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)

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