Saturday, 1 December 2018

1st - 3rd December 2018

Monday, 3rd December: A very breezy day, with a fresh west-south-westerly blowing, though it was mild, with a mix of sun and fast-moving cloud..........

Selsey Bill: There wasn't too much moving again, though a couple of close Kittiwakes passed through the inshore gull flock, a couple of Great Northern Divers moved around and there were plenty of Red-breasted Mergansers and Mediterranean Gulls about. Full log below..... 
0740-1010hrs:  (OM/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Gannet - 15W, 10os
Brent Goose - 3E
Common Scoter - 2E
Red-breasted Merganser - 12E, 15os
auk sp - 2E, 1W
Kittiwake - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 8W, 12os

Kittiwake (above), Great Northern Diver, Gannet & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Chalder Farm: There was a flock of at least 20 Cattle Egrets in fields east of Chalder Farm this afternoon. (TG-P)

Church Norton: A very late Swallow flew south over the harbour at 9.45am today. (TG-P)

This morning there was a Red-breasted Merganser just offshore and another in the harbour. A Pergerine chased a large flock of waders out of the harbour and along the beach, where there was also a passing Sandwich Tern. In the afternoon a Marsh Harrier was present over the Severals. (AW)

Sandwich Tern, Red-breasted Merganser and Marsh Harrier at Church Norton (AW)

Ferry Pool: There were about 120 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool at high tide, with around 500 Lapwings flying around, without settling after being upset by a Buzzard and then a Peregrine, whilst there were still plenty of wildfowl present, including eight Gadwall, six Shelducks, c30 Shoveler and c100 Wigeon and Teal. (AH)

Buzzard (above), Pergerine, Black-tailed Godwits & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There was nothing at all along the pool, but there were plenty of birds at the far end of Ferry Channel, including three Snipe, 16 Avocets, 20+ Curlews, 50+ Redshank and Grey Plover and at least 500 Wigeon and Teal. (AH)

Avocets and Redshanks (above) & Teal in Ferry Channel (AH)

East HeadThere were 200 of both Brent Geese and Lapwings on the grass sward this morning along with a flock of Starlings, a few Golden Plovers and nine Oystercatchers.  Along the beach were 42 Sanderling feeding in the surf and there were two Pied Wagtails and c.30 Meadow Pipits on the edge of the dunes. The Skylarks were still around the roped off areas and there were two Red-breasted Mergansers, a male & female, close inshore on the east side. (BI/DB)

Sunday, 2nd December: A better day than yesterday, though still with a blustery south-westerly breeze and the odd spell of drizzle under mainly grey skies..........

Selsey Bill: There were up to nine different Slavonian Grebes seen this morning, either going east or offshore, and two Velvet Scoters went east, one of which dropped in on the sea, but otherwise it was quiet beyond a few Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver. Full log below. (SH/AH/IP)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 4E, 5os
Great Crested Grebe - 9E, 1os
Gannet - 4W
Brent Goose - 2E
Velvet Scoter - 2E
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 2W, 17os
Mediterranean Gull - 6os
Kittiwake - 3W
Razorbill - 1W
Rock Pipit - 1p

Great Northern Diver at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were approximately 800 Lapwings on the field this morning, with a couple of Gadwall, c30 Shoveler and c100 Wigeon and Teal on the pool. (AH)

Gadwall and Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: At least 80 Curlews were on the field due to be developed, with another 40 on the adjacent arable fields, along with c500 Brent Geese and lots of Black-headed and a few Mediterranean Gulls. Also, a Stonechat was along the path between the fields, a Green Woodpecker was in the paddocks and a few Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits were flying about. (AH/IP/RM/S&SaH)

Stonechat (above), Green Woodpecker, Starling, Curlews & Brent Geese at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: A female Goldeneye and a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers were in the harbour, with a few of the latter flying about offshore, where there were also two Gannets west and a Red-throated Diver east.
There were at least 1000 Brent Geese spread between the harbour and offshore, and at least 1000 Lapwings, plus 60 or so Golden Plovers came up several times from the North Wall area, whilst there were a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and 50+ Knot among the large numbers of common waders.
Passerines were thin on the ground, though a pair of Stonechats were in the horse field, a small flock of Long-tailed Tits were between the Severals and 20+ Skylarks were around the spit, whilst a Sparrowhawk was the only raptor seen. (AH/IP/RM/S&SaH)

Goldeneye and Red-breasted Mergansers (above), Long-tailed Tit & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: The milder weather has seen wildfowl numbers somewhat reduced here and there was little of note today in a brief visit. A Kingfisher carrying prey, a Water Rail and 10 Snipe were perhaps the best, with a couple of Chiffchaffs and three Jays also present. (OM)

Fishbourne Creek: Just two Rock Pipits and a few Reed Buntings around the saltmarsh today but there was much more wildfowl on the water, notably many more Wigeon than of late and a large flotilla of Mute Swans whilst there were at least 30 Black-tailed Godwits feeding along the shore. (BI)

East Head: The highlight today was a Sandwich Tern patrolling the surf line but other than the regular Skylarks and a lone Reed Bunting flying around the high tide roost area it was quiet, possibly not helped by a drone being flown over the saltmarsh and Snowhill Creek. (BI)

Medmerry, Toe End: There were three Black Redstarts about the caravans today and a single Corn Bunting was nearby. (BI et al)

Medmerry, West side: A quick bike ride to the Stilt Pools and back produced the two Bar-headed Geese with c.50 Canada Geese on the Stilt Pools, along with plenty of Wigeon & Teal. A few Shoveler, Tufted Ducks and Gadwall were scattered about the other pools and a Greenshank went over as did a 60 strong flock of Dunlin. Along the beach there was a decent size flock of Linnets, six Skylarks and a few Meadow Pipits but in general the banks were quiet in the gusty wind. (BI)

Saturday, 1st December: A morning of truly horrible weather, with a strong southerly wind and persistent heavy rain......

Selsey Bill: Thirty minutes from 7.45am produced just two Common Scoters east and four Red-breasted Mergansers west. (AH)

Among the Gulls at Hillfield Road this afternoon was a probable Caspian Gull x Herring Gull hybrid. (ESt)

Probable hybrid Gull at Selsey (ESt)

Ferry Pool: There were at least six Snipe on the pool this morning, along with 27 Black-tailed Godwits and c40 Lapwings, plus the usual selection of wildfowl, including 12 Gadwall, c30 Shovelers, c80 Teal, four Shelducks and two Mallards, with c150 Wigeon in the creek in the field. (AH)

Snipe (above), Gadwall, Black-tailed Gowits, Teal and Mallard & Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were six Bar-tailed Godwits in the harbour, including a couple in quite advanced summer plumage, along with c60 Knot, c100 Grey Plovers and at least 500 Dunlin, plus the usual Redshanks and Curlews. 
Also, there were at least 200 Brent Geese, 40 Shelduck and a few Pintail, Wigeon and Teal about, plus a dozen Mediterranean Gulls, whilst at least one Firecrest and a handful of Goldcrests were along the path to the harbour and a dozen bedraggled Red-legged Partridges were in Rectory Lane. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwits (above), Firecrest, Wigeon, Brent Geese & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

East Head: Arriving this morning in heavy rain, in the fields near the car park, there were a group of c45 European Golden Plover together with Lapwing, Curlew, Common Redshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Brent Geese. A Mediterranean Gull circled overhead and a Great Black-backed Gull rode the strong winds and high waves offshore. Along the sand spit were a group of 26 Oystercatchers, several Sanderling and Grey Plover. At the northern end of the sand spit, a solitary Skylark, a few Reed Bunting and diving offshore Great Crested Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers. 
A lone Stonechat appeared on a fence wire. A Greenshank waded in a pool by the edge of the path at Snowhill Marsh and Common Snipe huddled down in the grass islands in the marsh. Black-tailed Godwit were feeding energetically in the deeper areas. As well as the usual Teal and Wigeon there were several Common Shelduck. (S Moffat per SOS)

Chichester GPs: Almost all the pits on the complex were quiet today with no more than a scattering of Great Crested Grebes, Coots, Tufted Ducks and Gulls among them. The exception was New Lake which was full of wildfowl: 125 Pochard, 120 Shoveler, 50 Mallard, 20 Gadwall & 40 Tufted Ducks all being present. A Sparrowhawk was nearby as was a mixed flock of Tits which also contained a Chiffchaff and a few Goldcrests. (BI)

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