Friday, 29 December 2017

29th - 31st December 2017

Sunday, 31st December: The very unsettled conditions continue, with another wet night followed by another very grey and windy morning with more rain.....

Selsey Bill: A bit more movement this morning, with other highlights being a Purple Sandpiper on the beach with the Turnstones, a Rock Pipit also on the beach and a flock of ten Slavonian Grebes offshore, plus the Bonxie again. Full log below......
0750-1000hrs:  (JA/SH/SR/AH/IP)
Red-throated Diver - 19W, 1os
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Slavonian Grebe - 2W, 10os
Great Crested Grebe - 1W, 1os
Shag - 1os
Gannet - 2E, 1W
Brent Goose - 9E, 16W
Common Scoter - 10W
Red-breasted Merganser - 8W, 2os
Dunlin - 5W
Purple Sandpiper - 1ob
Razorbill - 1E, 2W, 1os
Guillemot - 1W
auk sp - 3W
Great Skua - 1os
Kittiwake - 1E, 10W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Rock Pipit - 1ob

Great Northern Diver - 1os
Red-throated Diver - 2os
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 4E, 10W
Red-breasted Merganser - 7os
Kittiwake - 2W
Razorbill - 1os

Purple Sandpiper and Turnstones (above), Kittiwake, Red-throated Divers, Gannet & Red-breasted Mergansers at the Bill (AH)

Selsey, Park Farm: There were 2 Stonechats and a Grey Wagtail this morning. (SH)

Selsey East beach:  A Chiffchaff was in local gardens this afternoon. (SR)

Ferry Pool: There were 125 Golden Plover among up to 1000 Lapwings on the field this morning, with a Redshank and c60 Teal on the pool. (AH)

Golden Plovers and Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

Birdham Pool: At least one Mandarin (a drake) was on the pool this morning. (IP)

Fishbourne Creek: Six Goldeneye and 300+ Wigeon were in the harbour and there were at least four Rock Pipits around the saltmarsh over high water this morning. (BI)

Church Norton: The Red-necked Grebe flew west offshore this morning, along with a dozen Red-throated Divers and a few Gannets and Kittiwakes. Two Razorbills & a Guillemot were on the sea, as were two Great Crested Grebes and six Red-breasted Mergansers, whilst a Goosander flew into the harbour from offshore. Also, what  was presumably the same Purple Sandpiper seen at the Bill appeared among the Turnstones on the beach later on. The Ringed Plover flock was at the end of the spit, and the Greenfinches & Linnets were still on the fenceline, and six Mediterranean Gulls and 30+ Great Black-backed Gulls were along the surf/shore line. (BI/S&SaH)

There wasn't too much inside the harbour, though at least 500 Brent Geese were on the water, with as many again dropping in at the back, one or two Red-breasted Mergansers, Little and Great Crested Grebes were present, as were a few Wigeon and Teal, but there were very few waders on the big tide. (AH/IP)

Whimbrel (above), Little Grebes & Wigeon and Teal at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday, 30th December: Yet another windy day after a stormy night, with the wind round to the west a little more and a bit milder in the intermittent sunshine.....

Selsey Bill: Much less activity than yesterday, with few auks or Gannets about, though there were still a couple of Slavonian Grebes and Great Northern Divers on the sea and a few Red-throated Divers and Red-breasted Mergansers moving about. Full log below...
0745-0930hrs:  (JA/SH/PB/SR/AH)
Red-throated Diver - 4W, 2os
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Slavonian Grebe - 2os
Great Crested Grebe - 4E, 1W
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 2E, 21W
Brent Goose - 1E, 2W
Common Scoter - 14W
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 5W, 11os
Teal - 2W
Dunlin - 31W
Razorbill - 4E, 1os
Guillemot - 1W, 1os
auk sp - 4E, 1W
Kittiwake - 3E, 9W
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Also, a Redwing was feeding alongside 17 Blackbirds this morning on the Broadreeds estate.

Mediterranean Gull (above) & strange sun at the Bill (AH)

Redwing in Broadreeds Estate (SR)

Park Farm, Selsey: Just a Grey Wagtail and a Buzzard were noted today. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were at least 800 Lapwings on and over the field this morning, repeatedly taking flight, though none of the nine Shoveler, eight Shelduck, 150 Teal or 200 Wigeon seemed at all unsettled! (AH)

Lapwing (above) & Shoveler and Teal at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The tide was very high in the harbour, and not too many birds were about, but there was still a roosting Spoonbill, the pair of Peregrines, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, a few Little and Great Crested Grebes and the regular Whimbrel to be seen, along with a few of the commoner species, plus a Stonechat on the concrete spit. (AH/SH)
Offshore there were 10+ Gannets, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Slavonian Grebe and at least 20 Mediterranean Gulls. (SH)
Found a group of 20 Ringed Plovers on Church Norton beach at high-tide. and also the two Goosanders were near the harbour mouth, and I was surprised to see a Guillemot on the wrong side of the Spit, in the harbour! (AW)

Red-breasted Merganser (above), Whimbrel and Curlew, Knot and Dunlin, Brent Geese & Cormorants at Church Norton (AH)

Guillemot (above) & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AW)

A pair of Kittiwakes were just off-shore this afternoon, as were 4 or 5 Mediterranean Gulls, and the two Goosanders were still in the harbour mouth. (AW)

Goosanders (above), Kittiwakes & Mediterranean Gulls at Church Norton (AW)

Chi GPs: Ivy LakeThe Common Gull was still present today and there were two Chiffchaffs along the path, including a noticeably pale bird, but there wasn't much else of note other than 25 Herring Gulls and 6 Shovelers. Next door on Nunnery Lake were another ten Tufted Ducks & four Gadwall. (BI)

Friday, 29th December: Another very windy day, initially accompanied by heavy rain, before slowly brightening up.....

Selsey Bill: A morning with good variety, including a Red-necked Grebe, a Bonxie and a Fulmar, and large numbers of Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks going west. Full log below. (JA/SH/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 1os
Red-throated Diver - 8W, 1os
diver sp - 1E, 1W
Red-necked Grebe - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 5W, 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 1E, 521W
Brent Goose - 6W
Common Scoter - 1E, 7W
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 13W, 3os
Bonxie - 1os
Common Gull - 1E
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 122W
Razorbill - 83W, 13os
Guillemot - 12W
auk sp - 3E, 157W

(1310-1500hrs) (SH)
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 2W
Gannet - 9E, 25W
Red-breasted Merganser - 8W, 6os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 10E, 65W
Razorbill - 1os
auk sp - 1E, 7W

Bonxie (above), Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannet, Guillemot, Razorbills, Common Scoters & Red-breasted Merganser past the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A surprise this morning, in the form of a Spoonbill feeding on the flooded pools of the arable field beside the Ferry, along with c100 Lapwing. There were another c500 Lapwing on the field, along with c30 Golden Plover and c200 Wigeon, whilst on the pool there were six Shelduck and c150 Teal. (AH)

Spoonbill (above), Spoonbill and Lapwings & Golden Plovers, Lapwings and wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There wasn't too much about, with just a couple of distant Gannets and Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and a few Common Gulls among the Herring Gulls on the beach. There were at least 100 Knot and 500 Dunlin and Brent Geese in the harbour, plus a few Little and Great Crested Grebes and the Whimbrel was in its usual spot. There wasn't much in the sheltered hedges beyond a lurking Buzzard, a couple of Goldcrests, a small flock of Long-tailed Tits and c25 Greenfinches. (AH)

Knot (above), Common Gull & mixed waders at Church Norton (AH)

Honer: Most of the fields were flooded to some extent but there were still a few birds around. On the fields near the farm were 400 Lapwings and 40 Golden Plovers whilst in the hedgerows here were at least ten Reed Buntings and a few Yellowhammers. Three Snipe were flushed from the path near the reservoir and the reservoir itself held 12 Shelducks and six Coots; nearby were still 42 Mute Swans and two Black Swans. On the southern reservoir edge were 100 Great Black-backed Gulls, a few Common Gulls and plenty of Black-headed Gulls. (BI)

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

26th - 28th December 2017

Thursday, 28th December: A lull between the storms - a lovely, bright and chill morning, with lots of sun after a heavy frost and just a light north-westerly breeze...

Selsey Bill: Over 50 Red-throated Divers went west, including a flock of 16, whilst there were three Slavonian Grebes offshore, plus a further five east. Full log below.....
0730-0930hrs: (SH/PM/AH/SR)
Red-throated Diver - 4E, 55W
Great Northern Diver - 2E, 1os
Slavonian Grebe - 5E, 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 3W, 3os
Gannet - 2E, 1W
Shag - 1E, 1W
Brent Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - 4E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 9W, 4os 
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 2W, 1os
auk sp - 9E, 4W
Dunlin - 80W
Mediterranean Gull - 3W
Common Gull - 5W
Meadow Pipit - 1E

Red-throated Divers (above), Guillemot & Shag at the Bill (AH)

Selsey, East beach: The overwintering Stonechat managed to get its way onto the Sussex Winter Bird Survey today! (SR)

Stonechat at Selsey East beach (SR)

Selsey, Park Farm: Also included in the Sussex Winter Bird Survey is the field at the end of Manor Lane/Drift Road at Park Farm. This field today held a flock of 78+ feeding Curlews, presumably the flock that formerly fed in fields nearby that now have new housing on. Sadly, this field is also due to be built upon in the near future. Also 2 Stonechats and a Great Spotted Woodpecker present. (SR/SH)

Curlews feeding at Park Farm (SR)

Ferry Pool: A Snipe was in the roadside reeds, but the only other birds on a frozen pool were 200 Lapwing at the back, with another 400 or so on the field. Around 300 Wigeon flew out of the rife and into the harbour and 50 Teal were in the channel opposite. (AH)

Snipe (above), Lapwing & Wigeon at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: It was very quiet offshore, with just a couple of distant Gannets and a Great Northern Diver heading west of note, whilst in the harbour there were plenty of the regular species, including 500 Brent Geese, c100 Knot and 40 Shelduck, with up to 1000 Lapwing going up at the back. (AH/PM)
Later there were 8 Red-breasted Mergansers and 3 Goldeneye in the harbour, plus 2 Peregrines on the saltings and a Stonechat on the beach. (SH)

Brent Geese and Shelducks (above) & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

Chi GPs: Drayton Pits - Surprisingly, both pits were largely unfrozen, but there was not too much to report this morning. Shoveler were the most obvious species, with a combined total of 160 present, and 75 Pochard was a good count, but otherwise it was standard fare, with 40 Gadwall, 6 Snipe and 4 Green Woodpeckers. (OM)

Chi GPs: Ivy Lake - A Kingfisher, a Black Swan, a grey Heron and a Common Gull were around the lake today, along with the usual Tufted Ducks and a few Gadwall. (T Knight)

Gadwall (above), Common Gull, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck & Black Swan at Ivy Lake (T Knight)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pools -
The following was noted this afternoon (JA) -
Grey Heron - 2
Little Egret - 3
Mute Swan - 5
Brent Goose - 81
Canada Goose - 14
Shelduck - 7
Wigeon - 173
Mallard - 26
Shoveler - 9
Gadwall - 2
Scaup -1 (female on Stilt Pool)
Kestrel - 2
Moorhen - 21
Oystercatcher - 3
Lapwing - 16
Grey Plover - 1
Curlew - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1
Black-headed Gull - 146
Stock Dove - 45
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Skylark - 27
Grey Wagtail - 1
Pied Wagtail - 143 (mostly in first cultivated field)
Fieldfare - 7
Redwing - 1
Stonechat - 3
Dartford Warbler - 1
Great Tit - 4
Goldfinch - 39
Greenfinch - 4
Yellowhammer - 5
plus Roe Deer - 3

In addition to the above there was a Red-breasted Merganser in the creek, the Common Sandpiper was still on the Stilt Pool & a Raven was along the fenceline at Earnley. (BI)

Red-breasted Merganser & Common Sandpiper at Medmerry (BI)

East Wittering: This afternoon (15:15) there were c370 BrentGeese in a cereal field west of Piggery Hall Lane, East Wittering (SZ 79696 98195). This field has a history of use going back decades and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy had a depot opposite at the old Briar Estate, so it was well watched. (AdeP)

Wednesday, 27th December: After another wet and windy night, there was an early morning dusting of snow and a bitterly cold, gale force north-westerly....

Selsey Bill: A total of 28 Redwings went over, heading north-west, and possibly coming in from offshore, or along the coast. There wasn't too much moving offshore, though four Slavonian Grebes were on the sea and 20+ Gannets were hanging about, close in. Full log below. (SH/AH/SR)
Great Northern Diver - 3E
Red-throated Diver - 1E, 2W
Slavonian Grebe - 4os
Gannet - 7E, 25W, 21os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E, 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 1E, 4W, 1os
Kittiwake - 5E, 3W
Razorbill - 1E, 2W, 1os
auk sp - 1E, 2W
Redwing - 28N/W
Chiffchaff - 1p

(1300-1400hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 2os
Red-throated Diver - 1W
Gannet - 6E, 13W
Red-breasted Merganser - 1W, 7os
Razorbill - 1W
Guillemot - 1E, 1W
auk sp - 1W

Slavonian Grebes (above), Gannet, Great Northern Diver & a snowy beach at the Bill (AH)

SH & AH putting a shift in for the blog! (SR)
A snow-covered Oval field at first light (SH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were a Redwing and a Grey Wagtail around the farm this morning. (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were just three Shelduck and c50 Teal at the back of the pool this morning, with ten Canada Geese and c200 Lapwings on the field and 14 Curlews on the adjacent arable fields. (AH)

Curlews at the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were just a handful of distant Gannets and a Mediterranean Gull offshore, though there were many waders along the beach, including 100+ Knot and Redshank, 50+ Grey Plovers and 500 Dunlin. Also a Green Woodpecker flew along the beach and a Peregrine went over.
There were also c100 Knot and 500 Dunlin in the harbour, along with 40+ Shelducks and a few Wigeon and Teal, but not too much else. (AH/SH)

Knot (above), Dunlin, Turnstone, mixed waders & the snowy downs beyond the harbour at Church Norton (AH)

Not too much to report from a bitterly cold Church Norton at around noon, though a Peregrine was in the harbour, a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and an Eider were off-shore, the two Goosanders were in the harbour mouth and a few Gannets were still visible out at sea, but not much else. (AW)

Goosanders (above), Eider, Red-breasted Merganser & Peregrine at Church Norton (AW)

Boxing Day, Tuesday, 26th December: After a stormy night, a bright and very breezy day, with a brisk westerly blowing and the prospect of more rain and gales tonight.....

Selsey Bill: Highlight was a Red-necked Grebe that settled offshore, whilst there was a steady stream of Red-throated Divers, Gannets and a few auks west, along with a couple of Slavonian Grebes. Also, sadly, an oiled Razorbill was along the shoreline. Full log below. (JA/SH/SR/AH/CN)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 6E, 17W, 1os
Red-necked Grebe - 1os (flew in from east)
Slavonian Grebe - 2W
Great Crested Grebe - 13W, 1os
Gannet - 14E, 178W
Shag - 1W, 1os
Brent Goose - 3W
Pintail - 7E
Shoveler - 1E
Common Scoter - 5E
Red-breasted Merganser - 9E, 17W, 9os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W
Kittiwake - 7E, 7W
Razorbill - 2E, 1os (oiled)
Guillemot - 2os
auk sp - 23E, 6W

(1300-1500hrs) (SH)
Great Northern Diver - 4os
Red-throated Diver - 4E
Slavonian Grebe - 3os
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 22E, 110W
Brent Goose - 6W
Teal - 4W
Common Scoter - 1W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 9W
Bonxie - 1W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os
Kittiwake - 1E, 69W
Razorbill - 2W
auk sp - 3E, 1W

Great Northern Diver (above), Red-throated Diver, Shag, Red-breasted Mergansers & Great Crested Grebes past the Bill (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: Just a Stonechat and a Sparrowhawk of note this morning. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: There was nothing on the pool itself, but c200 Wigeon and c400 Lapwing were all together on the field, along with ten Curlews and 18 Canada Geese. (AH)

Curlew, Lapwings and Wigeon on Ferry Field (AH)

Church Norton: Offshore this morning there were a lone Great Northern Diver, two Eider, half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and 20 Common Gulls, plus two Kittiwakes and six Gannets went west, whilst in the harbour the two Goosanders were near the mouth, and the three Goldeneye, plus at least 16 Red-breasted Mergansers were on the water. There were also at least 200 Knot on the mud and c1000 Brent Geese dropped in.
Also of note, a Raven flew west along the beach before cutting across over Priory Wood and a Blackcap was in the hedge by the horse field, with a Stonechat nearby. (AH/AW/S&SaH)

Goosanders (above), Red-breasted Mergansers, Raven, Common Gull & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A quick look from Apuldram churchyard to Dell Quay produced c20 Yellowhammers around the stables and a Greenshank, c40 Black-tailed Godwits and large numbers of Wigeon and Brent Geese in the harbour. (AH)

Greenshank (above) & Yellowhammer at Fishbourne Creek (AH)