This week has again be mild again with temperatures to 15 deg. wet and the winds have strengthened as the week went on. I managed an afternoon walk on the Monday to Pannel Valley, a few Shoveler on Carters Flood, a Kingfisher standing on the wall by the bridge and 2 Marsh Harriers hunting over the reed beds at Pannel. The lake now has plenty of water in but still no birds.
Wednesday pm took a walk from Dogs Hill along the beach to Harbour Farm Barns and back.
Plenty of gulls and several Turnstone, the pools near the barns were empty.
A brief lull in the winds on Saturday morning took me to Pett Pools with 8 Redshank, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Canada and Greylag Geese, with Golden Plover, Lapwing and Curlew in the fields. On the beach Turnstone, Oystercatcher gulls and a Summer plumage Black Headed Gull
On Sunday despite a forecast of heavy showers and strong winds 6 of us met at 8.30 at the Chichester gravel pits known as Ivy lake in search of the 2 Whooper swans that had been seen several times earlier in the week. On going down the footpath we were told that they had just flown, but continued down to see Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Ducks, hundreds of Coote, and plenty of Mute Swans, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker was heard and then seen and a Chiff Chaff also heard. We then set off for the Visitors centre at Sidlesham. At Sidlesham Ferry Pool in the pouring rain of note were Shelduck we then set off for the Advocet roost on the harbour but with the strong winds they must have been sheltering behind a bank as all we could see were several Redshank and Teal on the long channel. on the way back a Cetti's was calling.
Next stop was at Church Norton with the skys darkening we to took the footpath to the hide, as we got in the heavens opened.Closely followed by another party of birders, but we had the front row seats and initially it looked as though the harbour was empty. On close inspection on the mud flats there were hundreds of waders, including Grey Plover, Dunlin, Knot, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Curlew, Bar Tailed Godwit. Turnstone, Red Shank, Little Egret, Oyster Catcher the usual Gulls and one Med. Gull. Various ducks, a Kingfisher, heard a Water Rail and, and saw my first Red Breasted Mergansers. A male Kestrel posed on a gravestone in the churchyard. After lunch and a search in the bushes we may have caught a brief sighting of a Firecrest and set for the beach which proved fruitless and with rough seas, gale force winds and once again the rain we hastily returned to the cars. 4 decided to call it a day, that left Paul and two of us to head off to the North Wall. There it was relatively quiet until a female Merlin flew over the Breech Pool sending everything up including hundreds of Black Tailed Godwit, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal, and so on, next a female Sparrow Hawk took her turn. Then a couple of hundred Brent Geese appeared in the distance and flew onto the harbour water.
Next on the scene was a Kestrel and all the birds by now were nervous, after seeing a couple of Reed Buntings and 3 Rock Pipits we now became 2 and Paul and I set off back to Ivy Lake for the Whooper Swans. On the first pit we saw hundreds more duck which included Tufted, Shoveler, Wigeon, Pochard, Mallard, Gadwall, and a single Scaup. Despite searching until darkness fell at 4.30 we had no luck with Whooper Swans.