Saturday, 20 January 2018

20th January 2018

Saturday, January 20th: An altogether better morning than forecast, after early rain, with light winds and nothing worse than a bit of light drizzle, and even a bit of sunshine later on.....

Selsey Bill: (0800-0900hrs) (JA)
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Red-throated Diver - 2W
diver sp - 1W
Gannet - 1W
Shelduck - 1W
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W, 10os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Kittiwake - 6W
Sandwich Tern - 4os, then E
Rock Pipit - 1p

Sidlesham ChurchyardThere were two Coal Tits on a feeder in a garden near the church this morning. (SA)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Shoveler, c120 Teal and three Redshank on the pool, c500 Lapwing and c200 Wigeon on the field and another 30 Lapwing and half a dozen Curlews on the adjacent arable field. (AH)


Teal (above) & Wigeon and Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)


Also, a Water Rail was feeding in Red Barn Ditch this morning, but apart from a flock of Long-tailed Tits and a few Goldcrests it was otherwise very quiet around the Tramway. (SR)

Water Rail from Tramway (SR)


Park Farm, Selsey: There was not too much about beyond 20 or so Curlews and Oystercatchers on the fields, plus a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel. (AH/IP)

Oystercatchers at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: The Red-necked Grebe was still around the harbour mouth area, along with a female Goosander, the female Eider, four Goldeneye and at least half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers.
Offshore there was a flock of five Velvet Scoters, along with two more Eider, a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver (plus two more west), a couple of Slavonian Grebes, a Guillemot, a Sandwich Tern, several small flocks of Teal, a couple of Wigeon and another half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers.
The harbour also held a Kingfisher, an Avocet, a Peregrine, several Bar-tailed Godwits and plenty of the commoner waders and wildfowl, plus a few Mediterranean and Common Gulls, whilst there was also a pair of Mistle Thrushes in the churchyard. (AH/IP/BI)


Red-necked Grebe and Goldeneye (above), Goosander, Velvet Scoters, Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebe, Sandwich Tern, Kingfisher & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton (AH)








IP having a bit of difficulty with the fence on the spit! (AH)


Sidlesham: There were two female Bullfinches in hedges in Cow Lane this afternoon. (AH)

Bullfinch in Sidlesham (AH)

Pagham Lagoon and Spit: There wasn't much on the Lagoon beyond nine Pochard, 16 Tufted Duck, six Little Grebes and a dozen Mediterranean Gulls, plus a Common Gull.
The Red-necked Grebe was still in the harbour mouth, with four Goldeneye, two Red-breasted Mergansers and half a dozen Little and Great Crested Grebes. A look through the gulls in the harbour and along the foreshore didn't produce much beyond 20 or so Mediterranean and Great Black-backed Gulls among a lot of Herring Gulls. (AH)

Red-necked Grebe (above), Goldeneye, Red-breasted Mergansers & Mediterranean and Herring Gulls around Pagham Spit (AH)







Wednesday, 17 January 2018

17th - 19th January 2018

Friday, 19th January: A cold, bright morning after a frosty start and with the wind freshening from the west as the day progressed....

Selsey Bill: (0800-0915hrs) (AH/JA)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1W
Common Scoter - 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3W, 6os
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Kittiwake - 7W
auk sp - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 1E (after 9.15 per TR)

Chi GPs - Drayton Pits: Highlight of the morning was a Bittern that briefly flew around the North pit. It was otherwise very similar to last week, with well over 200 Shoveler and 70 Pochard present, and 7 Snipe, a Water Rail and a Mistle Thrush the best of the rest. (OM)

Chichester Marina: A Marsh Harrier was over the reed-bed by the hide this morning putting up plenty of Teal, Lapwings and a few Snipe. (BI)

Marsh Harrier at Chichester Marina (BI)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: There were c300 Lapwing and a Redshank around the pool, and 10 Shoveler, 50 Teal and c200 Wigeon in the creek in the field this morning. (AH)
The Spotted Redshank and a dozen Avocets were at the end of Ferry Channel this morning. (TR/RS)


Grey Heron (above) & Wigeon around the Ferry (AH)


North Wall: A quick look this morning produced one Ruff, which flew off high to the west, at least 100 Golden Plovers among c500 Lapwing in White's Creek, where there were a few Black-tailed Godwits and lots of Wigeon and Teal, a Snipe in the salt-marsh and the two Black Swans on the Breech Pool. (AH/PC/IH)


Golden Plovers (above), Golden Plovers and Lapwing & Teal from the North Wall (AH)



Church Norton: The Red-necked Grebe was feeding in the harbour mouth, and there were also four Goldeneye, six Red-breasted Mergansers and several Great Crested Grebes on the water on the far side of the harbour. Also, two Sandwich Terns flew in through hte harbour to briefly feed.
Offshore there was a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, two Slavonian Grebes , a lone Gannet and a handful of Red-breasted Mergansers, and at least a dozen Skylarks were on the spit.
The Whimbrel was in its usual area and there were a lot of Dunlin and Grey Plover in the harbour, whilst a pair of Bullfinches were near the Mound. (AH/AB/TR/RS et al) 
This afternoon the Red-necked Grebe was still present on the high tide and a visiting birder  reported a juvenile Glaucous Gull being briefly at the end of the spit. The male Bullfinch was also present along the path from the car park. (BI/AW)



Sandwich Terns (above), Red-necked Grebe, Great Northern Divers, Peregrines & Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)






Medmerry (West): Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - The Dartford Warbler was still present near Marsh Barn and two Grey Wagtails, three Stonechats, c.12 Yellowhammers and a few Reed Buntings along the banks, plus a few Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal and 40 Lapwing on the Stilt Pool. 
In the adjoining fields there were 25 Stock Doves, c.24 Skylarks, a Buzzard and a Kestrel, whilst in the field near the car park were 6 Redwings and c.24 Fieldfare.(PB)

East Head: Amongst other species seen this morning was a fairly tame Mediterranean Gull; this probably being the same returning bird present over the last couple of winters. (MR) 

Mediterranean Gull at East Head (MR)



Thursday, 18th January: After yet another very stormy night, a fairly pleasant morning, despite the blustery westerly....but heavy showers again in the afternoon.

Selsey Bill: (0800-0900hrs) (AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 3W
Common Scoter - 7W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 7W
Sanderling - 1W
Common Gull - 1W
auk sp - 1E


Common Scoter (above) & Red-breasted Mergansers past the Bill (AH)


Ferry Pool: There were eight Shoveler and 40 Teal, plus a Redshank  on the pool, whilst the field and its flooded creeks was very busy, including c50 Golden Plover, c800 Lapwing, 22 Canada Geese, 20 Shoveler and c200 Wigeon. (AH)


Golden Plovers, Lapwings and Wigeon (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)


Long Pool: There was nothing on the pool itself saving an unseen squealing Water Rail and two Tufted Ducks, plus a big flock of Long-tailed Tits near the road, whilst a Spotted Redshank was in Ferry Channel, along with a few Redshank and 100+ Wigeon and Teal, and at the far end there were c40 Avocets and c50 Shelduck. (AH)


Spotted Redshank (above), Avocets and Shelducks, Teal and Redshank & Long-tailed Tit around the Long Pool (AH)




Church Norton: The Red-necked Grebe was back in the harbour from the spit late this morning around 1100hrs, and there were two Eiders on the sea.  (AW)
There wasn't too much to report earlier on, though there were a couple of Red-breaasted Mergansers and one or two Little and Great Crested Grebes in the harbour, 20+ Common Gulls and a handful of Mediterranean Gulls along the beach and at least eight Bar-tailed Godwits and a few Knot among the many Dunlin and Grey Plover in the harbour.
A couple of Goldcrests and a few Long-tailed Tits were about all the bushes held. (AH/MJ)


Red-necked Grebe and Eiders at Church Norton (AW)



Shelduck, Grey Plovers and Dunlin (above) & Grey Plovers and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)


 Medmerry West: Today I had a record 80 Yellowhammers on the stubble field by the usual hedge where I put seed out, and there were also 70 Fieldfares in the area. (BO'D)

A look around the Easton Viewpoint produced the Dartford Warbler in the gorse opposite Marsh Barn, a flock of c70 Pied Wagtails, c30 Linnets and c15 Meadow Pipits feeding in the fields, with two Stonechats and a Reed Bunting along the adjacent banks. (SR) 






Wednesday, 17th January: A very cold and bright day, with a gale-force north-westerly blowing constantly....not the most promising conditions then for good birding on the Peninsula!

Selsey Bill: Not too much on the move this morning, though a (or the?) Red-necked Grebe went west. Full log below. (AH)
(0815-0930hrs)
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 4W
Red-necked Grebe - 1W
Brent Goose - 4W
Common Scoter - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 7W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Common Gull - 2W
auk sp - 3E


Common Scoters (above), Brent Goose & Red-breasted Mergansers past the Bill (AH)



Ferry Pool: Not a bird was on the pool, though 20 Canada Geese, c100 Wigeon and c300 Lapwing were on the fields. (AH/MJ)


Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least six Bar-tailed Godwits in the harbour, among 50+ Curlews, 500+ Dunlin and 100+ Grey Plovers, though there were barely 40 Knot, including the one by the bench. Also in the harbour were a Peregrine on the island, a Red-breasted Merganser, a handful of Little and Great Crested Grebes and c40 Shelduck.
A smart male Bullfinch was along the sheltered hedges, though there was not much else beyond a few Greenfinches, and a Sparrowhawk that shot through. (AH)



Bullfinch (above), Knot, Curlews, Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover & mixed waders at Church Norton (AH)






Fishbourne Creek & Dell Quay: A high-tide visit this morning in less than conducive weather for any birding excitement - though at least it was dry! The creek held only low numbers of wildfowl - mainly Brent Geese and Wigeon - and there was little to report except for 5 Rock Pipits in the saltmarsh.
Dell Quay wasn't much better, the only birds of note being 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, several Great Crested and 15 Little Grebes. (OM) Later in the day there were 400 Brent Geese, three Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Barnacle Goose present at Fishbourne (Bird Aware Solent per Twitter).

 Red-breasted Mergansers at Dell Quay (OM)

Chi. GPs - Ivy Lake complex: It was all rather mundane here also, the most interest being on New Lake, where a pair of Treecreepers were chasing each other about, and a flock of 80 Shoveler was huddled into a feeding flock for a while. A similarly huddled flock of Greylags was also present in front of the chalets, before later dispersing, revealing a Bar-headed Goose amongst them. (OM/AH/TK)


Greylag Geese with Bar-headed Goose at Chi GPs (OM)
 Feeding huddle of Shovelers on New Lake (OM)

Our photographic editor insists I take photos for the blog, so herewith my latest effort...an upside-down headless Treecreeper amongst a maze of branches! (Well, you don't get this stuff elsewhere  - and at least it made me smile.....) (OM)
Great Crested Grebes (above), Shoveler & Tufted Ducks at Chi GPs (AH)



Shoveler (above), Mallards & Cormorants at Chi GPs (TK)



North Wall: Highlights this morning were a Merlin whizzing across the Slipe Field and the Long-tailed Duck still on Honer reservoir.
Otherwise, there was not much happening; on the Breech Pool were just a few Mallard, Teal, Wigeon and Tufted Ducks, whilst in the field behind were 140 Wigeon and 11 Canada Geese. Also, a Water Rail was walking along the top path near to Owl Water. Honer 1 field is impassable unless you are wearing wellingtons. To the east of Pagham Rife in a partially flooded field were 55 Mute and 2 Black Swans, and  in the field immediately south of the reservoir was a small flock of 9 Pied and 1 Grey Wagtail. The biggest gathering of birds was in the large field east of Marsh Farm..... here there were 2100 Brent Geese, 600 Lapwing. 480 Wigeon, 90 Curlew 38 Black-tailed Godwits and at least 20 Common Gulls. (JDW) 
The Long-tailed Duck was still present at Honer reservoir this afternoon. (BI/SR)


 Masses of wildfowl in the North Fields (JDW) & Long-tailed Duck at Honer (BI)


Snowhill Marsh, West Wittering: Amongst other species seen this morning were a  Kingfisher and a Water Rail on the marsh. (MR)

 Kingfisher and Water Rail on Snowhill Marsh (MR)