Monday, 4 December 2017

4th - 6th December 2017

Wednesday, 6th December: A very gloomy day, with a freshening south-westerly wind and the odd spot of rain....

Selsey Bill: Similar to yesterday, with small numbers of a variety of species on the move. Full log below........
(0730-1000hrs)  (C&ME/AH/MJ) 
Great Northern Diver - 5E
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 9W
Gannet - 5E, 11W
Shag - 5E
Brent Goose - 1E, 9W
Common Scoter - 5E
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 2W, 4os
Kittiwake - 2E, 5W
Razorbill - 3W
auk sp - 1E, 1W
Pied Wagtail - 4N
Chiffchaff - 1p

Ferry Pool: There were just six Shovelers, three Redshank and a Shelduck on the pool, with c100 Wigeon on the field. (AH)

Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Less to report in the worsening conditions today, with no sign of the Snow Buntings and just a Great Northern Diver (plus another flying west), three Red-breasted Mergansers and two Great Crested Grebes offshore, though the two Goosanders were still in the harbour mouth and the Velvet Scoter was still in the main channel.
There wasn't too much else around, though there were half a dozen Skylarks and Meadow Pipits, plus a big flock of Greenfinches on the spit, a Bar-tailed Godwit among the commoner waders in the harbour and at least 500 Brent Geese out on the mud. (AH/PB)

Goosanders (above), Great Northern Diver & Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

This afternoon, at least one (and probably both) Snow Buntings were along the concrete blocks again and an adult Spoonbill was roosting on Tern Island. Also a Firecrest was in the sheltered hedges, the Whimbrel was in its usual spot and 30 Little Grebes and 11 Red-breasted Mergansers (of which nine were drakes) were in the harbour. (AB)

Snow Bunting at Church Norton (AB)

West Itchenor: In Chichester channel off West Itchenor at 12.00-12.30 today was a Black-necked Grebe, and much further out was Black-throated Diver. The diver was fishing constantly on the incoming tide between N&S Stakes islands and was hard work to see, spending sometimes only a few seconds on the surface between dives. There were also 6 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe in the area.
On the arable fields just next to the harbour was a huge flock of Brent Geese which I estimated at 2900. (PH)

Black-necked Grebe off Itchenor (PH)

North Wall: This afternoon a Marsh Harrier spooked all the birds from behind the Breech pool. On the pool were 60 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Ruff and a brief view of a Bearded Tit. Out in the harbour were 100 Golden Plover and much toing and froing from the Brent Geese, with at least 1500 present, whilst 9 Redwings flew over Owl Copse and a Water Rail was in the reeds there. (IL)

Tuesday, 5th December: The lull before the storm! A quiet morning of light breeze and leaden skies, and quite mild, too, before the westerly wind started to pick up....

Selsey Bill: Not too much was passing, though, as usual, a reasonable selection of species. Full log below....
(0730-1100hrs): (AH/C&ME/DF/JD/DS)
Red-throated Diver - 6E, 14W
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 3os
Diver sp - 4W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 5W, 2os
Gannet - 5E, 15W
Little Egret - 1W
Shag - 3E
Brent Goose - 7E, 2W
Common Scoter - 10E, 7W, 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 11os
Dunlin - 1W               
Turnstone - 32 ob
Razorbill - 3E, 5W, 6os         
auk sp - 15E, 4W
Pied Wagtail - 2W
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Common Scoters (above), Great Northern Diver & Razorbill off the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: This morning there were three Redshanks, a Black-tailed Godwit, eight Shoveler, c40 Teal and c80 Wigeon on the pool. (AH)

Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The two Snow Buntings were around the concrete slabs again this morning, and a female Bullfinch and a couple of Jays were around the Mound area.
Offshore the Black-throated Diver was present again, oddly keeping close company and feeding with a Great Northern Diver. There were at least another three of the latter on the sea, along with a Red-throated Diver, at least 22 Slavonian Grebes, a single female Eider and a dozen Great Crested Grebes, whilst the two redhead Goosanders were around the small offshore islet from the harbour mouth. Also, the Velvet Scoter was once again along the main channel in the harbour. (AH/IH/JD/DF/DS/BFF/DM et al)

Black-throated and Great Northern Divers (above), Goosanders, Velvet Scoter, Eider & Slavonian Grebes at Church Norton (AH)

Another view of Slavonian Grebes at Church Norton (DM)

Pagham Spit: The three Goldeneye and half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers were in the harbour, along with half a dozen Little Grebes and a Common Seal, with more Little Grebes on the Spit lagoon. (IL et al)

East Head: A Red-necked Grebe and a Black-throated Diver were offshore in the harbour, along with three Great Northern Divers, a Guillemot, a Slavonian Grebe and seven Sandwich Terns. (BFF/DM)

North Wall:  Late news from Friday (1st Dec), when a Bittern was seen and filmed feeding along Bremere Rife, several hundred metres inland from the North Wall. (IL)

Today, the pair of Stonechats were still at Welbourne stables, along with a Mistle Thrush and there were over a 1000 Brent Geese along White's Creek. 
On the Breech Pool there were 78 Black-tailed Godwits, seven Common Snipe and a Spotted Redshank, with two Redwing along the wall, whilst in a partially flooded field along Pagham Rife were five more Common Snipe and two Curlews. 
The Mute Swan herd north-east of Honer reservoir has risen to 61 and the two Black Swans were with them, but, apart from a Coot and 19 Black-headed Gulls the reservoir was empty. Later in the field behind Honer Cottages there were 1100 Brent Geese.. (JDW)
At around 1630hrs a Barn Owl (with quite a dark face) was hunting the area just north of the Breech Pool. (DSh) 

Brent Geese in White's Creek (JDW)

At Pagham Rife, the remote mink-monitoring camera used by the Manhood Wildlife & Heritage Group picked up the Bittern that has been in the area for a while. (MWHG)

Bittern at Pagham Rife, above, on MWHG trail camera

Chi GPs - Ivy Lake: A brief visit this afternoon was rewarded with the sight of the Black Swan family, consisting of parents and 3 well grown cygnets. I last saw the family on the 17th June when the cygnets were tiny and it's good to know they've all made it to 6 months or thereabouts. Other birds were 6 Pochard, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 18 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler and c25 Tufted Duck and 3 flocks of Long-tailed Tits. (SR)

Black Swan pair with well-grown cygnets, Ivy Lake (SR)

Monday, 4th December: A pleasant winter's day, with a moderate westerly breeze and a bit of sunshine between the clouds...

Selsey Bill: Highlight was a Red-necked Grebe which flew in from the east and eventually dropped in on the sea, but otherwise it was quiet. Full log below. (AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 3W
Red-necked Grebe -1W
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 5E, 12W
Shag - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Kittiwake - 4W
Razorbill - 1W

(1230-1400hrs): (C&ME)
Red-throated Diver - 4W
Great Northern Diver - 3E, 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 3E, 1os
Gannet - 2E
Shag - 1W
Shelduck - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 3os
Common Scoter - 2os
auk sp - 6E

Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Pied Wagtail - 2W, 1ob

Grey Wagtail - 1W
Distant (!) Red-necked Grebe & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just a Redshank and six Lapwing on the pool and c200 Wigeon on the field this morning. (AH)

Medmerry: Toe End - There were 15+ Common Scoters, two Great Northern Divers, a reat Crested Grebe and a Gannet offshore, with three Stonechats around the rough ground and a Peregrine over. (SH)

Church Norton: There were two Snow Buntings around the concrete slabs at the start of the spit this morning, though they flew off and back once and could not be refound at midday. Also along the spit were a Grey Wagtail, couple of Stonechats, and handful of skylarks and Meadow Pipits and at least 50 Linnets.
Offshore there were a Black-throated Diver, four Great Northern Divers together, two Eider, just seven Slavonian Grebes after yesterday's high count, and a handful of Great Crested Grebes, whilst a flock of eight Red-throated Divers went west and two Red-breasted Mergansers went east.
The two Goosanders were on the far side of the harbour, as were the three Goldeneye, whilst the Velvet Scoter was out on the main channel and the Whimbrel was in its usual area. Also, a Marsh Harrier went over the harbour heading west before dropping into the first Several. (SR/AH/BI/AW/MJ)

Black-throated and Great Northern Divers (AW) (above), Great Northern Divers, Snow Buntings, Eiders, Goosanders, Marsh Harrier, Stonechat, Whimbrel & Meadow Pipit at Church Norton (AH)

Honer Reservoir: The Long-tailed Duck was on the reservoir again, along with the two Black Swans and 15 Mute Swans, and there were lots of Fieldfares in the adjacent hedges. (BI)

Long-tailed Duck, above,  (BI) & Fieldfares (B.Dolton) at Honer

North Wall: On the banks of Church Barton reservoir were 12 Curlew, 28 Coot and 34 Canada Geese, whilst at the back of the horse field at Welbourne were two Stonechats. 
On the Breech Pool were 21 Common Snipe, 64 Black-tailed Godwits and a single Ruff, and in the field behind was a splendid female Marsh Harrier which later flew across the Harbour towards Church Norton. In the bushes in Honer 2 field was a mixed flock of Fieldfares and Redwing, probably 40 of the former and 12 of the latter. (JDW)

Fieldfares (above), Snipe & a busy Breech Pool from North Wall (JDW)

West Itchenor: There were three Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver in Chichester Channel between South Stakes and West Itchenor. (B&MC per SOS)

Pagham Spit: From the yacht club a distant flock of nine Red-throated Divers flew west and one was on the sea, and three Great Northern Divers flew west quite close in and may have gone to Church Norton. 
On the Lagoon there were three Goldeneye (adult male and two redheads), whilst in the harbour a redhead Goosander and two pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers, a foursome, the two males in full regalia doing their neck-bobbing display, quite beautiful to behold. 
Among the masses of roosting waders was a Bar-tailed Godwit in full summer- plumage and on the exposed saltings around the site of the now gone hide were 20 Skylarks and a remarkable 25 Rock Pipits. (ARK per SOS)

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