Saturday, 13 February 2021

13th - 15th February 2021

Monday, 15th February: A swing round to a moderate south-westerly breeze meant a slightly warmer morning, but also murky conditions and some drizzly rain early on....

Selsey Bill: A quiet morning, with just 11 Red-throated Divers east and four west, a flock of 17 Brent Geese east, 25 Gannets west and three Sandwich Terns offshore. Full log below.
(0740-0910hrs) (SSW, F4-5) 
Red-throated Diver – 11E, 4W
Great Crested Grebe -1os
Gannet – 25W
Brent Goose – 17E
Wigeon – 3W
Red-breasted Merganser – 7E, 9W
Mediterranean Gull – 2os
Common Gull – 16E, 12os
Sandwich Tern – 3os

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

Ferry Pool: The ice had gone from the pool, heralding a return of half a dozen Snipe to the roadside reeds, but all the wildfowl, bar a handful of Teal, had relocated to the flooded areas of the fields, and included c300 Wigeon, c50 Shoveler, another 50 Teal and c500 Lapwings.

Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: The flooded fields west of Church Barton reservoir have thawed out and the birds have returned with a vengeance, with today's count being 1600 Lapwing, 90 Golden Plover, 54 Dunlin, five Redshank, four Curlew, 240 Wigeon, 42 Shelduck, four Pintail, two Shoveler, 220 Black-headed Gulls, 38 Great Black-backed Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls and two Mute Swans.
A Kingfisher was around the sluice gates and a pair of Marsh Harriers were behind the Breech Pool. All of the North Wall fields had good numbers of birds; collectively there were 800 Wigeon, 140 Teal, 30 Shoveler, four Gadwall, four Pintail, nine Shelduck, 180 Curlew, 60 Black-tailed Godwits and nine Redshanks.

North Mundham to Fisher area: Very quiet today; the local walk produced just two Mistle Thrushes and a Song Thrush, a Green Woodpecker and  Kestrel.

Drayton Pits: Two Egyptian Geese were in the field opposite the pits today.

West Itchenor: A Great Northern Diver was present this morning.

Medmerry: Late this afternoon, two Barn Owls were out hunting around the Marsh barn area, whilst two different Dartford Warblers were heard nearby.

Barn Owls at Medmerry near Marsh Barn (AW, top two & SR, lower)

Later on, there was a huge flock of c300 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwing in the ploughed field just south of the car-park.

Golden Plovers (above) & Golden Plovers and Lapwings at Medmerry (AH)

Birdham to West Wittering along Salterns Way: This afternoon produced most interest at both ends - in the recently cleared field off Westlands lane were about 40 Redwings , and a solitary Grey Wagtail and Green Woodpecker, whilst in a field at the West Wittering end of the track was a mixed gathering of Fieldfares and Starlings numbering around 60, amongst the stubble, and at the field edge were three Song Thrushes.

Church Norton: At least 500 Brent Geese were in the harbour before they drifted off west, and there were also a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits and plenty of the commoner waders present, with more Grey Plovers, in particular, on the beach, along with a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 20 Mediterranean Gulls and 50 Common Gulls.
A look round Greenlease Farm produced a couple of Redwings and Fieldfares, a Mistle Thrush, half a dozen Stock Doves and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Later a Merlin was on the 'Peregrine island' best viewed from the Pagham side, where there were also ten Red-breasted Mergansers near the harbour mouth..

Redwing (above), Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Stock Dove, Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey Plovers, Lesser Black-backed Gull & Brent Geese at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 14th February: A slightly milder morning, though very overcast and still chilly enough in the brisk south-easterly....

Selsey Bill: A Red-necked Grebe went east early on, and  60 Red-throated Divers also went east, whilst a Great Northern Diver, five Sandwich Terns, a couple of Shags and a pair of Pintail were offshore. Full log below.
(0715-0900hrs) (SSE, F5) 
Great Northern Diver – 1os
Red-throated Diver – 60E, 11W. 9os
diver sp – 5E, 3W
Red-necked Grebe – 1E (0726hrs)
Gannet – 11E, 4W
Shag – 1E, 2os
Teal – 5E
Pintail – 2os
Common Scoter – 3E, 8os
Red-breasted Merganser – 2E, 13W, 10os
Ringed Plover – 2
Mediterranean Gull – 2os
Common Gull – 25E, 7os
Sandwich Tern – 5os
auk sp – 1E

Shag (above), Common Scoters and Red-throated Diver & Ringed Plover at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: With the ice starting to thaw, there were 60 Shovelers and 30 Wigeon back on the pool, with another 100 of the latter, 30 Teal, a Grey Plover and 20 Dunlin in the channel opposite.

Shovelers (above) & Wigeon and Dunlin around the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were 12 Lapwings, a Green Woodpecker, two Pied Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and 20 Meadow Pipits in the fields, whilst the Brent Goose flock had reduced to about 750 birds.
This afternoon there were at least 2000 Brent Geese again, along with 50+ Lapwings and a Sparrowhawk.

Selsey: A Snipe was seen in a garden in Paddock Lane this morning.

Church Norton: The highlight was three redhead Goosanders on the Pagham side of the harbour, whilst there were also a female Goldeneye, a male Red-breasted Merganser and 40 Pintail present. There were plenty of the regular waders, and there were also a Bar-tailed Godwit and flocks of 18 Avocets and 91 Turnstones flying about, whilst the female Peregrine was on her island.
Offshore, three Red-throated Divers and a Gannet went west, whilst there were also 20 Common Gulls and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls about.
The only passerines of note were two Fieldfares at Greenlease Farm and a Goldcrest and a Long-tailed Tit in Bluebell Wood.
Later, a Merlin was seen having a dust-up with one of the Peregrines.

This afternoon seven Fieldfares, two Redwings, ten Song Thrushes and a Mistle Thrush were around Greenlease Farm, with 20+ Golden Plovers and 100+ Lapwings on the fields.
Sadly, a dead Razorbill was found washed up on the beach, along with hundreds of Starfish.

Dead Razorbill at Church Norton (SH)

Medmerry: Chainbridge to Ham Viewpoint - This morning the banks held two Stonechats, a single Fieldfare, a dozen Yellowhammers and 30+ Skylarks, with 100+ Lapwings and 20+ Golden Plovers in the fields.
There were also 20+ Ringed Plovers and 100+ Dunlin on the tidal areas.

Medmerry: Easton Lane - At least 80 Golden Plovers were in the field adjacent to the car-park this afternoon.

North Mundham to Fisher crossroads: There were three Redwings, 23 Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush in the roadside fields today.

East Head: There wasn't much to report this morning - just 1500 Brent Geese, 300 Dunlin and a few Sanderlings and Oystercatchers.

North Wall: There were 100 Pintail on the now thawing flooded fields behind the wall today.

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: There were still a dozen widely scattered Cattle Egrets present this morning, along with a couple of Little Egrets, whilst the fields also held c200 Lapwings, a single Golden Plover and a few Common  and Mediterranean Gulls among the many Herring and Black-headed Gulls. There were also c100 Black-tailed Godwits and c50 Curlews on the flooded fields towards Bramber Farm.
Half a dozen Fieldfares and Redwings were around Chalder Farm, whilst a couple of Grey Wagtails and a dozen Reed Buntings were tucked away among the c50 Chaffinches near the small pond, with a dozen Linnets just about the only birds seen along a windy Church Farm Lane.

Cattle Egrets (above), Golden Plover, Fieldfare, Reed Bunting, Linnets & Grey Wagtails at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

Saturday, 13th February: Another very cold and windy morning, with a bit of hazy sunshine but still with a fresh easterly blowing....

Selsey Bill: Another quiet morning, though 42 Red-throated Divers went east, three Sandwich Terns were offshore and 20 Common Gulls and two Ringed Plovers were on the beach.
Later on, a Sanderling was on the beach by Hillfield Road car-park. Full log below.
(0720-0850hrs) (SE, F6) 
Red-throated Diver – 42E, 8W, 2os
diver sp – 5E, 1W
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Gannet – 1E
Red-breasted Merganser – 5E, 2W, 8os
Oystercatcher – 1W
Ringed Plover - 2
Mediterranean Gull – 5E
Common Gull – 3E, 21W, 20os
Kittiwake – 1E
Sandwich Tern – 3E
auk sp – 5E, 1W

Red-throated Diver (above), Ringed Plover, Common Gulls (AH) & Sanderling (AW) at the Bill

Ferry Pool: The pool remains frozen, so again all the birds were in the channel opposite, including 50+ Dunlin, a handful of Grey Plovers and Redshank, 50 + Teal and 100+ Wigeon.

In the overflow car park two Bullfinch were calling, whilst down the cycle way to the harbour, during the WeBS count, two Bramblings flew out across the landfill.

Later, at Sidlesham WTW, a Magpie was chasing a Redshank over the stubble field, where there was a flock of c30 Lapwing, whilst two Chiffchaffs, a Grey Wagtail and a dozen Pied Wagtails were also about and two Cetti's Warblers were heard nearby.

Dunlin (above) & Grey Plover in Ferry Channel (AH)

Chiffchaff and Grey Wagtail at Sidlesham WTW (SR)

Park Farm, Selsey: The fields just held 20 Lapwing, 25 Meadow Pipits and three Pied Wagtails this morning.

Church Norton: Greenlease Farm was busy this morning, with 2000 Brent Geese in the fields and five species of thrush - namely 20 Redwings, ten Fieldfares, ten Mistle Thrushes, six Song Thrushes and two Blackbirds, and there were also 50 Lapwings present and a Bar-tailed Godwit flew over.
There were also three more Bar-tailed Godwits in the harbour along with two Avocets and a female Goldeneye, whilst the female Peregrine was on her island and there were also two flocks of Pintail, totalling 40 birds and two pairs of Shovelers in the harbour. The usual waders were present in reasonable numbers, too, but in unlikely locations as they tried to avoid the biting easterly wind.
This afternoon, two Sandwich Terns and the summer-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit were in the harbour.

West Side: The WeBS count produced a large flock of 2000+ Brent Geese accompanied by the Barnacle Goose and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose whilst a single Woodlark accompanied a small flock of Skylarks that flew south over the west side fields.

Drayton Pits: A pair of Egyptian Geese were in the field opposite the pits today.

West Itchenor: A Great Northern Diver was offshore in the harbour, and there were plenty of Red-breasted Mergansers about, but not much else.

West Wittering: There were a single Redwing and a single Fieldfare in the garden this morning.

Fieldfare at West Wittering (GM)

Also today, a Redwing was at nearby Ellanore spit.

Redwing at West Wittering (MR)

Fisher: There was a lone Cattle Egret and half a dozen Fieldfares near Fisher Farm this morning.

Fieldfare at Fisher (AH)

North Wall: Five Bar-tailed Godwits, c50 Dunlin and two Ringed Plovers were again close to the sluice gates this morning together with a few Grey Plovers and the usual Redshank and Wigeon. 
The Wall was quiet other than about 30 Coot in the frozen and flooded fields, two calling Cetti's Warblers, further Dunlin and Redshank opposite Owl Copse and two Curlew flying southward.

Bar-tailed Godwit from the North Wall (AH)

Later, there was a flock of 90+ Great Black-backed Gulls close to Church Barton reservoir, whilst in the frozen fields behind were 67 Dunlin, a Redshank, two Common Gulls and two Mute Swans.
In the horse paddocks at Welbourne there were seven Redwings, five Robins, three Song Thrushes and five Blackbirds, but it was very quiet along the Wall, with just four Shoveler, four Teal and 34 Coots in Honer 1 field, otherwise there were no birds to be seen in the fields.

Redwing and Song Thrush (above), Robin & Great Black-backed Gulls around the North Wall (JDW)

Late this afternoon two Marsh Harriers and five Snipe were around the Breech Pool, with at least 20 Redwings in the trees behind it.
Also, another Snipe, four Song Thrushes and three Buzzards were seen at Halsey's Farm.

East side: There were another six Bar-tailed Godwits along the far end of White's Creek, including a splendid male in full summer plumage, and there were also two Avocets, at least 350 Knot and lots of Dunlin and Grey Plovers about, too, all put up at one point as a Peregrine went over.
At least 20 Pintail were among c200 Wigeon, c50 Teal and c50 Shelducks, whilst at least 500 Brent Geese dropped in as the tide rose.

Bar-tailed Godwits (above), Avocet & Pintail along the East side (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: Considering the weather, it was pretty empty again, with just a drake Red-breasted Merganser, five Pochard, 12 Tufted Ducks and six Little Grebes present along with roughly 100 Mediterranean and Common Gulls and perhaps double that of Black-headed Gulls.

Little Grebe (above), Pochards & Mediterranean Gulls on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

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