Thursday, 28 November 2019

28th - 30th November 2019

Saturday 30th November: A cold and mostly grey morning, with a decidedly brisk easterly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of a selection this morning, including a Goosander and an Eider east, a Velvet Scoter and a few Brent Geese west and a brief appearance by a very late Swallow heading east offshore. Full log below. (SH/PB/BI/IP/MO-W/AH/SR)
(0730-0930hrs) (E, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 9E, 6W, 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 2E, 1W
Shag - 7E
Brent Goose - 10E, 33W
Shelduck - 12W
Wigeon - 5W
Teal - 1E
Eider - 1E
Common Scoter - 7E, 3W, 6os
Velvet Scoter - 1W 
Goosander - 1E 
Red-breasted Merganser - 15E, 5W, 7os
Common Gull - 2E 
Mediterranean Gull - 12E 
Sandwich Tern - 1os 
Razorbill - 1E 
auk sp - 5W 
Swallow - 1E 
Pied Wagtail - 2

Goosander (above), Shag, Great Northern Diver & Red-breasted Mergansers at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were c50 Teal, c20 Shoveler and just a handful of Lapwing on the pool, whilst c60 Wigeon were in the flooded fields at the back. (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The Water Pipit was showing intermittently again this morning, whilst at least six Rock Pipits, a Cetti's Warbler and a male Stonechat were in the vicinity and a Fieldfare and four Redwings flew over.
The Long-tailed Duck was again at Dell Quay, as were a Black-necked and two Slavonian Grebes, along with five Goldeneye and at least eight Red-breasted Mergansers, but there was no sign of the Great Northern Diver.
Up to five Greenshanks, two Spotted Redshanks and a few Black-tailed Godwits were among the many common waders and at least 500 Brent Geese and similar of Wigeon were about. (AH/BI/IP PB/RJF, RAI et al)
Later on, a Slavonian Grebe and the Water Pipit were showing well, and there were two Kingfishers present. (HB)

Water Pipit (above), Rock Pipit, Long-tailed Duck, Greenshank and juvenile Brent Goose at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two Stonechats, two Jays and six Skylarks around the farm, plus a Sparrowhawk over. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: A Red-breasted Merganser and four Avocets were i the harbour, whilst 20+ Mediterranean Gulls were offshore. Also, 500+ Brent Geese flew in from the North Wall area and 50+ Golden Plover and 100+ Lapwings went up at the back. (S&SaH)
Later, a Marsh Harrier was hunting over the harbour and the Peregrine was on its island. (RAI)

Medmerry: Marsh Barn -  A Dartford Warbler was in the gorse today. (IL)

East side: A Swallow (surely the one seen at the Bill earlier!) and a Lesser Redpoll went over and a Bullfinch in the hedges were the highlights of a very quiet look at the Slipe Field. (IL)

Friday 29th November: After a grey start, a beautiful late autumn morning, with lots of sunshine and just a light northerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: A Short-eared Owl flying in off the sea was the highlight. Full log below.(C&ME/IP/BI) 
(0730-0930hrs) (N, F2)
Great Northern Diver - 2W, 3os
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 2W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 1E, 31W
Common Scoter - 3E. 12W, 7os
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E. 7W, 6os 
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 2W, 1os 
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Short-eared Owl - 1N 
Pied Wagtail - 2W 
Blackbird - 1N

Short-eared Owl coming in off the sea at Selsey Bill (BI)

Ferry Pool: There were just 20 or so Shovelers and Teal, plus a Redshank and c60 Lapwings on the pool this morning, though the channel opposite held a Kingfisher and at least 100 Wigeon and Teal. (AH)

Kingfisher in Ferry Channel (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The creek was the place to be this morning, with plenty of birders appreciating the selection of species present. 
The Water Pipit was again present by the Lavant outflow, though rather skittish, whilst there were also a couple of Rock Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, a Jack Snipe, three Snipe, a Spotted Redshank and a Kingfisher in the vicinity.
At Dell Quay the Great Northern Diver and one of the Long-tailed Ducks were showing well,  whilst the Black-necked Grebe was distantly viewable to the south. There were also half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers present, along with a Spotted Redshank and five Greenshank among the roosting waders on the far bank.
There were also at least 200 Common Gulls, numerous Wigeon and Brent Geese and plenty of the commoner waders present on the rising tide. (AW/BI/IP/OM/AH/IH/ARK/MH et al)

Water Pipit (above), Great Northern Diver, Long-tailed Duck, distant (!!) Black-necked Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe & Brent Geese at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Long-tailed Duck (above) & Water Pipit at Fishbourne Creek (AW)

North Wall: White's Creek contained Wigeon, Teal and three Little Grebes while 150 Lapwing swirled overhead. A further 150 Lapwing were in a flooded Honer 2 field together with five Redshank and a flock of 10 Snipe dived into the back of the Breech Pool. Successive groups of Brent Geese totalling about 350 flew in the direction of Marsh Farm and a Grey Plover was feeding in the mud opposite Owl Copse. (IH)

Pagham Spit: A Short-eared Owl was seen coming in off the sea this afternoon and then settled on the spit, whilst the first-winter drake Eider was still in the harbour. (AW)
Also, two Sandwich Terns were showing very well, feeding close inshore around the harbour mouth. (R&GaH)

Short-eared Owl (above), Eider (AW) & Sandwich Terns (GaH) around Pagham Spit

Thursday 28th November: A very pleasant and sunny morning, with a moderate north-westerly breeze....though feeling a little cooler than of late.

Selsey Bill: It remains quiet, though a Red-throated Diver and three Shags went east. Full log below...
(0730-0930hrs) (Wind W/NW4-5) (C&ME/PC/MO-W)

Red-throated Diver - 1E
Shag - 3E
Brent Goose - 11W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4os
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 3W
Pied Wagtail -11W
Goldfinch - 35N

Ferry Pool: There was very little on the pool at high tide, except nine Redshanks and around 20 Teal and Lapwings, with c100 more of the latter on the field. (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The pair of Long-tailed Ducks were well to the left of the pub at Dell Quay this morning, whilst eleven Red-breasted Mergansers were close in and there were also nine Great Crested and six Little Grebes present. 
Amongst the many birds at the Lavant outflow was a Water Pipit and a Kingfisher, along with four Snipe and a pair of Egyptian Geese, whilst there was a good number of Common Gulls amongst the Black-headed Gulls on the water. (SR)
A bit later the Long-tailed Ducks had moved further down the channel towards the Marina, and the Great Northern Diver was there again. (CRJ)
Also, in addition to the above,, a Black-necked Grebe was along the far side of the channel today. (S Smith)

Water Pipit (top two), Egyptian Geese & Red-breasted Merganser in Fishbourne Creek (SR)

Pagham Spit: The first-winter drake Eider and a female Red-breasted Merganser were in the harbour, along with a Common seal, whilst 20+ Pintail were among 100+ Wigeon and Teal and the female  Peregrine was on its island.
Also, a pair of Stonechats were at the start of the spit, whilst along it were a Rock Pipit, ten Linnets and 20 Skylarks. (AH)

Eider (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Peregrine, Stonechat & Pintail and Wigeon from Pagham Spit (AH)

East Side: There were very large numbers of waders roosting towards high tide, including  two Avocets, two Bar-tailed Godwits, 200+ Golden Plover, 300+ Black-tailed Godwits and at least 1000 Lapwings, along with at least 50 Common Gulls and good numbers of Brent Geese, Wigeon and Teal, whilst a pair of Stonechats were along the path and  a Kingfisher flew through. (AH)

Avocets (above), Golden Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, Stonechat & Common Gull along the east side (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: The Lagoon itself was virtually devoid of birding interest, with just the usual handful of Little Grebes and Tufted Ducks on the water, plus a couple of Mediterranean Gulls amongst a few Black-headeds. However, there was some interest in the sallows and bushes along the small footpath at the back of the Lagoon (which runs through to Well Road but which is seriously flooded at present). Best birds were a male Blackcap and a Firecrest, plus two Goldcrests, two Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a small group of about 10 Long-tailed Tits and a squealing Water Rail. (OM)

Firecrest at Pagham Lagoon footpath (OM)

Monday, 25 November 2019

25th - 27th November 2019

Wednesday, 27th November: The wind shifted round to the south-west then west, but the wet and gloomy weather continued, with a mix of a few brief sunny spells and heavy, squally and persistent showers......

Ferry Pool: There was one Avocet on the pool this morning, along with 20 Shovelers and 40 Teal, whilst there were at least 400 Lapwing spread between the pool and the field.
A Kingfisher flew along the channel opposite, where there was also a Little Grebe, but the Tramway circuit was quiet, save a couple of Song Thrushes - one singing, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a dozen Reed Buntings and c40 Goldfinches. (AH)

Reed Bunting (above), Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Grebe & Avocet around the Ferry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek and Chichester Marina: I had a look for Long-tailed Ducks at Dell Quay this morning, but no luck before the rain set in hard - c40 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Kingfisher was all I could find.
At Chichester Marina hide all I could muster were four Moorhens and two Snipe. (CRJ)

Drayton Pits: A quick look this morning produced 50+ Pochard and Shoveler, along with a few Tufted Ducks and Great Crested Grebes, whilst a Chiffchaff and a few Long-tailed Tits were in the hedges. (AH)

Pochards at Drayton Pit (AH)

West Itchenor: A Great Northern Diver was viewable from here in the Chichester channel, somewhere between Cobnor point and Furzefield Creek. (PH)

Tuesday, 26th November: Yet another dismal morning's weather, with a blustery southerly breeze blowing through endless drizzly squalls....

Selsey Bill: There was very little to report this morning! (AH/IP)
(0745-0845hrs) (S, F5)
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E, 7W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 1W
Turnstone - 2W
Common Gull - 1W

Sidlesham Quay: A look around the periphery of Chapel Meadow produced what was presumably yesterday's pipit, seen twice at close quarters before it slipped away into long grass. It was not seen especially well, but the consensus was that it was most probably a Rock Pipit, based on a lack of an eye-stripe, a generally darker appearance and its confiding nature.
There were also several Snipe flying around at high tide and there were at least 60 Curlews in the stubble field adjacent to Yeoman's Field. (AH/BI)

Curlews at Sidlesham Quay (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Avocets on the pool again, along with at least 400 Lapwings and 40 Black-tailed Godwits that dropped in briefly, whilst wildfowl included at least 100 Teal, around 40 Shovelers and ten Shelducks.
A Kingfisher was briefly in the channel opposite, whilst the very high tide was displacing the roosting birds, including at least 30 Snipe, mostly in one loose flock and a dozen Avocets out on the last refuge at the far end of Ferry Channel.
There were also a Chiffchaff, half a dozen Goldcrests and up to 20 Long-tailed Tits in the hedges. (AH)

Avocet and Lapwings (above), Black-tailed Godwits and Avocets, Long-tailed Tits & Snipe around the Ferry (AH)

Monday, 25th November: A pretty wet and miserable morning, after a cold and grey start, with persistent drizzly rain being pushed through by a fresh southerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Four Slavonian Grebes together on the sea and a Goosander and a Velvet Scoter west were the highlights of another quiet morning. Full log below. 
(0730-0900hrs) (S, F4)  (BI/IP/MO-W/SR/AH)
Red-throated Diver – 2W
Great Northern Diver – 1os
Slavonian Grebe – 4os
Great Crested Grebe – 2E, 2W, 1os
Gannet – 11E, 41W, 2os
Shag – 1E
Common Scoter – 5E, 13W, 7os
Velvet Scoter - 1W
Goosander - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser – 12E, 15W, 4os
Common Gull – 1E
Mediterranean Gull – 6E, 2W
Kittiwake – 3E, 4W
auk sp. – 5E, 2W
Rock Pipit – 1
Pied Wagtail – 1
Grey Seal – 1 os

Goosander (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: The Long-tailed Duck was still present at Dell Quay this morning, along with two Goosanders and a few Red breasted Merganser in the drizzle and the choppy sea. It was not the best day to be out birding in fact it was dreadful....with plenty of rain and a cool SW wind making birding conditions horrible. 
Fishbourne Creek had plenty of ducks and waders although it was not the best counting conditions; we tried very hard to find a Jack Snipe without any luck although 4 Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank and a flock of 15 Rock Pipits (all together) were the best we could do. (BFF/DM)
This afternoon there were two Long-tailed Ducks and a Great Northern Diver downstream from the pub area. (PH)

Greenshanks at Fishbourne Creek (DM)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were as many as 25 Cattle Egrets with 12 Little Egrets in fields near Chalder Farm this morning. (IL)

Sidlesham Quay: A Water Pipit was seen near dusk in Chapel Meadow - an area with no public access, unfortunately. (IL)

Drayton Pit: The Great White Egret was still present on south pit this morning (BI) though it could not be found later in the afternoon.

Birdham Pool: A female Mandarin was at the back of the pool again late this afternoon. (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were two Avocets again this morning on the high tide, along with ten Shelducks,  c300 Lapwings, c30 Shoveler and c60 Teal. (AH)
Later 80 Golden Plovers went over. (IL)

Avocet and Lapwing (above) & Avocet, Shovelers and Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There was nothing unusual, but large numbers of birds were tucked into the north-west corner on the big high tide, with much activity as the water pushed up.  Among those present were at least 40 Snipe, with flocks of over a dozen flying about, c200 Golden Plovers, c300 Black-tailed Godwits, at least 1000 Lapwings and plenty of wildfowl including  eight Pintail, 50 or so Shelduck and Brent Geese and at least 200 Wigeon. 
There were also at least two Rock Pipits and half a dozen Reed Buntings along the wall, plus a calling Cetti's Warbler. (AH/IH/PC)

Snipe (above), Golden Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, Pintail & Wigeon at the North Wall (AH)

Church Norton: The strange-looking leucistic, or possibly hybrid, Brent Goose was in the harbour this morning, before flying off towards the Ferry.  Later, the Eider appeared again this afternoon in the main harbour channel on the Pagham side. There was also some work going on around the harbour entrance. (AW)

Leucistic Brent Goose at Church Norton (above), Eider in the harbour channel and works ongoing in the harbour mouth area (AW)