Sunday, 16 February 2020

16th - 18th February 2020

Tuesday, 18th February: A bright and breezy morning, quite cool and with a fresh westerly blowing the cloud briskly through....

Selsey Bill: A Red-throated Diver west, a Great Northern Diver east and a Meadow Pipit in off the sea were the highlights, such as they were! (SR/IP/AH)
(0755-0855hrs) (WSW F4/5)
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W, 4os
Turnstone - 4
Kittiwake - 1E, 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Common Gull - 4E, 1W
Meadow Pipit - 1N

Great Crested Grebe at the Bill (AH)

North Selsey: A Barn Owl was hunting over the waste ground to the rear of the Ocean Air factory at 05.45am this morning. (SH) 

Ferry Pool: There were lots of wildfowl at the back of the Ferry and in the flooded parts of the field this morning, including four Gadwall, eight Shelduck, c60 Shoveler, c100 Teal and c150 Wigeon, along with c200 Lapwings. (AH)

Shoveler (above) & Wigeon and Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Pagham Spit: The two female Goldeneye and three Red-breasted Mergansers were in the harbour entrance this afternoon. (TH)

North WallAll the fields behind the wall and at Halsey's Farm are full of water - and birds! - creating a very dramatic landscape at present.
Highlights this morning included two Marsh Harriers, together at one point, behind the Breech Pool, at least 600 Black-tailed Godwits and 1000 Lapwings in the floods and at least 2000 Brent Geese spread between the harbour and Halsey's Farm.
There were also 2-300 Wigeon and Teal, with a handful of Pintail, Gadwall and Shovelers among them, whilst the regular Kestrel was at the paddocks, a Goldcrest was at the far end, a couple of Cetti's Warblers called, a few Reed Buntings were flying about and a Jay was in Church Lane. (AH/IH/TG/PC/TH et al)
Also, later, a Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek and a Green Woodpecker was on the Slipe Field. (AT)

Marsh Harriers (above), Brent Geese, Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings & Jay at the North Wall (AH)

Monday, 17th February: The tail end of the storm this morning brought a very fresh and gusty westerly wind and a mix of sun and heavy squally, showers.....

Nature's in the Way! A walk down the west side of the harbour this morning revealed the full scale of the damage done by Nature's Way to the beautiful banks of gorse and hawthorn immediately before the breeding season. 
Apparently with the knowledge and consent of the RSPB and the District/County Councils, their contractor has cut a swathe of approximately four metres width along the top and sides of the banks along the entire west side, clearing everything in its way in the interests of keeping the footpath tidy!
It is frankly hard to understand how this needless destruction of one of the most attractive and productive parts of the reserve could have been allowed to happen. (Eds)

Some images of the destruction along the west side (AH)

Selsey Bill: It remains very quiet offshore, with just a Slavonian Grebe and a Sandwich Tern of note. Full log below:
(0720-0900hrs) (WSW F6) (BI/AH/CMu)
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1W
Brent Goose - 6E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 7W
Turnstone - 2W
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 1os
auk sp. - 1E, 1os

Ferry Pool: Two Avocets were at the back, along with six Shelduck, c20 Teal and c40 Shoveler, with another 20 of the latter and similar of Wigeon and Teal in the flood on the field. (AH)

Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Whimbrel, a couple of Ringed Plovers and at least 200 Knot were in the harbour, along with many Dunlin and Grey Plovers and up to ten Mediterranean Gulls.
There were 42 Avocets at the end of Ferry Channel, along with a Snipe, a Pintail, a few Wigeon and Teal and c50 Redshanks.
The only birds seen along the west side were c20 Curlews in the maize stubble and a couple of Meadow Pipits and half a dozen Skylarks, whilst three or four Goldcrests were along the sheltered hedges around the hide.
There were also c400 Lapwings out on the ploughed fields along Rectory Lane. (AH)

Avocets (above), Avocets and Teal, Pintail, Goldcrest, Whimbrel & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton (AH)

Hunston: There were c.15 Cattle Egrets and c.9 Little Egrets in the usual field behind the green barn this morning. (BI) 

North WallThe usual suspects were in the flooded fields this afternoon - at least 1,000 Brent Geese, perhaps 500 Lapwing and considerable numbers of Wigeon, Black-tailed Godwits and Curlew. The wind and rain prevented much else in the way of sightings. (IH)

The view from Owl Copse, looking north-east this afternoon, with the fields beyond totally waterlogged. (IH)

Sunday, 16th February: Storm Dennis continues to do its worst, though the persistent heavy rain has proved more aggravating than the gale force westerly winds.....

Selsey Bill: Three Fulmars west were about the only thing of note this morning. Full log below. (SH/IP/BI/SRAH)
(0700-0900hrs) (SSW, F9 early on, then SW F6-7)
Fulmar - 3W
Shelduck - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 3W
Turnstone - 8
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
auk sp - 1W

Red-breasted Merganser at the Bill (AH) & Fulmar (below) (BI)

(1605-1705hrs) (WSW, F6-7) (SR)
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E
Turnstone - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 1W

Ferry Pool: Around 50 Shovelers were on the pool, along with 20 Teal, three Shelducks and three Mallards, whilst c50 Wigeon and c80 Lapwing were on the field. (AH)

Shovelers on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Seven Gadwall were flying about and c25 Wigeon and Teal were in the now very flooded creek by the horse field, but waders were few out on the mud. 
The Whimbrel was present, as were a few dozen Dunlin and Grey Plovers, plus the regular Redshanks and Curlews, but otherwise the harbour was very barren. (AH)

Gadwall (above), Whimbrel, Grey Plover & the flooded creek at Church Norton (AH)

Later, four Golden Plovers and a Snipe were on the horse field, a Bar-tailed Godwit was on the concrete spit and several hundred Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers were on the old harbour mouth.
Also, two Red-breasted Mergansers were on the water and at least 30 Mediterranean and Common Gulls were among the many Black-headed Gulls in the harbour and offshore. (S&SaH/AH)

Red-breasted Merganser (above) & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: The highlight was a dashing Merlin at the southern end of the Lagoon late morning, whilst on the water were just two Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe. (JDW)

North Wall: 1100 Lapwing were on the field behind the Breech Pool and Honer 1 field, although the latter is flooded and impassable. Also, the western end of Church Lane is deeply flooded and wellington boots are required to get through. (JDW)

Selsey, Park Farm: Two Red-legged Partridges, a Green Woodpecker, 40+ Meadow Pipits and 30+ Mediterranean Gulls were at a very flooded Park Farm this afternoon. (S&SaH)

The flooded field at Park Farm (SH)

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