Thursday, 1 March 2018

1st - 3rd March 2018

Saturday, 3rd March: There was still a blustery north-easterly blowing and plenty of cloud, but quite a bit warmer with most of the lying snow gone by late morning.........

Selsey Bill: Most notable feature this morning was a very large gathering of Common Gulls on the beach early on - 563 in total, with the only bird of note moving offshore being a lone drake Eider. Full log below.  (JA/IP/SR/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Gannet - 6E
Eider - 1E
Common Scoter - 5os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 2W, 5os
Lapwing - 1N
Grey Plover - 6p
Ringed Plover - 4p
Sanderling - 8p
Dunlin - 2p
Common Gull - 563p
Mediterranean Gull - 24p
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 6p
Black-headed Gull - 378p
Meadow Pipit - 2E

Eider (above) & Common Gull at the Bill (AH)

Pagham Lagoon/Spit: The Black-necked Grebe was still present and showing well late this morning. (IP)
It was still present later on, along with six Goldeneye, a Kingfisher and 160 Mediterranean Gulls, and the redhead Goosander and female Eider were in the harbour from the spit. Also, two Fieldfares were feeding along the water's edge on the lagoon and a Grey Seal swam into the harbour. (AB)

Black-necked Grebe (above), Goldeneye & Kingfisher at Pagham Lagoon (AB)

Ferry Pool: There was a drake Pintail on the pool this morning, along with eight Shelduck , c40 Teal and c150 Wigeon, with at least 50 Lapwings back on the fields. There were still six Gadwall, a Shoveler and c40 Teal in the rife and an Avocet, another 100 Wigeon and a few Teal in the channel opposite, whilst there were four Buzzards about, as well. (AH)

Pintail (above), Wigeon & Gadwall at the Ferry (AH)

Later on Ferry Field there were 92 Wigeon, two Shoveler, two Gadwall, a Shelduck, an injured Common Gull, two Lapwing, six Curlew, a Meadow Pipit and a Buzzard, whilst around a very windy Yeomans Field there were just a Chiffchaff and a flock of 20 Linnets. (SR)

At Sidlesham Sewage works it was decidedly quiet; all of the Chiffchaffs seem to have disappeared following the cold weather, and the only birds of any interest at all were a single Snipe, half a dozen Song Thrushes and a similar number of Redwings. (OM)

Church Norton: A fair few more waders were back on view in the harbour, including a huge mixed flock of Grey Plover, Dunlin and Knot, plus a few Ringed Plovers that all flew out and back in again together. Also, as many as 20 Bar-tailed Godwits were in the harbour and 50+ Golden Plover went over.
The female Eider and a drake Goldeneye were on the water on thee far side, the female Peregrine was on its island and there were at least 50 Common Gulls and 20 Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour and along the beach. Small birds comprised of a Mistle Thrush in Rectory Lane, a Pied Wagtail on the path to the beach and a few Meadow Pipits, Greenfinches and Skylarks along the beach. (AH/IP/BI/AW)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Skylark, Teal, Mediterranean Gull, Peregrine and Herring Gull, Dunlin & mixed waders at Church Norton (AH)

Knot (above), Common Gull, Mediterranean Gull & Mistle Thrush at Church Norton (AW)

Chichester Gravel Pits: This morning around Ivy Lake there were 60 Shoveler, 122 Pochard and two Cetti's Warblers. (CRJ)

Drayton Pits: Nothing exciting to report after the cold weather, but the pits held a total of 160 Shoveler and 70 Pochard, plus 50 Tufted, 28 Teal and 10 Gadwall. Around the edges were 16 Snipe and along the hedgerows were 10 Redwings and several Song Thrushes, whilst a pair of Kestrels and a pair of Buzzards showed just hints of display. (OM)  

East Head: Final WeBS count of the season and predictably very few waders were at Snowhill, which was still partially frozen. There were 1250 Brent Geese and a dozen Shelduck of note, but otherwise there were just small numbers of common waders and wildfowl. There were also several singing Skylarks, plus a Stonechat and a few Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings about, but nothing out of the ordinary. (GM)

Medmerry west:  There were 10 Mute Swans on the field near Easton Lane this morning and in the adjacent field was a mixed flock of winter thrushes whilst there were more thrushes, mainly Fieldfares, around the viewpoint. Still plenty of Linnets and decent numbers of Yellowhammers feeding on the seeds, as well as two pairs of Reed Buntings, and there were a few Meadow Pipits on the fenceline and singing Skylarks were overhead. A total of 24 Snipe were flushed from the semi-frozen ditches by dog walkers. The Stilt Pool held a Ringed Plover, two Avocets, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a few Teal & Gadwall but was also partially frozen. (BI)

Fishbourne Creek: A walk from Fishbourne - Dell Quay this morning produced a Spotted Redshank and two Greenshanks, at least 150 Black-tailed Godwits were in the channel and later near high tide they were in field by the Lavant outflow. 
The channel also produced six Great Crested Grebes, with 16 Little Grebes and four Red-breasted Mergansers off Dell Quay. A Rock Pipit and a Grey Wagtail were along the sea wall, and two Shovelers were near Fishbourne on the high tide. (RW)
Also, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit was about again and a Tree-creeper was in the church car-park at Apuldram. (AB)

Scandinavian Rock Pipit at Fishbourne Creek (AB)

Friday, 2nd March: A slightly less cold morning, after a moderate amount of snowfall overnight, though very grey and still will a fresh north-easterly breeze blowing......

Selsey Bill: (0645-0815hrs) (JA)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 1os
Common Scoter - 12os
Velvet Scoter - 5E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W, 4os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Common Gull - 10E, 3os
Ringed Plover - 2p
Sanderling - 2p

Northcommon Farm: A Woodcock flew over the White Horse Caravan site this afternoon. (SH)

Pagham Lagoon: The Black-necked Grebe was showing well again this morning, and there were also a drake Goldeneye, seven Pochard, 35 Tufted Duck, c100 Common and Mediterranean Gulls and five Little Grebes on the water, a Water Rail on the bank and half a dozen Fieldfares over. (AH/KF)

Black-necked Grebe (above), Goldeneye & frosty scene at Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Avocets, two Black-tailed Godwits, two Gadwall and 14 Shelduck on the pool this morning, with another eight Gadwall and c40 Teal in the rife and 200 Wigeon and a few Teal in the channel opposite. (AH)

Avocets (above), Gadwall, Black-tailed Godwits and Shelduck and a frozen pool at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A couple of Snipe and Meadow Pipits were in the adjacent fields, whilst at the far end of Ferry Channel there were a lone Golden Plover, three Bar-tailed Godwits, five Avocets, c200 Dunlin, 20 Grey Plovers, 20 Redshank, 12 Pintail and 50+ Teal and Wigeon.  Also, at least 2000 Brent Geese flew out from the fields going towards the harbour.(AH)

Golden Plover (above), Bar-tailed Godwit & Brent Geese from Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry west: The Linnet flock on Marsh Barn bird-feeding crop has now reached 1240!  I had been underestimating them and today I took some photos and counted them and my best count is 1240, so I have been under-estimating for the last few days. 
Also, there was a covey of 4 Grey Partridges where Ham Lane meets Easton Lane. (BO'D)

Linnets at Medmerry (BO'D)

Highleigh: There were a dozen or more Redwings in the roadside gardens this morning. (AH)

Redwing in Highleigh (AH)

Runcton: There were up to three Redwings and three Fieldfare around my Runcton garden today. (CRJ)

Hunston: There were at least 100 Fieldfares, with just a handful of Redwings among them, in the small orchard at Tennessee Farm this morning. (AH)

Fieldfares (above) & Fieldfare and Redwing at Hunston (AH)

Ivy Lake complex: There were a handful of Redwings and Fieldfares near the bungalow, plus a few Long-tailed Tits, a couple of Lapwings flew over and there were c120 Pochard and c80 Shoveler, plus a few Gadwall and Tufted Ducks and 40 Greylag Geese, in the sheltered bits of the lakes, but only two Great Crested Grebes were seen.
Also, there were still in excess of 200 Shovelers on Vinnetrow Lake. (AH) 
A look around Deep Lake and West Trout Lake produced a Water Rail in the scrubby edge, a Common Gull in with the Black-headed Gulls and a dozen Pochard sheltering near the bank. (BI)

Redwing (above), Fieldfare, Great Crested Grebe, Pochards & Shovelers around Chichester GPs (AH)

East Beach Pond: Just the one female Teal in with the Mallards today, half a dozen Common Gulls had joined the 50 or so Black-headed and Herring Gulls at the centre of the pond with the Muscovy Duck and Grey Heron sitting it out at the edge of the island. (SR)

North Wall: Very bleak along the wall this morning. On White's Creek there were a few Wigeon, Teal and a Little Grebe, whilst along the banks were a mixture of Curlew, Redshank, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwits and, unusually for this area, a Ringed Plover. 
The Breech Pool was 90% frozen over and on the open water there were Mallard, Teal and Wigeon. 5 Canada Geese flew in and landed on the ice with comical results. At Owl Water there was at least 600 Wigeon up to 100 Dunlin and again, unusually for this area, 2 Avocets. The fields were empty of birds except Honer 1 where there were 42 Curlew. This field is impassable unless wearing wellingtons. The Rife at Bremere bridge was partially frozen and there were 480 Wigeon here feeding in the field. (JDW)

Avocet (above), Curlew, Ringed Plover, Wigeon & a frozen Breech Pool from the North Wall (JDW)

Church Norton: The Siberian weather brought a few visitors over to the west side of the harbour this morning. At Church Norton there were two Golden Plover, an Avocet and a pair of Gadwall. A Pied Wagtail was foraging along the path to the sea and a few Mediterranean and Common Gulls were sheltering with the other gulls. (AW) 

 Gadwall, Pied Wagtail and Golden Plover at Church Norton (AW)

Thursday, 1st March: Even by recent standards, a truly horrible day for weather, with a bitingly cold gale force north-easterly blowing, heavy cloud cover and the threat of snow later....

Selsey Bill: Half an hour from 8.15am produced nothing moving, but there were 35 Common Gulls and two Mediterranean Gulls among the gulls offshore. (AH)

Common Gull (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: Very cold and windy but the Lagoon was ice free. Highlight was a Black-necked Grebe, and there were also a pair of Goldeneyes, 60 Mediterranean Gulls, 16 Tufted Ducks and a few Wigeon and Teal present, whilst hunkered down in the shingle on the west side were 26 Dunlin. (JDW)

Black-necked Grebe (above), Goldeneye & Mediterranean Gulls on Pagham Lagoon (JDW)

More images of the Black-necked Grebe on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were an Avocet, c20 Black-tailed Godwits, six Dunlin and c25 Wigeon on the only unfrozen bit of the pool this morning, with c30 Dunlin dropping in at the back of the field.
In the adjacent rife there were two roosting Avocets, a Shelduck, the six Gadwall and a few Teal and Mallard, whilst in the channel opposite there were a Pintail, four Shoveler, a few Teal and Mallard and at least 200 Wigeon, plus a Little Grebe, a few Dunlin and a Kingfisher  that flew through. (AH)

Avocet and Teal (above), Pintail, Little Grebe, Wigeon, Black-tailed Godwits & with Dunlin around the Ferry (AH)

East Beach Pond Most of the pond was frozen, with just a small area of clear water by the inflow pipe and another patch in the centre.  No sign of the Muscovy Duck today though the Mallard count had risen to 32 and they had been joined by a pair of Shoveler and two female Teal. There was a large gathering of Black-headed and Herring Gulls but absolutely nothing else. (SR)

Teal (above) & gulls on a frozen East Beach Pond (SR)

Church Norton: Very little was in the harbour this morning, with what few waders there were hiding in the vegetation, though there were a dozen Avocets, c20 Common Gulls, c50 Shelduck and several hundred Brent Geese along the main channel and at least 2000 of the latter in the field behind the churchyard. (AH)

Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek - Dell Quay: A Kingfisher at the Fishbourne Meadow was a good start to the walk. Highlights were at least 13  Little Grebes, a Greenshank and a redhead Red-breasted Merganser at Dell Quay, with 8 Great Crested Grebes along the channel. Two Rock Pipits - one possibly the potential 'littoralis'  - were to the N of Dell Quay. Along the strandline there were 13 Blackbirds, 10 Robins and 3 Dunnocks. (R. Watson)

Runcton: A Fieldfare was in my garden this morning. (CRJ)

Fieldfare in a Runcton garden (CRJ)

Sidlesham: Half a dozen Fieldfares went over the B2145 at Sidlesham Common this morning, and at least ten Snipe were along the verges in Ham Road. (AH)

Chichester GPs: Vinnetrow Lake - There were c250 Shoveler on the lake (just south of the causeway to the caravan park), with a few Tufted Dck and Gadwall among them. (AH)

Shovelers on Vinnetrow Lake (AH)

West Wittering: Snipe sitting by the side of the road in our lane on the north of the village, plus half a dozen Lapwing in the garden, along with a few Redwings, Mistle and Song Thrushes. (GM)

Snipe in West Wittering (GM)

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