Saturday, 27 October 2012

Chichester Harbour, Sussex

West Wittering - 0900hrs - Cold, sunny, n6 - By heck its cold! With the temperature at 3C, first thing, the shorts were quickly stowed away in favour of thermals, hats and gloves. Barney, however was in his element, he loves the cold.
Spent the day birding the eastern side of the harbour and checking out walks for Birdwatching articles. Started off at West Wittering where a flock of some 1,500 Brents were resting on the fields behind the beach estate. Also present, 200 Golden Plovers, 100 Lapwings, 100 Starlings, 50 Wigeons, 20 Stock Doves, 20 Skylarks, 20 Mipits and 10 Oystercatchers. We walked around to a small stand of pines near East Head for shelter from the biting wind, where a few passerines had the same idea, as in the lea of the trees it was quite warm and sheltered. Several Goldfinches, Robins and 2 Stonechats popped up onto a wire fence while 10 alba wagtails and 5 Mipits hopped around on the grass. In the trees several Goldcrests, Chaffinches, tits, Chiffchaff and a Jay. Feeding low over the sand dunes, 12 House Martins and 5 Swallows. We then walked along the harbour shoreline to a small rife that held about 200 roosting Redshanks, Barwits, Grey Plovers, Curlews and Dunlin. A Snipe flew off as did a Great White Egret and 5 Little Egrets. Also noted Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Grey Heron, Reed Bunting and Green Woodpecker. On the return to the village the tree cover by the church attracted a small flock of Long-tailed Tits and Goldcrests.

                                          Brents, West Wittering

                                          Red Admiral, West Itchenor

West Itchenor - 1300hrs - Another circular walk at low tide delivered hundreds of Brents on the salt marsh, plus Wigeons, Redshanks, Curlews and Barwits. Was surprised to see and hear a Raven flying across the harbour. The woodland held a tit flock, Great pecker and a Jay, while at least 10 Skylarks were flushed from a stubble field. An elm hedgerow along a sheltered lane attracted 2 basking red admirals and a ruddy darter. In all a decent days birding considering the difficult viewing conditions.

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