Sunday, 29 December 2019

29th - 31st December 2019

Tuesday, 31st December: A fairly cold and grey day, with a freshening south-easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Little was on the move, though there were a few Great Northern Divers and a Slavonian Grebe about offshore. Full log below....
(0730-0930hrs) (wind ESE F2-3) (SH/PB/PM/BI/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 4os
Slavonian Grebe - 1W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe  1os
Gannet - 5W
Brent Goose - 2E, 6W
Shelduck - 2W
Pintail - 4E
Wigeon - 3E, 11W
Teal - 4E, 1W
Common Scoter - 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 2W, 1os
Common Gull - 2E, 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 6E
Kittiwake - 1E
auk sp.- 1E

Great Northern Diver at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Early on ten Gadwall were among a scattering of Shovelers and Teal, but late morning there was nothing but a Shelduck and a few gulls. (AH)

North Wall: There were at least 70 Golden Plover amongst the Lapwing along White's Creek this morning but were soon disturbed by a passing Peregrine. In Honer 3 field there were 86 Curlew. The Brent Geese - 2700 of them - were in the field immediately west of Owl Copse and very close to the footpath. Predictably they were disturbed by the first dog walkers but soon returned to the same field but by 10.45am they were back in the Harbour. 
A large mixed passerine flock just south of Honer reservoir contained Goldfinches and Greenfinches, Linnets, Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Pied Wagtails. Honer Reservoir is now full but contained no birds, though a pair of Stonechats were along Pagham Rife and a Marsh Harrier was just north of Honer Cottages. Happy New Year. (JDW)

Stonechat (above), Golden Plover and Lapwing & Brent Geese around the North Wall (JDW)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Stonechat, a Pied Wagtail, two Sparrowhawks and 20+  Meadow Pipits were around the farm and two Shovelers and nine Tufted Ducks were on the reservoir. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: A Marsh Harrier was hunting over the harbour, upsetting several hundred Lapwing and Golden Plovers, whilst the Peregrines were on their island and two Ravens flew over the Mound area before retreating west over the Priory.
An Avocet was in the harbour, along with lots of Dunlin and Grey Plovers, and a few Pintails were among the Wigeon and Teal on the main channel, whilst offshore a Red-throated Diver and 30 Teal flew west and five Gadwall flew into the harbour.
A Chiffchaff was at the Severals, but a look round Greenlease Farm was quiet, save a Jay and a couple of Goldcrests along Rectory Lane. (AH/IP/S&SaH)

Marsh Harrier (above), Raven, Avocet and Teal, Jay & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Dell Quay: Highlights from around this area were 3 Goldeneye, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, c.800 Common Gulls, c.60 Lapwing, c.60 Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Snipe, 30 Ringed Plovers and 60 Dunlin. Amongst passerines seen were a female Bullfinch, 10 Long-tailed Tits and 2 Rock Pipits, whilst a Cetti's Warbler and a Chiffchaff were heard but not seen. (PB/PM)

Runcton: A flock of at least 62 Fieldfares was in a field at Fisher Common Nursery late morning, though I only counted one Redwing; also good numbers of Chaffinch and Starling were present. (MJ)

Monday, 30th December: A beautifully crisp and bright day after a misty start, with barely a breath of breeze...

West Itchenor to Selsey Bill by boat: The highlight of a boat trip (with many thanks to Chris Wilson) this morning was the flock of 44 Eider off East Head, most of which were adult drakes, keeping very close together in the same area as they have been seen recently.
Among the other birds seen in Chichester Harbour were a Great Northern Diver, a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, about five Great Crested Grebes, a Peregrine and lots of Brent Geese and commoner waders, whilst there were four or five Red-throated Divers around the harbour mouth.

Eider (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Peregrine & the Chimet weather station around East Head (AH)

There wasn't too much offshore towards the Bill, though at least four Red-throated Divers, a small flock of Common Scoters, a couple of Razorbills and a few Common Gulls were seen, whilst a couple of Great Northern Divers and Red-breasted Mergansers were near the Mile Basket. (AH/IP/BI/SR/CW)

Great Northern Diver (above) & Common Gull off the Bill (AH)

The Bill from the sea (above) & the Red and Green Buoys and the Mile Basket close up (AH)

North Wall: Very misty early, could hear Brent Geese in the Harbour but not see them. On the Breech Pool were 3 Teal, 3 Tufted and around 50 Mallard. 
Around 1000 the Brent Geese began leaving the Harbour and congregated on Honer 3 field. The mist was rapidly dispersing and I was able to count 1600. (JDW)

Brent Geese from the North Wall (JDW)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a Chiffchaff, a Green Woodpecker, a Sparrowhawk and 20+ Meadow Pipits around the farm, with two Shovelers and three Tufted Ducks on the reservoir. (SH)

Chichester Marina: There were four Snipe at the reed-beds, whilst in the harbour on the full tide were five Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe and a very distant Red-breasted Merganser and the Black Swan was in the Marina. (RW)

Church Norton: Highlights of a muddy walk from the information centre to Church Norton were four Reed Buntings at the Long Pool and a Chiffchaff in the bushes along the west side, whilst in the harbour were 300+ Golden Plover and 14 Avocets. (RW)

Later on, a flock of 11 Cattle Egrets flew down from the North Wall area, circled Tern Island and the harbour mouth before retreating, eventually settling out on the vegetation in the middle of the harbour.
Also, there were four Snipe, 11 Pintail, 50+ Wigeon and 40+ Curlews along the west side. (AH)

Cattle Egrets (above) & Pintail at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 29th December: A slightly brighter, milder morning, with the breeze remaining light and from the south-east.....

Selsey Bill: A Velvet Scoter and 31 Red-throated Divers went west and there were seven Sandwich Terns patrolling offshore. Full log below. (SH/BI/SR/IP/MO-W/AH)
(0750-1000hrs) (SE, F3)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 21E, 31W, 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 3W
Gannet - 1E, 2W
Brent Goose - 52E, 23W
Wigeon - 9W
Common Scoter - 3W, 2os
Velvet Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 3W
Sparrowhawk - 1
Turnstone - 40
Dunlin - 28W
Common Gull - 2E
mediterranean Gull - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 7os
auk sp - 7W

Red-throated Diver (above), Sandwich Tern, Brent Geese & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 32 Shovelers, c60 Teal and four Shelducks on the pool, with c50 Wigeon and Lapwing on the field.
Six Gadwall and at least 50 Teal were in the channel opposite, whilst at least 150 Golden Plover and c500 Lapwing went up from the harbour. (AH)

Gadwall (above) & Shoveler and Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The Water Pipit was again present today, along with seven Rock Pipits, one of the latter being a green-ringed littoralis from Hareid Municipality in Norway
Also present in the area were two Kingfishers, a Grey Wagtail, a Green Woodpecker, three Chiffchaffs and three Cetti's Warblers whilst the gull roost held c.750 Common Gulls & a 1W Yellow-legged Gull. A Jack Snipe flew from the saltmarsh as the tide approached and on the water were four Goldeneye & four Red-breasted Mergansers among the commoner wildfowl. (Est) 
Earlier towards Dell Quay there were six Goldeneye, but no sign of the Long-tailed Duck,  and two possible, but unfortunately distant, Black-necked Grebes. (BI)

littoralis Rock Pipit at Fishbourne Creek (ESt)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were just ten Pied Wagtails on the fields and nine Tufted ducks on the reservoir today. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: The two Peregrines were on there island and there were lots of the commoner waders and wildfowl, plus lots of Brent Geese in the harbour. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Breach Viewpoint - Not much on the high tide but a Peregrine was on a fence post, a Kestrel was hunting, and a Kingfisher was at the sluice.
Two Red-breasted Mergansers were on the pools alongside 15 Brent Geese, c30 Shelduck, 35 Wigeon, 22 Teal, a Great Crested Grebe and five Turnstones.  Approximately 30 Ringed Plover flew west and three Stonechats plus a dozen Meadow Pipits were about the area, but there was nothing around the caravans. (SR)

Medmerry: Earnley Concourse to the Stilt Pool - There were several hundred Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails in and around the flooded cabbage fields, whilst at least 80 Stock Doves were among the Wood Pigeons in the adjacent maize fields.
The banks were quiet, though there were three pairs of Stonechats, plus a few Linnets, whilst the only waders seen were a Greenshank and a Curlew out on the reserve, where there were also a few Brent and Canada Geese, a dozen Gadwall and c150 Wigeon.
There were just a few Teal and Shoveler on the Stilt Pool, with lots of gulls present, including at least 20 Common Gulls. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Greenshank, Meadow Pipit, Brent Geese, Common Gulls & Stock Doves and Wood Pigeons at Medmerry (AH)

Medmerry: Ham Farm - A late afternoon look produced around 60 Fieldfares in the field in front of the farm and c250 Brent Geese on one of the (few) cropped fields. (AH)

Fieldfares at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 26 December 2019

26th - 28th December 2019

Saturday, 28th December: Another very grey morning, reasonably mild in the light to moderate south-easterly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: An impressive total of 134 Red-throated Divers went west this morning and there were a few Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal on the move, but not much else, though at least six Great Northern Divers and seven Sandwich Terns were offshore. Full log below. 
(0800-1030hrs) (SSE, F2)  (SH/PB/SR/BI/MO-W/AH/IP)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 6os
Red-throated Diver - 6E, 134W, 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 2W, 2os
Gannet - 4W
Brent Goose - 55E, 19W
Shelduck - 1E, 11W
Wigeon - 3E, 45W
Teal - 6W
Pintail - 16E, 5W
Shoveler - 3E, 1W
Common Scoter - 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 7W, 4os
Common Gull - 3E, 4W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 3E, 4W
(1415-1515hrs) (wind SE2) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 4os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3W, 3os
Wigeon - 1W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 2W
Common Gull - 1W

Red-throated Divers (above), Pintail, Shoveler and Teal & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just the regular species on and around the pool this morning, including c30 Shovelers, c50 Teal, eight Shelduck, 50 Wigeon and c100 Lapwing. (AH)

Teal on the Ferry (AH)

East HeadThe flock of Eider were still offshore from Chichester Harbour mouth this morning, seen from the boat. (CW)

Eider off East Head (CW)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Pied Wagtail, 20+ Meadow Pipits, two Lapwings and 24 Oystercatchers were on the fields and two Tufted Ducks were on the reservoir this morning. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: A Cetti's Warbler was calling from the first Several, whilst a Stonechat and 11 Snipe were around the flooded horse field. 
Also, a lone Red-breasted Merganser went west offshore and there were large numbers of Brent Geese and Golden Plovers over the far side of the harbour. (S&SaH)

North Wall: A Kestrel was perched on a horse paddock post this morning, about 900 Brent Geese were briefly in their usual field between Marsh and Honer farms before disturbance by a car, a Green Woodpecker called  and flocks of Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits made impressive shapes before settling out in the harbour. (IH)

Honer Reservoir: The reservoir was devoid of birds, but the hedges and fields held at least three Chiffchaffs among lots of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, half a dozen Reed Buntings and Linnets, a Grey Wagtail and up to a dozen flighty Redwings. There was also a big female Peregrine sat on the top of a tree. (AH)

Peregrine (above), Chiffchaff, Redwing, Grey Wagtail & Reed Bunting at Honer Reservoir (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The Long-tailed Duck was at Dell Quay again, along with at least six displaying Goldeneyes and several Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst a Jack Snipe was with a few Snip at the Lavant outflow. (GW)

Friday, 27th December: A fairly mild and almost still morning, underneath leaden skies.....

Selsey Bill: There were three Great Northern Divers, a Sandwich Tern and a few Slavonian Grebes offshore, with Red-throated Divers going both east and west. Full log below;
(0750-0930hrs) (wind N F1)  (BI/SR/MO-W/AH/IP) 
Red-throated Diver - 9E, 14W
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Slavonian Grebe - 1W, 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 2W, 1os
Gannet - 4E, 5W
Brent Goose - 6E
Common Scoter - 1E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 5W, 7os
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 1E

Red-throated Diver at the Bill (AH)

East Head: The flock of Eider - at least 39 but may have been more - were offshore from Chichester Harbour mouth again this morning, seen from the boat. (CW)

Eider off East Head (CW)

Ferry Pool: There were two Gadwall, eight Shelducks, c25 Shoveler and c40 Teal around the pool, with a few more Wigeon, Teal and Lapwings tucked away in the flooded parts of the field. (AH)

Gadwall (above) & Shoveler at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A Marsh Harrier was present at first light this morning, patrolling the reeds beyond the horse paddocks, and along the wall a party of Long-tailed Tits passed by and a Cetti's Warbler managed a feeble call.
About 900 Brent Geese were feeding in the field between Marsh and Honer Farms and a similar number were frequently airborne somewhere to the north.
The Breech pool contained a Great Crested Grebe, in addition to the usual Mallard and Tufted Ducks, and in the harbour Knot, Dunlin, Shelduck, a Grey Plover, a Little Grebe and a few Pintail were visible as well as Wigeon, Teal and Redshank.
The morning ended as it started, with a bird of prey - this time a Sparrowhawk. (IH)

Not much out of the ordinary this afternoon, but there must have been at least 2000 Brent Geese in the harbour and around Owl Point, with flocks coming and going all the time. (AH)

Brent Geese at the North Wall (AH)

Northcommon Farm: Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming continually this morning. (SH)

Fishbourne Creek: The Long-tailed Duck was viewable distantly south of Dell Quay, whilst there were also six Goldeneye, up to ten Red-breasted Mergansers and a few Little and Great Crested Grebes along the channel, plus many Wigeon and Brent Geese.
At least two Greenshank were among the large numbers of Redshank, Dunlin, Grey Plovers and Turnstone roosting at high tide, whilst a Kingfisher, a Grey Wagtail, a Goldcrest and at least three Rock Pipits were around the Lavant outflow. (AH/IP)

Goldeneyes (above), Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Brent Geese, Wigeon & Red-breasted Mergansers at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Boxing Day, Thursday, 26th December: A thoroughly wet and miserable morning, with leaden grey skies, dry early on, but giving way to persistent and often heavy rain and strong to gale force W/SW winds.....

Selsey Bill: There were a few bits around this morning, including two drake Eiders, up to seven Sandwich Terns and a few Slavonian Grebes, Red-throated Divers, Gannets and Kittiwakes. Full log below.... 
(0740-1000hrs) (SE, F5, veering to S, F5)  (SH/BI/SR/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 10E, 3W
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Slavonian Grebe - 4W, 1os
Gannet 25E, 22W
Brent Goose - 114E, 3W
Pintail - 5E
Shoveler - 3W
Eider - 2os
Common Scoter - 2E, 3W
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 6W, 3os
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 7W
Common Gull - 5E
Kittiwake - 8E,
Sandwich Tern - 7E, 1W
auk sp - 3W
(1330-1530hrs) (wind SW7)  (SH/SR)
Gannet - 4E, 2W
Brent Goose - 1E
Eider - 1W
Common Scoter - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 10W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 1W

Eider (above), Kittiwake, Red-throated Diver, Common Scoters, Red-breasted Merganser and Pintails, Gannet, Red-breasted Mergansers & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: About 60 Black-tailed Godwits dropped in on the field, whilst around the pool and field there were c20 Shoveler, ten Shelducks, c80 Teal and c150 Wigeon. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Late this afternoon there were ten Avocets on the pool and a Kingfisher in the channel opposite. (AH)

Avocets (above) & Kingfisher at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There wasn't much about on the high tide in the dismal conditions, but the Whimbrel, half a dozen Bar-tailed Godwits and a fair few Dunlin and Grey Plover were spread about, along with a pair of Little Grebes and a few Brent Geese, Teal and Wigeon.
The only land birds noted were a Green and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. (AH)

Whimbrel (above), Little Grebe, Green Woodpecker & Great Spotted Woodpecker at Church Norton (AH)