Thursday, 7 January 2021

7th - 9th January 2021

Saturday, 9th January: After a sharp frost, another cold and fairly still morning, mostly overcast and with the breeze light and north-easterly.......

Editorial: The ongoing Covid restrictions - especially those relating to daily exercise and travelling  -  should now be known to all and have been considered by the editors of this blog, which prides itself on putting out prompt local bird news. Whilst we are aware of the restrictions, we feel it would perhaps be helpful to explain our present policy during these difficult times, in order to prevent any misunderstandings....

We urge everyone to comply with the rules, but would also point out that there are quite a number of separate contributors who live close to various Peninsula sites and so are surely quite entitled to take their daily exercise in those areas; nothing prohibits taking your binoculars (or indeed scope) with you at the time, as far as we are aware. Whilst at first glance the number of blog reports may suggest 'business as usual' this is not the case. Certainly  more local people now seem to be out and about taking exercise, so collectively the number of reports we receive this end remains fairly consistent, hence we continue with our news output.... (Eds)

Selsey Bill: Four Slavonian Grebes and a Shag east, plus a Razorbill on the sea were the highlights of another slow morning. (0745-0945hrs) (NNE, F2-3)
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Slavonian Grebe – 4E
Great Crested Grebe - 2E
Gannet – 1E
Shag – 1E
Wigeon – 4E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1os
Turnstone – 14W
Mediterranean Gull – 1E
Common Gull – 1E, 1W
Razorbill – 1E, 1W, 1os
auk sp – 5E, 1W

Also, around midday, it was misty with next to nothing about apart from a single Brent Goose heading west and a Common Gull offshore, along with half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls. One of the latter was deformed, it landed on the sand and had to patter on pins as it had no feet but it seemed to be coping well.

Razorbill (AH) (above) & footless Mediterranean Gull (SR) at the Bill

Ferry Pool: There was nothing on a frozen pool, though six Snipe flew up and back down from the field, where there were also c50 Lapwings.
The Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite, along with an Avocet, five Grey Plovers, ten Redshanks, c40 Teal and c150 Wigeon, whilst half a dozen Long-tailed Tits were in the hedges.

Spotted Redshank (above), Avocet and Redshank & Long-tailed Tit around the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Two Firecrests and four Goldcrests were in the hedges at Manor Lane, whilst the fields held a Grey Wagtail, a Pied Wagtail, 30+ Meadow Pipits and a Green Woodpecker, with a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, 35 Lapwings and five Shovelers over.

Church Norton: There were probably six, and possibly as many as eight, Slavonian Grebes offshore, along with half a dozen Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst two Great Northern Divers flew east.
A Merlin shot along the spit, going east, whilst a Marsh Harrier flew over the harbour, dropping in briefly on the Severals before departing again, and there was also a squealing Water Rail there and a Dartford Warbler was in the gorse opposite the second Several.
There were two female Goldeneyes in the main channel, but not much else of note was in the harbour beyond plenty of the regular waders and wildfowl, whilst two Mistle Thrushes, two Song Thrushes and two Jays were in the churchyard.

Marsh Harrier (above), Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Jay, Slavonian Grebe, Goldeneye & Dunlin at Church Norton (AH)

North Mundham: A Coal Tit was near the church this morning.

Drayton Pits: Though mostly frozen up, there were still 43 Teal, 13 Mallard, five Shovelers, four Tufted Ducks and two Pochard on the water.

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There wasn't much to report today, though there were still a few Cattle Egrets about, a Merlin was seen chasing Meadow Pipits and there were several Stonechats and Yellowhammers in Church farm Lane, along with the piebald Rook.

Yellowhammer and Stonechat (above) & Rooks at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AB)

Friday, 8th January: An even colder morning, but almost still and with plenty of hazy sunshine....

Selsey Bill: Again, not much on the move, though a Shag and a Sanderling went east. (0740-0900hrs) (NE, F1-2)
Red-throated Diver - 3E
Shag - 1E
Brent Goose - 1E, 3W
Common Scoter - 3E, 5W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 2os
Oystercatcher - 2W
Sanderling - 1E
Turnstone - 1E
auk sp - 2E

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

Ferry Pool: The only birds on and around a frozen pool were c100 Lapwing, though the Spotted Redshank, a dozen Redshank, 100+ Wigeon and a few Teal were in the channel opposite.
Spotted Redshank (above) & Spotted Redshank and Redshank in Ferry Channel (AH)

Long Pool and Ferry Channel: The Long Pool itself was frozen, but the adjacent fields held 42 Lapwing, two Song Thrushes and 17 Red-Legged Partridges whilst the bushes held a calling Cetti's Warbler and six Reed Buntings. 
A Kingfisher was on the concrete block at the start of the channel and at the opposite end was the Spotted Redshank, five Avocets, a single Snipe and plenty of Grey and Golden Plovers, Pintail, Shoveler, Black-tailed Godwits and good numbers of the usual wildfowl.
The Kingfisher was showing well this afternoon, too.

Kingfisher in Ferry Channel (AW)

Church Norton: This morning there was a Mistle Thrush, a Goldcrest and five Greenfinches in the churchyard with a flock of Red-legged Partridges in the adjacent field and another Chaffinch was with the Dunnocks and Robins along the path to the beach. 
A Green Woodpecker was around the Severals and a female Goldeneye was in the harbour where a Peregrine was on its island and there were plenty of the usual waders spread across the mud.

Goldeneye (above), Green Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Chaffinch & Red-legged Partridges at Church Norton (AW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were definitely four different Dartford Warblers along the banks this morning, along with at least ten Stonechats, half a dozen Skylarks and Song Thrushes and c40 Meadow Pipits, whilst a Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine went over.
The family group of five White-fronted Geese were out on the reserve, with c50 Canada Geese and c100 Brent Geese also about, whilst the Stilt Pool held a dozen Gadwall, a couple of Shovelers and Tufted Ducks and plenty of Wigeon and Teal.

Dartford Warber (above), Stonechat, White-fronted Geese, Song Thrush, Skylark, Meadow Pipit & Fox at Medmerry (AH)

Dartford Warbler & Green Woodpecker at Medmerry (AB)

West Wittering: A couple of Coal Tits are holding their own among the birds coming to the feeders in our garden.

Coal Tits in a West Wittering garden (GM)

Marsh Farm Sidlesham: There was again no sign of the Richard's Pipit or Glossy Ibis, though a Barn Owl was in the vicinity, along with 13 Cattle Egrets and 30+ Yellowhammers.

Pagham Lagoon: A Merlin briefly appeared at the southern end of the caravan park, but on the lagoon there were just 21 Tufted Ducks, five Pochard and seven Little Grebes. 

North Wall: The flooded fields north of Welbourne stables were, apart from seven Black-headed Gulls, devoid of birds, whilst along the path to the stables there were a pair of Stonechats, a Green Woodpecker and a Goldcrest and a Kingfisher was around the sluice gates, but there was very little to see along the Wall apart from Reed Buntings. 
White's Creek was full of birds - 600 noisy Brent Geese (including the white headed individual), 200+ Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe and lesser numbers of Teal. Pintail and Shelduck. Waders were represented by many Lapwing, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Golden Plover, Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwits, plus a lone Bar-tailed Godwit.
This afternoon there were 11 Song Thrushes in the horse paddocks, a Rock Pipit and  a Stonechat amongst the rocks, two, perhaps three, Marsh Harriers over the reed beds, a fly-past Buzzard and at least 800 Brent Geese flying near Marsh Farm.

Brent Geese (including the white-headed individual) and Pintail (above) & Brent Geese from the North Wall (JDW) 

Ivy Lake: A family of two adults and eight young Egyptian Geese were on the lake this morning.

Egyptian Goose family on Ivy Lake (BI)

Thursday, 7th January: A beautifully cold, crisp winter's morning, with just a light north-westerly breeze, though the temperature remained close to freezing all day....

Selsey Bill: A very quiet morning! (0745-0845) (NW, F4)
Great Northern Diver – 1E
Red-throated Diver – 1E 
Brent Goose - 2W
Common Scoter – 6W
Red-breasted Merganser – 6E, 2W
Razorbill – 4E
auk sp – 30E

Great Northern Diver at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were no Snipe in the reeds, though at least 500 Lapwings were on the fields, with the pool holding c200 Wigeon, c100 Teal and c50 Shovelers. 
Also, the Spotted Redshank and an Avocet were in the channel opposite.

Shovelers and Wigeon on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: The horse paddocks held two Redwings, at least six Song Thrushes, a Grey Wagtail and two Stonechats this morning while over the reedbeds two Marsh Harriers flew over. At least 1,000 Brent Geese flew in groups over the Wall, perhaps 400 towards Marsh Farm and the rest in a north-easterly direction, and about 50 Curlew also flew towards Marsh Farm, whilst 270 Lapwing were in fields north of Welbourne stables.
A Kingfisher was seen briefly at the sluice gates and Whites Creek contained about 200 Wigeon, 400 Lapwing as well as a few Teal, two Grey Plovers and scattered Dunlin and Redshank. The Breech Pool contained Mallard and Tufted Ducks and another Stonechat was perched at the end of the Wall.
Later on, eight Song Thrushes and a Fieldfare, plus the Grey Wagtail and a Stonechat, were in the horse paddock and a Chiffchaff was in the undergrowth near the Salthouse.
Honer reservoir was unfrozen and held 12 Tufted Ducks, six Gadwall and 47 Coots. In the flooded field SE of the reservoir was a small mixed flock of Redwings and Fieldfares.

There were 24 Cattle Egrets in and around Marsh Farm and others in small groups in other fields to the north including 2 amongst the sheep at Bramber Farm. 

Cattle Egret with sheep at Bramber Farm (JDW)

Church Norton: There were four Slavonian Grebes offshore from the very far end of the spit this morning. 
Otherwise, it was more of the same this morning, with two Goldcrests in the churchyard and a dozen Snipe around the gullies by the horse field. There were also a good selection of waders in the harbour, along with a few Brent Geese.

Goldcrest (above), Snipe, Grey Plover & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AW)

Medmerry: Coastguards Station - A quick look off here produced a Great Northern Diver on the sea, c25 Common Scoter offshore and six Red-breasted Mergansers heading east. 

Great Northern Diver at Medmerry (AH)

Sidlesham: Four Redwings and a Song Thrush were in the paddocks at the western end of Mapsons Lane.

Redwing (above) & Redwing and Song Thrush in Sidlesham (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: At least three Spotted Redshanks and two Greenshank were along the main channel, along with 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, c50 Grey Plovers and hundreds of Dunlin, with a Jack Snipe and a Snipe nearby and a flock of c40 Golden Plovers went over..
Three Goldeneye were to the south of Dell Quay, with many Wigeon and a few Teal in the channel, whilst the big Brent Goose flock was airborne and visible a couple of times towards the Marina, where they were mostly settled. 
Also, at least ten Rock Pipits were along the edges, along with a handful of Meadow Pipits and Yellowhammers, whilst later on, the two Black Redstarts were again around the farm buildings along the Salterns Way. 

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank, Rock Pipit, Golden Plovers & Black-tailed Godwit at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

East Head: The Snow Bunting was at the north end of the Head this afternoon, in the shingle area near the tip.
There were also five Sanderlings along the foreshore, whilst at Snowhill creek there were a Greenshank, seven snipe, seven Avocets and 43 Black-tailed Godwits.

Snow Bunting (above) & Sanderling at East Head (AB)

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