Thursday, 17 December 2020

17th - 19th December 2020

Saturday, 19th December: The unsettled spell continues, with another blustery morning of sunshine and showers in a fresh south-westerly......

Selsey Bill: There were two Black-throated and a few Red-throated Divers on the move this morning, but otherwise it was very slow. Full log later. (SH/JA/IP/BI/AH/SR)
(0745-0930hrs) ( SSW, F5-6)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Black-throated Diver - 2W
Red-throated Diver - 5E, 10W, 1os
Gannet - 2E, 27W
Brent Goose - 26E
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 2W
Kittiwake - 3W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 6W

Later in the morning, amongst other species, a Red-throated Diver, a Black-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver were all reported heading west, plus a Shag. (JG/AFi)

Red-throated Divers at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Half a dozen Snipe were at the front, with c50 Shovelers and Teal the only other birds on the pool, though at least 50 Black-tailed Godwits and 100 Wigeon were on the floods in the field. (AH)

Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Richard's Pipit was showing well again in its favoured field today, whilst the Glossy Ibis and 46 Cattle Egrets were around the farm buildings. (AB)

Richard's Pipit (above) & Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egrets at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AB)

Medmerry: Coastguards to Toe End - This morning there was a Black Redstart along the front of the caravans and a Rock Pipit on the rocks at Toe End, whilst offshore there was a raft of around 30 Common Scoters. 
There was also, sadly, a partially decomposed dolphin carcass washed up on the beach. (AW)

Black Redstart (above), Rock Pipit, Common Scoter and dolphin carcass at Medmerry AW)

Park Farm, Selsey: At least 150 Brent Geese were on the fields this afternoon, along with two Pied Wagtails and a Sparrowhawk went through. (S&SaH)
Earlier, a flock of 100 Brent Geese went east over our house, to the north of the village. (SH)

Church Norton: The White-fronted Goose was again on Peregrine island this afternoon, whilst at least 200 Golden Plovers and 400 Lapwing came up from the far end of the harbour.
Also, two Stonechats were along the Severals, and a Razorbill and a Sandwich Tern were offshore. (S&SaH)

Pagham Sewage Farm: The Siberian Chiffchaff was again present this morning. (BI)

North Wall and East side: A Raven was over the back fields, whilst a Marsh Harrier was out hunting again and a pair of Stonechats and a Reed Bunting were along the wall, but the flooded fields only held a few dozen Curlews and Black-tailed Godwits.
There were approximately 1080 Brent Geese on the fields south west of the reservoir this morning, with 700 Lapwing and 21 Shelducks in the fields just to the north. The Brent Geese were later disturbed and were coming and going all morning from the harbour, 
Aside from all the geese, the main channel and White's Creek were full of birds, including 300+ Black-tailed Godwits, 200+ Golden Plovers, 800+ Lapwings, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shoveler, 25 Pintail and 200+ Wigeon and Teal, with at least 300 Knot and innumerable Dunlin and Grey Plovers further out on the mud. (AH/IH/SP/JDW)

Pintail (above), Brent Geese, Black-tailed Godwits, Golden Plovers & Knot and Grey Plovers at the North Wall (AH)

The flooded North (Honer) fields which are now impassable (JDW)

Friday, 18th December: A morning that started grey and blustery and got worse as the rain moved in from the south-west with the freshening breeze......

Selsey Bill: There were quite a few Gannets and Kittiwakes going west early on, but it got quieter as the morning progressed. Full log below. (BI/AH/SR/IP)
(0745-0915hrs) (SSW, F6-7)
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 1W, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 6E, 132W
Brent Goose - 28E
Common Scoter - 8W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 4W
Turnstone - 2W
Mediterranean Gull - 5W
Common Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 54W
Razorbill - 24W
auk sp - 32W

Razorbill (above), Common Scoters, Red-breasted Merganser & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Half a dozen Shelducks, and around 70 Shovelers and 50 Teal were the only birds on the pool this morning, though 64 Canada Geese flew over over, going west. (AH)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Glossy Ibis was seen briefly in a field to the right of the approach road to Marsh Farm alongside 48 Cattle Egrets, but flew off once it realised it was being watched. 
There was also a hunting Kestrel, two noisy pairs of Jays, six Linnets, three Goldcrests, four Yellowhammers, six Shelducks and a flock of Greenfinches in the area. (SR)

Glossy Ibis (above) & Cattle Egret at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (SR)

Church Norton and west side: There were c1200 Brent Geese in the harbour, with over half heading off west and returning later, whilst the Common Scoter was still in the main channel, along with a dozen Pintail and lots of Wigeon and Teal.
A Spotted Redshank was at the end of Ferry Channel, whilst a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Knot were near the bench, with 100+ of the latter among similar of Grey Plovers and at least 700 Dunlin out on the mud, and c250 Golden Plovers and 1000+ Lapwings came up briefly from the north end of the harbour.
Five Little Grebes were also about, along with half a dozen Common and Mediterranean Gulls, but there wasn't much else to report as the weather deteriorated. (AH/PD et al)

Spotted Redshank (above), Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Common Scoter and Brent Geese & Pintail at Church Norton (AH)

Later on, a Fulmar was offshore and there were large numbers of Dunlin about. (AW)

Fulmar (above) & Dunlin at Church Norton (AW)

Thursday, 17th December: A pleasantly warm and sunny morning, after early showers, with just a moderate south-westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There was just a mix of the regulars species in modest numbers this morning, including two Slavonian Grebes and three Sandwich Terns offshore. Full log below. (AH/RP/SR/MO-W)
(0750-0920hrs) (SW, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 1W
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 8W, 1os
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Gannet - 9E, 1W, 10os
Brent Goose - 2E, 8W
Common Scoter - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1E, 6W, 7os
Turnstone - 3E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Common Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 10E, 6W
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Guillemot - 1W
Razorbill - 2E, 1W
auk sp - 4E, 2W
Chiffchaff - 1

Ferry Pool: At least ten Snipe were hiding in the reeds, but generally it was quiet beyond c40 Teal and Shovelers and up to 100 Lapwings. (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: Two Goldeneye and 11 Red-breasted Mergansers were off Dell Quay this morning, whilst six Spotted Redshank and three Greenshank were among the waders and a few Rock Pipits and Yellowhammers, plus a Stonechat,  were along the edge. (BFF/DM/DIS)

Church Norton: There were plenty of common waders in the harbour with the pair of Peregrines out on their island. The White-fronted Goose was again on the island, feeding right under the noses of the resting Peregrines!
Over the North Wall a female Marsh Harrier was briefly seen, but off shore there was very little noted which is unusual at this time of year. (BFF/DM/DIS)
Also, a Dartford Warbler was reported from the Severals (per Twitter)

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: The Richard's Pipit was showing well again in its favoured field, with half a dozen Yellowhammers, five Stock Doves, three pairs of Stonechats, c20 Skylarks and c40 Meadow Pipits in the vicinity.
At least 30 Cattle Egrets were around the fields, with up to 20 roosting on a big dung heap only 30 metres from the farmhouse! 
Visiting birders also reported a Marsh Harrier and a Grey Wagtail in the area, but there was no news on the Glossy Ibis.(AH/BFF/DM/DIS et al)

Richard's {Pipit (above), Meadow Pipit, Stonechat & Cattle Egrets at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

Later, a very soiled-looking Cattle Egret was seen flying off from the area (GHi)

The underside of the wings and the legs of this Cattle Egret suggest it is heavily soiled - perhaps it spent too long in the dung-heap! (GHi)

North Wall: At midday there was quite a large movement of Brent Geese into the harbour, whilst a Marsh Harrier was hunting just north of the stables at 12.40, dropping down for about 10 mins before reappearing and heading north. (GHi)

Marsh Harrier and Brent Geese at the North Wall (GHi)

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