Monday, 14 January 2019

14th - 16th January 2019

Wednesday, 16th January: A very grey,  cool and blustery morning, with a brisk south-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A slight shift of wind direction round to the south-west (and possibly connected to the northerly airflow in the North Sea) produced a spectacular movement of 1977 Kittiwakes, 1388 Gannets and 5200 auks (mainly Razorbills) this morning, all heading west close inshore. The 3500 Razorbnills recorded was a new day record, whilst the counts for all auks and Gannets were the third highest ever. Full log below. (AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 4W
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 1388W
Brent Goose - 23W
Common Scoter - 1E, 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 15W
Common Gull - 60W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Kittiwake - 1977W
Razorbill - c3500W, 8os
Guillemot - c200W
auk sp - c1500W

Fulmar (above), Kittiwakes, Kittiwakes and Gannet, Gannets & Guillemots and Razorbills past the Bill (AH)

Tramway area: A flock of c30 Barnacle Geese were out in the middle of the harbour, viewable from the Tramway this morning, and c20 Avocets dropped into the channels nearby. (AH/IP)

Barnacle Geese and Avocets (above) & Barnacle Geese from the Tramway (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just four Gadwall, a Shelduck, c30 Shoveler and c50 Teal on the pool, with c300 Wigeon on the field this morning, but unusually there were no Lapwing at all. (AH/IP)

Church Norton: Later in the day, between 125 and 150 Barnacle Geese were flying around the harbour. (T-GP/AW)

Barnacle Geese at Church Norton (AW)

Tuesday, 15th January: Another cool morning, with a mix of cloud and sun and a light to moderate north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: It was fairly quiet early on, though the first Fulmar of the year went west a little later on. (AH/IP/DF/DS/KJ et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 2W, 1os
Gannet - c40os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8os
Kittiwake - 20E
Sandwich Tern - 3E
auk sp - 50E

Later a Fulmar went west and three Great Northern Divers were on the sea, with a few more Gannets, Red-breasted Mergansers, Kittiwakes and auks seen, whilst a huge flock of 1000+ Dunlin, with a few Knot and Grey Plover among them went west.. (KJ et al)

Red-throated Diver at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers around the concealed pool this morning, before one flew off, and a Snipe was also present, with at least 500 Lapwing and 300 Wigeon around the field.
Eight Gadwall and a shelduck were on the pool, along with the regular c30 Shovelers, with similar of Teal on the pool and in the channel opposite. (AH et al)

Green Sandpiper (above), Snipe, Wigeon & Wigeon and Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Firecrest was around the bottom of the path to the harbour, along with a handful of Goldcrests and c25 Goldfinches were in the trees.
What was presumably the same mixed flock of waders seen at the Bill flew out over the beach heading west, and consequently few remained in the harbour, which was very quiet beyond a big flock of Brent Geese and a few Wigeon, Teal and Liitle Grebes, plus the two Peregrines on their island. (AH/IP/DF/DS et al)

Peregrine (above) & Little Grebe at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The creek was full of waders and wildfowl this morning, including three Spotted Redshanks and five Greenshanks and at least 1000 Brent Geese. (IP)

Chi GPs - Drayton Pits: Early this afternoon the Great White Egret was roosting on the island on the South pit. (AB)
I made a late afternoon visit, concentrating on the North pit, and stayed until it was virtually dark. Unfortunately there were no scarce herons on offer - and indeed only one Grey Heron - but once again there was a nice little show from the Starling murmuration, though less birds were involved this time (guestimate at 1000). A small flock of c.200 appeared at 1605hrs over the east side of the lake and railway hedges, soon being joined by others to increase the flock to a thousand. They all descended to roost at 1625hrs, but not before a dramatic moment when a Peregrine scythed through the flock but missed! Two Buzzards were also seen and at least three different Water Rails were squealing. (OM)

 Starling flock at Drayton North pit (OM)

Brief video of the Starling flock (best played in full screen mode)

Monday, 14th January: A sunny but cool morning, with a moderate north-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There were a few more divers about this morning, plus a couple of Sandwich Terns, with more auks moving well offshore. (AH/IP/AM)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 4W, 5os
Gannet - 30E
Red-breasted Merganser - 10os
Dunlin - 30W
Common Gull - 2W, 1os
Kittiwake - 40E
Sandwich Tern - 2E
Razorbill - 10E, 5os
auk sp - 300E, 40os

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

Chalder Farm: A single Cattle Egret was in fields near the farm this afternoon. (TG-P)

Ferry Pool: There were three Green Sandpipers around the concealed pool this morning, plus a couple of Snipe, with at least 500 Lapwings and 300 Wigeon on the fields, whilst c30 Shoveler and c40 Teal were along the sheltered side of the pool, with c80 more of the latter in the channel opposite. (AH)

Green Sandpipers (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey Wagtail was present this morning. (IP/RM)

Church Norton: A Peregrine was seen catching a Feral Pigeon over the harbour, whilst a Bar-tailed Godwit was among the regular waders, a Slavonian Grebe was offshore and two Goldeneye and three Red-breasted Mergansers were seen on the far side.
Also, the pair of Stonechats were in the gorse by the horse field and a Jay and a Song Thrush were in the first Several. (IP/RM)

Pagham Lagoon/Spit: There was nothing much on the lagoon beyond a dozen Little Grebes and Tufted Ducks, c40 Canada Geese and the usual gulls and Coots, though there were two Chiffchaffs in the bushes around the adjacent houses.
There were a few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits along the spit and a Peregrine was on its island, whilst in the harbour were the two Goldeneye and three Red-breasted Mergansers, a few Pintail among the Wigeon and at least 1500 Brent Geese. (AH/IH)

Chiffchaff (above), Peregrine, Brent Geese & Coot around Pagham Spit (AH)

North Wall: About 80 Teal and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits were on the Breech Pool, with c100 more of the latter in Whites Creek, along with c500 Lapwing and plenty of Wigeon and Redshank, whilst a sparrowhawk and a Kestrel went over. 
There were also 250 Brent Geese on the fields along Pagham Road.(AH/IH)

Sparrowhawk and Carrion Crow (above) & Teal and Black-tailed Godwits from North Wall & Brent Geese along Pagham Road (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Dartford Warbler and two Stonechats were near the  first viewpoint this afternoon, and a Greenshank and five Black-tailed Godwits were on the stilt Pool, whilst one of the Barn Owls was out at around 4.30pm. (IP)

(East side) Toe End - Breach:  There was no sign of the Hooded Crow, but a pair of Stonechats, two Pied Wagtails and about 15 Meadow Pipits were around the caravans and a female Black Redstart was opposite the restaurants near West Sands. (AM)

Chi GPs - Drayton pits: The Great White Egret was seen early afternoon, but soon flew off (per RBA)

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