Thursday, 4 February 2021

4th - 6th February 2021

Saturday, 6th FebruaryDry, bright and sunny at first before clouding over, with a cool but light north-north-westerly breeze, then becoming dull by afternoon with the promise of rain or snow showers later and much colder weather ahead......

Selsey Bill: There were six Slavonian Grebes going east and another three on the sea this morning, with 54 Red-throated Divers also going east and 12 on the sea, along with a Great Northern Diver, and there were also six Sandwich Terns offshore. Full log below.
(0715-0900hrs) (NNW, F2-3)
Great Northern Diver – 1os
Red-throated Diver – 54E, 12os
Slavonian Grebe – 6E, 3os
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Fulmar – 1W
Gannet – 2E, 5os
Common Scoter – 1E
Red-breasted Merganser – 16E, 9W, 2os
Oystercatcher – 2E
Mediterranean Gull – 2E
Black-headed Gull – 207os
Common Gull – 11E, 2W
Kittiwake – 8E, 1W, 1os
Sandwich Tern – 6os
Razorbill – 41E, 2os
auk sp – 38E, 7W

Great Northern Diver (above), Red-throated Diver & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were up to ten Snipe in the reeds this morning, with two Gadwall, eight Shelducks and c50 Teal and Shovelers on the pool, whilst c100 Lapwing and wigeon were on the field and the Kingfisher was in the channel opposite.

Snipe (above), Shovelers & Gadwall at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: The fields just held c20 Meadow Pipits and c30 Curlews, though a Sparrowhawk was about and two Buzzards were being mobbed by Carrion Crows.

Church Norton: A Dartford Warbler in the bushes in front of the horse field was the highlight, whilst eight Snipe were in the flooded field and a Goldcrest and a Cetti's Warbler were also in the area.
A flock of 50 Avocets in the harbour was impressive and whilst a few Pintail were still about, whilst offshore two Slavonian Grebes were offshore from the second Several and a Gannet and a Red-throated Diver went east
Later, the Whimbrel was again present and two Marsh Harriers were towards the Long Pool.

North Wall:  A Water Rail skulked at the back of the horse paddocks again this morning while in the sky behind there were two Marsh Harriers and a Buzzard.  The flooded Honer 3 field held for a time about 1,800 Brent Geese,  60 Curlew and a single Barnacle Goose while out in the harbour at least 300 Black-tailed Godwit, several hundred Lapwing and a brief Kingfisher could be seen. 

Later a Spoonbill was present in White's Creek, where the Barnacle Goose also appeared with Brent Geese.

Spoonbill (above), Barnacle Goose with Brent Geese in White's Creek (IL) and Water Rail near the horse paddocks (IH) at the North Wall.

Runcton. A Coal Tit was on the feeders this morning, also in the area were a Common Buzzard, a couple of Goldfinches, a singing Song Thrush and a Firecrest.

Sidlesham: A female Sparrowhawk killed and was eating a female Kestrel along Keynor Lane this afternoon.

Sparrowhawk in Sidlesham (AB)

Drayton Pits: There were 104 Pochard, 47 Tufted Ducks, 33 Shoveler and 11 Teal on the North Pit today, along with a Kingfisher, a Grey Heron and two Little Grebes.
Among species seen in the hedges were four Bullfinches, a Reed Bunting, three Goldfinches, a Jay  and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, whilst a Buzzard went over.

Medmerry: Coastguard Station - Breach Viewpoint: Two Black Redstarts were together among the caravans at Toe End, contact calling all the time and there were three pairs of Stonechats with 18 Meadow Pipits. 
The breach held 32 Brent Geese, nine Curlews, c30 Teal, c25 Wigeon and a few Common Gulls amongst the gull roost with c20 Dunlin and a few Grey Plover on the sands.

Meadow Pipit and Black Redstart at Medmerry breach area (SR)

Medmerry: Easton to the Stilt Pool - The banks were quite busy this morning, with two Dartford Warblers, nine Stonechats (suggesting a small arrival today with others seen nearby), seven Yellowhammers and seven Reed Buntings, along with a Kingfisher, two Green and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 50+ Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.
Also, 51 Brent Geese were on the Stilt Pool.

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - It was quiet here, though half a dozen Stonechats were about, along with a dozen or so Linnets, Yellowhammers and Meadow Pipits and at least 40 Skylarks.
There were also a couple of Chiffchaffs and a few Long-tailed Tits in the hedges at Porthole Farm, but not much else of anything.

Stonechat (above), Linnet, Chiffchaff & Skylark at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 5th February:  Eventually, a warm and sunny morning everywhere in a light and variable breeze, though early on only the coastal strip was clear, with fairly dense fog enveloping most of the peninsula........

Selsey Bill: There was quite a bit of activity this morning, with highlights including 13 Slavonian Grebes, six Great Northern and eight Red-throated Divers on the sea, with another 66 of the latter heading east and 38 west.
There were also four Sandwich Terns, three Wigeon and a Guillemot offshore and a flock of nine Brent Geese flew in from way offshore, before heading east, strongly suggesting they were on the move. Full log below.
(0730-0930hrs) (SW, backing NE) (F2-3) 
Great Northern Diver – 6os
Red-throated Diver – 66E, 38W, 8os
Slavonian Grebe – 13os
Great Crested Grebe – 1os
Fulmar – 1E
Gannet – c40os
Brent Goose – 11E, 2W
Wigeon – 3os
Common Scoter – 1E
Red-breasted Merganser – 3E, 4W, 8os
Mediterranean Gull – 3W
Common Gull – 11E
Kittiwake – 4W
Sandwich Tern – 4os
Guillemot – 1os

Red-throated Divers (above), Sandwich Tern, Common Scoter & Brent Geese at the Bill (AH)

Ferry PoolThis morning there were just eight Shelducks, c30 Shovelers and c20 Teal on the pool, with 50 Wigeon on the field.

Medmerry: Easton to the Stilt Pool - Much the same as yesterday with the addition of a Dartford Warbler close to the first sluice. Skylarks were very much in evidence and a Yellowhammer was in full voice with many others in the bushes.
The Stilt Pool was full of water but held fewer birds than we are used to seeing here, although c70 Common Gulls were still present, alongside c50 Teal, c25 Wigeon and 18 Tufted Ducks.
Two pairs of Stonechats, eight Stock Doves and 12 Meadow Pipits were also seen.

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - It was very quiet this morning, with passerines comprising of a pair of Stonechats by the go-kart track and half a dozen Skylarks and Meadow Pipits near the viewpoint, and the tidal areas holding just c50 Brent Geese, similar of Wigeon and Teal and just a handful of Redshanks and Curlews.

Stonechat (above), Skylark, Meadow Pipit & Brent Geese at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 4th February: After a dry, but murky, start more drizzly rain duly appeared by mid-morning, pushed on by a moderate southerly breeze........

Selsey Bill: There was quite a selection of the regular species this morning, going both east and west, with the best being four Eider on the sea by the shingle spit before flying off east. 
Otherwise, two Great Northern Divers were on the sea, as were eight Red-throated Divers, with a further 35 going east and 13 west, ten Brent Geese and four Sandwich Terns went west and 18 Common Gulls went east. Full log below.
(0750-0920hrs) (SSE, F4) 
Great Northern Diver – 2os
Red-throated Diver – 35E, 13W, 8os
Gannet – 12E, 36W
Brent Goose – 10W
Eider – 4os, then E
Common Scoter – 1W
Red-breasted Merganser – 6E, 6os
Turnstone – 9E
Mediterranean Gull – 2E, 2W
Common Gull – 18E
Kittiwake – 2E, 1W
Sandwich Tern – 4W
Razorbill – 2E, 5W
auk sp – 66E, 18W

Eider (above), Red-throated Diver & Red-breasted Merganser at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Around 50 Shovelers, 30 Teal and eight Shelducks were on the pool, with a handful of Snipe tucked away in the reeds.

Shoveler on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Unusually, there were two Water Rail at the back of the horse paddocks this morning together with the more usual Grey Wagtail and two Song Thrushes.
A Marsh Harrier was over the reed beds, while in the heavily flooded fields north of the Wall, there were at least 50 Curlew as well as a few Wigeon and Teal, a Shoveler, some 100 Lapwing, five Grey Herons and a fly over Snipe while. Also, two Cetti's Warblers were calling.

East Side: At least 1,500 Brent Geese were in the vicinity of Whites Creek early this morning and there were also 300 Black-tailed Godwit, 500 Lapwing, glimpses of Golden Plover, at least one Grey Plover, about 20 visible Knot, some 50 Dunlin, two Pintail, an occasional Curlew as well as the usual shelduck, Wigeon, Teal and Redshank.

Chi GPs: A walk from New Lake through to Peckham Copse Lake produced a total of 38 Shoveler, 26 Tufted Ducks, six Pochard and 23 Coots.

SidleshamChalder and Marsh Farm: It was generally quiet with 24 Cattle Egrets in the fields towards Bramber and three Little Egrets; 11 Common Gulls were also in with the large gull flock alongside c40 Pied Wagtails. In the bushes were c20 Yellowhammers, two Chiffchaffs, six Greenfinch and two Song Thrushes, whilst there was also plenty of activity in the Chalder Lane Rookery where c80 birds had gathered.

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There wasn't much to report here in deteriorating conditions this morning, with just a handful of Skylarks and Stock Doves along the banks, four Brent Geese and ten Canada Geese on the reserve and four grumpy Grey Herons sheltering from the rain.
The only thing of note was an unusually large gathering for the coast of c250 Common Gulls on the Stilt Pool, where there were also c30 Lapwings and a scattering of Teal, Wigeon, Shovelers and Gadwall.

Stock Dove (above), Skylark, Lapwings & Common Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

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