Monday, 14 December 2020

14th - 16th December 2020

Wednesday, 16th December: A cool and grey morning, with a fresh south-easterly breeze and the prospect of rain again later.....

Selsey Bill: The most notable feature of an interesting morning was an apparent eastward movement of Brent Geese - 162 in total, including one flock of 35 that came in from way out. Also, 63 Kittiwakes went through in a rush early on, with 64 drifting back east over the morning! Full log below. (AH/RP/SR/PM/PB/MO-W)
(0745-1000hrs) (SSE, F6)
Great Northern Diver - 2E
Red-throated Diver - 6E, 3W
Gannet - 22E, 26W
Brent Goose - 162E
Common Scoter - 3E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 3W
Turnstone - 12
Mediterranean Gull - 3E, 6W
Common Gull - 3E, 3W
Kittiwake - 64E, 63W
Guillemot - 3E
Razorbill - 8E
auk sp - 4E

Guillemots (above), Great Northern Diver, Brent Goose (PM), Gannet, Red-throated Diver & Kittiwake (AH) at the Bill

Ferry Pool: A flock of 25 Avocets flew into a very empty pool late this morning, with another one already feeding on the concealed pool, with just a handful of Teal and Shoveler being the only other birds present, with a few more of both on the floods in the field. (AH)

Avocets at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were a few interesting birds in the harbour this morning on the fast-rising tide, including a White-fronted Goose on Peregrine Island, a first-winter Kittiwake among the Black-headed Gulls, a Kingfisher, the female Common Scoter in the main channel, a Merlin zipping through and the two Marsh Harriers hunting over towards the North Wall.
Also, among the more regular species were 100+ Brent Geese, a few Pintail, the Whimbrel, c80 Grey Plovers, c700 Dunlin and large numbers of Golden Plovers and Lapwings flying up over the far end of the harbour. (AH/PB/PM)

Kittiwake (PM) (above), White-fronted Goose, Common Scoter, Pintail & Grey Plovers and Dunlin (AH) at Church Norton

Fishbourne Creek: On the rising tide this morning most waders were distant, though a few Curlew were along the near shore and 41 Turnstone were on the pontoon by the boatyard. 
At Dell Quay four Greenshank and four Spotted Redshank were on the far shore, whilst 12 Red Breasted Mergansers were in the creek. In the field below the Lavant Outfall with the tide well up there were seven Rock Pipits, five Yellowhammers and three Stonechats in the bushes along the shore. (RW)

Greenshanks (above), Curlew & Lapwings and Turnstones at Fishbourne Creek (RW)

Tuesday, 15th December: A pleasantly warm and sunny morning, despite the brisk southerly breeze.......though clouding over later.

Selsey Bill: There were over a hundred (mostly distant) Kittiwakes going west, with three Sandwich Terns offshore, though it was generally quiet. (AH/SR/RP/IP/M-OW)OM)
(0800-0930hrs) (SSW, F4-5)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 1W
Gannet - 8E, 9W
Brent Goose - 16W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 6W
Oystercatcher - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 4W
Kittiwake - 8E, 121W
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 1E, 3W

Ferry Pool: There were just eight Avocets on the pool this morning, along with six Snipe, c50 Teal and Shovelers and five Shelducks, with c200 Lapwings on the field. (AH)

Marsh Farm, SidleshamThe Richard's Pipit was again in its favoured field this morning, with a couple of pairs of Stonechats and half a dozen Yellowhammers and Meadow Pipits also in the vicinity.
The Glossy Ibis was present again, too, though elusive and hard to see, favouring the fields south-east of the farm buildings where there is no access and limited visibility. 
There were also 26 Cattle Egrets around Marsh Farm, with another 16 near Bramber Farm, where a visiting birder reported a Merlin showing well, and a flock of c80 Black-tailed Godwits flew up from the North Wall area. (AH/DSa/BFF/DM et al)

The Richard’s Pipit was still in same field late afternoon, with 12 Cattle Egrets and the Glossy Ibis at Marsh Farm, whilst walking back down Church Lane 150 Pied Wagtails gathered at dusk on telephone wires waiting to roost in a glass house. (CRJ/SM)

Glossy Ibis (above), Stonechat & Cattle Egrets at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

Richard's Pipit this morning in its 'usual' field (DM)

North Wall: A Marsh Harrier, about 400 Lapwing and some 200 Golden Plover were in the air at the Wall this morning, a Kingfisher flew near the sluice gates and a Common Sandpiper flew from the vicinity of the Breech Pool. 
 There was less to see on the ground although the partially flooded fields held 12 Shovelers and a few scattered Black-tailed Godwits and Curlew. (IH/PC)

Hunston: A Cattle Egret flew over the road by the electricity sub-station on the B2145 and a small flock of around eight was feeding in the adjacent fields - viewable through a hedge but quite hard to see - but in the same area that they have previously frequented. (BFF/DM)

Sidlesham SF & Medmerry trail: I decided on a visit to check out the Chiffchaffs in and around the sewage works, but my fairly decent search was not very productive, with no more than four Common Chiffchaffs about and even they were hard to locate! 
A single Fieldfare was about the best of the rest, which included a Kestrel, two Stonechats, two Cetti's Warblers, a Greenfinch, a Reed Bunting, a Great Spotted and three Green Woodpeckers. (OM)

Fieldfare (above), Great Spotted & Green Woodpeckers around Sidlesham SF - the latter two species clearly preferring the telegraph poles to the trees in the area! (OM)

Monday, 14th December: A bright and sunny start, with a fresh south-westerly breeze, slowly giving way to cloud and the prospect of rain later.....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of variety this morning, including two Sandwich Terns, seven Red-throated Divers and 22 Brent Geese west and a Shag east. Full log below. (AH/IP/RAI)
(0745-0915hrs) (SSW, F6)
Red-throated Diver - 7W, 2os
Gannet - 20E, 56W
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 5E, 22W
Common Scoter - 8W
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 6W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Kittiwake - 14E
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Guillemot - 2W, 1os
Razorbill - 1E, 6W
auk sp - 3E, 3W

Red-throated Diver (above), Guillemot, Common Scoters & Gannets at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 30 Avocets and 40 Black-tailed Godwits roosting on the pool, but otherwise just c25 Teal and Shoveler, with most of the activity, including c50 Black-tailed Godwits, c40 Teal, c40 Shoveler and c150 Wigeon around the flooded creek at the north of the field. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above), Teal & Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Richard's Pipit was reported again this morning (per NB), and later at the southern end, whilst the Glossy Ibis was also still present, along with two Egyptian Geese and 46 Cattle Egrets, and a further eight of the latter were just north of Bramber Farm. (TG-P/JDW). 

North Wall: The harbour early this morning contained about 300 Brent Geese, with steady movements from the south and to the north-east, as well as good numbers of the usual waders. 
There was not a lot to report north of the Wall apart from a Stonechat in the horse paddocks, a Marsh Harrier over the reed-beds, a Rock Pipit and a Song Thrush in the hedgerows. (IH/PC/JDW)
Apart from a Great Crested Grebe and a few Wigeon there were no birds on White's Creek and only Mallard on the Breech Pool. A pair of Stonechats, a Buzzard and ten Roe Deer were just NW of the farm. 
On Honer reservoir were 11 Gadwall and nine Tufted Ducks,although the footpath from the North Wall to Honer is impassable unless you have wellingtons. (JDW) 

Pagham Spit: There were 6 Little Grebes and a Great Crested on the Pagham Spit Little Lagoon; now that the Lagoon is tidal it appears a number of fish get left behind at low tide and this food source is being exploited by the grebes. (JDW)

Church Norton: There were up to 500 Brent Geese, a few Wigeon and Teal, 80 Grey Plovers and c300 Dunlin in the harbour on the high tide, along with four Great Crested and two Little Grebes, but not much else of note, though six Red-breasted Mergansers went west offshore, where there were also a few Mediterranean and Common Gulls..The only passerines noted were a Stonechat on the spit and a few Reed Buntings along the path to the beach. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Grey Plovers, Dunlin and Grey Plovers & Red-breasted Mergansers at Church Norton (AH)

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