Friday, 14 December 2018

14th - 16th December 2018

Sunday, 16th DecemberA bright but chilly start with a light SE breeze, soon becoming duller with increasing cloud and a good number of showers, with the promise of heavy rain later....

Selsey Bill: At least a dozen Slavonian Grebes were logged this morning, plus a number of Red-throated Divers and a Sandwich Tern. Full log below. (JA/SH/PB/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 9E,11W
Great Northern Diver - 1os
diver sp - 4E, 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 11E, 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 33E, 19W, 20os
Shag - 2E
Brent Goose - 1E
Eider - 2E, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 11E, 3W, 4os
Razorbill - 1E, 1os
Sandwich Tern - 1E
Kittiwake - 1E, 1W
Common Gull - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E

Shags (above) & Red-throated Divers at the Bill & rainbow over Bill House tower (AH)

Selsey, Park FarmA Grey Wagtail was around the spoil heaps, and a couple of Redwings and at least 20 Fieldfares flew out from the cropped fields, whilst a Sparrowhawk went over. Also, at least 60 Curlews were around the fields this morning. (AH/IP/SH)

Grey Wagtail (above) & Curlews at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were no ducks at all,on the pool this morning, though c100 Lapwing came up from the field. (AH)

Church Norton: A drake Goldeneye was in the harbour near the spit, with a female on the far side, and there were at least 15 Red-breasted Mergansers inside the harbour and another five seen in flight offshore. 
Also, there were around 140 Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the harbour - a very high count for what is quite an uncommon species on the peninsula, whilst at least 25 Mediterranean Gulls were among the large numbers of gulls about..
Among other birds seen were a Peregrine sat out near their island, at least six Avocets in the channels, a Stonechat in the horse field and a handful of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits along the spit.
There were a few Pintail and plenty of Wigeon and Teal, plus a few Brent Geese, Little and Great Crested Grebes in the harbour, but apart from 50 or so Ringed Plovers most of the waders were on the beach, including a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits, 100+ Grey Plovers and Knot and 1000+ Dunlin. (AH/IP/SH)

Goldeneye (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, Peregrine, Ringed Plovers, Mediterranean Gull and Little Egret, Lesser Black-backed and other Gulls & Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry - Easton Lane to Stilt pool - Very quiet, with scant reward for the effort - a Greenshank, a Buzzard and a Cetti's Warbler being the only birds of interest. (SH)

Saturday, 15th December: An utterly miserable morning, with a very strong and cold south-easterly bringing persistent heavy rain, and due to get worse later....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of a selection this morning, though no numbers, including two Slavonian Grebes on the sea, a Velvet Scoter east and a flock of eight Eider west. Full log below. 
(0755-0925hrs)  (JA/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 2os
diver sp - 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 16E
Brent Goose - 4W
Common Scoter - 1os
Velvet Scoter - 1E
Eider - 8W, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 2W, 9os
Ringed Plover - 1E
Turnstone - 3E, 1p
Mediterranean Gull - 4E, 1W
Kittiwake - 1W
Rock Pipit - 1p

1200-1330hrs:  (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Gannet - 37E, 36w
Eider - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E
Rock Pipit - 1 still ob

Eider (above) & Rock Pipit at the Bill (AH)

Selsey, Park Farm: A Green Sandpiper and a Chiffchaff were present late morning. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were eight Shelducks, c30 Shoveler, c50 Teal and c120 Wigeon on the pool this morning, plus a handful of Lapwings, but that was it. (AH)

Shelduck and Shovelers (above) & Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least 200 Knot and 500 Dunlin on the mud this morning, along with four Brent Geese, half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls, c60 Teal and a few Curlews, Grey Plovers and Redshank, whilst a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were near Tern Island and a dozen Lapwing were along Rectory Lane. (AH)

Lapwing (above), Mediterranean Gull, Teal & Knot and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

East Head: There were c.1000 Brent Geese on the grass areas this morning but elsewhere it was not unexpectedly quiet with just a few Skylarks and Reed Buntings around the dunes and two each of Great Crested Grebe & Red-breasted Meganser offshore. (BI)

Friday, 14th December: Another cold morning, and very grey after a bright start, but at least the fresh easterly dropped away quite quickly....though it still remained decidedly chilly!

Selsey Bill: A little more moving than yesterday, including three species of diver, whilst at least 30 Red-breasted Mergansers went east and c40 Common Scoter were on the sea, albeit rather distant. Full log below..... 
0740-0940hrs: (OM/AH/RF et al)
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 14W
Black-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 3E,1W, 2os (up to five birds involved)
Gannet - 5E
Brent Goose - 3E
Shelduck - 4E
Red-breasted Merganser - 32E, 10os
Common Scoter - 2E, 2W, c.40os
auk sp - 8E
Mediterranean Gull - 2E

Chi GPs - Drayton Pit: A Great White Egret dropped into the reeds on the north pit this morning but early and late visits failed to relocate the elusive Bittern. Also on and around the north pit were c.50 Pochards, 15 Tufted Ducks, a few Little and Great Crested Grebes and a Kingfisher. (BI)

Great White Egret at Dryaton (BI)

Northcommon Farm: Four times in the past two weeks or so, whilst out with my dogs at around 3.30pm, I have seen a Barn Owl - the first three occasions were all towards the west end of Golf Links Lane, whilst today there was a bird hunting on Mill Lane marsh (the Crablands end). (JW)

Medmerry: Breach area - The Hooded Crow was on the beach by the breach today, but there was no sign of any Black Redstarts. (RF)

Church Norton: A group of 17 Avocets were in the harbour today. (RF)

Ferry Pool: About 30 Black-tailed Godwits were roosting on the pool and c200 Lapwings were (mainly) on the field, with c30 Shoveler, c80 Teal and c150 Wigeon also present. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were two Corn Buntings, along with 30+ Yellowhammers, 50+ Linnets and Goldfinches and a handful of Reed Buntings in the cover crops between the two farms this morning, with two Grey Partridges just south of the sewage farm. There were also a pair of Stonechats by the Ham Viewpoint and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, half a dozen Song Thrushes and a scattering of Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and Skylarks about.
A Merlin shot through near Ham, upsetting the 100+ Lapwings, plus a couple of Golden Plovers, on the fields, whilst 60 of the latter had earlier gone over heading for the harbour. Also, about 30 Brent Geese and three Red-breasted Mergansers were near the breach, six Gadwall and ten Tufted Ducks were on the ponds and c30 Grey Plovers, c30 Redshank, c50 Ringed Plovers and c100 Dunlin were in the northernmost bit of the tidal area. (AH)

Corn Buntings and Goldfinches (above), Yellowhammer, Linnet, Stonechat, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Golden Plovers & Gadwall at Medmerry (AH)

Itchenor village: There were a dozen Redwings along with half a dozen Blackbirds and Song Thrushes on the verges at lunchtime today. (AH)

Redwing at Itchenor (AH)

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