Sunday, 27 February 2022

27th - 28th February 2022

Monday, 28th February: A fairly mild morning, bright early on in a moderate southerly breeze, though clouding up as the wind shifted south-west..........

Note from the Editors: At 7.30pm on Wednesday, 2nd March, there is a talk by SOS Conservation Officer Richard Cowser, who has done some excellent work locally on various planning issues. It promises to be very interesting and will hopefully be well-supported.
There is a link on the SOS site.

Selsey Bill: Seven Common Scoters, seven Red-throated Divers and four Brent Geese east were about the only hints of possible migration this morning. Full log below. (SR/IP/MO-W/AH)
(0715-0900hrs) (S, F4)
Great Norhern Diver - 1E, 2os
Red-throated Diver - 7E, 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Shag - 2E
Brent Goose - 4E, 13W
Common Scoter - 7E
Red-breasted Merganser - 15E, 7W, 3os
Sparrowhawk - 1
Turnstone - 7
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 2E

Great Northern Diver (above), Red-throated Diver, Turnstone & Sparrowhawk at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The pool just held c80 Shovelers and c60 Teal, whilst the field held c50 Lapwing and c150 Wigeon. (AH)

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

Church Norton: There were at least 500 Brent Geese in the harbour, along with four Pintail and c50 Wigeon and Teal, though waders were few, with just a few dozen Dunlin and a few Grey and ringed Plovers about.
A few Common and Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour, a single Chiffchaff along the west side and two Mistle Thrushes in Rectory Lane were the only other birds of note. (AH)

Mistle Thrush (above), Pintail, Common Gull, Dunlin and Grey Plovers & Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

North Mundham: A Merlin shot through at speed this morning. (MJ)

Medmerry: Toe End - At least three Purple Sandpipers were around the rocks near the breach this morning. (AW)

Purple Sandpipers at Medmerry (AW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane - A flock of c40 Fieldfares were in the field south of the car-park this afternoon. (TG-P)

North Wall: This evening the Short-eared Owl was out hunting again, whilst four Glossy Ibises flew in to roost in Owl Copse.
Also, a very odd hybrid Pintail was in the harbour. (AW) This bird was seen briefly at around this time last year and is presumably passing through with other Pintail. (Eds)

Short-eared Owl (above), Glossy Ibises & Pintail hybrid at the North Wall (AW)

Sunday, 27th February: Another sunny morning, though again in a fresh south-easterly - warm in the sun, much cooler in the breeze......

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of selection of species, including a Bonxie, four Slavonian Grebes, four Great Northern Divers and 11 Common Scoters, with over 50 Red-breasted Mergansers being the highest count. Full log below. (SH/JA/PB/CRJ/SR/IP/CN/AH/P&LH/RJS et al)
(0630-0900hrs) (SE, F5)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 5E, 2W, 1os
diver sp - 6W
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1E, 2os
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 4E, 1W
Teal - 9E
Common Scoter - 11E
Red-breasted Merganser - 37E, 5W, 11os
Turnstone - 12
Great Skua - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 11os
Common Gull - 4E, 4W
Kittiwake - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 5os
Razorbill - 1E
auk sp - 7E, 4W
Meadow Pipit - E

Later at 1430hrs, nine Brent Geese went east and three Sandwich Terns were offshore. (BI)

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

Ferry Pool: The pool just held ducks this morning - c100 Shovelers, c50 Teal and c250 Wigeon, plus six Shelducks, whilst a dozen Black-tailed Godwits and a few Curlews were on the field, a Grey Wagtail went over and the Spotted Redshank was in the channel opposite. (AH/P&LH)

Wigeon (above) & Shovelers and Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Just a Linnet and a Pied Wagtail of note this morning. (IP)

Church Norton: The Merlin was on Tern Island this morning. (P&LH) Otherwise, it was very quiet, with few waders or wildfowl about, and just a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, a pair of Little Grebes and a handful of Mediterranean Gulls to report. (IP)

Hunston Copse: Two Tree-creepers and two Chiffchaffs were in the copse today. (S&SaH)

North Wall and east side: There was a massive flock of Brent Geese commuting between White's Creek and the field behind the Breech Pool - perhaps 2500 in total, with at least 300 Wigeon with them, whilst there were also c30 Black-tailed Godwits on the fields, too.
A Spotted Redshank was in White's Creek, along with c30 Redshanks and c40 Black-tailed Godwits, whilst out on the mud along the main channel there were two or three Bar-tailed Godwits, c300 Knot, c40 Turnstones, c100 Grey Plovers, c50 Ringed Plovers and masses of Dunlin.
There were also c75 Pintail spread along the main channel, with similar numbers of Teal and Wigeon, along with two Little Grebes, five Great Crested Grebes and 25 Shelducks. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Spotted Redshank and Redshank, Knot, Little Grebe, Pintail & Brent Geese at the North Wall (AH)

This evening four Glossy Ibises flew into the rife and then up to Owl Copse to roost, whilst a Barn Owl was at Halsey's Farm and three Marsh Harriers - a male and two females were over the Breech Pool, where there were also a Spotted Redshank, five Snipe and five Chiffchaffs. (S&SaH/BI et al)

Glossy Ibises (above) & Marsh Harrier at the North Wall (SH)

West Itchenor: A Common Scoter and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose were both in the harbour south of here today. (J Arnott per SOS)

Common Scoter at West Itchenor (J Arnott)

Friday, 25 February 2022

25th - 26th February 2022

Saturday, 26th February: Another bright and breezy day, though with the wind shifting towards the south-east......

Selsey Bill: There was a bit more activity this morning, including four Eider east, ten Gannets west and two Slavonian Grebes and eight Great Northern Divers offshore. Full log below. (JA/PM/BI/IP/SR/AH/OM)
(0655-0900hrs) (ESE, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 8os
Red-throated Diver - 1W
diver sp - 2E, 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 4E
Fulmar - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 10W
Brent Goose - 2W
Shelduck - 1E
Mallard - 4
Eider - 4E
Common Scoter - 1E, 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 12E, 5W, 10os
Curlew - 3W
Turnstone - 10
Mediterranean Gull - 10os
Common Gull - 17E
Kittiwake - 5E
Sandwich Tern - 5os
auk sp - 2W

(1030-1330hrs) (OM/SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2 os
Red-throated Diver - 2E
Gannet - 2W
Eider - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 1W, 6 os (displaying flock)
Turnstone - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 3E, 3os
Common Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 12 os

Sandwich Tern (above), Common Gull & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just c80 Shovelers and c50 Teal on the pool, though 25 Lapwings and c100 Wigeon were on the fields and the (metal ringed) Kingfisher was in the channel opposite. (OM/AH)

Kingfisher (above) & Shoveler at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Dartford Warbler was in the gorse along the beach and four Linnets were along the spit, whilst several Cetti's Warblers were calling and a few Long-tailed Tits were in Bluebell Wood.
Around 700 Golden Plovers and 1000 Brent Geese flew up from the far end of the harbour, but otherwise it was the regular mix, including a Bar-tailed Godwit, ten Avocets and a few Pintail among the commoner species and the female Peregrine on its island, and there were also two drake Shovelers on the second Several. (IP)

Runcton Mill: A Grey Wagtail and two Buzzards went over this morning.(MJ)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The blustery conditions kept the banks quiet, but there were a Dartford Warbler, a pair of Stonechats, a Meadow Pipit, a handful of Reed Buntings and 20+ Skylarks and Linnets seen, whilst three Fieldfares flew over the car-park.
There was little on the tidal areas, though the Stilt Pool held four Avocets, c30 Black-tailed Godwits, a pair of Shovelers,a pair of Gadwall, c30 Teal, c60 Wigeon andc50 Brent Geese.
Also, there are new fences around the two main islands on the Stilt Pool - presumably in anticipation of the Avocets nesting soon. (AH)

Fieldfare (above), Skylarks, Linnet, Stonechat and Meadow Pipit, Black-tailed Godwits and Wigeon & new fencing at Medmerry (AH)

Chichester Canal: A circular walk taking in the canal and flooded field revealed signs of spring in the form of a pair of Mute Swans and Coots preparing new nests and the canal also held two pairs of Little Grebes and a pair of Gadwall.
The flooded field held 27 Mute Swans, seven Black-tailed Godwits and a Stonechat, alongside Black-headed and Herring Gulls and Mallards. (SR)

Stonechat (above), Gadwall & Mute Swan at Chichester Canal (SR)

North Wall: All six Glossy Ibises were in Owl Copse, with four seen flying in and two others sat together in a slightly different area. There were also a dozen Cattle Egrets present along with nine very excitable Grey Herons that had earlier been seen sat together in Honer 2 field.
The Barn Owl was hunting over the Breech Pool at dusk, whilst earlier the male Marsh Harrier was in the same area, whilst two Jack Snipe and six Snipe flew out of the reeds and back in again and two Cetti's Warblers were calling.
Also, at least 1000 Brent Geese, 300 Wigeon and 50 Curlews flew into the harbour, where there were at least 200 Lapwings and 35 Golden Plovers. (BI/AH/LP)

Glossy Ibises (above), Marsh Harrier, Grey Herons & Curlews at the North Wall (AH)

Friday, 25th February: A bright and blustery morning, quite mild out of the persistent westerly.....

A few more archive shots to round off the week, before I give you all a bit of break! These feature the late 1980's and we'll be delving into the 1990's and beyond when this feature returns. And in case some of the newer (or older) observers think they've escaped, my lesser known archive pic's extend well into the new century, so there may be the odd surprise on the way! (OM)

20th Jan 1987 - during a period of severe cold and heavy snow - and my old birding mate Bernie Forbes poses in his new jacket whilst taking coffee at the entrance to Pagham Harbour North Wall. 
17th Sep 1988 at Church Norton and a local twitch for an American Golden Plover brings out more than just the locals. L-to-R here are John King, Dave Smith, Richard Ives, Mick Hay and Bernie Forbes, whilst hidden behind Bernie is Keith Maycock.

(below left) Yours truly sneaks in with Dave and Richard for an 'I was there' shot. Note the optics of the day.

(below right) Dec 1988-early 1989 was a busy time for development and habitat loss at the Bill. The upper photo shows the old 'horse field' with development about to start, whilst the lower pic shows the last few chalets about to be demolished at the old Pontins holiday camp.

Selsey Bill: It was again quiet though four Slavonian Grebes and a Great Northern Diver were about, and 23 Mediterranean Gulls were along the beach. Full log below. (SR/JA/BI/CRJ/AH)
(0710-0850hrs) (WSW, F6)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 2os
Slavonian Grebe - 2E, 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Gannet - 1W
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2W
Oystercatcher - 1
Turnstone - 28
Mediterranean Gull - 23os
Sandwich Tern - 1W
auk sp - 1E, 1W

Mediterranean Gulls at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were just the usual Shovelers and Teal, plus a single Avocet, on the pool this morning, with c30 Black-tailed Godwits and c100 Wigeon on the fields.
Also, a Spotted Redshank and the regular Kingfisher were in the channel opposite, at least one Water Rail was in Red Barn Ditch and a Green Woodpecker was along the Tramway. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above), Water Rail & Green Woodpecker around the Ferry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A Spotted Redshank, an Avocet and three Greenshanks were along the creek this morning, among the many Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Grey Plovers and Redshank present.
Four Red-breasted Mergansers were on the water, with other wildfowl including a handful of Pintail among c100 Teal and c400 Wigeon, but there were no Brent Geese about. (AH/GJ et al)

Spotted Redshank (above), Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon & Wigeon and Teal at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Medmerry: Wilson's Farm to Marsh Barn and the Stilt Pool - With visiting birder Linda Mount, I went in search of Corn Bunting but there were none today around the cover crop although we were told some had been seen today, away from the paths in a different spot, though there were still c50 Yellowhammers, c40 Reed Buntings and c70 Linnets alongside the commoner finches feeding around the field, with two Kestrels and two Buzzards overhead.
The pair of Grey Partridges were still in the field opposite the car park, by the Poplars, although not always easy to see, and a single calling Fieldfare flew over. At Easton Viewpoint a Dartford Warbler was heard but not seen, and there were also a flock of Long-tailed Tits and a Green Woodpecker about. (SR)
Late this afternoon a Short-eared Owl was out hunting north of the Stilt Pool. (SP)

Grey Partridge at Medmerry (SR)

Medmerry: Wilson's Farm to Ham viewpoint - A Marsh Harrier was near Wilson's Farm this afternoon, whilst a Corn Bunting was near the Ham viewpoint, where there were also a couple of pairs of Stonechats and a few Skylarks. (CEv)

Corn Bunting at Medmerry (CEv)

Sidlesham: This evening a Woodcock flew across the B2145 from the vicinity of Keynor Copse. (S&SaH)

Chichester CanalTwo Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the flood today together with six Black-tailed Godwits and the usual Wigeon flock but there were no geese and only c.10 Mute Swans present. A few Skylarks were also singing here. 
Along the canal were a good mix of commoner birds including Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, at least a dozen Wrens and two calling Cetti's Warblers whilst at the picnic benches were three Chiffchaffs. Also noted in a nearby hedge was a female Bullfinch. (BI)

North Wall: This afternoon a Short-eared Owl was out hunting over the reeds behind the Breech Pool, and there were also two Marsh Harriers about, three Avocets were in Whites Creek and c100 Black-tailed Godwits and c200 Wigeon were in the fields. Also, at least three Chiffchaffs were in the bushes and two Cetti's Warblers were calling, with a Kingfisher and a Sparrowhawk also seen. 
Later, four Glossy Ibises came into roost in Owl Copse, along with 49 Cattle Egrets and at least half a dozen Little Egrets, whilst the Barn Owl was out hunting there after dusk. (AH/BI/S&SaH/NM et al)

Short-eared Owl (above), Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Chiffchaff, Teal & Black-tailed Godwits and Wigeon at North Wall (AH)