Wednesday, 7 February 2018

7th - 9th February 2018

Friday, 9th February: A very cold, bright morning after a cloudy start, with a freshening north-westerly breeze.....

Blast from the Past (2)... continuing the theme of lifting the spirits with reminders of good birds from days gone by - in this case just over 40 years - herewith a small offering from my diaries. I'd only been birding a few years by 1975, but kept a fairly detailed record of events, although I'm afraid no pictures this time.....(OM)

 From my early diaries....above, the 'Isabelline' Shrike on 15th March 1975 whilst below, a singing Cirl Bunting at the Bill 25th April 1977 and a fall of migrants at Church Norton. Different times! (OM)

Ferry Pool: There were c100 Lapwings in the fields at the back and a couple of dozen Teal and a few Wigeon in the creek, but the channel opposite was empty. (AH)

Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Again very quiet in the harbour, with the Whimbrel the only species of note among a scattering of commoner waders on the mud, c250 Brent Geese and c50 Shelduck were also about, as were a few Teal, and a Kingfisher flew through.
There were half a dozen distant Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea and a Red-throated Diver flew in and landed (also distantly!), but there were virtually no small birds to be found at all. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Teal, Grey Plover & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Late this afternoon there were 2 Avocets and 10 Black-tailed Godwits in the harbour, while out at sea there were 5 Velvet Scoters. (AW)

 Avocets (above) & Velvet Scoters at Church Norton (AW)

Ivy Lake Complex: There were quite a few wildfowl on New Lake, including five Teal, four Wigeon, 12 Gadwall, c30 Pochard, c20 Tufted Duck and c50 Shoveler, whilst a couple of Jays were in the trees and four Bullfinches flew across to the trees at the north.
Ivy Lake held just a handful of Pochard, Shoveler and Gadwall, plus a few Great Crested Grebes and Tufted Ducks, whilst the pits in between held three Black Swans, c40 Greylags and c60 Canada Geese. (AH)

Pochard (above), Greylag Geese & Black Swans at Chichester GPs (AH)

Thursday, 8th February: After a very cold and frosty start, a pleasant morning, with a light westerly breeze raising temperatures, though bringing with it increasing amounts of cloud.....

Blast from the Past: It's that time of year when winter isn't quite past and yet it's too early for spring, and the birding can get, well frankly, a bit dull. So, in an effort to lift the late winter blues, here's one from the archives of 40 years ago (well, almost) to try and get the blood racing again.......
Greater Sand Plover, Pagham Harbour, Dec 1978 - a first for Britain. (photo: Chris Janman)
(As I recall, this bird was first thought to be a Kentish Plover for a short while, before its true identity was confirmed. Chris did very well to capture this image - on the old technology of course! - which helped confirm the ID and I don't recall any other photos being made public. OM)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Ferry remains more or less bird-less, though 50 or so Lapwings were in the back fields.
The Long Pool was also bird-less, save a few Coots, though at the far end of Ferry Channel there were a few bits, including the Spotted Redshank, half a dozen Avocets and Grey Plovers, ten Shoveler, 25 Shelduck and plenty of Wigeon and Teal. Also, a Kingfisher flew along the rife, a Snipe flew up from the fields and two Buzzards drifted over, heading west. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Buzzard from Long Pool (AH)

SidleshamA Bullfinch was briefly present in Cow Lane this morning. (AH)

Church Norton: It remains very quiet, though the Whimbrel was present, as were three Black-tailed and three Bar-tailed Godwits and c100 Knot among the commoner waders, whilst 500 Brent Geese dropped in at the back of the harbour, though there were generally rather few wildfowl about.
Also, a couple of Goldcrests were among a dozen Long-tailed Tits, and a few Goldfinches were about. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Knot and Grey Plover, Brent Geese, Goldcrest & Long-tailed Tit at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: The Long-tailed Duck was still on Honer Reservoir, but otherwise it was generally quiet with similar birds present as in the last few days. (JDW)

Wednesday, 7th February: Another cold and bright morning as the brisk northerly breeze persists....

Ferry Pool/Ferry Channel: There was nothing on the pool, as there was a digger finally making a start on the hole on the south side.
The Spotted Redshank was at the road end of the channel this morning, and there were also half a dozen Shoveler, c50 Wigeon and c80 Teal, plus a few Redshank, taking refuge from the Ferry. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Shovelers, Teal and Wigeon in Ferry Channel (AH)

Work starting on the hole in the bank at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Not much of note about this morning, though the two redhead Goldeneye were off Tern Island and there were plenty of Wigeon, Teal and Brent Geese about, along with the commoner waders.
A couple of Goldcrests were at the bottom of the path to the harbour and two Reed Buntings were along the hedge on the way to the beach, but that was about the sum. (AH)

Goldeneyes (above), Brent Geese, Curlew, Goldcrest & Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

Honer Reservoir: The Long-tailed Duck was still on the water, along with a Tufted Duck, two Shelducks and half a dozen Coots, whilst around the adjacent stubble fields and hedges there were c30 Reed Buntings, c20 Linnets, six Yellowhammers and ten Skylarks, whilst c150 Lapwing went over west. (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (above), with Shelduck & Linnets at Honer Reservoir (AH)

Sidlesham: About 50 Fieldfares came off the stubble fields at the back of our garden on the west of the village and flew off north. (AH)

Sidlesham Churchyard: A quick look this morning produced at least one and possibly two Firecrests, still active and in the same place as my last visit, around the rear entrance to the churchyard. There was little else of note however except a singing Song Thrush. (OM)

 Firecrest (s?) at the rear of Sidlesham Churchyard (OM)

Selsey (West): Warner Lane/marshy area - A look around the area produced 24 Snipe in the soggy fields, 10 Curlew, a Buzzard, a Red-legged Partridge and 2 Stonechats. (OM)

Birdham Pool: Little to report once again, though around the reedy areas the water was still frozen and many of the usual Mallard and other wildfowl had obviously moved on. A Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Buzzard were present, plus a couple of Goldcrests, with one of the latter being particularly confiding and almost landing on my feet! (OM)

Confiding Goldcrest at Birdham Pool (OM)

Chichester Marina: Having found nothing at all around the reedbed, I checked out the channel, where there were average numbers of the usual waders - Dunlin, Grey Plover, Redshank and Oystercatcher, plus a few common wildfowl, Great Crested and Little Grebes. A walk through Salterns Copse produced a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, but at the far end of the footpath there were 8 Goldeneye out in the channel and perhaps 10 Great Crested Grebes and a couple of hundred Brent Geese. A larger flock of Brents could be heard calling from behind me and I tracked them down to a winter wheat field near New Barn (where they were a couple of winters back). A scan through the flock of c.400 located a single Barnacle Goose amongst them, at about map ref SU833017, viewable from behind a hedge alongside the footpath (though they spook easily). (OM)

Flock of dark-bellied Brent Geese near New Barn (Chi Marina) and below, cropped views of the Barnacle Goose amongst them - perhaps enhancing its credentials? (front, centre) (OM)

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