Thursday, 13 February 2020

13th - 15th February 2020

Saturday, 15th FebruaryAnd so it goes on......cloudy and grey, though comparatively mild and remaining dry through the morning, but with strong to gale force winds persisting and another Met office-named storm approaching - this time Storm Dennis - with a forecast of severe SSW gales and torrential rain later.....

Selsey Bill: More of the same really, with a few divers and auks and three Sandwich Terns being the modest highlights.....
(0710-0930hrs)  (SSW6-7)  (SH/BI/IP/MO-W/SR/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 2W, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Gannet - 13W
Brent Goose - 9E
Pintail - 3W
Common Scoter - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7W, 4os
Turnstone - 9ob
Razorbill - 8W
auk sp - 18W
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Kittiwake - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 4os
Common Gull - 2os

Gannets (above), Pintail, Mediterranean Gull & Turnstones at the Bill (AH)

(0500-1600hrs) (SSW, F8)
Turnstone - 2W
Kittiwake - 1W

Park Farm, Selsey: Not much beyond four Tufted Ducks on the reservoir and a Grey Squirrel hiding from the rain! (SH)

Grey Squirrel at Park Farm (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were just half a dozen Gadwall and Shelducks, c30 Teal and c50 Shovelers on the pool this morning. (AH)

Moorhen at the Ferry (AH)

North WallA Kestrel, a Grey Wagtail, a pair of Pied Wagtails and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were all found at the horse paddocks this morning, while the flooded fields contained in excess of 100 Curlew, about 400 Black-tailed Godwits, around 400 Brent Geese and low numbers of Wigeon and Teal. (IH/TH)

South Mundham:  All I could manage to find was a Grey Wagtail, five Long-tailed Tits, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Buzzard. (SR)

Church Norton: A quick look this morning produced the regular Whimbrel and a few Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers were in the harbour, whilst a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were in the main channel and four Reed Buntings were along the sheltered hedges. (AH/IP)

Whimbrel (above) & Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: Two Greenshank and half a dozen Goldeneye were at Dell Quay, whilst out in the main channel at least 1500 Brent Geese dropped in to add to the half dozen Pintail, c300 Wigeon and a scattering of Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew and Black-tailed Godwits. 
Among the large number of Black-headed, Herring and Common Gulls were eight Lesser Black-backed and ten Mediterranean Gulls. Passerines were few, but included a female Stonechat, two Rock Pipits along the harbourside and a Coal Tit in the Apuldram church car-park. (AH/BI)

Greenshank (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Stonechat, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gull & Brent Geese at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Friday, 14th February: A brief respite from the run of dire weather, with a bright and breezy morning, a little milder than of late with the wind backing to south-west....

Selsey Bill: There were six Great Northern Divers on the sea, but little was on the move beyond a Fulmar and a couple of Red-throated Divers. Full log below:
(0720-0915hrs) (wind SSW F4) (BI/IP/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 3W
Great Northern Diver - 6os
diver sp. - 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 17os
Mediterranean Gull - 2E, 1W
Common Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 2os

Red-throated Diver (above) & a Sandwich Tern over a Wightlink Ferry out on manoeuvres at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Snipe were by the road this morning and a total of eight Gadwall were spread around the pool, along with ten Shelducks and c50 Shoveler and Teal, whilst c100 Wigeon were in the fields at the back. 
Also, a Kingfisher flew down the channel opposite and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the bushes. (AH)

Shelducks (above) & Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Ferry (AH)

Itchenor: A Great Northern Diver was viewable in the Chichester channel, near the southern tip of Chidham. (HB)

Runcton. A single Reed Bunting still visiting the feeders today, whilst in the past fortnight we have had two Coal Tits and a male Blackcap, too, (CRJ).

Reed Bunting in a Runcton garden (CRJ)

North Wall: The much-flooded fields were again full of Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon, Teal and Curlew but today there were also a few Shelduck, Shoveler and a single Spotted Redshank. At least that was the case until a non-military helicopter flew over and achieved similar results to the recent Chinook.  
About a 1,000 Brent Geese in the field at the end of the wall were also spooked and flew back to the harbour.  Other sightings included a Grey Wagtail, a Chiffchaff, probably four calling Cetti's Warblers between the Breech Pool and Owl Copse and, appropriately for today, a pair of courting Mute Swans on the Breech Pool. (IH) 

Later along the Wall two Rock Pipits werre also noted, two Peregrines were hunting, a single Cattle Egret was in Owl Copse and later the Barn Owl was out by the paddocks.
There were also two Red-breasted Mergansers in White's Creek an large numbers of birds on the flooded fields, including c700 Black-tailed Godwits, c200 Redshank, c200 Wigeon, c50 Teal, c100 Curlews and at least 1500 Brent Geese. . (SB/TH/IH/AH) 

Black-tailed Godwits (above), Brent Geese and Wigeon & Red-breasted Mergansers from the north Wall (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - A look around the tracks between the farms produced a Grey Wagtail and a Buzzard by the sewage farm, a couple of pairs of Stonechats, half a dozen Stock Doves and a dozen or so Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.
The hedges just north of Ham Farm were quite busy, holding at least four Redwings (though no Fieldfares were about today), two or three Reed Buntings and at least a dozen Yellowhammers. (AH)

Grey Wagtail (above), Redwing, Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipit & Stock Dove at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 13th February: After heavy overnight rain, a very wet and windy morning, with a near gale-force westerly, giving way to a bright and blustery afternoon....

Selsey Bill: There was little to report today! Full log below. (SR/IP/AH/MO-W)
(0800-0915hrs) (WSW, F7-8)
Great Crested Grebe - 3W
Fulmar - 1E
Brent Goose - 7W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 9os
Oystercatcher - 2E
Turnstone - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 6os
Sandwich Tern - 1W

Great Crested Grebe at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Avocets were on the pool, which is currently very full of water, with at least 60 Shovelers, two Gadwall, ten Shelducks, 80 Wigeon and 50 Teal spread around the pool itself and the flooded areas of the fields. (AH)

Avocet (above) & Gadwall and Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Bar-tailed Godwit, a couple of Ringed Plovers and c50 Knot were among the many Redshank, Dunlin and Grey Plovers, whilst a pair of Red-breasted Merganser and two Great Crested Grebes were on the water.
Further down the harbour around 200 Golden Plover and 1000+ Lapwing took to the air, but otherwise it was very quiet in the poor conditions. (AH/IP)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above), Red-breasted Merganser & Grey Plover at Church Norton (AH)

North WallThe fields are now much flooded but they afforded the splendid sight in the low sun of massed numbers of Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon and Teal, with an arcing rainbow behind. A flock of about 1,000 Brent Geese arrived from the general vicinity of Marsh Farm but after 20 minutes returned whence they came. The horse paddocks contained 6 Teal swimming on a newly formed pond in addition to 3 Song Thrushes and a Redwing, whilst in the lane a group of Long-tailed Tits flew through and apparently a Barn Owl had made an appearance early afternoon. (IH)

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