Saturday, 23 December 2017

23rd - 25th December 2017

Christmas Day, Monday, 25th December: A very blustery, grey day, with a surprisingly chilly southerly blowing.....

A Very Happy Christmas to everyone!

Selsey Bill: There were 600+ Gannets going west this morning, with a steady stream of auks - mainly Razorbills - and a few Kittiwakes. Full log below. (SH/SR/AH)
Red-throated diver - 2W
Gannet - 664W
Brent Goose - 3E
Red-breasted Merganser - 6W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 1E, 17W (including two badly oiled birds)
Razorbill - 22W
auk sp - 299W

Gannet (above) & Kittiwake at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There was an Avocet on the pool, along with a Redshank, three Curlews, four Shelduck and c60 Teal, with eight Shoveler and 80 Wigeon in the creek in the field and eight Canada Geese and c200 Lapwing on the field. Also there was a big flock of Blue and Long-tailed Tits, including a couple of Goldcrests by the Visitor Centre. (AH)

Avocet (above), Shovelers & Long-tailed Tit around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were 40+ Gannets offshore, plus a Mediterranean Gull and two Great Crested Grebes, whilst in the harbour there were at least 1000 Brent Geese, along with plenty of Knot and Dunlin and a few Grey Plovers, Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck, but not too much else. (AH)

Brent Geese (above) & Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

Later on a Spotted Redshank was near the metalwork and a Spoonbill was on the far side of the harbour. Offshore there was a bit of westward movement, including a Bonxie, a Red-throated Diver, six Kittiwakes and 30+ Gannets. (S&SaH) 

There were lots more Gannets moving this afternoon. (AW)

Gannets past Church Norton (AW)

East Head: Three Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore from the north end along with a couple of Great Crested Grebes, there were a few Meadow Pipits and Skylarks along the saltmarsh and three Stonechats were in the dunes. (BI)

Chichester Gravel Pits: Ivy Lake - The Black Swan family was about but I could only see two cygnets so they might have lost one.  Most birds were keeping tucked away out of the wind but I managed to log 10 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Gadwall, 3 Canada Geese, c40 Tufted Ducks, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 2 flocks of Long-tailed Tits and a Chiffchaff.  Deep Lake - 7 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler and 3 Tufted Ducks.  New Lake - 85 Shoveler, 53 Pochard, 6 Gadwall, 7 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, 24 Cormorants, 8 Mallard, a Chiffchaff and a flock of 11 Long-tailed Tits. (SR)

Shoveler at Chichester Gravel Pits (SR)

Sunday, 24th December: Another grey and damp, drizzly day, although still mild, with a fresh WSW wind.....

The editorial team (sounds a bit posh for us) would like to wish all contributors and visitors to this site a very Happy Christmas and a bird-filled New Year, and we hope you will continue to find our blog of interest in the future.

Wishing you all the compliments of the season,
Owen, Andy and Bart                             

and just in case you don't know the 'editorial team' by now (!) here's our pic's......... 
Owen (top), Andy (centre) and Bart (lower) 

Selsey Bill: There were over 600 Gannets heading west this morning, and there were still plenty of auks about, plus a few Red-throated Divers and Kittiwakes. Sadly the first oiled birds were seen, with an oiled Guillemot past the Bill and another on the beach at East Beach. Full log below.......
0745-0930hrs:  (JA/SH/PB/SR/AH/CN)
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 4W
Great Northern Diver - 4os
diver sp - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 2E, 1W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Shag - 2os
Gannet - 23E,637W, 20os
Brent Goose - 16W
Sparrowhawk - 1 (over Lifeboat pub!)
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 8W
Guillemot - 5W, 1os
Razorbill - 23W, 1os
auk sp - 22E, 82W
Great Skua - 1os
Kittiwake - 3E, 14W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Also, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest in the Broadreeds ornamental garden.

Razorbill (above), Guillemot, Gannets, Brent Geese, Red-breasted Mergansers & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Selsey East beach: Six Pintail flew W along the beach (SH)

Sadly the recent oil spill in the Solent is now making itself known. The RSPCA tell me they've been trying to catch several oiled birds, all Guillemots, along the Selsey coast. They say the situation is being monitored and another charity is also looking out for oiled birds. I came across one this morning on the beach, it defended itself well against the crows and gradually moved up the beach as the tide came in. I stayed with it until a member of the RSPCA showed up with a long-handled net but despite her best efforts, the Guillemot flew off across the sea and she expects to be called out to it again tomorrow. 
Also, a Red-throated Diver was on the sea and one flew west, one Brent Goose flew west, 8 Gannets headed west, another Guillemot was on the sea, a Grey Seal was close in and a Stonechat was on Lifeboat Green. (SR)

The inevitable consequence of being careless at sea; a Guillemot at Selsey East beach suffering the effects of the recent oil-spill (SR)

Stonechat on Lifeboat Green (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were just 25 Teal and c150 Lapwing on the pool, with eight Curlews on the adjacent arable field. (AH)

Curlew at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Three Velvet Scoters flew west offshore this morning, as did half a dozen Gannets, but the only birds on the sea were two Great Northern Divers. At least one Bar-tailed Godwit and c150 Knot were among the waders in the harbour, whilst a few Pintail were in the main channel and c500 Brent Geese dropped in.
Three Chiffchaffs - the first reported here for some weeks - were along the sheltered hedges, as were a brief male Bullfinch, c50 Goldfinches and several Goldcrests. (AH/CN)
Later there were 800+ Lapwings and 200+ Golden Plover over the harbour. A Peregrine was present, a Red-breasted Merganser was in the harbour and a Stonechat was on the spit, whilst at the Several were a Cetti's Warbler and a Water Rail. (SH)

Great Northern Diver (above), Velvet Scoters, Chiffchaff & Dunlins at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham Spit/Lagoon: Not a great deal on offer this morning but there were two redhead Goosanders offshore, a rather distant Slavonian Grebe and 130+ Great Black-backed Gulls in the harbour. The Lagoon was also quiet with just a few Little Grebes & Tufted Ducks to note. (BI)

Mapsons Lane, Sidlesham: A flock of c60 Redwings was in the paddocks at the west end of Mapsons Lane this afternoon, and I also inadvertently flushed two Woodcock from the adjoining wet hedgerow. (AH)

Redwings at Mapsons Lane, Sidlesham (AH)

Saturday, 23rd December: A fairly mild but dank and overcast day, with some dampness in the air and just a light westerly breeze.......

As we approach Christmas, a bit of unwelcome news has been brought to our attention concerning an oil spill off the Isle of Wight. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is reporting a recent pollution incident off the east coast of the island (i.e. near the Nab) apparently caused when two ships were re-fuelling at sea (what!!). The situation is being monitored and as yet no large-scale concerns have been raised, but time will tell and we understand several oiled gulls have already been located, whilst fishermen have also reported some pollution. So, be aware and eyes down along the beaches.......! (Eds)

Selsey Bill: There was a big feeding flock of 200+ Gannets drifting eastwards along the Mile Basket line, and a Bonxie dropped in amongst them a couple of times. There were also a few Red-throated Divers and Common Scoters moving about, along with a Velvet Scoter, and an Eider, a Guillemot and one or two Razorbills were on the sea. Full log below...
0745-0930hrs: (SH/PB/AB/JA/AH/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 15E, 14W, 2os
diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 3E
Gannet - 230os
Shag - 2E
Common Scoter - 4E, 2W
Velvet Scoter - 1E
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 1W, 6os
Bonxie - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 1W, 1os
auk sp - 5W
Common Seal - 1os

Guillemot (above), Eider & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a Stonechat, a Chiffchaff and a Grey Wagtail around the farm, with a Redwing, a Green and a Great Spotted Woodpecker nearby on the northern edge of the village. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: There were just eight Shoveler and c50+ Teal on the pool, whilst in the channel opposite there were a few more Teal, a pair of Little Grebes and 20+ Redshank. (AH/PB/AH)

Little Grebe (above) & Teal in Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: The big feeding flock of Gannets had moved round to Church Norton by late morning, with at least 200 birds present again, whilst a Velvet Scoter went east  with two Common Scoters, and another of the latter and a Slavonian Grebe went west offshore.
In the harbour there were three or four Bar-tailed Godwits, the Whimbrel, a Red-breasted Merganser, 50+ Knot and 500+ Brent Geese that departed west in a succession of small flocks. There was not much in the hedges, though a Bullfinch was heard, and there was also Reed Bunting, a couple of Jays and a couple of Goldcrests. (AH/PB/AB)
A bit later on there were a Peregrine and a Buzzard over the harbour, a Kingfisher and a Stonechat along the Severals, 100+ Golden Plover up at the back with 500+ Lapwing and an Eider on the sea & shore, as well as two Slavonian Grebes, and the large Gannet flock was still feeding well offshore. The female Goosander was also showing well opposite Pagham Spit. (S&SaH/BI)

Whimbrel with its lunch (above), Velvet and Common Scoters, Gannets, Brent Geese & Goldcrest at Church Norton (AH)

Eider on the shore & Goosander at Church Norton (BI)

A quick walk along the spit this afternoon found the big flock of Gannets drifting east towards the mouth of the harbour, with the flock including a number of juveniles. The Guillemot was still just off-shore, as were two Slavonian Grebes, the single Eider and a Common Scoter. (AW)

Common Scoter (above), Common Scoter and Eider, Guillemot & Gannets at Church Norton (AW)

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