Saturday, 10 February 2018

10th - 13th February 2018

Tuesday, 13th February: The changeable weather continues, with a return to cool, wet and windy conditions..... a gale force southerly, with lengthy periods of heavy rain and the prospect of the wind veering to a blasting north-westerly later!

It is pleasing to note that our page-hit marker has now quietly passed the three-quarters of a million mark.....many thanks to all for your continued support and complimentary comments, and we do also take on board your occasional suggestions or constructive criticism. (Eds)

With the dismal weather and the February birding doldrums still upon us, it's difficult to look for positives right now, but some there are, for spring is just around the corner. I thought it appropriate to post a small reminder - in this case a photo of sea-watchers 'on the wall' - in the golden years of the early 1990's, when Pontins figured large in our birding lives......but in looking back, we should remember that the Peninsula continues to deliver good birds to this day.
'And though the fields are rough and wet right through, All will be fine when springtide comes anew.' (with apologies to the poet Robert Browning).  (OM)

Sea-watching gallery on the wall, May 1994. You had to arrive early to bag a space, and note the 'earlier model' optics! Nearest the camera is the late Barry Carter - a lovely guy, sadly missed - whilst a scan along the faces reveals some of the regulars who still attend to this day, and some who no longer visit. These were great times at the Bill, enhanced by the old Pontins site which regularly threw up good birds. (OM)

Selsey Bill: (0815-0900hrs) (AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5W
Turnstone - 14p
Kittiwake - 3W

Turnstones at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were four Shelducks, c60 Teal and c150 Lapwing around the pool this morning and c100 Wigeon on the creek. (AH)

Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were 16 Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour this morning, along with eight Pintail, 40 Shelduck, c250 Brent Geese and a few Wigeon and Teal. There were almost no waders about on the high tide, beyond a few Curlew and Redshank, and not much in the hedges beyond a Jay and a Song Thrush. (AH)

Red-breasted Mergansers (above), Pintail, Teal, Curlew & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Monday, 12th February: Another sunny, if chilly, start, with light winds early on, though freshening from the west as the day progressed....

Ferry Pool: There were c200 Lapwings on the pool this morning and c150 Wigeon and c50 Teal flew into the creek in the field from the channel. (AH)

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

Long Pool: A total of 55 Avocets were roosting at the far end of Ferry Channel this morning, and a Common Gull was in the fields. (TG-P)

Honer Reservoir: The Long-tailed Duck was still present this morning, along with three Tufted Ducks and five Coots. There were c30 Reed Buntings and c40 Pied Wagtails on the stubble fields and about 100 Linnets along the ploughed fields in the lane. Also, about 1500 Brent Geese were flying noisily about towards the harbour. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (top picture J Snell) (above) & Reed Buntings at Honer Reservoir (AH)

Church Norton: There was not a bird on the sea, and not too much in the harbour, either, though the female Eider and a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers were on the far side and about 300 Brent Geese and a few Wigeon and Teal were in the harbour. Two or three Bar-tailed Godwits were among plenty of Dunlin and Grey Plover and a Peregrine was on the island, but that was about it. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Later on there were two Canada Geese on Tern Island and a Goosander was sleeping near the harbour mouth. Skylarks singing above the spit and there were two Pintail were among the commoner wildfowl. (AW)

Goosander (above), Skylark, Pintail & Canada Geese at Church Norton (AW)

North Wall: This morning's visit produced the following, although the water level on the Breech Pool was too high......
There were 2000+ Brent Geese in the fields and 37 Avocets in the harbour, plus 22 Black-tailed Godwits. A redhead Goldeneye was also present, and other sightings included 4 Grey Herons, 100+ Wigeon, 4 Reed Buntings, a Buzzard and a Kestrel. A Cetti’s Warbler also occasionally showed well. (PB)

Cetti's Warbler at the North Wall (PB)

Runcton: The female Blackcap in my garden since 26th January still present this morning, (CRJ). 

Medmerry: Easton Lane - A Green Sandpiper was near the car-park and there were also nine Fieldfares nearby. (TG-P)

Sunday, 11th February: A cold, bright morning, with a strong and freshening north-westerly breeze......

Selsey Bill: Very little moving again beyond one or two Red-throated Divers and a few Red-breasted Mergansers. Full log later. 
0700-1000hrs:  (JA/SH/AH/IP/RJS/CRJ)
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 1W
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1os
diver sp - 7E
Great Crested Grebe - 3W
Gannet - 4E, 1W
Common Scoter - 2E, 4os
Red-breasted Merganser - 18E,18W, 3os
Curlew - 3W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 12E, 8W
Kittiwake - 2W

Ferry Pool: There were quite a few birds about this morning, including at least 500 Lapwing and 100 Wigeon on the fields and 40 Teal and a couple of Shelducks and Redshanks on the pool. (AH)

Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a pair of Stonechats, a Pied Wagtail and a couple of Red-legged Partridges in the fields, a  Common Gull and Mediterranean Gulls among the gulls, c20 Curlew and 20 Oystercatchers on the land awaiting development and a Green Woodpecker in the paddocks. (AH/IP)
Later on a Firecrest was in Park Lane. (S&SaH)

Stonechat (above), Curlew, Mediterranean, Common and Black-headed Gulls, Green Woodpecker & Red-legged Partridge at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: Offshore this morning there were a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, three Slavonian Grebes and three or four Red-breasted Mergansers, with another half a dozen of the latter, four Goldeneye and the female Eider in the harbour.
Both Peregrines were about, and were later seen mating, whilst the Whimbrel was in its regular area, and there were also a Sparrowhawk, a few Pintail, a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and plenty of the commoner waders, and at least 1000 Lapwing and 100 Golden Plover went up over the North Wall. A few Skylarks were along the spit, but not many other small birds. (AH/IP/BI/CRJ)

Whimbrel at Church Norton (CRJ)

Red-breasted Mergansers (above), Goldeneye, Peregrines & Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Runcton: A Blackcap has been visiting our garden in the village for the last two weeks. (CRJ)

Honer Farm: I was helping with the goose count today and in a grass field just south of Marsh Farm house, west of Honer Farm there was a flock of 1960 Brent Geese and 190 Black-tailed Godwits. (BO'D)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - This afternoon there were four Fieldfares and seven Yellowhammers along the banks, with a Sparrowhawk, a Buzzard and two Kestrels over, plus 300 Lapwings and 200 Golden Plovers came up from out on the reserve. (S&SaH)
Also there was a report from visiting birders of two Spoonbills on the west of the reserve and the feeding stations near Marsh Farm attracted 45 Yellowhammers and 240 Linnets. (BO'D)

Saturday, 10th February: Another cold morning, despite a strengthening south-westerly wind and plenty of cloud cover....

Selsey Bill: (0715-0830hrs) (JA/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
diver sp - 6E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 7W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 5W
Kittiwake - 3W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 2E, 9W

(1500-1600hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 1W
Shag - 1W
Goosander - 1W (male!)
Pied Wagtail - 1p

Ferry Pool: Just a lone Shelduck was on the pool, with c50 Wigeon on the creek and a handful of Redshank in the channel opposite. (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There was not much about this morning, though a dozen Oystercatchers were on the fields and a pair of Buzzards went over. (AH/IP)

Church Norton: Offshore this morning there was a Great Northern Diver, a Slavonian Grebe, a Great Crested Grebe and two or three Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst a Fulmar flew west just beyond the end of the reserve and a Common Gull and a Mediterranean Gull were also about.
There were a further half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers and the female Eider near the harbour mouth, the two Peregrines were getting grumpy with a Grey Heron that had settled on their island, and there were a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and nine Avocets among large numbers of the commoner waders. At least 300 Brent Geese were in the harbour, along with four Pintail and 50+ Wigeon and Teal. (AH/IP)

Fulmar (above), Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Gull, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Brent Goose and Teal & Peregrines at Church Norton (AH)

A fairly brief look in some fairly dire conditions this afternoon produced 22 Avocets, along with four Bar-tailed Godwits and c40 Knot, with at least ten Pintail among the Wigeon and Teal. (AH)

Pintail (above) & Avocets at Church Norton (AH)

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