-breasted Merganser and a Sandwich Tern. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were just a single Redshank and 20 Teal on the pool, with c200 Wigeon on the adjacent arable field. (AH)

Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Goosander was near the harbour mouth this morning, where there were also six Red-breasted Mergansers, and a pair of Goldeneye were viewable on the far side of the harbour, but there was nothing offshore except half a dozen Great Crested Grebes.
The Velvet Scoter was still in the main channel and at least 1500 Brent Geese dropped into the harbour, but there wasn't too much else beyond the commoner waders.
Small birds were scarce, though a pair of Bullfinches were by the concrete wall and a handful of Skylarks, plus the big Linnet and Greenfinch flock, were along the spit. (AH)

Goosander (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, Bullfinch, Grey Plover & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A fairly brief visit this morning in chilly conditions. The Breech Pool water level was still suitable for waders and the two Ruff were still present - though inactive whilst I was there - plus c.80 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Snipe, a Water Rail and 50 Teal. A Chiffchaff and several Goldcrests were along the hedges, a couple of Cetti's Warblers were calling and a distant flock of approaching 1000 Brent Geese took flight over the back fields before settling again. (OM)

Two Ruff and a Common Snipe (rear) with Black-tailed Godwits (foreground) at the Breech Pool (OM)

Tuesday, 28th November: A return, this morning, to cold and bright conditions and a moderate north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A typically obliging Snow Bunting turned up this morning along the busy path at the top of the beach, about 200m west of the Lifeboat Station, feeding unconcernedly just feet from passers-by and their dogs. (MJ et al)

Snow Bunting at Selsey Bill (top four AH, lower OM)

The Snow Bunting was still showing very well till sunset, immediately west of the lifeboat station. (J-PC)

Snow Bunting at Selsey Bill (J-PC)

Medmerry: Toe End -  We were stood at the eastern Medmerry viewpoint (West Sands holiday site) watching a Spoonbill feeding at around 11am, when three Great White Egrets flew towards us very close, then out towards the sea!  (HR/DM)

There was no sign of the Glossy Ibis again, but a Spoonbill was near the breach, whilst offshore were an Eider, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe. (SH)
Also two Dartford Warblers were in the gorse and a possible ring-tailed Hen Harrier was seen. (BO'D)

Ferry Pool: There were five Shoveler, 25 Teal and a Redshank on the pool, with up to 500 Lapwing and 200 Wigeon spread about the field. (AH)

North Wall: The water-level was ideal on the Breech Pool and there were plenty of birds on it this morning, including two Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, two Water Rails, up to a dozen Snipe, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and plenty of Teal and Mallard with one Pintail, whilst  along the wall there were half a dozen Reed Buntings and a couple of Meadow Pipits over. 
There were many hundreds of Brent Geese in White's Creek, along with 50 Wigeon, 50 Golden Plovers and 300 Lapwing, whilst a Kingfisher flew out from by the sluice. (AH/JDW)

Additionally, along Church Lane were at least 14 Blackbirds feeding on hawthorn berries and there were 52 Canada Geese on the grass surrounds to Church Barton reservoir. In the field to the west of the stables were 2 Stonechat and 3 Roe Deer. In Honer 2 field were 360 Brent Geese, 460 Wigeon,48 Black Tailed Godwits and 28 Curlew. (JDW)

Ruffs on the Breech Pool (above AH, lower two JDW)

 Spotted Redshank & Water Rail from the North Wall (AH)

East Side/ Lagoon and Spit: Out in the harbour there were ten Red-breasted Mergansers, 16 Great Crested Grebes and at least 200 Pintail, with a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits among the numerous Grey Plover and Dunlin.
The Lagoon held just four Pochard and 20 or so Tufted Ducks and Little Grebes, plus a few Wigeon, there were half a dozen Linnets and a couple of Skylarks on the spit, and a redhead Goosander was in one the channels running out from the harbour-mouth. (AH)

Goosander (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, Pochard, Wigeon & Linnets around Pagham Lagoon and Spit (AH)

East Head/Snowhill Marsh: A very cold morning birding around East Head; the usual stacks of Sanderling were along the western tide line, but not much was in the main channel beyond eight Great Crested Grebes. Off the northern end of the Head were a single Great Northern Diver and a Red-throated Diver, with 26 Red-breasted Mergansers and 5 Sandwich Terns, whilst in the dunes 4 Stonechats and 30 Linnets were present. In the bushes near Snowhill Marsh there were 2 Firecrests. (BFF/DM)

Saturday, 25 November 2017

25th - 27th November 2017

Monday, 27th November: A thoroughly miserable day, with persistent drizzle and the odd heavy shower driven on by a strong westerly wind......

Selsey Bill: The only things moving in 40 minutes from 7.35am were four Gannets west and the odd Cormorant and Herring Gull. (AH)

Selsey Coastguard Station: There was a flock of c75 Common Scoter offshore this morning. (SR)

Medmerry: Toe End - There was no sign of the Glossy Ibis all day today, though there were a Spoonbill and a Greenshank on the pools by the breach. (SH/TG-P)

Ferry Pool: There were at least four Snipe around the concealed pool, with c100 Teal, c150 Wigeon and c400 Lapwing, plus a Redshank and four Shelduck on the main pool. (AH)

Snipe on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Velvet Scoter was once again in the main channel, and there were eight Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour up towards the end of the spit. Out on the mud there were around 110 Knot - a big increase compared to recent counts, along with 500+ Dunlin and Brent Geese, plus at least 20 Shelduck.
A Firecrest and a handful of Goldcrests were around the sheltered hedges by the hide but, unsurprisingly, there was little else showing. (AH)

Firecrest (above), Velvet Scoter, Knot, Red-breasted Mergansers & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon a male Marsh Harrier was hunting over the Severals at 2.30pm. (AW)

Marsh Harrier at Church Norton (AW)

Sunday, 26th November: A repeat of yesterday's weather, with a very cold but sunny day, and a strong north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Another fairly quiet morning. Full log below, (SH/PB/IP/AH/SR)

Great Northern Diver - 1E, 2os
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 4W
Gannet - 2E, 32W
Common Scoter - 1W, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 3W
Mediteranean Gull - 3W
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 3E, 1W

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

Ferry Pool: There were just 30 Teal and a Shelduck on the pool, with c200 Lapwing and c100 Wigeon on the field. (AH)

Wigeon and Lapwings on Ferry Field (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Several Stonechats were on the fields, along with 20+ Curlews and a few Oystercatchers, plus a Pied Wagtail and a couple of Meadow Pipits, with a Buzzard and a Common Gull over. (AH/IP/S&SaH/PB)

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

Church Norton: The Velvet Scoter was still in the main channel in the harbour, with a pair of Goldeneye and half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers on the far side, whilst offshore there was at least one Slavonian Grebe and the three Eiders.
There were a dozen Avocets and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits among plenty of the commoner waders in the harbour, a Mediterranean Gull and three Mistle Thrushes at Greenlease Farm, and a Song Thrush and a couple of Jays along the Severals. (AH/IP/S&SaH/PB)

Mediterranean Gull (above) & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

West Wittering: A quiet but sunny morning over here, with good numbers of Brent Geese and common waders in the harbour between West Wittering and Itchenor. (GM)

Kestrel (above) & Brent Geese at West Wittering (GM)

Saturday, 25th November: A decidedly frosty, chilly morning in the brisk north-westerly breeze, becoming fine and dry with plenty of winter sun.....

Medmerry: Toe End - The Glossy Ibis was present early on before flying off, and there was also a Spoonbill on the pools by the breach. (SH/IP)

 Glossy Ibis at Medmerry Toe End (SH)

Ferry Pool: A dozen Shoveler were on the pool this morning, along with a couple of Redshank, a Shelduck, c50 Teal and c200 Lapwing, with c100 Wigeon on the field. (AH/IP)
Later on there was a Stonechat and a Red-legged Partridge in the field and a Buzzard over, whilst a Water Rail flew into the reeds then disappeared at Red Barn Ditch, seven Long-tailed Tits were in the bushes nearby and a Kestrel hovered above. (SR)

Shovelers and Teal (above) & Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A Spotted Redshank was in Ferry Channel early on and a dozen Avocets were at the far end, three Snipe and a couple of Meadow Pipits went over and seven Fieldfare were in trees along the west side before flying off. (AH/IP)

Fieldfares (above), Spotted Redshank & Avocets and Shelduck from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: The Velvet Scoter was in the main channel again, along with eight or nine Little and Great Crested Grebes and there were still at least 500 Brent Geese scattered about the harbour. A few Knot were among the many Dunlin and Grey Plovers, a Peregrine was near its island and offshore there were five Slavonian Grebes and a few Great Crested Grebes. The bushes were quiet, though a Bullfinch was near the Mound and a few Goldcrests were scattered about. (AH/AW)
Later on, as the tide rose, a Spoonbill was in the harbour, as was a Marsh Harrier, and the Whimbrel was back in its usual area. (AB)

Bullfinch (AW) (above), Velvet Scoter, Grey Plover & Brent Geese (AH) at Church Norton

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: A surprise highlight this morning in the form of a Hawfinch - though given the national influx perhaps not such a surprise - albeit the first of the influx on our patch! Initially calling/singing from treetops but remaining hidden, the bird suddenly flew, passing right in front of me before heading off high to the NE.
That apart it was standard fare on both pits, with totals of 40 Gadwall, 45 Pochard, 22 Shoveler, 24 Teal, 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, 4 Snipe, 3 Cetti's Warblers and 7 Chiffchaffs. (OM)

Itchenor Pond: Six Goldfinches, a Goldcrest, a Long-tailed Tit and a few Great & Blue Tits were present this morning. (BI)

East Head: A walk around the head & dunes produced a Stonechat, five Meadow Pipits and two small groups of Skylarks but it was generally quite quiet here. There were also c.1000 Brent Geese in the fields as well as 20 Lapwings. (BI)