Thursday, 14 December 2017

14th - 16th December 2017

Saturday, 16th DecemberA cold, but bright and sunny morning, with a fairly light westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: It was another morning with a reasonable movement of Red-throated Divers - 85 west in total - and several other bits of interest, all going west, including two Long-tailed Ducks (oddly, both were in the company of two Common Scoters, about fifteen minutes apart), two Black-throated Divers and two Velvet Scoters. Full log below.......
0730-1000hrs: (SH/PB/IP/AH/MJ)
Red-throated Diver - 8E, 85W, 1os
Black-throated Diver - 2W
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 1os
diver sp - 1E
Gannet - 9E, 49W, 50os
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 2E, 3W
Common Scoter - 2E, 45W
Velvet Scoter - 2W
Long-tailed Duck - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 16E, 15W, 6os
Pintail - 1E, 7W
Lapwing - 1ob, flew off N
Razorbill - 1W, 1os
auk sp - 14W
Kittiwake - 4E, 5W
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Common Gull - 5W
Siskin - 1p, then flew N

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

Park Farm, Selsey: About a dozen Curlews and a few Oystercatchers were on the fields, with three Stonechats and a couple of Song Thrushes about, too. (AH/IP)

Curlew at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were five Snipe in the reeds this morning, five Redshank, three Shelduck and 40 Teal on the pool and c200 Lapwing and c300 Wigeon, plus eight Canada Geese and a Mediterranean Gull on the field. (AH)

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

Church Norton: The Velvet Scoter and a redhead Goosander were in the harbour this morning, along with c50 Pintail, and both Peregrines were sat on their island. A couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and the Whimbrel were among the many commoner waders present and around 20 Skylarks were on the spit with similar out on one of the islands in the harbour.
Four Slavonian Grebes were offshore from the spit, with another off Park Lane, where there was also a Great Northern Diver on the sea and a Mediterranean Gull nearby, whilst further out a Red-throated Diver went east and another west and at least 20 Gannets were lingering a long way out. (AH/IP/BI)
Later, a Fieldfare was at Greenlease Farm, six Avocets were in the harbour and a Water Rail and two Shoveler were at the Severals. (SH)

Goosander (above), Mediterranean Gull, Turnstones & Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Itchenor Pond / area: The pond and surrounds were exceptionally quiet today with nothing other than a couple of Goldcrests, three Redwings and a Great Spotted Woodpecker even worthy of mention, whilst the stubble fields behind produced at least six Yellowhammers, several more Goldcrests and a flock of 40 Pied Wagtails. (OM)

Chichester Marina: The channel was also disappointingly quiet on the high tide, with just a dozen Great Crested and 34 Little Grebes, but no sea-ducks at all that I could see. A few Brent Geese were dotted about, whilst on the opposite shore of the channel a good number of duck were roosting at distance, but nothing of any note. A Bullfinch, a couple of Goldcrests and a Great Crested Grebe rounded off a fairly birdless morning! (OM)

Medmerry: Porthole and Ham Farms - The Barn Owl was out and hunting at dusk at Porthole Farm - the first sighting for several weeks, whilst in the tidal area near Ham there was a Spotted Redshank, half a dozen Redshank, c50 Shelduck and c40 Lapwing. (AH)

Friday, 15th DecemberAfter a very grey start, a reasonably sunny morning, but with a biting and very brisk northerly making it very cold....

It has been brought to our attention that the latest Sussex Bird Report highlights the outstanding amount of effort put in at the Bill by the regular sea-watchers last year. Whilst not wishing to blow our own trumpet, we cannot let this go without a mention - and indeed a big vote of thanks - so would like to say well done to everyone who has contributed to the team effort. The below table shows the hours watched at each of five Sussex coastal watchpoints throughout 2016. Whilst Selsey may not be the best viewpoint along the South Coast, the hours put in by the regulars is truly remarkable, allowing an accurate picture of what passes along our coastline to be established. We continue to be most grateful to our official Log-keeper Justin Atkinson, and in due course hope to see the same level of effort (or more!) has been recorded through 2017 and on into 2018. Well done to all! (Eds)

Selsey Bill6635142206208675265918690621171
Telscombe Cliffs182137582517241714242334311
Splash Point821661750020053170
Beachy Head4472135100000037
Monthly breakdown of sea-watching hours logged in 2016 at five Sussex coastal sites (from Sussex Bird Report 2016, no. 69, published by Sussex Ornithological Society).  (Eds)

Selsey Bill: There was a reasonable amount of movement this morning, especially of divers, with 64 Red-throated and two Black-throated Divers west. Full log below. (AH)
Red-throated Diver - 64W
Black-throated Diver - 2W
Great Northern Diver - 3E, 1W, 2os
diver sp - 5W
Great Crested Grebe - 6W
Gannet - 12E, 34W, c40os
Common Scoter - 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 7W, 4os
Mediterranean Gull - 2W, 4os
Common Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 6E, 14W
Razorbill - 22W, 3os
auk sp - 40W

Red-throated Divers (above), Great Northern Divers & Mediterranean Gulls at the Bill (AH)

Medmerry: West side -
There were still two Dartford Warblers in the gorse near Marsh Barn, and there were also 100 Skylarks and 50 Yellowhammers in the usual stubble fields there, with 300 Linnets on the bird cover crop. Also, a Peregrine and Short-eared Owl were at Ham, near the sea wall and 60 Stock Doves were on the bird cover crops. (BO'D et al)

Ferry Pool: This morning there were five Shoveler, six Shelducks, six Redshank and c80 Teal and c200 Lapwing on the pool and c200 Wigeon on the fields at the back. (AH)

Lapwings (above) & Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was not much to report on a full tide and the wind whipping across the harbour! The Whimbrel was still present, though, plenty of Dunlin, Knot and Grey Plover were on the metalwork, c30 Shelduck were out in the middle, the two Peregrines were on their island and a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. (AH)

Whmbrel (above), Teal & Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 14th December: A cold and fairly bright morning, with a strong westerly breeze...

Selsey Bill: Mostly the usual local movement, including a Slavonian Grebe, one or two Red-throated Divers and a few Kittiwakes and Gannets, mostly well offshore. Full log below.....
0745-1115hrs:  (OM/AH/BFF/DM)
Red-throated Diver - 3W
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 6W
Gannet - 9E, 16W
Brent Goose - 9E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9 os (back and forth!)
Razorbill - 1E, 1W
auk sp - 15W
Kittiwake - 1E, 26W, 20+ os
Common Gull - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W, 5 os
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Red-throated Diver (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Shoveler, eight Shelducks, three Redshank and c60 Teal on the pool, c300 Lapwing, ten Curlews and a Greylag Goose with c25 Canada Geese on the field and c300 Wigeon on the adjacent arable fields. (AH)

Shoveler (above), Lapwings & Greylag and Canada Geese at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Spoonbill was roosting on Tern Island and the Velvet Scoter and a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers were in the harbour, but it was quiet on the high tide, with most waders apparently roosting elsewhere.
Fifteen Brent Goose flew in from offshore and half a dozen Common Gulls and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls were along the beach, but there was nothing on the sea. Also, a Firecrest and a couple of Goldcrests were along the sheltered hedges near the hide. (AH/IH)

Firecrest (above),  Goldcrest, Spoonbill, Common Gull, Brent Geese & Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

Chi Marina & Birdham Pool: Quiet around the Marina in a fairly brief look, although the long-staying female Black Swan was very obvious along the canal after a brief absence. Birdham Pool held the usual dozen or so Tufted Ducks and several Little Grebes, but two male Mandarins were on the far side, displaying briefly to at least one hard-to-see female, a Cetti's Warbler called and a Grey Wagtail dropped in briefly at the recently-thinned far end, watched by an interested Kestrel. (OM)

 Black Swan on the Marina Canal and Kestrel near Birdham Pool (OM)

 Selsey: There were two Black Redstarts around the Barnes Close area today. (S.Bell)

Black Redstart in Selsey (S.Bell)

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