So it was back at Ivy Lake, Chichester Gravel Pits, this morning for another go at the wildfowl! On the way down I spotted not one but two Egyptian Geese by one of the isalnds so that was a good start at redemption from yesterday dips! After a few quick snaps I cycled down the track to the path between Ivy & Copse Lakes to view the islands ahead and on arrival was fortunate to bump into DP, MP & ARK who had the Red-crested Pochards in view...well sort of. These birds are super elusive and don't like venturing much out from the hide away under the submerged branches; many thanks to DP for the look through his scope without which I probably wouldn't have connected! A look later on did at least produce two of the worst record shots you are likely to see! A text from SR then alerted me to the White-fronted Goose on East Trout Lake and it showed well on the north-west bank; clean sweep, not too bad!
I spent the first part of the day tramping around West Dean looking for Willow Tits it being a previously known area for them but alas no sign (seen again in Hampshire today...). I have a few more sites in West Sussex to try yet so I suppose you never know one might turn up! So at West Dean: Red Kite, Buzzards, Kestrels, a Bullfinch and a forty strong flock of Bramblings.
At Selsey Bill later on, six Great Northern Divers were the highlights also:
Red-throated Diver - 2E
diver sp - 1E
Slavonian Grebe - 1os
Gannet - 1W
Common Scoter - 2W
Red-breasted Merganser - 4E, 2os
Great Northern Divers:
Finished the day by dipping the Red-crested Pochards, the Egyptian Goose & the White-fronted Goose at Ivy Lake, made worse by the fact that SR who arrived before me and S&SaH who arrived after me all connected with the RCPs!!!
Surprise bird of the day was a Sandwich Tern that came close in past Selsey Bill early afternoon as I was packing up; no picture sadly as the camera was safely stashed. Otherwise it was as follows:
Great Northern Diver x 5 on sea 1145 onwards
Red-breasted Merganser x 2 e 1148
Red-breasted Merganser four on sea 1151
Red-throated Diver e 1207
Red-throated Diver e 1210
Red-throated Diver e 1212
Red-throated Diver e 1217
Sandwich Tern e 1228
At Medmerry west, the Spoonbill was still viewable in the middle of the reserve, eight Avocets were on the Stilt pools and there were quite a few commoner birds around. Gulls included Common, Mediterranean & Black-headed. At the east side only the Black Redstart and a Rock Pipit were of note.
A jaunt around Hampshire today and first stop was Mark Ash Wood where two Lesser Spotted Wodpeckers, a male and a female put in appearance, the male being especially showy, calling & drumming well, favoured area seemed to be the small, thin birch trees to the right of the car-park. Quite difficult to photo though...Then it was up to Acres Down to raptor viewpoint (basically park and walk up the hill, through the little woods and look to the west over the forest) for Goshawk and within ten minutes of arriving one flew/glided left across the tree line giving a good scope view, two Buzzards also present, a Dartford Warbler and a singing Woodlark. I then went to Keyhaven for the Long-billed Dowitcher which showed OK for me, preening itself on the edge of the reeds but alas also proving difficult to picture in the by-now squally wind. On the way out, a Water Pipit dropped in as a bonus. Also a Spoonbill present earlier which I'd forgotten about until I saw the pic.! Really enjoyed the day, next stop WillowTit...
A surprise Black Brant at Chichester marina today with thirty Dark-bellied Brents (maybe a couple of Pale-bellied Brents too but I didn't concentrate too much on them)-just pulled over to scope the flock and there it was, easy for a change. Not much of note on Birdham Pool or Fishbourne Creek but a pair of Stonechats there were nice and there was a nice mix of birds on the flood by the sluice.
Just to say that I've had a gut-full, if you'll pardon the vernacular, of the rainy, windy weather now-please stop, thank you.
A trip into Hampshire to West Walk car park at the Hundred Acre Wood for the Crossbills this morning and they were to be found in the conifers near the entrance, twenty or so at rough guess. Terrible conditions for photos with wind, rain & dark ("raise the flash" at 10:30 is a bit much!) so these are the best I could do-I presume to get them on the ground you have to use seed. I usually wouldn't put so many pictures on but as I suffered for these so must you ;-) -plus I love Crossbills basically.
I went up to Drayton Farm watercress beds near Alresford after this to have a look for Water Pipits and I had one straight away by the small pump-house but I the bird flew before I could take its picture, possibly the same bird emerged from a gutter later though. Also three Green Sandpipers, two Meadow Pipits, a few Pied Wagtails, two Little Egrets, a Grey Wagtail, a Red Kite and a cronking Raven over.