Saturday 10 February 2024

10th - 12th February 2024

Monday, 12th February: After a cold start, a bright and breezy morning in a freshening westerly.......

Selsey Bill: A Black-throated Diver was on the sea this morning, along with five Great Northern Divers, whilst five Eiders - three drakes together and then the regular pair - went east. Full log below. (P&LH/AH/TR/SR/CRJ)
(0730-0915hrs) (WNW, F4)
Great Northern Diver - 5os
Black-throated Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 13E, 7W
Slavonian Grebe - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 2os
Gannet - 19W
Brent Goose - 18E
Shelduck - 3E
Pintail - 8E, 8W
Eider - 5E
Common Scoter - 2E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 3os
Oystercatcher - 2
Turnstone - 8
Mediterranean Gull - 3os
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 1E
Rock Pipit - 1

(1300-1500hrs) (P&LH)
Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 1W
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Pintail - 4os
Long-tailed Duck - 1E
Eider - 6W (all drakes)
Common Scoter - 4W
Red-breasted Merganser - 2E, 1W, 3os
Turnstone - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 4os
Common Gull - 3W
Sandwich Tern - 2W, 4os
Guillemot - 1W

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

Ferry Pool: Apart from six Snipe and a handful of Lapwings on the bank, it was just wildfowl this morning, namely eight Gadwall, four Shelducks, c50 Shovelers and Teal and c20 Mallards on the pool and c80 Wigeon on the field. (AH)

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

North Wall: There were two Little Owls - and clearly a pair, sat beside each other, briefly - around the paddock area this evening. (AH/SP et al)

Church Norton: Most of the action was offshore this morning, including three Long-tailed Ducks, two Common Scoters, the pair of Eider, two Red-breasted Mergansers, two Slavonian Grebes, two Great Northern Divers and a Red-throated Diver, along with three Great Crested Grebes and c30 Brent Geese.
The harbour was quieter, with just a dozen Teal, c20 Shelducks and c40 Teal about, along with c150 Grey Plovers, four Ringed Plovers, 25 Avocets, c30 Knot and c300 Dunlin. (P&LH/CRJ et al)
This afternoon there were still three Long-tailed Ducks, including the drake, offshore, plus four Red-breasted Mergansers. (MW/AH)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - There was no sign of the Purple Sandpipers on the rapidly rising tide this morning, but there were large flocks of roosting waders including Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Dunlin, along with 18 Teal and 34 Brent Geese, whilst the rough ground by the windmill held a pair of Stonechats and a Kestrel. (SR)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There was absolutely nothing of note around Porthole Farm and the Trail, with such activity as there was around the banks and the big stubble field at Ham, including two pairs of Stonechats, a single Reed Bunting, c20 Skylarks and a huge flock of at least 500 Linnets, plus a pair of Buzzards. (AH)
Later on, a Corn Bunting was also among the many birds in the stubble field. (MW)

Stonechat (above), Skylark, Reed Bunting & Linnets at Medmerry (AH)

Sunday, 11th FebruaryA better day than was forecast, with just a few very brief showers, and periods of sunny brightness breaking through the clouds in a fairly light north-easterly breeze, though freshening as it went west later....

Selsey Bill: A bit of late winter variety produced a Puffin and a Long-tailed Duck going west and a good count of 130 Pintail east, mostly in one flock. Full log below (SH/PB/MRB/BI/AH/RHa/SR)
(0700-0930hrs) (NE, F3)
Red-throated Diver - 18E, 18W, 2os
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 1os
diver sp - 1W
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 4E, 3W
Shag - 3E
Shelduck - 2E, 4W
Pintail - 130E (including a flock of 120)
Shoveler - 1W
Long-tailed Duck - 1W
Common Scoter - 7os
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 1W, 4os
Oystercatcher - 1E, 1W
Turnstone - 8
Mediterranean Gull - 8W
Common Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 7os
Puffin - 1W (0758hrs)
Razorbill - 1E, 1W
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 4E, 3W

(1240-1340hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 1os
Long-tailed Duck - 1os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 2W, 6os
Grey Plover - 8W
Knot - 2W
Dunlin - 70W
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Common Gull - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 3os
Guillemot - 1W

Great Northern Diver (above) & Pintail at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Long-tailed Duck was on the pool again this morning, along with a Snipe, eight Gadwall, three Tufted Ducks, six Shelducks, c50 Teal and 75 Shovelers, with c100 Wigeon on the fields, whilst a Marsh Harrier and two Buzzards went over and c500 Golden Plovers came up at the back from the Medmerry direction. (AH/PB/MRB/MP/L&M Hunt et al)

Long-tailed Duck and Shovelers at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A Merlin went over the pool this afternoon. (B&MC)

Church Norton: The flock of five Long-tailed Ducks were offshore again this morning, but, otherwise there were just three Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea.
The harbour was very full of water, though good numbers of the regular species were present, including the Whimbrel, 30 Avocets, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, ten Ringed Plovers and 50+ Knot, and there were also two female Goldeneyes, a female Red-breasted Merganser, at least 50 Pintail, c300 Brent Geese, four Little Grebes and two Great crested Grebes present.
Also, a pair of Stonechats were in the gorse opposite the first Several, a pair of Goldcrests were in the small wood between the Severals, along with a small party of Long-tailed Tits, a Mistle Thrush and c20 Red-legged Partridges were in the field behind the churchyard and a Marsh Harrier and two Common Buzzards went over. (IP/PB/MRB/MP et al)

North Wall: A Ruff was at the back of the flooded Honer fields, which also contained 300 Black-tailed Godwits, 200 Lapwing, 12 Golden Plover, 200 Wigeon, 80 Teal, five Pintail, two Brent Geese and a Little Grebe, whilst twelve Grey Herons were in and around Owl Copse and four Buzzards were high overhead.
Also, three Rock Pipits were along the wall, and a few Long-tailed Tits were along the hedgerows, with just a Song Thrush in the paddocks, and two Marsh Harriers were over the reeds further back. (LP/CT)

Golden Plovers and Lapwing (above), Rock Pipit & Grey Heron at the North Wall (LP)

This afternoon, there were thee Ruff in Honer 2 field, with a lot of birds in all the very flooded fields, including c250 Black-tailed Godwits, c500 Lapwings, c50 Curlews and hundreds of Wigeon and Teal, whilst at least 300 Golden Plovers were out in the harbour and two Marsh Harriers went over. (AH/BI)
Also, the Little Owl was again present in the horse paddocks after dusk this evening. (IP/BI)

Ruff and Lapwings (above), Marsh Harrier & Golden Plovers at the North Wall (AH)

Sidlesham Churchyard: Two Coal Tits have been seen regularly, in a garden near the churchyard in recent weeks, along with a Green Woodpecker. (SA)

Chichester GPs: Drayton House pits - A generally quiet WeBS count and almost feeling like early spring, with wildfowl numbers dropping, but the highlights were a Jack Snipe, a Common Snipe and 42 Pochard on North pit, a Kingfisher on South pit, and a joint total of six Egyptian Geese and two Water Rails between both pits. 
Also notable were seven Grey Herons, all but one on North pit, which perhaps bodes well for another breeding attempt this year. Passerines were generally few, but did include a smart Grey Wagtail, a couple of Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers and a flock of Long-tailed Tits. (OM)

Grey Herons and Grey Wagtail on Drayton House North pit (OM)

Fishbourne Creek: Five Barnacle Geese were among the c300 Brent Geese at Dell Quay late this morning, before flying off south-east, and there were also a Spotted Redshank and four Greenshanks among the roosting waders there.
Also, a Kingfisher, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and c30 Common Gulls were along the creek and three Buzzards went over. (PB/MRB)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were just a Dartford Warbler and a couple of Stonechats along the banks this afternoon, with two Avocets, four Snipe and 43 Brent Geese on the Stilt Pool, with another Avocet and two Red-breasted Mergansers on the pools opposite.
Also, c300 Lapwings, c500 Golden Plovers and a Buzzard were about, too. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Windmill to the Breach - Two Purple Sandpipers were around the breach on the rising tide this morning, along with a Greenshank, c50 Ringed Plovers and Turnstones, c100 Grey Plovers and c500 Dunlin, with c200 Brent Geese and a few Wigeon and Teal about, too, but half a dozen Red-breasted Merganser were all that could be seen offshore.
A pair of Stonechats and a Kestrel were by the windmill, with c30 Linnets, a Meadow Pipit and a couple of Skylarks the only birds seen at the breach end. (AH)

Purple Sandpipers and Dunlin (above), Dunlin, Stonechat & Kestrel at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 10th February: A lovely, spring-like morning, with warm, if hazy, sun in a light southerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: There was a bit of a selection this morning, including a Velvet Scoter, two Slavonian Grebes and four Great Northern Divers early on, whilst later, a Long-tailed Duck was offshore and four Slavonian Grebes and four Velvet Scoters went east. Full logs below. (SH/SR/BI/AH)
(0715-0900hrs) (SSE, F3)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 3os
Red-throated Diver - 2E, 18W, 2os
Slavonian Grebe - 1E, 1os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Gannet - 2W
Grey Heron - 1N
Brent Goose - 4E
Pintail - 8W
Velvet Scoter - 1os
Common Scoter - 1E, 2W, 7os
Red-breasted Merganser - 7E, 3W, 2os
Oystercatcher - 1E, 1W
Curlew - 1W
Turnstone - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Common Gull - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 1os
Razorbill - 3W, 1os
auk sp - 4E

(1045-1145hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 9E, 1os
diver sp - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 4E
Fulmar - 1E
Brent Goose - 1W
Long-tailed Duck - 1os
Velvet Scoter - 4E
Common Scoter - 2E, 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E
Curlew - 1E
Turnstone - 2
auk sp - 1E

Great Northern Diver (above), Slavonian Grebe & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Long-tailed Duck popped up again at the back of the pool this morning, whilst otherwise there were eight Gadwall, four Shelducks, c75 Shovelers, c20 Mallards and c50 Teal, a  Redshank on the concealed pool and c80 Lapwings and c150 Wigeon on the field. (AH/BI et al)

Long-tailed Duck and Mallards (above) & Lapwings at the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: At least ten Reed Buntings, five Linnets, four Meadow Pipits, a Stonechat and a couple of fly-over Skylarks were seen along the hedges this morning, whilst a Water Rail ran across the path and another and a pair of Little Grebes were calling from the pool. (AH)

Stonechat (above), Linnet, Reed Bunting & Meadow Pipit along the Long Pool (AH)

North Wall: A Little Owl was in the paddocks by the stables after dusk this evening - the first sighting this winter. (LP)
Earlier, three Ruff were in the field beside the Breech Pool, with a Cetti's Warbler, a Stonechat and a Rock Pipit along the wall.
Also, c400 Brent Geese flew in from the Marsh Farm area, and two Marsh Harriers, a Buzzard and a Kestrel went over. (S&SaH)

Church Norton: A flock of five Long-tailed Ducks, including the smart drake, were sat on the sea together this morning - the biggest flock seen locally for very many years. Also, offshore, there were a Slavonian Grebe, at least a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers, two Great Northern Divers and a Red-throated Diver on the sea and, half a dozen of the latter going west, along with a few distant auks, whilst a few Wigeon and Teal were going east and at least 300 Brent Geese dropped in on the sea.
In the harbour, a Peregrine was sat on its island and there were plenty of waders, including the Whimbrel, 14 Bar-tailed Godwits on Tern Island, at least 300 Knot, 100 Grey Plovers and 500 Dunlin, plus a few Turnstones, whilst 50 or so Pintail wee flying about and similar of Wigeon and Teal were on the water.
On the landward side, a Coal Tit at Greenlease Farm was the highlight, with, otherwise, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest by the Mound, and another of the latter at the Severals, along with a Cetti's Warbler, a few Long-tailed Tits, a Stonechat, a Reed Bunting and calling Water Rail and Green Woodpecker. (AH/IP et al)

Long-tailed Ducks (above), Brent Geese, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers & Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plovers at Church Norton (AH)


Pagham Spit and Lagoon: The pair of long-staying Eider were again in the offshore channel this morning, along with two Red Breasted Mergansers and four Great Crested Grebes, whilst a huge number of waders were roosting on the shingle banks, including hundreds of Grey Plovers, Knot and Dunlin, along with plenty of Oystercatchers, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones, a few Redshanks, 28 Mediterranean Gulls and a single Common Gull.
In the harbour a Peregrine was sat out on its island and 80 Pintail and a few Wigeon were on the water, a Sparrowhawk flew low across the harbour and 2000 Brent Geese were over the North Wall.
There were also four more Great Crested Grebes off the harbour entrance and three Rock Pipits, and four Meadow Pipits were along the spit, whilst four Goldeneye were asleep on the Lagoon all morning, with six Little Grebes and a Great Crested Grebe also present, and a Dartford Warbler was in the Gorse along the waters edge. (LP)

Eider (above), Goldeneyes, Red-breasted Merganser, Peregrine, Dartford Warbler, Rock Pipit & ringed Plovers, Dunlin and Grey Plovers around Pagham Spit (LP)

Medmerry: Medmerry Trail to Ham - A Raven on a telegraph pole by the gate was a good start to a bike ride along the trail with other highlights being an acrobatic Merlin chasing a small bird along the path and a Marsh Harrier hunting over the saltmarsh and reedbeds at Ham pools.
Many waders including c.150 Knot & c.250 Dunlin were over the breach and Lapwings, Golden Plover and Redshanks were along the margins. Offshore, 26 Brent Geese flew west and a single Stonechat was by the viewpoint. (BI)

Runcton: In the area this morning there were a pair of Mute Swans, a pair of Canada Geese, 28 Mallards, 38 Shovelers, 40 Teal, 17 Gadwall, 17 Tufted Ducks, three Cormorants, three Grey Herons, two Common Buzzards, two Sparrowhawks, 12 Moorhen, 15 Coots, 31 Black-headed Gulls, two Green Woodpeckers, ten Meadow Pipits, two Redwings, two Chiffchaffs and a Brown Hare. (CRJ)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Wilson's Farm - At least 40 Yellowhammers and half a dozen Reed Buntings and Chaffinches were around the cover crop fields late this afternoon, whilst a Stonechat was along the path and c40 Golden Plovers went over. (AH)

Yellowhammer (above) & Reed Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

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