Wednesday, 1 December 2021

1st - 3rd December 2021

Friday, 3nd December: A slightly milder day, as the fresh breeze shifted to the south-west, brightening up after early drizzly rain, but still mostly overcast........

Selsey Bill: It was fairly slow this morning, but a few Kittiwakes and Gannets went west and two Slavonian Grebes dropped in on the sea, though there were very few auks about. Full log below. (AH/SR/IP)
(0745-0945hrs) (SSW, F5-6)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 3E, 1W, 1os
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 40W
Common Scoter - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 10E, 2W
Turnstone - 31W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 3W
Common Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 3E, 32W
Guillemot - 1E
Razorbill - 2W, 4os
auk sp - 2E
Pied Wagtail - 1W

Kittiwake (above), Razorbills, Gannets, Red-breasted Merganser & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 35 Avocets on the pool, feeding and roosting, suggesting a bit of an arrival, though otherwise it was the usual mix, including up to ten Snipe, four Shelducks, c50 Shoveler and Wigeon and c100 Teal. (AH)

Avocets (above) & Wigeon and Teal on the Ferry (AH)

North Wall
 There was no sign of the Bearded Tit this morning, whilst the Spoonbill was initially in the Breech Pool before relocating to Halsey's Farm. (BI)

Church Norton: After yesterday's Razorbill, this morning a Guillemot was in the harbour at high tide, along with four Little and six Great Crested Grebes, a female Gadwall and numerous Wigeon and Teal, though the only birds offshore were two Razorbills, three Red-breasted Mergansers and a Mediterranean Gull.
Among the many roosting waders were the Whimbrel and 14 Bar-tailed Godwits, plus many Grey Plovers, Knot and Dunlin, whilst passerines included a Stonechat and a few Skylarks along the spit and four Reed Buntings along the path to the beach. (AH)
This afternoon a Razorbill was feeding in the harbour and a Merlin was along the spit, whilst five Slavonian Grebes were offshore. (IH/SP)

Guillemot (above), Razorbill, Whimbrel, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot, Gadwall, Stonechat & Reed Bunting at Church Norton (AH)

Thursday, 2nd December: A bright, but cold, morning, in a fresh north-westerly....

Avian Influenza: There has been a confirmed case of avian influenza on the Peninsula in recent weeks (a cygnet from Pagham Pond), and another report has come in of a dead swan on the west side track. Could anyone finding sick or dead birds on the reserve email the details to -, and there is also the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
See the image below for what else to do and not to do. (Eds)

Selsey Bill: It was generally quiet this morning, though a Merlin chasing and catching a Pied Wagtail around the houses livened things up, and there were a couple of Guillemots and a Razorbill on the sea, a Slavonian Grebe went west. Full log below. (AH/P&LH)
(0745-0900hrs) (NW, F6)
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 1os
Red-throated Diver - 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 1W
Great Crested Grebe -1os
Gannet - 4W
Brent Goose - 3E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7W
Merlin - 1
Turnstone - 4
Kittiwake 12W
Guillemot - 2os
Razorbill - 3E, 3W, 1os
auk sp - 50W
Pied Wagtail - 1

Merlin (above), Guillemot & Red-breasted Mergansers at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Marsh Harrier was hunting over the Long Pool/Tramway area this morning, whilst on the pool there were six Snipe, six Black-tailed Godwits, four Shelducks and c50 Shovelers and Teal, whilst at lest 80 Wigeon and 200 Lapwings were on the field. (AH/CRJ)
Also, two Ravens went south over the harbour. (IL)

Marsh Harrier (above), Shelduck & Snipe at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: The first Bearded Tit of the year was in the creek at Halsey's Farm, whilst the Spoonbill was back in the Breech Pool this morning, along with up to three Water Rail and three Snipe, and a Jack Snipe went over. (AW/IH et al)

Bearded Tit (above), Spoonbill & Water Rail around the North Wall (AW)

East Head: The two Velvet Scoters were in the harbour again this morning and flew along the channel, where a Red-throated Diver, a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers, a Guillemot and a few Great Crested Grebes were present.
The high tide roost at the far end of the Head held around 30 Sanderlings and similar of Ringed Plover, whilst in the dunes were a Stonechat and ten Skylarks. Around the car park a flock of several hundred Brent Geese was spooked by a juvenile Peregrine that didn't seem too well practised at hunting!
At Snowhill Creek there was nothing unusual; two Snipe were on the marsh and c.150 Wigeon were prominent, though a Firecrest in the adjacent hedgerow was about the best there. (OM/BFF/DM)

Dell QuayOn the high tide this morning a single drake Goldeneye was present in the channel, whilst amongst the roosting Redshanks were a single Spotted Redshank and four Greenshank. (OM/BFF/DM)

Fishbourne Creek: A walk this morning on the high tide, going north from Dell Quay, produced a single male Goldeneye which soon flew off southwards, at least three Rock Pipits and a flock of about 20 Turnstones. (GS)

Later, on our arrival three Buzzards were conspicuous, soaring over the paddocks to the annoyance of local gulls, but there was little else of note. Amongst the regular wildfowl and waders, a single Spotted Redshank was feeding near the Lavant outfall and the single Goldeneye - probably the one from Dell Quay - was in the channel, whilst a single Rock Pipit was the best we could do on the passerine front. (OM/BFF/DM)

Turnstones in Fishbourne Creek (GS)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - Two Swallows were over the sewage works today, whist a Cattle Egret was feeding in a stubble field along Ham Road. (K & L Smith per SOS)

Church Norton: A Razorbill was feeding inside the harbour on the high tide this morning, along with a Red-breasted Merganser, three Little and six Great Crested Grebes, whilst another three Red-breasted Mergansers, three Crested Grebes and a Red-throated Diver were offshore, with another of the latter flying west.
Otherwise there were plenty of roosting waders, including the Whimbrel and a few Knot and Grey Plovers, and plenty of Wigeon and Teal, whilst a dozen skylarks were along the spit. (P&LH/AH/CRJ)

Guillemot (above), Red-breasted Merganser, Teal, Whimbrel & Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 1st December: A mix of sun, cloud and the odd spot of rain this morning, in a brisk and freshening westerly....

Selsey Bill: There were still a lot of auks on the move, with a bit of a mix of other species, too, including a Velvet Scoter, an Eider, two Slavonian Grebes and a few divers. Full log below. (AH/SR/PB/AB)
(0730-0900hrs) (WNW, F5-6)
Great Northern Diver - 7os
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 6W
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 7W (inc a flock of 6)
Gannet - 21E, 2W
Brent Goose - 1E
Eider - 1E
Common Scoter - 5E, 1W
Velvet Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 6E, 19W
Oystercatcher - 3E
Turnstone - 15
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Kittiwake - 2W, 18E
Guillemot - 8W
Razorbill - 17E, 5W
auk sp - 334E, 282W
Pied Wagtail - 3
Redwing - 2W

Red-throated Diver (above), Razorbills & Red-breasted Mergansers at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were four Avocets on the pool, along with a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and c50 Lapwings, with a couple of Snipe tucked away at the front, whilst there were also two drake Pintail again, c60 Shoveler, c60 Wigeon and 80 Teal present, whilst a Sparrowhawk went over. (AH/PB/AB)

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

North Wall: The Spoonbill was on the Breech Pool this morning, feeding actively, a Cattle Egret was in the fields and a Redwing and a Snipe went over, whilst 32 Avocets, c30 Black-tailed Godwits and a Common Seal were in the harbour. (MPr/PB/AB)

Along with the Spoonbill, a Marsh Harrier showed for a couple of minutes at the back of the Breech Pool; also just a single Redwing in the bushes on the lower path, a Cetti`s Warbler  near Owl Copse and  25 Curlew and c200 Wigeon in fields near to Halsey`s Farm. (GHi)

Spoonbill and Wigeon at the North Wall (GHi)

Church Norton: A Peregrine was on its island this morning, whilst there were a few wades in the harbour, including the Whimbrel, four Bar-tailed Godwits and c100 Golden Plovers, along with two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Little Grebe, six Great Crested Grebes and plenty of Pintail and Wigeon, whilst three chiffchaffs were in the sheltered hedges. (PB/AB)

Fishbourne Creek: There were five Goldeneye present this morning - a drake and two redheads opposite the Lavant outflow and another drake and a redhead south of Dell Quay, where there were also six Red-breasted Mergansers.
At least 800 Brent Geese and 500 Wigeon were along the creek, along with c50 Teal and a handful of Pintail, whilst waders included two Greenshank, c150 Black-tailed Godwits, c50 Grey Plovers, c400 Lapwing and and c200, all put up at one point by a low-flying Peregrine.
Also, a Kingfisher was by the Lavant outflow and at least half a dozen Rock Pipits were about. (AH)

Peregrine (above), Goldeneye, Greenshanks and Redshanks, Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwits & Black-tailed Godwits at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Runcton: The Blackbirds have been making short work of our spindle berries, with up to six birds at a time, whilst the Coal Tit was back on the feeders again this morning, (CRJ).

Blackbird and spindle berries at Runcton (CRJ)

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