Pagham Harbour - 0800hrs - bitter cold, -7C, clear and sunny, ne2 - I must be the world`s worst twitcher... I had a bad feeling about this when I turned up on North Shore with about a hundred other mugs, when after an hour a Kestrel came up out of the reedbed with an LBJ which it proceeded to eat atop the tyre bush, the Paddyfield Warbler`s favoured haunt... It probably was only a Reed Bunting, but that was enough for me; back to proper birding and get the blood flowing again, as boy was it nippy (birders who`d travelled from the Midlands had recorded -12 C on the way down!).
In the reedbed plenty of Reed Buntings, several Mipits, Wrens, Bearded Tits,2 Water Rails, Cetti`s Warblers and a couple of Stonechats. A circuit westwards provided 3 Rock Pipits besides the bank, flocks of winter thrushes, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, 2 Snipe, 2 Woodcocks, Wigeons, Teals, Buzzard, a cracking male Marsh Harrier and the spectacle of the morning hundreds of Brents on the move. On the harbour at low tide loads of common shorebirds, particularly Grey Plovers, Wigeons and Teals.
Chichester Gravel Pits - 1200hrs - My first visit here and most of the lakes were frozen over apart from Ivy Lake which had a couple of thousand tightly packed common wildfowl, grebes and Coots, 12 ****** Ducks and 2 Goldeneyes. Also noted, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tit and by the car park, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and a Firecrest.
Church Norton - 1430hrs - A super spot at high tide with all 10 species of common shorebirds on show, 50 Shelducks, 30 Teals, 200 Cormorants, 10 Med Gulls, 4 Pintails, 5 Herons, 2 Little Egrets, 7 Dabchicks, 1 Merg, 3 Goldeneyes, Sparrowhawk, Siskin, Kingfisher, Greater pecker; and offshore, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers and 2 Slav Grebes.
A top days birding with 95 species noted.