Saturday, 27 February 2021

27th - 28th February 2021

Sunday, 28th February: A mostly and sunny morning, though a bank of misty low cloud passed through mid-morning, and a bit cooler in the freshening north-easterly breeze......

Selsey Bill: The first (three) Gannets for a week, heading east, was just about the only thing of note this morning. Full log below.
(0725-0810hrs) (NE, F3-4)
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Gannet – 3E
Mallard – 4W
Red-breasted Merganser – 2os, 1W
Oystercatcher – 1W
Common Gull – 1E

Ferry Pool: There were a lots of birds on the pool again this morning, with waders comprising three Avocets, eight Snipe, a Redshank, 50 Black-tailed Godwits and c100 Lapwings, whilst wildfowl comprised of nine Brent Geese, two Tufted Ducks, five Gadwall, four Mallards, c50 Teal, c75 Shovelers and c180 Wigeon.

Avocets (above) & Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Presumably the same Barnacle Goose that was in the harbour earlier was later with the Brent Geese on the fields, whilst a Red Kite also went over.
Earlier there were a;so a Grey Wagtail, two Green Woodpeckers,, a par of Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk in the vicinity, too.

Church Norton: Two Red Kites drifted south together over Greenlease Farm this morning.and there were two Peregrines on the usual island early on, viewed from Pagham Spit.
Also, there were a female Red-breasted Merganser, two Bar-tailed Godwits and 16 Avocets in the harbour.

Medmerry: Breach area - Two Greenshanks were in the tidal area this morning, along with four Red-breasted Mergansers and 59 Brent Geese.

Medmerry: Ham Farm and Porthole Farm - Three Stonechats and at least ten Yellowhammers were around Ham, along with a Buzzard and lots of singing Skylarks, whilst there were 81 Pied Wagtails at the sewage works by Porthole Farm.

North Wall: Two Marsh Harriers were over the reeds again this morning, but the fields were very quiet, with just a dozen scattered Curlews present, as were the bushes in the fresh breeze.

Marsh Harrier at the North Wall (AH)

East sideHighlights were a Merlin which flew along the length of the harbour and the Barnacle Goose, in among at least 1500 Brent Geese.
Otherwise, there were at least 60 Pintail and 200+ Wigeon and Teal, whilst waders included c300 Golden Plovers and Knot, c150 Black-tailed Godwits, a Bar-tailed Godwit, c50 Turnstones and big numbers of the regular species.

Merlin (above), Barnacle Goose and Brent Geese, Knot and Grey Plovers & Pintail along the East side (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: A pair of Gadwall, a dozen Tufted Ducks and a handful of Little and Great Crested Grebes was it this morning.

Gadwall (above), Great Crested Grebe & Little Grebe on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Saturday, 27th February: Another lovely warm and sunny morning, after a frosty start, with just a light breeze, starting north-west and veering to north-east....

Selsey Bill: It was very quiet again, with two Great Northern Divers offshore and two Red-throated Divers and a Fulmar west, plus a Sanderling at the end of Hillfield Road being the best. Full log below.
(0720-0820hrs) (NW, F3)
Great Northern Diver – 2os
Red-throated Diver – 2W
diver sp – 1E
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Fulmar – 1W
Red-breasted Merganser – 3W, 5os
Sanderling - 1
Pied Wagtail – 1N

Sanderling at the Bill (AW)

Ferry Pool: At least ten Snipe were at the front, two Avocets were on the pool and a handful of Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits were on the field, whilst among the numerous wildfowl present were 20 Shelducks, five Gadwall, c50 Teal and Shoveler and 100+ Wigeon.

Long Pool: A Spotted Redshank was with a few Redshank, Teal and Wigeon at the far end of ferry Channel, whilst a couple of calling Water Rails, a pair of Little Grebes, a Cetti's Warbler and half a dozen Reed Buntings were along the pool. (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey Heron was in the balancing pool in Manor Lane this morning, whilst a Sparrowhawk flew high over and both Grey and Pied Wagtail were present, along with a Green Woodpecker and a male Stonechat, but there were only 12 Brent Geese were in the fields.

Birdham: A pair of Yellowhammers were in a garden this morning.

East Head: There were 45 Avocets back at Snowhill Creek this morning, whilst other totals during the WeBS count included .1950 Brent Geese, 250 Dunlin, 60 Grey Plovers, two Turnstones, five Oystercatchers, ten Sanderling, six Shelducks, 50 Teal, 15 Wigeon, 110 Redshanks, six Greenshanks, 20 Curlew, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, five Lapwings and 50 Golden Plovers.

Church Norton: A Coal Tit, a singing Chiffchaff and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were in the trees on the way to the beach this morning, with two male Reed Bunting on the bushes at the beach.
Also, the Barnacle Goose and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, plus c45 Avocets were in the harbour, viewable from the spit end, whilst offshore there were two Slavonian Grebes, two Great Crested Grebes and five Red-breasted Mergansers, plus two Red-throated Divers which flew west.
Among other birds in the harbour were the two Peregrines, two Black-tailed Godwits, ten Pintail, many Brent Geese and at least 30 Mediterranean Gulls, whilst a Snipe was near the horse field, a Goldcrest and a few Long-tailed Tits were between the Severals and two Buzzards and 200+ Golden Plovers were seen over the Severals.

North Wall: A male and a female Marsh Harrier were over the Breech Pool this morning, whilst a Raven and two Buzzards went over the fields, whilst there were plenty of Reed Buntings and Cetti's Warblers along the wall.
Also, a female Brambling flew into Owl Copse with two Greenfinches, and five Cattle Egrets were back in the copse, too.

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: A total of 24 Cattle Egrets were counted between Marsh Farm and Bramber Farm this morning, all put up at one point by a Red Kite.
Along Church Farm Lane there were c30 Linnets and a handful of Yellowhammers, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, whilst up to ten Reed Buntings and a Sparrowhawk were near Chalder Farm and a Coal Tit and a pair of Mistle Thrushes were in the churchyard.

Red Kite (above), Cattle Egrets, Sparrowhawk, Mistle Thrush, Linnets & Skylark around Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The highlight was before reaching Easton Lane, with a ring-tail Hen Harrier over the school on the junction of Ham Road.
The Barn Owl was out again along the banks, too, with two Buzzards, two Green Woodpeckers, two Stonechats and seven Yellowhammers also seen, whilst there were five Avocets and a Greenshank on the Stilt Pool.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

25th - 26th February 2021

Friday, 26th February: A beautifully warm and sunny morning, with just a light northerly breeze......

Selsey BillIt was very quiet this morning, with just two Great Northern Divers on the sea, along with a few Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst four Red-throated Divers went west, two Sanderlings were at Hillfield Road and, oddly, a Red-legged Partridge was walking down the middle of Clayton Road. Full log below.
(0730-0900hrs) (N, F1-2)
Great Northern Diver – 2os
Red-throated Diver – 4W
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Mute Swan – 1W
Common Scoter – 1E
Red-breasted Merganser – 6E, 10os
Red-legged Partridge - 1
Sanderling – 2
Turnstone – 20
Curlew – 1E
Mediterranean Gull – 2os

Mediterranean Gull (AH) (above), Sanderlings & Red-legged Partridge (AW) at the Bill

Ferry Pool: At least ten Snipe were in the reeds, with a handful of Black-tailed Godwits and 100+ Wigeon on the field, whilst the pool held a pair of Avocets, a Dunlin and a few Lapwing, along with 50+ Teal and Shovelers and 20 Shelducks.

Avocets (above) & Black-tailed Godwit at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a Grey Wagtail and a Pied Wagtail present this morning, along with a Kestrel and 500 Brent Geese.

Church Norton: Despite the flat calm, offshore this morning there were just a Great Northern Diver, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Crested Grebe and a Common Gull, whilst the Barnacle Goose flew through the harbour among 15 Brent Geese and may have ended up among the 300 on the sea to the south of the reserve.
Among the waders in the harbour were the regular Whimbrel, six Avocets and single Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, whilst both a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard were around the Severals, along with a singing Chiffchaff, a Stonechat and a flyover Grey Wagtail.
This afternoon there were 70 Black-tailed Godwits in the harbour, looking like they had just arrived.

Black-tailed Godwits at Church Norton (AW)

Sidlesham: Three Buzzards were over a garden along the main road this morning.

Runcton: Round and about the village today, there were two Common Buzzards, a Kestrel, Grey Wagtail and a Reed Bunting, and also my first Brimstone butterfly of the year.

Medmerry: Windmill area - A Black Redstart was by the go-kart track this morning.

Black Redstart at Medmerry (AW)

North Wall: A Short-eared Owl went over early this morning, whilst later three Marsh Harriers and four Buzzards were all thermalling together, with a Sparrowhawk nearby.
Also, a Grey Wagtail and a couple of Song Thrushes were in the paddocks and a couple of Reed Buntings and a Cetti's warbler were nearby.

Marsh Harriers (above), Sparrowhawk, Buzzard & Grey Wagtail at the North Wall (AH)

East side: There was nothing unusual, but lots of waders and wildfowl were along White's Creek and adjacent areas, including at least 300 Golden Plovers, 200 Black-tailed Godwits, 300 Knot, 200 Lapwing, a few Avocets, 25 Pintail, including a very odd hybrid-type, 40 Teal, 200 Wigeon and 800 Brent Geese.

Pintail (above), Pintail-type hybrid, Wigeon & Brent Geese along the East side (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - It was very quiet this afternoon, with just a pair of Stonechats and a few Meadow Pipits and Yellowhammers along the banks, with four Avocets on the Stilt Pool being the only birds of note there, but one of the Barn Owl was showing very well as it hunted along the banks in the sunshine.

Barn Owl at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 25th February: An overcast, if fairly mild, morning, with just a light westerly breeze and a few spits of drizzle......

Selsey Bill: An interesting gull was on the water this morning before flying off west, that was considered to be a potential first-winter Caspian Gull. Some pictures were circulated on Twitter etc and the consensus was leaning towards Caspian, though it is inevitably a tricky species to nail down. Pictures are shown below, and as always all comments are welcome!

putative Caspian Gull at the Bill (AH)

Otherwise, it was very quiet this morning, with eastbound passage restricted to 13 Brent Geese and five Common Scoters, though two Pied Wagtails in off the sea were the first indication of visible migration and two Great Northern Divers and a Red-throated Diver were offshore. Full log below.
(0730-0830hrs) (W, F3)
Great Northern Diver – 2os
Red-throated Diver – 1os
Brent Goose – 12E
Mallard – 4E
Common Scoter – 5E
Red-breasted Merganser – 4E, 6W, 6os
Oystercatcher – 1W
Mediterranean Gull – 2os
Common Gull – 4E
Caspian Gull – 1os, then W
Pied Wagtail – 2N

Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: About 40 Black-tailed Godwits and 100+ Wigeon were on the fields, along with a few Lapwings, whilst at least eight Snipe were in the reeds and a Gadwall, ten Shelducks, c20 Teal and c40 Shovelers were on the pool.

Snipe at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Although the fields along the Wall are less flooded than before, there is still enough water to attract modest numbers of Shoveler, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard and Curlew, though just a Great Crested Grebe and six Tufted Ducks were on the Breech Pool.
The Grey Herons were beginning to renovate nests at Owl Copse, but otherwise, just a Greenfinch at the sluice gates and a pair of Great Crested Grebes on the Breech Pool were the only birds of note.
The birds appear to have moved on from the Church Barton fields, with very little there this morning - just a few Curlew and Wigeon, whilst around 0900hrs a flock of some 1500 Brent Geese moved north possibly heading to Chalcroft Lane where they have been gathering this week.
Later on, a male Marsh Harrier was perched in a tree behind the Breech Pool, a Cetti's Warbler was along the wall  and the harbour held c12 avocets, c100 Golden Plovers, c100 Grey Plovers, 24 Pintail, ten Red-breasted Mergansers and two Little Grebes.

East Side: About 500 Brent Geese were in Whites Creek early this morning accompanied by the Barnacle Goose and plenty of Knot, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwits, Wigeon, Teal, Redshank and a few Grey Plovers and Pintail.

Barnacle Goose & Brent Geese in White's Creek (JDW)

Church Norton and West side: There were at least 500 Brent Geese, along with the two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, in the harbour this morning and five Sandwich Terns and 40 Mediterranean Gulls, plus a Lesser Black-backed Gull, were among the many hundreds of noisy Black-headed Gulls reclaiming the area for the breeding season.
There were also half a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and a Bar-tailed Godwit among the many commoner waders present, whilst the two Peregrines were on their island and two Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore.
There were large numbers of birds towards the end of Ferry channel, including at least 70 Avocets, 300 Golden Plovers, 500 Lapwing, 50 Shovelers, a few Pintail and 100 Wigeon, whilst a Snipe flew over and a few Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits were along the edges.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose (above), Sandwich Tern, Black-tailed Godwits, Mediterranean Gull, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls, Avocets, Golden Plovers & Shovelers and Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

Chichester: Just outside the Peninsula, but still astonishing for those of us who remember just how scarce both species were - two Ravens were in the Bishop's Palace garden whilst a Peregrine circled overhead this afternoon.

Raven (above) & Peregrine around Chichester Cathedral (RB)