Tuesday, 19 February 2019

19th - 21st February 2019

Thursday, 21st FebruaryA morning that started with bright sunshine, before clouding over in a brisk south-westerly breeze.....

Selsey BillIt was generally quiet, but there were perhaps up to four Great Northern Divers and a Razorbill offshore, whilst bizarrely a single Greylag flew east along the shoreline, calling as it went, before cutting in over the Oval field and houses and continuing onwards!
It is also worthy of mention that a fine new (wartime) memorial bench has appeared on the Oval field - on top of the southernmost raised bank - slightly angled so as to afford fine views towards the Isle of Wight (see photos below)......
Full log below...... 
0730-1230hrs: (C&ME/MO-W/OM et al)
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 1W
Great Northern Diver - 2W, 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1W
Greylag Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - c.50os
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 7W, 7os
Turnstone - 30 ob
Razorbill - 1os
Mediterranean Gull - 8os
Chiffchaff - 1 singing Bill House garden

Two views of the splendid and newly-installed memorial bench on the raised embankment of the south-west corner of the Oval Field.....doubtless it will get some usage from birders on fine days! (OM)

Later, at approx 1455hrs, a Great Skua flew west off the Bill - quite likely the bird seen at Church Norton earlier. (AW)

 Great Skua off the Bill this afternoon (AW)

Ferry Pool: About 30 Lapwings and 13 Golden Plovers were flying about overhead, whilst on the pool there were four Gadwall, two Shelduck and the usual mix of Teal, Wigeon and Shovelers. (AH)

Golden Plovers over the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Bonxie was patrolling the harbour early this morning, upsetting everything, including a large flock of Brent Geese. (AW) Later, the Bonxie re-appeared from the east, before drifting back in that direction. (ARK)

Bonxie at Church Norton (AW)

Pagham Spit: A wonderful experience this afternoon.... the juvenile Great Skua was on the Pagham Spit side of the harbour earlier today annoying the local gull population before it landed not 30 metres from me, right near where the old hide used to be. I took a load of pictures, but when my back was turned it flew into the harbour and settled on the island where the Peregrine sits!  (GWh)

The Bonxie on Pagham Spit (GWh)

North Wall: A Firecrest was along the path to the harbour this morning. (IH)

Long Pool: The Spotted Redshank was at the end of Ferry Channel, along with c30 Redshank and c50 Teal, but not much else, whilst on the pool there were ten Tufted Ducks and two Little Grebes, plus a calling Cetti's Warbler. (AH)

Spotted Redshank and Redshanks (above) & Tufted Ducks from Long Pool (AH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham to the North Wall: It was generally quiet, though a few Yellowhammers were around Marsh Farm and two Shovelers were on Honer Reservoir. (JDW)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - A covey of six Grey Partridges were around the solar farm, but the hedges around Porthole Farm were quiet, with just a few Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers about, with a few more, plus a dozen Meadow Pipits and c75 Stock Doves along the track between the farms.
The banks at Ham, however, were full of birds, including a couple of Corn Buntings, up to five Stonechats, a dozen Yellowhammers, c50 Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, c100 Goldfinches and at least 300 Linnets, whilst a Peregrine was sat out on the derelict building. 
Also, three Roe Deer and a Hare were about. (AH)

Grey Patridge (above), Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Peregrine, Stock Dove, Linnets & Roe Deer at Medmerry (AH)

Wednesday, 20th FebruaryAnother pleasant morning, with lots of sunshine and a fairly brisk southerly breeze.....

Selsey BillIt was quiet again, with few birds on the move, though a Slavonian Grebe was offshore. Full log later. (C&ME/AH/IP/RP)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 3W
Common Scoter - 25os
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 2W, 7os
Mediterranean Gull - 5W

Ferry Pool: A dozen Lapwings were around the pool, but otherwise it was the usual selection of wildfowl, including six Gadwall, two Shelduck, 35 Shovelers, c80 Teal and c200 Wigeon. (AH)

Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

Sidlesham Common: At 5.45pm this evening a Barn Owl was hunting along Boxham Lane (to the north of the village) - the first time I have seen one in this vicinity. (AH)

Church Norton: The Hooded Crow was reported by visiting birders from the end of the spit, but it disappeared as the tide rose. Otherwise it was quiet, with nothing offshore save a few Common and Mediterranean Gulls, plus a Common Seal, whilst in the harbour there were two Red-breasted Mergansers, four Great Crested Grebes, ten Pintail, a few Wigeon and Teal and at least 500 Brent Geese, including the odd-looking white-headed bird.
The usual Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers were present, plus the two Peregrines, but there wasn't much else, whilst the only passerines of note were a couple of Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits around the path to the harbour and 20+ Skylarks were on the spit. (AH/IP)

Brent Geese (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Common Gull, Skylark, Grey Plovers, Dunlin and Knot & Common Seal at Church Norton (AH)

Also, mid afternoon there was a large flock of Brent Geese on the big field at Norton Corner, defying the Langmeads' deterrent lines. (SR)

 Brent Geese in farm fields at Norton Corner (SR)

Tuesday, 19th FebruaryA fairly warm and sunny morning after a frosty start, with a light to moderate westerly breeze.....

Selsey BillIt was very quiet this morning, though a Sandwich Tern went west. (AH/MO-W/CRJ)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Gannet - 25W
Brent Goose - 2W
Common Scoter - 1E, 3os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 5W, 3os
Mediterranean Gul - 12os
Common Gull - 1os
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Later, at about 1315hrs, a close Great Skua heading west was observed from the Hillfield Road car park (C&ME)

Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just 20 or so Shoveler and Teal, plus six Shelducks and two Gadwall on the pool and c200 Wigeon on the creek in the field this morning. (AH)

Sidlesham: Church Farm Lane - A pair of Stonechat were back around last year's breeding site, but sadly the long-derelict small barn where the Barn Owls bred last year has been almost totally stripped of vegetation and innards with them all dumped on a large bonfire nearby. It is a great pity as at least two neighbours have seen the owls there in the last fortnight. (SA)

Church Norton: The Hooded Crow was again around the harbour mouth this morning. Also, a Peregrine was on its island, eight Bar-tailed Godwits were roosting on Tern Island and two Ravens went over west. (CRJ)
Later on, there was a large flock of Brent Geese in the roadside fields at Church Norton. (RP)

Brent Geese at Church Norton (RP)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The persistent southerly-based winds and mild conditions seem to have done the trick, producing a very early migrant in the form of a Swallow, found at 1035hrs. (J.Davis per RBA)
Otherwise, there weren't too many birds about this morning, with the only waders seen being a Redshank, two Oystercatchers and c50 Lapwings, with wildfowl consisting of a dozen Gadwall, c20 Shovelers, c30 Shelducks and around 100 Wigeon and Teal split between the poplars and the Stilt Pool.
A pair of Buzzards were displaying over the banks and there were plenty of Skylarks, plus a few Meadow Pipits, Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Linnets, but that was about it. (AH)

Skylarks (above), Gadwall, Stock Dove, Yellowhammer, Buzzards & squabbling Moorhens at Medmerry (AH)

Hunston: There were still 16 Cattle Egrets in the field east of the sub-station this afternoon. (AH)

Cattle Egrets at Hunston (AH)

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