Field Reports

Monday 12 November   Nutbourne Marsh

Leader John Kelsall

On arriving the parking area was almost full, a sure sign of the popularity of John’s walks.   The weather forecast was for heavy showers and a great deal of wet weather gear was donned.  Sure enough a short, sharp shower came through.   John welcomed sixteen birders including two new members to Chi Nats, Roger and Judy Smith on their first walk with the society, and also a prospective new member.
Heading down our usual footpath, a small herd of Belted Galloway cows with calves at foot were seen on the right hand side, no longer a commercially viable breed but a great favourite of the hobby farmer.   The three small paddocks are more commercially managed and sadly we no longer see the roe deer in the long grass.  Slightly further west, a row of poplar trees had a perfectly symmetrical circle of mistletoe high up in the branches, a sure early sign that Christmas isn’t far away!
I scanned the freshly sown wheat fields on the left of the footpath for partridge, but without success.   Before reaching the shore-line, meadow pipit, sparrow, wood pigeon and moorhen were seen.   The mudflat was just a mass of waders, large numbers of black-tailed godwit, wigeon, lapwing and grey plover, turnstones and dunlin were seen.   A skein of brent geese arrived making flying and landing on water look so easy, a few pintail and redshank were also feeding frantically before retiring to the long grass to roost before the next low tide.   A small charm of goldfinches were spotted in brambles and teasels close by.   As we continued the walk, red breasted merganser, great crested grebes and oyster catchers were seen looking towards Emsworth.   The habitat changed to rough grass for pony grazing and a completely different range of bird species were seen including robin, wren, blackbird and yellowhammer.   At last we found a small group of roe deer, unusual to find five together at this time of year, probably young immature bucks, long-horn cattle lay peacefully nearby.
Towards the end of our walk greenfinch, starling, long-tailed tits, a dragonfly that was not positively identified but a red admiral butterfly that was.  During our walk the wind had strengthened but was still surprisingly warm - no more showers.   I feel sure the walk was enjoyed by one and all.   A total of 40 bird species were seen and we all thanked John for leading us on such a pleasant mornings walk.
David Hart

Roe Deer

Ruddy Darter (we think!)


Is that shower coming or going?


Obliging Black headed gull      

Chichester, West Sussex

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