Monday 5th October 2020   Nutbourne Marshes  Team 1

 

On an unexpectedly warm and sunny morning, led by John Kelsall, Gill Hance, Stephanie and I set off towards the sea wall. As our intrepid band walked along the field edge towards the water, the hedge was alive with sparrows, and we also encountered a robin, a wren, a dunnock, and a surprising number of swallows. Out on the recently sown field to our left we saw pigeon and crow.  Constant companions as we walked were pairs of magpies when looking landward. The tide was fairly low but coming in, and we saw a family of Swans, Canada geese, ducks too remote to identify but looking convincingly Mallardish, Herring gull, Curlew, Black headed gull, Egret, and a few Brent geese on the shoreline but many more in flight, accompanied by much honking. In the marshy area behind the sea wall we were treated to the explosive cry of Cetti’s Warbler, repeated many times, and off in the distant trees, the distinctive laughter of the Green Woodpecker.
Moving on along the sea wall heading West we saw several more Egret, Oyster Catcher, and Curlew. On one of the deep-water channel markers a Cormorant perched, and we noticed some Black Tailed Godwits and a group of Oyster Catchers. At about the same time we spotted a Great Crested Grebe diving in the deepening waters of the rising tide
Heading inland and back to our starting point, we were impressed by the heavy fruiting of the Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Wild Rose and Spindle. Here we also encountered a pair of Darters (common or ruddy) in ’tandem’; polite terminology for what they were up to ((John is checking it out from his photographic evidence (Ruddy – black legs)),! Several small white butterflies were still active around the field edges, and in the adjoining meadows a flock of Starlings foraged and whistled their distinctive song. We also saw a single Goldfinch, a small group of Long Tailed Tits and a similar    number of Greenfinch. As John and I walked back to the parking area, Gill and Stephanie discovered and photographed a Comma Butterfly. Our walk would not have been complete without the sight and alarm call of a Blackbird, and as we prepared to leave a group of Buzzards; three or perhaps four high overhead completed our delightful walk in the morning sunshine.
Alan Carn.






Comma - Nutbourne October 2020
Comma
 

    

Hawthorn - Nutbourne October 2020
Hawthorn berries
House Sparrows -Nutbourne October 2020
House Sparrows
Ruddy Darters - Nutbourne October 2020
Ruddy Darters
Rabbit - Nutbourne October 2020
Rabbit

Tuesday 6th October  Nutbourne Marshes - Team 2

A total of just five members were able to meet at Nutbourne Marsh car park on Tuesday 6th October.  It was a pleasantly mild and sunny morning and so we all set off in great spirits.  Before leaving the car park, we were seeing quite a few birds such as goldfinch, house sparrows, starling, buzzard, pigeons and crow, with a robin singing it's heart out in the background.   We set off in a westerly direction and immediately spotted a heron across the field, a pair of jays flying, jackdaws and magpies.  There was a pause whilst we all focused on a bird perched high in a tree and a little in the distance - we finally all agreed it was a greenfinch!  A little further on, past the orchards on our left (we all admired the delicious looking apples) we came across a field of two contented looking Old English Longhorns.  David decided to stop for 10 minutes and allow the birds to come to us, and slowly they did.  Gradually blue and great tits began to show themselves as well as a green woodpecker searching for food under a huge oak tree, totally oblivious to the two rabbits enjoying the sunshine.  Swallows and martins were seen above us and a ruddy darter and large white butterfly were also enjoying the unexpected warmth.   Moving on towards the seashore we were soon treated to a Kestrel hovering, oystercatcher, redshank and curlew searching for food, swans and brent geese further out to sea.  A great crested grebe diving energetically - always a joy to see.  Looking across the green field behind us we were delighted to see a stonechat, a reed bunting and many  more sparrows.  Just before leaving the shoreline to head back to our cars, we had a great view of ringed plovers.
Finally as we walked past another reed bed on our left, we heard the Cetti's Warbler.  A great walk, thanks to David, and very good company.
Heather Hart

Wednesday 7th October  Nutbourne Marshes - Team 3

Chi Nats members have been very lucky with the weather this week. Four more members met up promptly with Jim Bagley who had already noted House Sparrow, Crow, Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Rook, Robin, Swallow, House Martin and Green Woodpecker! The Team
were off to a great start with their bird list. Jim decided to take us ‘anti clockwise’ to catch the harbour side at a good state of tide, towards the end of our walk.
On passing by the old orchards and under the aged conifer trees, we had sightings of Blue Tit, Jay, Magpie, Chiffchaff and Wren. Emerging into the sunshine once more and making our way around the field edge, feral pigeons and Great Tit were added to the list. Members were keen to photograph and learn about Robin’s Pincushion (Diplolepis rosae) or mossy rose gall caused by the larvae of a tiny gall wasp that feeds on wild roses (see photo.)
As we sat, sheltered by the sea wall, Black-headed Gull (with a dark spot at this time of year I was informed, rather than a black head), a pair of Mute Swans and Little Egret were noted while a Kestrel performed a characteristic hover and fly past, right in front of us. We moved out to the breezier nearby point, entertained by a flock of Starling over the brambles, a Sky Lark overhead and a brief view of Goldfinch as well as many more Sparrow dashing about in those brambles. Moving east, with the wind at our backs, we saw Curlew, Oyster Catcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and Redshank. Excellent views were seen and photos taken of a female Wheatear on the rocks and a group of male and female Stonechat in the field to our left, balancing on the red dock (Rumex) stems.
We all enjoyed watching a Great Crested Grebe going in and out of sight as it dived and a large Herring Gull as it rose to move away from a group of Black-headed Gulls. Cetti’s Warbler were distinctly heard from the reeds beyond the sea wall and finally, Pheasant and
Buzzard concluded our bird list, making 36 bird species in total. In addition, throughout the walk, members saw beautiful and plentiful amounts of rose hips and hawthorn berries as well as spindle fruit, sloe and also a late-flying male emperor dragonfly.
As a finale, Jim had ‘laid on’ a display of two spitfires and a messerschmitt. A dramatic ending to a most enjoyable morning. Many thanks to Jim and to fellow attendees.
Gill Hance





 
Robins Pincushion


Robin


 

Black Headed Gull

Socially distanced Team 3

Female Wheatear

Male Stonechat

Chichester, West Sussex

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