Field Reports

Thursday 21 September 2017   FARLINGTON MARSH

A keen, brisk, south-west wind dictated the wearing of our warmest jackets and I also noticed one or two hats and gloves amongst the nine birders that joined Tony for a walk around the marshes.   High tide was due at 13.00 hrs so we had plenty of mud flats to observe before the tide came in.   Looking west, towards Portsmouth, good numbers of redshank, egrets, curlew, oyster catchers and just two elegant greenshanks were seen.   A robin singing was the only small bird on this side of the marsh, due probably to the high wind.   On reaching the first reed pool, godwit and dunlin along with a few teal and little grebe were feeding quietly.   Three white swans and one black one flew over – a very unusual sight.   Moving on slowly to where the wall turns east, lapwing and grey plover were being pushed closer due to the incoming tide.   A little further on meadow pipits were on the marsh side of the path and rock pipits were seen on the sea side of the path.   These dark backed, olive chested pipits were positively identified for us by John Arnott.   As the wind strengthened we left the waters edge and crossed the marsh, a small skein of Canada geese including one white one flew over head.   This side of the marsh was sheltered from the worst of the wind and we spotted the first small birds – linnets and goldfinches.  On reaching the sea wall, a group of five great crested grebe were close to the shore-line.   Swallows, house martins, along with several wheatears were feeding up ready for their long journey soon to begin.
One small wader was the subject of much debate, curlew sandpiper being the final thought.   The white goose was spotted for a second time and while we were looking at it, a barnacle goose popped its head up!   Finally we saw wigeon, mallard and ruff.   A satisfactory conclusion to a very pleasant mornings walk.   37 species seen.  Many thanks to Tony Nevard for leading us.
David Hart

Little Egret

      Curlew Sandpiper



Chichester, West Sussex

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