Monday, 10 December 2018

10th - 13th December 2018

Thursday, 13th December: A bright and fairly sunny morning, but decidedly cold in the brisk south-easterly....

BEWARE: Another car theft at Church Norton car park reported this afternoon.....window smashed and handbag stolen. DO NOT leave any valuables in you car...obviously a team going round (druggies??) so be aware and keep your eyes open. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: Very little was moving, though an Eider was on the sea. Full log below. (AH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 1W, 1os
Gannet - 12E, 5W
Shag - 1E
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 4W, 1os
Common Gull - 6E
Mediterranean Gull - 5E
Kittiwake - 1E

Eider (above) & Shag at the Bill (AH)

Ferry PoolThere were six Gadwall, 44 Shovelers, four Shelduck, 25 Teal and c80 Wigeon on the pool, plus c100 flighty Lapwing. (AH)

Shovelers (above) & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was very quiet this morning, with the wind not helping, with the banks holding just a Stonechat and barely a handful of scattered Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, and the tidal areas containing just a few Redshank and Teal.
The Stilt Pool was host to plenty of duck, including c200 Wigeon, four Gadwall, eight Shoveler, 20 Teal and four Tufted Ducks, but the only other birds present were a Grey Heron, a Little Egret and c40 Lapwing. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Yellowhammer, Wigeon & Gadwall and Wigeon at Medmerry (AH)

Church Norton: A quick look at the harbour at lunchtime found a large gathering of gulls which included up to 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, whilst among the usual waders there were single Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits. (AW)

Lesser Black-backed and other Gulls (above), Black-tailed Godwit & Bar-tailed Godwit at Church Norton (AW)

Wednesday, 12th December: A cold and grey morning, with a freshening south-easterly breeze under leaden skies....

Selsey Bill: There were a few Red-throated Divers and a couple of Great Northern Divers about, but not too much else on the move. Full log below. (AH)
Red-throated Diver - 8E, 14W
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 6E, 2W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 1E, 3W
Shelduck - 1W
Common Scoter - 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W, 4os
Common Gull - 2E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 5E
Kittiwake - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 2w
Razorbill - 3E, 6W
auk sp - 8W

Later, at 9.45am, a Grey Phalarope flew east, quite close inshore, and c40 Common Scoter were offshore. (C Holter)

Red-throated Diver (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry PoolThere were just wildfowl on the pool this morning, including four Shelducks, 35 Shovelers, c50 Teal and c100 Wigeon. (AH) 

Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Toe End and Breach area - The Hooded Crow was out on the inter-tidal area  again this morning, and two Black Redstarts were among the caravans at Toe End, along with a few Pied Wagtails, with 50 or so Linnets and a couple of Meadow Pipits around the adjacent rough ground.
Also, at least 30 Common Scoters and a Sandwich Tern were offshore, and a Purple Sandpiper was amomg c40 Ringed Plovers and a few Dunlin were round the shingle at the Breach, along with a Lesser Black-backed Gull, whilst a lone Red-breasted Merganser, c75 Shelducks and c30 Brent Geese were around the tidal pools. (AH)

The Hooded Crow wasn't showing later on, but there was still one Black Redstart about, and a Merlin shot across the reserve, whilst a Great Northern Diver and a dozen Common Scoters were offshore. (AB)

Hooded Crow (above), Black Redstart, PurpleSandpiper with Ringed Plover and Dunlin, Common Scoters, Lesser Black-backed Gull & Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

Sidlesham: There were 11 Yellowhammers in the cover crop strips between Rookery Lane and Church Farm Lane this morning. (TG-P)

Church Norton: An adult Kittiwake flew out from the top of the harbour and over the beach this afternoon, and there were 11 Bar-tailed Godwits (including the two summer-plumaged birds) present. (AB) Also, there were 220 Knot present among the 1000+ Dunlin on the mud. (C Holter)

Chichester GPs - Drayton PitsThere was no sign of the Bittern between 10 and 11.15am, though on the north pit there were 68 Pochard, 30 Tufted Duck, two Canada Geese, four Herring Gulls, two Black-headed Gulls, a Blackbird, two Long-tailed Tits and four Blue Tits, with 160 Coots on the south pit. (CRJ)

Tuesday, 11th December: A beautiful crisp, bright and still winter's morning....

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: Bird of the day was probably the Bittern which flew into the reedbed on the east side of the North Pit during my somewhat belated WeBS count. A Coal Tit was unusual here too, but the rest was fairly average fare, apart from a good count of 160 Pochard and four Water Rails.
May I remind folks that this information does not imply a right of access to this private site; however good views of the relevant reedbed can be obtained from the metal gates on the old access entrance, just off the A259 Bognor Road (and just south of the A27 Bognor bridge roundabout). Also, with development taking place very close by, these two pits will be under constant pressure for development. I am currently trying to get the site recognised as a Local Wildlife Site (LWS) - which may give some limited protection in the future - but meanwhile please report any bird sightings to the SOS via Birdtrack. Many thanks. (OM) 

 Bittern and Coal Tit at Drayton Pits (OM)

Ferry Pool: An Avocet and a Green Sandpiper were on the pool this morning, along with c30 Shovelers, c50 Teal and c100 Wigeon, with at least 200 Lapwings in the fields at the back. (AH)

Green Sandpiper (above) & Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There were up to a dozen Fieldfares and Redwings feeding along the hedges this morning, and there were also half a dozen Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings, plus a couple of Cetti's Warblers along the wall, though the Breech Pool only held c40 Mallard and a few Teal and the fields just a few Curlews.
There were c80 Golden Plover and c50 Black-tailed Godwits among the 500+ Lapwings in White's Creek, with at least 1000 Brent Geese steadily moving out of the harbour and settling into the fields further inland. 
Otherwise, in the harbour, there were plenty of common waders and at least 500 Wigeon, a couple of dozen Pintails and four Gadwall, whilst a flock of 20+ Collared Doves was along the east side. (AH/PC/IH)

Redwing (above), Fieldfare, Yellowhammer, Golden Plovers and Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwits, Gadwall, Brent Geese & Collared Doves around the North Wall (AH)

Pagham Lagoon and Beach: There wasn't too much of note on the Lagoon - just two Pochards among a dozen Tufted Ducks, c50 Canada Geese, half a dozen Little Grebes and half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls.
The new lagoon in front of the chalets looks very permanent now, with a Grey Heron and half a dozen Little Grebes on it, whilst a mixed flock of Grey Plovers, Knot and Dunlin were on the beach and a Rock Pipit, a pair of Stonechats and half a dozen Linnets were at the west end of the houses. (AH)

Pochard and Tufted Duck (above) & Mediterranean Gull on Pagham Lagoon, Rock Pipit, Stonechat & Linnet on Pagham beach and a view of the newly formed lagoon offshore from the beach (AH)

Church Norton:There were three Goldeneye and 10 Red-breasted Mergansers in the harbour this afternoon, plus a Short-eared Owl and two Peregrines, and two Firecrests in the hedgerows. Unusually, a Ruff was also present amongst the throng of waders on the old harbour entrance. (BFF/DM)

Medmerry: Breach viewpoint - The Hooded Crow was again present and a Peregrine was around the area, (BFF/DM)

Fishbourne Creek / Apuldram: Two Firecrests were around the church area, whilst in the channel and saltmarsh were three Spotted Redshanks, three Greenshanks and a Jack Snipe. (BFF/DM)

Monday, 10th December: A lovely bright and breezy morning, with lots of sunshine and fairly mild despite the north-westerly breeze....

Sidlesham: Marsh Farm, Chalder Farm & Bramber Farm - There were still at least 16 Cattle Egrets (and posibly one or two more) still present this morning, plus half a dozen Little Egrets, widely spread between several cattle fields around the various farms.
There were less thrushes about and more widely dispersed, but still amounting to 80+ Fieldfares and 20+ Redwings around the hedges, whilst at least 100 Curlews were also spread about the farmland. Among other passerines seen were half a dozen Reed Buntings along the hedges, a Stonechat near Marsh Farm and a Chiffchaff in Church Farm Lane. (AH/CRJ)

Cattle Egrets (above), Redwing & Fieldfares between Bramber and Chalder Farms (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane - A Swallow was feeding over the fields at Easton Lane and a Green Sandpiper was on the muddy pool opposite. At the Stilt Pools there was a mix of wildfowl including Wigeon, Teal, Tufted Ducks and Shoveler but there was just a single Canada Goose present and along the beach there were just a few Skylarks. A total of six Stonechats were along the banks and here there were more Meadow Pipits and a scattering of Yellowhammers. (BI)

North Wall: A Barn Owl was hunting over the fields behind the Breech Pool at dusk this evening. (IH)

Fishbourne Creek: There were six Goldeneye and four Red-breasted Mergansers, plus a dozen Great Crested Grebes in the channel south of Dell Quay this morning, whilst three Greenshank were roosting near the far bank.
Along the creek itself there were at least 800 Wigeon, plus a few Pintail, 500 Lapwings, c60 Black-tailed Godwits, c200 Common Gulls and plenty of the commoner waders, whilst along the edges there were just a couple of Rock Pipits and Linnets, but not much else, and a Grey Wagtail was at the riding school, along with a couple of Redwings and a handful of Yellowhammers. (AH)

Rock Pipit (above), Grey Wagtail, Linnet, Red-breasted Merganser, Goldeneyes and Red-breasted Mergansers, Black-tailed Godwits & Wigeon at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Church Norton: This morning there was a Bar-tailed Godwit in summer plumage in the harbour, a pair of Stonechats in the old horse field, and along the spit there were half a dozen Skylarks. 
Along the beach there were two Sandwich Terns, while offshore there was a very elusive female Eider, whilst two Red-breasted Mergansers flew in off the sea and later on there was a drake Goldeneye in the harbour. Two Firecrests were in the trees at the end of the path down from the car park. (AW)

Goldeneye (above), Eider, Red-breasted Mergansers, Sandwich Tern, Bar-tailed Godwit & Stonechat at Church Norton (AW)

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