Monday, 29 January 2018

29th - 31st January 2018

Wednesday, 31st January: Back to normal again today! A very blustery grey morning, with heavy cloud and a strong westerly breeze, and cool with it....

Selsey Bill: (0810-0910) (AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 3W
Slavonian Grebe - 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 1E
Common Scoter - 42W (inc a flock of 38)
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E
Turnstone - 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 5W

Sandwich Tern (above), Slavonian Grebe & Common Scoters past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just four Shelducks and two Lapwing around the pool, with six Shoveler, c20 Teal and c100 Wigeon in the creek. (AH)

Shoveler and Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There wasn't much out of the ordinary in the harbour, though the Whimbrel was present, as were at least 17 Bar-tailed Godwits, including one in summer-plumage, among the many Dunlin and Grey Plovers. There were three Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour, with another half a dozen offshore, and two Jays were near the churchyard. Also, visiting birders reported a Merlin over the fields off Rectory Lane. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwits (above), Grey Plover and Dunlin, Redshank, Grey Heron, Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover & Red-breasted Mergansers and Cormorants at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 30th January: After a sharp frost and a grey start, a lovely still winter's day....

Selsey Bill: (0830-1000hrs) (JD/DF/DS)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 13W
Gannet - 10W
Common Scoter - 10W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5os
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Razorbill - 

Chichester Marina Reed-beds: A Bittern was seen in flight at the back of the reed-bed this afternoon at 4.45pm. (PH)

West of Selsey: The small area of marshy meadow to the west of the town held at least a dozen Common Snipe this morning. (AH)

Common Snipe at Selsey (AH)

Sidlesham Churchyard: A pair of active Firecrests, two Goldcrests and two Song Thrushes were in the churchyard this morning, whilst a Bullfinch was also briefly glimpsed. (OM) Later on a female Bullfinch was present and two pairs of Mistle Thrushes were chasing each other about. (AH)

One of the Firecrests in the churchyard, amongst a tangle of branches (!) (OM)
Bulfinch (above) & Mistle Thrush in Sidlesham Churchyard (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just two Shelduck, two Redshanks and c50 Lapwing around the pool, with half a dozen Shoveler and c80 Wigeon on the flooded creek. (AH)

Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were two Goosanders present this morning - one near the harbour mouth and one in the central channel, and there were also a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and the three Goldeneye in the harbour, but the sea was dead, with just a distant Gannet and Red-breasted Merganser, both heading east, being seen.
There were plenty of waders about, including the Whimbrel and a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits, and at least 500 Brent Geese were coming and going.
A pair of Reed Buntings were on the path to the harbour and a flock of Long-tailed Tits, plus a couple of Goldcrests were near the Mound, whilst least four Meadow Pipits, ten Skylarks and 40+ linnets were along the spit. (AH)

Goosander (above), Whimbrel, Meadow Pipit, Brent Geese, Reed Buntings & Dunlin and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Gareth and Roy Hughes enjoying their morning out on Pagham Spit (AH)

At around 2pm there were two Great Northern Divers and two Slavonian Grebes on the sea just off Church Norton. There were also a number of Mediterranean Gulls working on their summer plumage! (AW)

Slavonian Grebes (above), Great Northern Divers & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton (AW)

Pagham Churchyard: Five Goldcrests, a few Long-tailed Tits, a Green Woodpecker, a calling Jay and a Stock Dove were about it. (OM)

North Mundham ChurchyardA first visit to this small churchyard, which has little habitat, with a singing Song Thrush being the only bird of note. (OM)

Donnington Churchyard: I didn't know this one existed, as it is a little concealed, but from studying the OS map thought it worth a quick visit. In the event it is a very small churchyard with little habitat, a noisy pair of Jays and a singing Song Thrush greeting my arrival. The surrounding area however is open farmland and trees, and a scan round produced 30 Fieldfares, 200 Starlings, 2 Buzzards, a Great Spotted and a Green Woodpecker. (OM)
Apuldram Churchyard: Things were not helped by the building work going on here, but a pair of Mistle Thrushes was present, and a Grey Wagtail flew over and dropped into the horse paddock. (OM)

Note: Just in case anyone is now wondering why I visited so many churchyards today....well, they often contain mature Yew trees and Hornbeams, attractive to Hawfinches. Sadly, none of them was attractive enough today! (OM)

Fishbourne Creek: My visit co-incided with the high tide, so there were few waders except about 20 Grey Plover and a few Redshanks and Curlew. In the channel were several hundred Wigeon and Brent Geese and 4 Goldeneye, but along the edges 8 Rock Pipits were seen, plus a Grey Wagtail and a Stonechat. Two large gatherings of roosting gulls were further up the channel, these dominated by Common count was as accurate as possible and came out at 830 birds, though doubtless I missed some that were obscured. Just a single Lesser Black-backed Gull was present amongst them, but otherwise my scan failed to locate anything else of interest. (OM)

Rock Pipit at Fishbourne Creek. This slightly paler individual drew my attention and seemed to be a shade greyer on the mantle, with a darkish bill and a pale-ish buffy throat. I did consider sub-sp littoralis, but perhaps it's a bit early and just wishful thinking or the bright sunlight... (OM)

Monday, 29th January: A grey and blustery day, with a fresh westerly blowing, though again it was quite mild.....

Selsey Bill: The male Black Redstart re-appeared on the Broadreeds Estate this morning, briefly seen in Canadian Crescent before disappearing back into gardens. Also 16 Brent Geese went west past there. (SR)

Black Redstart at the Bill (SR)

Earlier on the Bill was absolutely dead, with the total from 8.10-8.55am being a Kittiwake that briefly settled on the sea before continuing west and three Shelducks, also heading west. (AH/SR)

Kittiwake at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just five Shelducks around the pool, whilst the flooded creek held half a dozen Shoveler and Mallard, c50 Teal and 200+ Wigeon. (AH)

Shovelers, Teal and Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The only birds offshore were five Common Scoter that dropped in on the sea before heading off west and half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst the three Goldeneye were still on the far side of the harbour, a Peregrine was on its island and at least 500 Brent Geese were around, coming and going in small groups.
There were half a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits and Knot about, plus the usual roost of Grey Plovers and Dunlin, but not too much else of note beyond a pair of Stonechats in the gorse along the beach. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Peregrine, Brent Geese, Wigeon and Redshank & Dunlin, Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwit at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester Gravel Pits - Ivy Lake complex: Very little about today. East Lake - The field behind the lake held a flock of c150 Canada and 77 Greylag Geese along with the Bar-headed Goose and a further 22 Greylags and 29 Canadas were on the lake itself. Two of the 18 Black-headed Gulls on the water were in full summer plumage which seemed a little optimistic but there was nothing else of note. Ivy Lake - The windy weather kept most of the birds tucked away, the only ones being visible were one Black Swan alongside 4 Mutes, 2 Shoveler, c150 Tufted Ducks, 6 Great Crested Grebes and more Canada Geese. A flock of Long-tailed Tits and a few Goldcrests was all I could find in the bushes. (SR)

Greylag Goose at Chichester GPs (SR)

Honer Reservoir: The Long-tailed Duck was still present early this afternoon, along with four Tufted Ducks and three Coots. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck at Honer Reservoir (AH)

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