Tuesday, 20 February 2018

20th - 22nd February 2018

Thursday, 22nd February: A cold but bright morning, with the sharp easterly breeze giving a taste of what is to come.....

Ferry Pool: There were at least 200 Wigeon on the pool, along with half a dozen Shovelers, c80 Teal and c300 Lapwing htis morning. (AH)

Wigeon, Teal and Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Hunston: A look at the little bit of woodland called Wilf's Copse produced a Tree-creeper, three or four Jays, half a dozen Redwings and Fieldfares and a Buzzard this morning. (AH)

There was a Green Sandpiper in the field opposite the entrance to the Golf Club this morning, seen from the small layby on the main road. (PC)

Buzzard at Hunston (AH)

North Wall: A Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek, along with 50 Black-tailed Godwits, several hundred Lapwing and plenty of Wigeon and Teal, but the Breech Pool just held a handful of Tufted Ducks and Canada Geese. Ten or more Snipe were disturbed from the reeds by a couple of Buzzards, and c50 Curlew and a few Wigeon were on the back fields. (AH/MO-W/G&RH) 

Spotted Redshank (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon & Grey Heron from North Wall (AH)

East Side/Pagham Spit and Lagoon: There were c2500 Brent Geese filling the channel along the east side this morning, though there were plenty of other wildfowl and waders present, including 20+ Pintail, c100 Golden Plovers that flew around before settling, c100 Knot and a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits. 

The female Eider was near the harbour mouth and at least four Goldeneye were out in the harbour from the spit, plus a few Little and Great Crested Grebes, but not too much else, whilst the only small birds seen were a couple of Meadow Pipits. Pagham Lagoon held a handful of Tufted Ducks and a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and not much else. (AH)

Eider (above), Goldeneye, Golden Plover, Knot & Brent Geese along east side of the harbour (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were many Yellowhammers and Skylarks about as we made our way to the "Stilt Pool" where we found the Common Sandpiper and 9 Avocet. In a channel there was a Greenshank and a single Bar-tailed Godwit. Near Marsh Farm I had a brief view of a Dartford Warbler in the scope but unfortunately we never found it again. 
At the breach there was a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers with 7+ Ringed Plovers in the vicinity. Thanks to a chap who told us that 2 Spoonbills had flown over we were very vigilant as we made our way back from the breach and were lucky enough to see one of the birds before it disappeared again into a channel. (D & J Killick per SOS)

Wednesday, 21st February: A fairly bright and brisk morning, with a bit of sunshine and cloud and a freshening north-easterly breeze....

Ferry Pool: A Grey Wagtail was on the pool is morning, and up to ten Shoveler, eight Shelducks, c50 Teal, c200 Wigeon and c400 Lapwing were about the pool and fields. (AH)

Grey Wagtail (above) & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Two Gadwall dropped into the pool, where there were also three pairs of Tufted Ducks and a pair of Little Grebes, but there was nothing save a Goldcrest along the hedges.
Around 180 Golden Plover came into the harbour at the far end of Ferry Channel, and there were also c50 Avocets, a handful of Shoveler and Pintail, plenty of Redshank, Curlews, Wigeon and Teal and at least 500 Lapwings. (AH)

Golden Plover (above), Wigeon & Tufted Ducks along Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were two Dartford Warblers showing well this afternoon - one by the first viewpoint and the other on the bank opposite the Stilt Pool, and also 50+ Fieldfares flew over the car-park. (AB)

Dartford Warbler (above) & Sparrowhawk at Medmerry (AB)

Honer Reservoir: The Long-tailed Duck was still present today, along with two Shelducks, whilst around the adjacent hedges there were up to ten Yellowhammers, 30 Reed Buntings, and c80 Linnets, whilst a couple of hundred Lapwing drifted over from the harbour. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (above), Reed Bunting & Linnet at Honer Reservoir (AH)

Tuesday, 20th February: A blustery, mostly dry and cloudy day, with a freshening north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There was very little on the move, although there were 60+ Common Scoters offshore. Full log below.....
0740-0940hrs:  (OM)
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Gannet - 2E
Brent Goose - 11W
Common Scoter - 64W (three flocks W, settled os and drifted W)
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Chiffchaff - 1 gardens

Ferry Pool: Half a dozen Golden Plovers were among the 400 or so Lapwing around the pool, and there were also four Shoveler, four Shelduck, c80 Teal and c200 Wigeon present, plus a Common Gull. (AH)

Golden Plovers (above), Common Gull & Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Itchenor Pond: A Tree-creeper was among the waterlogged trees, but there wasn't much else beyond a few Blue and Great Tits. (AH)

Tree-creeper at Itchenor Pond (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were at least 30 Yellowhammers, 300 Linnets, 50+ Skylarks and similar of Meadow Pipits, plus a couple of Stonechats, along the banks this morning, whilst a Greenshank, a couple of Redshank and several hundred Lapwings were out on the reserve.
The Common Sandpiper was still on the Stilt Pool, along with eight Dunlin and 150 Lapwing, and there was a good selection of wildfowl, including four Gadwall and 22 Shoveler among the Teal, Wigeon and Tufted Ducks. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above), Yellowhammer, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Shoveler & Gadwall at Medmerry (AH)

Honer Reservoir: The Long-tailed Duck was still present today. (DF)

Birdham churchyard/area: A first visit to this site during a search for potential Hawfinch sites, but alas no hint of one here as the churchyard held insufficient tree cover. However, despite the lack of birds, an old gnarled fir tree therein was worth a look and a photo. There was nothing of note bird-wise in the surrounding area. (OM)

The interesting gnarled old tree in Birdham churchyard (OM)

I spent the rest of the morning checking out other potential Hawfinch sites to no avail, mainly on the west side of the Peninsula. It is also worth recording here that an unconfirmed report of a 'large finch with a big bill' has been received, originating from a non-birder in the Jury Lane area of Sidlesham.  A check today drew a blank, but there is reason to believe this could perhaps be a valid sighting, so locals are asked to bear in mind if in the vicinity. (OM)

East side of harbour: A walk from Salt House, Pagham, to Pagham Lagoon and the spit produced the following - 20+ Golden Plover, several Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, 300+ Brent Geese, plenty of Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck and Pintail, the rehead Goosander, a Buzzard, a Kestrel, 50+ Mediterranean Gulls, 4 Pochard, a Peregrine on its island and a Slavonian Grebe and two Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. (SM)

Church Norton: The female Eider was out at sea, together with a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and there were a number of mixed flocks of waders flying around at high-tide, including Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Turnstone and Godwits. (AW)
Earlier, the five Velvet Scoter were still present offshore. (DF)

Eider (above), Eider and Red-breasted Mergansers, Knot and Grey Plovers & mixed waders at Church Norton (AW)

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