Field Reports

Snow Hill and Ellanore – Monday 14 th 2019

Leader David Hart

Before arriving at the car park I had listened to three weather forecasts - two said “constant, heavy showers” but the third said “there could be a window of reasonable weather mid-morning”.  I was therefore surprised and delighted when ten hardy souls arrived.   It was decided to chance going round the whole walk with our fingers crossed.

  Before we left the car park, a few swallows and martins were still frantically feeding before their long journey back to Africa.   I wish them well as it was quite late enough to be leaving our shores.   Crows and rooks were feeding on the grassland and a solitary cormorant flew over.  On the path to Snow Hill, blue and great tits were seen.   Looking towards East Head, curlew, oyster catcher and lapwing were just ahead of the in-coming tide and here we saw the first of what was to be many brent geese.

  The wet, marshy area at Snow Hill never fails to add to the list, black-tailed godwit prefer muddy marshland whereas bar-tailed godwits prefer sandy habitats.  Redshank, wigeon, curlew, little egret, black-headed gull, mallard and magpie were on the ground.  Dunnock, robin and linnet were seen amongst the bushes and a few of us were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of two snipe zig-zagging through the air.  A male reed bunting was spotted by one of our group.  Upon reaching the church, jackdaws were very vocal, a blackbird alarm call was heard and looking back towards the coast, small skeins of brents filled the sky.   To our surprise there was one totally white bird which Christian managed to get a photograph of.

  Ellanore Lane is usually good for small birds and today didn’t disappoint, good numbers of house sparrows were chattering in the hedges, long-tailed tits moved through the tree-tops, chaffinch and greenfinch were clear to see, red-legged partridge were feeding amongst the newly sewn winter barley.  Two plump birds sitting on the telephone wire were firstly identified as collared doves but were in fact two young pigeons which had not yet developed the white marking on the neck, these youngsters are called ‘squabs’.

  At Ellanore Point great crested grebe, grey plover, heron, egret and ringed plover were added to the list and, thanks to Tony Nevard’s scope and knowledge, he identified golden plover and a solitary greenshank.   The weather was beginning to deteriorate so we hastened back to the car park adding collared dove, chiff-chaff, stonechat, pied wagtails and a fly-past of starlings to our overall total of 46 species.  Many thanks to those who came, I hope they enjoyed the walk as much as I did.  By the way, it rained all the way home!!!

  David Hart


The Intrepid ChiNATS birdwatchers



Brent geese - busy feeding

 


Perfect bird habitat


A Curlew in profile

 

A passing White Egret

Chichester, West Sussex

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