Tuesday, 29 January 2019

29th - 31st January 2019

Thursday, 31st JanuaryA very cold and grey morning, with the temperature barely above zero degrees in the brisk and freshening south-easterly......

Advanced Notice: Please be aware that next Thursday & Friday (7th-8th February) we have a contractor carrying out some reed cutting in the Severals reedbed at Church Norton. This management is being carried out to ensure the reedbed continues to provide excellent habitat for the summering warblers that visit our reserve. It will also provide some open vista across the reed system. Thanks for your patience and understanding while the work is being carried out. (I. Lang, Reserve Warden)
(We thank the RSPB for the update and are pleased to note this improvement to the habitat.) (Eds)

Selsey Bill: The huge feeding flock of Gannets was a little closer and more central this morning, and numbered a minimum of 1500 birds, though individuals were joining and leaving all the time. Also, 60+ Red-throated Divers went west and an Eider and a Fulmar were among other species seen. Full log below. (AH/IP/R Baker)
Red-throated Diver - 9E, 68W
Gannet - 1500+os
Fulmar - 1E
Brent Goose - 2W
Common Scoter - 2E
Eider - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 20E, 10W, 10os
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Common Gull - 5W
Kittiwake - 40E, 20W
Razorbill - 200W, 100W, 1os
auk sp - 300E, 500W

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

Ferry Pool: There were just two Lapwings on the pool and one in the field this morning, though a couple of Gadwall and c50 Teal were in the adjacent rife, and a Spotted Redshank, a Kingfisher and c200 Wigeon and c50 Teal were in the channel opposite. (AH/R Baker)

Spotted Redshank and Teal (above), Gadwall and Teal & Wigeon around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were just a couple of Common and Mediterranean Gulls along the beach and 50+ Cormorants on the sea this morning, whilst in the harbour there were half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, 100+ Brent Geese and a few Wigeon and Teal.
Also, one of the Peregrines was on its island, the Whimbrel was in its usual patch and there were plenty of Dunlin, Knot and Grey Plovers about, but a dozen Skylarks on the spit and a Goldcrest and a few Long-tailed Tits and Goldfinches along the path to the harbour were about the only small birds noted. (AH/IP/R Baker)

Whimbrel (above), Common and Mediterranean Gull and Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs - Drayton Pits: The Great White Egret was still present this morning on the south pit, viewed from the usual gate, though it was in flight and a little distant, heading north. Both pits were largely frozen over, though there were a few patches of open water full of wildfowl, with 120 Shoveler on the south pit and half a dozen Snipe and 20 Lapwing flying around there. The north pit - viewed from the gates on the A259 - held 90 Pochard and 40 Tufted Ducks, plus a flock of 40 Redwings and a pair of Bullfinches calling and showing occasionally. Other species seen included a Chiffchaff, three Jays, three Green and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. (OM)

Not quite Swan Lake as a lonely pair of Canada Geese walks across the ice to survey the wintry scene at Drayton pits....(OM)

Wednesday, 30th JanuaryA mostly bright and sunny morning, though very cold again, with a light north-westerly breeze...

Selsey Bill: It was quiet after yesterday's activity, though the big feeding flock of Gannets was viewable very distantly to the east and a few Red-throated Divers moved through. Full log below. (AH/IP/RP)
Red-throated Diver - 12E, 4W
Gannet - 4E, 2W, c400os
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 9W
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 10os
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Common Gull - 1W
Razorbill - 5E
Guillemot - 1os
auk sp - 10E

Brent Geese & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were half a dozen Snipe around the field this morning, along with c500 Lapwings and c300 Wigeon, whilst 20 or so Shovelers and Teal were around the pool. (AH)

Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

West Itchenor: The Nuthatch was heard a couple of times in the copse at Chalkdock Marsh, though not seen, whilst along the edge of the harbour there were 20+ Bar-tailed Godwits, at least a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, 200+ Brent Geese, 500+ Dunlin and a handful of Knot and Grey Plovers. Also, a Kestrel was present and at least 50 Lapwings were in the fields. (AH/IP)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Knot, Kestrel, Red-breasted Mergansers & Brent Geese at West Itchenor (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A Jack Snipe was present again this morning. (IP)

Sidlesham: Mapsons Lane - Half a dozen Redwings were in the paddocks at the west end of the lane, along with two Jays, a Song Thrush and a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker. (AH)

Redwings in Sidlesham (AH)

 This morning, west of the reservoir and south of the village, was a flock of about 20 Redwings and a few Fieldfares, by the old flint barn. (CRJ)

Medmerry (west side): The Dartford Warbler was present again in the usual gorse bushes near Marsh Barn this afternoon (TG-P), whilst a Barn Owl was out hunting at 1430hrs (TG-P/IP).

Church Norton: There was a Firecrest in the east hedgerow of the churchyard this afternoon. There was also an Avocet in the harbour among the usual waders and a few Meadow Pipits along the spit. (AW)

 Avocet, Firecrest and Meadow Pipit at Church Norton (AW)

Tuesday, 29th JanuaryA cool and grey morning, with just a light southerly breeze...

Selsey Bill: Another fairly busy morning, with over 40 Red-throated Divers (including a loose flock of 14) west, a lot of auks on the move and a huge - if distant - gathering of Gannets. Full log below. (AH/IP)
Great Northern Diver - 2E
Red-throated Diver - 42E, 9W
diver sp - 2E
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 12E, 280W, 700os
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 2E, 11W
Common Scoter - 5W
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 12os
Mediterranean Gull - 10os
Common Gull - 3W
Kittiwake - 15W
Sandwich Tern - 3W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - c100E, 750W
auk sp - c400E, 1800W

Red-throated Divers (above), Razorbills & Razorbills and Gannets past the Bill (AH)

North Wall: The Hooded Crow re-appeared after nearly a month's absence, flying over the wall and into the harbour. (IL)

West Itchenor: Around the village pond area were a Treecreeper, a Coal Tit,  a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and six Redwings. After we passed through Home Farm to the 'Horse pond' area of Chichester channel, we found 60 Bar-tailed Godwits along the shore and 23 Red-breasted Mergansers on the water with just a couple of Great Crested Grebes, but little else of interest bar a few hundred Brent Geese. (OM/BFF) 
Also, a Nuthatch present in the small wood at Chalkdock Marsh was probably of interest to any Peninsula year-listers! (OM/BFF/BI)

Nuthatch at Chalkdock Marsh, Itchenor (above BI, lower two OM))

Treecreeper at Itchenor pond (OM)

Chi Marina: We made two visits to the Marina today; the first being early afternoon and the second a watch over the Marina pool reedbed from 16.30 until dusk. The first visit produced a Marsh Harrier briefly hunting before dropping down into the reeds, plus two Buzzards, a Water Rail and a Cetti's Warbler. The second visit failed to produce our target bird (a Bittern) despite our best efforts, but there were at least four different Water Rails calling, plus about five Snipe, another Buzzard, a calling Chiffchaff and some Long-tailed Tits. (OM/BFF)

Ferry Pool: There were just three Wigeon on a frozen pool, with c100 Lapwings on the field, whilst in the channel opposite there was a Kingfisher, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Redshank and c80 Teal. (AH)

Kingfisher (above), Black-tailed Godwits & Teal in Ferry Channel (AH)

Church Norton: There were four Red-throated Divers close offshore this morning, with a flock of ten seen heading west further out, but there was nothing else beyond a distant Gannet and a handful of Common Gulls.
There wasn't too much unusual in the harbour, though the Whimbrel was present again, as were 20+ Ringed Plovers among large numbers of Dunlin, Knot and Grey Plovers, at least 50 Teal, a handful of Mediterranean Gulls and 2-300 Brent Geese at the far end of the harbour. (AH/IP)

Red-throated Divers (above), Whimbrel & Ringed Plover at Church Norton (AH)

Apuldram & Fishbourne channel: A Firecrest and a Goldcrest were in the bushes at the car-park, but along the hedgerows a flock of a dozen Long-tailed Tits was the only interest, with no sign of a single Yellowhammer today! The Fishbourne channel was more productive though, with perhaps 1500 Brent Geese and a good number of Wigeon, plus five Spotted Redshanks in a tight group, at least three Greenshank, a Jack Snipe and several Common Snipe. The Lavant outfall area also produced a Kingfisher, a Grey Wagtail and a showy Water Rail. (OM/BFF)

Water Rail at Lavant outflow, Fishbourne creek (OM)

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