Thursday, 10 December 2020

10th - 13th December 2020

Sunday, 13th December: A pretty dismal morning's weather, with more or less continual drizzly rain under leaden skies in a fresh and blustery southerly .....

Selsey Bill: There was quite a bit of activity this morning, notably 836 Razorbills, 210 Kittiwakes and 458 Gannets heading west, along with two Bonxies, a Velvet Scoter and eight Red-throated Divers. Full log below. (SH/JA/BI/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1os
Red-throated Diver - 8W, 1os
diver sp - 1W
Gannet - 458W
Brent Goose - 5E
Common Scoter - 10W
Velvet Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 2W
Bonxie - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 58W
Common Gull - 65W
Kittiwake - 210W
Guillemot - 14W
Razorbill - 8E, 836W
auk sp - 1E, 451W

Velvet and Common Scoters (above), Red-throated Diver, Kittiwake, Gannet, Razorbills & Razorbills and Guillemots at the Bill (AH)

(1345-1445hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Great Crested Grebe -2os
Gannet - 16E, 53W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Common Gull - 2W
Kittiwake - 6E, 28W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 1E, 5W
auk sp - 7W

Ferry Pool: There were 31 Avocets roosting on a fairly empty pool this morning, with just c20 Black-tailed Godwits, c40 Teal, c40 Shovelers, four Shelduck and c100 Lapwing also on it, though at least 200 Wigeon and 400 Lapwings were on the fields. (AH)

Marsh Farm, SidleshamThe Richard's Pipit was once again showing in the field by the derelict barn this morning, (CG), but couldn't be found later, though there were 31 Cattle Egrets present. (IP/RW)

Church Norton and West side: There were no waders to be found beyond a circling flock of c500 Lapwings, though at least 700 Brent Geese were in the harbour before moving off west, and there were also c20 Wigeon and Teal, four Great Crested Grebes and a Red-breasted Merganser on the water.
Also, about 20 Skylarks, ten Meadow Pipits and five Reed Buntings were along the west side. (AH)
Later, two Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 30+ Gannets, three Kittiwakes and four Razorbills were seen from the beach. (S&SaH) 

Reed Bunting (above) & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday, 12th December: A fairly pleasant morning, quite mild in a mix of sun and white cloud, and a moderate westerly breeze .....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit more activity this morning, including three Velvet Scoters east and a Bonxie, a dozen Red-throated Divers and 300+ Kittiwakes west. (SH/BI/IP)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 1os
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 12W, 1os
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1E, 14W, 15os
Common Scoter - 3E, 21W, 3os
Velvet scoter - 3E
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 5W, 4os
Bonxie - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 8E, 3W
Kittiwake - 18E, 314W
Sandwich Tern - 1os
Razorbill - 9E, 13W, 1os
Guillemot - 2W
auk sp - 175E, 198W
Pied Wagtail - 2

Ferry Pool: A flock of 32 Avocets dropped into roost, whilst half a dozen Snipe were tucked into the reeds and eight Gadwall were on the pool, along with four Shelducks, c80 Teal and c60 Shovelers, whilst at least 100 Black-tailed Godwits and numerous Lapwings and Wigeon were on the field.
Also, early on, c20 Redwings and a dozen Fieldfare were in the hedges by Red Barn ditch. (AH)

Avocets (above), Redwing & Gadwall at the Ferry (AH)

Marsh Farm, SidleshamThe Richard's Pipit was still present in the field by the derelict barn this morning, and 11 White-fronted Geese (presumably those seen earlier over Church Norton) went over. (JE/NBd/A Howard et al)
Later on, the Glossy Ibis re-surfaced near the farm, having not been seen for a week, and the odd-looking Rook was again present. (P&JW)

Richard's Pipit at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (NBd)

Pagham Sewage Works: A Siberian Chiffchaff and four Chiffchaffs were in the hedges by the gate this morning, whilst a Marsh Harrier went over and c1000 Brent Geese were in the adjacent fields. (BI)

Siberian Chiffchaff at Pagham SF (BI)

Park Farm, Selsey: The farm just held two Green Woodpeckers, four Red-legged Partridges, a few Meadow Pipits and two Pied Wagtails. (IP). 

Church Norton: The harbour held most of the interest with eleven White-fronted Geese seen flying over there and then two were sat on Peregrine Island, which also held the Merlin on a post, whilst the female Common Scoter was in the harbour, along with a female Red-breasted Merganser. 
There were plenty of the usual waders about, which included a Snipe, the Whimbrel, at least fifty Knot on the ironworks and three Black-tailed Godwits on Tern Island. 
Passerines were thin on the ground, with a single female Stonechat and three Goldcrests around the Severals and seven Pied Wagtails at Greenlease Farm. (AH)

East Head: A WeBS total of 650 Dark bellied Brent Geese seems low for December, though there were reasonable numbers of Lapwing, Dunlin, Redshank, Teal and Wigeon about. 
Best news of the day was 18 Avocets on the furthest marsh at Snowhill - I have never seen numbers like that in winter before. 
There was no sign of the Snow Buntings but plenty of Reed Buntings, Meadow Pipits and Linnets were present. (GM)

Drayton Pit: Two Woodcocks were seen this morning. (BI)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Marsh Barn - The flock of 24 White-fronted Geese were on the stubble field by Marsh Barn this morning, with at least 600 Brent Geese in the big field opposite, whilst to complete the set, two Egyptian Geese flew over and c30 Canada Geese. were by the poplars. There were also c50 Shelducks thee, along with 100+ Wigeon and Teal and a dozen Shovelers, as well as c40 Redshank and a few Curlews, whilst a Peregrine went over.
About 20 Yellowhammers and a few Reed Buntings were near the poplars, with three different pairs of Stonechats seen, whilst a Grey Wagtail and plenty of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were in the stubble field, along with c25 Stock Doves. (AH/A Howard)

White-fronted Geese (above), Brent Geese, Yellowhammer & Kestrel at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 11th December: Another grey and murky morning, with spells of drizzly rain, though mild in the light south-westerly breeze and brightening up later.....

Selsey Bill: There wasn't much going on this morning! (BI/AH/SR/RP/IP)
(0740-0840hrs) (WSW, F3)
Red-throated Diver - 3W
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1os
Gannet - 1E, 2W
Common Scoter - 11W, 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 1W, 4os
auk sp - 1E
Meadow Pipit - 1W
Chiffchaff - 1

Red-throated Diver (above) & Red-breasted Mergansers at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A dozen Snipe were in the roadside reeds this morning, whilst 25 Avocets and four Black-tailed Godwits were roosting on the pool, and there were also c25 Teal, c50 Shovelers, half a dozen Shelducks and 200 Lapwings about. (AH)

Avocets (above) & Snipe on the Ferry (AH)
North Wall: The Marsh Harrier was again present this morning, as were about six Fieldfares, a single Redwing, at least four Song Thrushes, a good number of Blackbirds, 15 Greenfinches and perhaps six Rock Pipits. 
Successive groups of Brent Geese flew north-east totalling some 300 and later about 500 flew from the south-east into Whites Creek, while above there in excess of 600 Lapwings. Further out in the harbour there were 32 Shelduck as well as Pintails and Black-tailed Godwits. (IH/SP)

Dell Quay: The pair of Goldeneye were still present this morning. (SP)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Richard's Pipit was reported by visiting birders as having been present earlier on, whilst around 25 Cattle Egrets were scattered around various fields adjacent to the farm.
At least 20 Redwings and 100 Fieldfares were spread along the hedges between Marsh and Bramber Farms, where there were also c40 Shelducks, plus a pair of Stonechats, with further pairs along Church Farm Lane and at Marsh Farm, where there was also a Grey Wagtail and the very strange-looking Rook.. (AH)

Redwing (above), Fieldfares, Stonechat, Grey Wagtail, Cattle Egret & Rook at Church Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Marsh Barn - The flock of 24 White-fronted Geese were still present this afternoon, in the big field west of Marsh Barn, in the company of c1000 Brent Geese. (AH)

White-fronted Geese (above) & White-fronted and Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 10th December: A gloomy and dank day, with a brisk south-easterly breeze and heavy cloud cover, though a little milder than of late.....

Selsey Bill: There was plenty of activity offshore, but mostly of the regular species making local movements. full log below. (SR/IP/RP/AH)
(0755-0910hrs) (SSE, F5-6)
Great Northern Diver - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 1W, 1os
Gannet - 12E, 15W
Common Scoter - 4E
Red-breasted Merganser - 16E, 3W, 1os
Turnstone - 17
Mediterranean Gull - 29E, 1W
Common Gull - 12E
Kittiwake - 9E, 3W
Razorbill - 8E, 6W, 1os
auk sp - 10E, 37W

Red-breasted Mergansers (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: At least 100 Black-tailed Godwits and 500 Lapwings were on the pool before being displaced into the harbour by a Buzzard, but oddly there were no Snipe about, though there were plenty of wildfowl, including four Gadwall, seven Shelducks, c75 Shovelers and 100+ Wigeon and Teal. (AH/A&YF)
Later, a Hen Harrier went over the Tramway.(RJS)

Shovelers (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Richard's Pipit was still present in its usual area this morning. (RJS) and was still present early afternoon, then a flock of 21 White-fronted Geese flew over Church Farm Lane towards Marsh Farm at c.1340hrs. (CBC/MC).

North Wall: A Marsh Harrier was hunting over the reed beds beyond the stables this morning, where there was also a Curlew feeding. About 600 Brent Geese were in White's Creek an hour after high water with a few Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and an occasional Shelduck dotted amongst them. 
The hedgerows contained flocks of 30 Fieldfares and 12 Greenfinches and about 40 Black-tailed Godwits were in the water opposite Owl Copse, while in the field to the west were some 20 Curlew. (IH)

Later, on a falling tide, White's Creek was full of wildfowl, with 170 Brent Geese, 210 Wigeon and at least 80 Pintail, with small flocks of Brent Geese continually leaving the Harbour and heading in the direction of Sefter Farm. Not much was happening along the Wall - though there were still a few Fieldfares about and a travelling party of about 12 Long-tailed Tits, plus a pair of Stonechats in the horse field at Welbourne. (JDW)

Church Norton and West Side: Most if the activity was at the far end of Ferry Channel, where c40 Avocets, c60 Golden Plovers, the displaced Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings, 500 Dunlin and 50 Grey Plovers were all roosting, along with c20 Pintail and several hundred Wigeon and Teal, plus a c25 Shelducks.
Elsewhere there were just a few Brent Geese going over and half a dozen Little Egrets, but no passerines beyond a handful of Goldcrests in the churchyard. (AH/A&YF)

Golden Plovers (above), Avocets, Pintail, Teal and Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings & Teal along the West side (AH)

Chichester Marina: Two Water Rails were rushing to and fro in the reed-bed - doing their best to avoid the camera - and a couple of Reed Buntings and three Pied Wagtails were about, but it was generally quiet. 
A single Teal, taken to be a juvenile male, was on Birdham Pool alongside the Mallards and 10 Little Grebes. Meanwhile out in the main channel of the harbour was a pair of Goldeneye, four Red-breasted Mergansers, five Great Crested Grebes, nine Little Grebes and good numbers of the usual wildfowl and waders. (SR)

Water Rail at Chi Marina reedbed (SR)

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