Friday, 19 February 2021

19th - 21st February 2021

Sunday, 21st February: A pleasant morning, brightening up after a drizzly start, and really quite warm in the light southerly breeze...........

Selsey Bill: Seven Sandwich Terns looked like they were heading east together, whilst another ten were going back and forth closer in, but there were no other indications of movement. 
Other highlights included three Slavonian Grebes and 15 Common Scoter on the sea (with eight of the latter going east) and 17 Red-throated Divers east and seven west, plus a couple on the sea. Full log below.
(0715-0900hrs) (S, F3-4)
Red-throated Diver – 17E, 7W, 2os
diver sp – 2E
Slavonian Grebe – 3os
Great Crested Grebe – 1W
Gannet – 1E, 7W
Brent Goose – 11W
Mallard – 4W
Common Scoter – 8E, 15os
Red-breasted Merganser – 3E, 1W, 6os
Turnstone – 9W
Mediterranean Gull – 2E, 1W
Common Gull – 10W
Kittiwake – 1W
Sandwich Tern – 7E, 10os
Razorbill – 1os
auk sp – 4E, 1W

Red-throated Divers (above), Sandwich Terns, Common Scoters & Red-breasted Merganser at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 23 Shelducks on the pool this morning, along with three Gadwall and a dozen Shoveler and Teal, whilst the fields held another 50 or so of the latter two, along with c150 Wigeon and c300 Lapwings. Also, half a dozen Snipe were back in the roadside reeds.

Snipe (above) & Teal at the Ferry (AH) 

Park Farm, Selsey: A Kestrel was perched behind the barns, whilst a Green Woodpecker and a single Pied Wagtail, at least fifty Curlew, a dozen Oystercatchers and eight Brent Geese were also present.
Later, a Red Kite went north over the reservoir, whilst a Pale-bellied Brent Goose was among the 1500 Dark-bellied Brent Geese that flew in, and there were also two Stonechats, two Pied Wagtails, three Green Woodpeckers and 20 Meadow Pipits about.

Church Norton: There were a few birds offshore this morning, including three Slavonian Grebes, three Common Scoters, a Guillemot and two Red-throated Divers, along with, unusually, five Shovelers a long way out to sea.
There were another two in the harbour, along with a dozen Pintail, an Avocet, a Little Egret, the female Peregrine on her island and 100 Golden Plovers and many more Lapwings towards the North Wall. The only land-birds of note were a singing Reed Bunting on the first Several and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Greenlease Farm.

Birdham: Enjoyable early morning stroll around local farmland was quite productive and included good sized flocks of Chaffinches and Linnets, as well as a Mistle Thrush, four Song Thrushes, a Grey Wagtail, two Yellowhammers, a Greenfinch, a Buzzard, a single Stock Dove, two Skylarks, and Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, and a Wren singing long and lustily on an exposed branch,seemingly unbothered by my presence.

Chalder, Bramber and Honer Farms: A pair of vocal Ravens were at Chalder Farm, with 13 Cattle Egrets nearby, along with a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Kestrels and a Buzzard.
A further nine Cattle Egrets were near Bramber Farm, whilst at Honer there were half a dozen Yellowhammers and up to ten Fieldfares in the fields, but the reservoir just held three Tufted Ducks and 33 Coots.

Raven at Chalder Farm (SR) (above), Yellowhammer & Fieldfares at Honer Farm (AH) 

Runcton to South Mundham. On the walk this morning there were six Common Buzzards, three Kestrels, three Green Woodpeckers, four Song Thrushes, five Roe Deer, a Pipistrelle bat species and plenty of emerging Lesser Celandines.

Buzzard (above), Pipistrelle, Roe Deer & Lesser Celandines between Runcton and South Mundham (CRJ)

Saturday, 20th February: Another blustery and overcast morning, though reasonably mild in the south-easterly breeze...........

Selsey Bill: The highlight was a group of 21 Sandwich Terns that dropped in briefly on the beach before drifting off east. It is difficult to be certain these days, with a regular wintering flock around (though not this large), but it would seem likely that they were early returning birds.
Otherwise, it was standard fare, with 14 Red-throated Divers east, a few Gannets and auks moving about offshore, along with a couple of Shags, whilst the only Brent Geese seen were nine west. Full log below.
(0730-0900hrs) (SE, F5-6)
Red-throated Diver – 14E, 1W, 2os
diver sp – 1E
Gannet – 1E, 6W, 10os
Shag – 1E, 1os
Brent Goose – 9W
Mallard – 4E
Red-breasted Merganser – 2E, 5os
Oystercatcher – 1E
Mediterranean Gull – 4os
Common Gull – 14E
Kittiwake – 6os, then W
Sandwich Tern – 21 on beach then E, 5os
Razorbill – 3E, 11W, 8os
Guillemot – 1W
auk sp – 8E, 3W

Sandwich Terns (AH) (above), Razorbills & Guillemot (AW) at the Bill

Ferry Pool: A Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite this morning, along with a few Redshanks and Teal, but the pool was again empty, though 50+ Shoveler and Teal and 100+ Wigeon were spread around the fields.

Spotted Redshank (above) & Spotted Redshank and Redshank in Ferry Channel (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A Stonechat, a Sparrowhawk, a Grey Wagtail and a few Meadow Pipits were about, along with a few Curlews and Oystercatchers.

Church Norton: The long-staying Barnacle Goose re-appeared in the harbour this morning, among a small flock of Brent Geese, whilst the harbour also held a Bar-tailed Godwit, c30 Avocets, six Ringed Plovers, 500 Lapwings and the regular waders, with a distant flock of Golden Plovers was also seen
A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and a Little Egret were in the harbour mouth, with the two female Goldeneyes feeding near Tern Island, whilst offshore four Sandwich Terns went west.
Passerines noted included two Stonechats at Greenlease Farm, a Cetti's Warbler between the Severals and two Goldcrests and a flock of Long-tailed Tits in Bluebell Wood.

Barnacle Goose at Church Norton (SH)

Medmerry: Toe End - The Black Redstart was still present among the rocks near the breach this morning.

Black Redstart at Medmerry (AW)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - Three male Chaffinches and a Greenfinch seemed to be holding territory in hedgerow along the cycle path and a Cetti's Warbler was calling. 
Around the works itself was a Grey Wagtail, c75 Pied Wagtails, six Long-tailed Tits, a Green Woodpecker and two Moorhens.

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Late this afternoon a Dartford Warbler, four Stonechats and five Yellowhammers were along the banks, a Sparrowhawk went over and 20 Golden Plovers and 200+ Lapwings were ou ton the reserve.

East Head: The Velvet Scoter that has been present in the main channel over the last few days was again present today whilst at earlier Chalkdock a Barn Owl was sat at the edge of the copse.

Highleigh: A Lesser Black-backed Gull was sat on a roadside telegraph pole this morning.

Lesser Black-backed Gull at Highleigh (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: There were a lot of waders on the mud at low tide this morning, including a Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank, c200 Black-tailed Godwits, c50 Lapwing and similar of Grey Plovers, whilst at least 200 Wigeon, c500 Brent Geese and a few Teal were the only wildfowl noted.
There was a very big gull roost, including at least 800 Common Gulls, 20 Mediterranean Gulls and five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, but the only passerines of note were half a dozen Rock Pipits along the foreshore and a pair of Coal Tits in Apuldram church car-park.

Greenshank (above), Spotted Redshank, Lapwings, Rock Pipit & Lesser Black-backed, Mediterranean and Common Gulls at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Chi GPs - Drayton Pits: A delayed WeBS produced a count of 98 Pochard between the pits (mostly on North pit) whilst other joint totals included 85 Tufted Ducks, 35 Teal and 27 Shoveler. The highlights however were a female Goldeneye on the South pit (unusual here), a male Marsh Harrier, a pair of Bullfinches and at least three singing Cetti's Warblers.

Pochards with Tufted Duck, female Goldeneye and male Marsh Harrier at Drayton GPs (OM)

Friday, 19th February: The wind remains fresh and from the south, heavily overcast, though dry and fairly mild.......

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of activity this morning, including 22 Red-throated Divers east and six west, a Slavonian Grebe and six Sandwich Terns offshore, along with a few Gannets and Kittiwakes, whilst over 500 Razorbills/auks, plus four Guillemots, were moving mostly west offshore. Full log below.
(0730-0900hrs) (S, F6)
Red-throated Diver – 22E, 6W, 2os
diver sp – 4E
Slavonian Grebe – 1os
Great Crested Grebe – 1W, 1os
Gannet – 7W, 12os
Oystercatcher – 1E
Mediterranean Gull – 4os
Common Gull – 3W
Kittiwake – 11W, 8os
Sandwich Tern – 6os
Razorbill – 12E, 180W, 20os
Guillemot – 4W
auk sp – 50E, 300W

Red-throated Divers (above), Razorbill, Guillemot & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just half a dozen Shelducks and Shovelers were on the pool, with a few more of the latter, Wigeon and Teal scattered around the fields, whilst 30 Black-tailed Godwits flew in and back out again.
Also, very early this morning, a Woodcock flew over the road just to the north of the Ferry.

Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: This morning there were two Pale-bellied Brent Geese among the 200 or so Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the harbour, and there were a few Razorbills moving west and a Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver at a distance offshore. 
There was also a flock of 17 Mediterranean Gulls on the beach with a few more sat out in the harbour. and two Goldcrests were seen along the hedge north of the hide.

Pale-belied and Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Church Norton (AW)

North Wall: A Song Thrush was in the horse paddocks this morning, at least until a Sparrowhawk flew through. From the sluice gates about 800 Brent Geese were visible as well as about 20 Curlews and the usual Wigeon, Teal and Redshank. 
The flooded fields along the Wall contained about 250 Black-tailed Godwits, at least 30 Shoveler and 30 Shelduck, a few Pintail together with plenty of Wigeon and Teal.

Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: At least 20 Cattle Egrets were spread around the fields this morning, whilst a dozen Yellowhammers and half a dozen Linnets and Skylarks were along Church Farm Lane and a dozen reed Buntings and a few Chaffinches were beyond Chalder Farm.

Yellowhammer (above), Reed Bunting & Cattle Egrets at Marsh Farm, Sidlesham (AH)

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