Field Reports

Wednesday 12 December 2018   Hayling Island Oyster Beds

Leader Tony Nevard

 Fifteen people including two visitors, gathered on a very cold but dry morning for a walk around the old Oyster beds on Hayling Island.  A good start to the morning as parking was not a problem; the tide was so far out that the usual water sports enthusiasts were absent.

 A large expanse of mud was exposed so several species of birds were logged before we had left the car park. These included curlew and redshank on the mud, common scoter on the distant water and a charm of goldfinch around the bushes.

 We then set off to walk to the remains of the oyster beds which look rather like a ghostly sunken town. A mix of waders and gulls were on the mud with plenty of Brent geese on the mud and close in on the water.  Everyone was grateful for the help of the people who had brought along and shared their telescopes. Without these most of the group would have only seen an assortment of little black dots. Looking through the scopes the dots turned into several mergansers and an eider.

 A very special sighting (thanks to John Arnott) was a group of black necked grebe. Only about 130 of this Amber-listed bird overwinter in Britain.  Leaving the Oysterbeds the group turned onto the Billy Trail where goldcrest and  blue and long tailed tits were crossing the path.

 A bird of particular interest was a ringed greenshank. This had a black and a red ring on the left leg and two yellow rings on the right leg. We reported this bird to the Greenshank Migration project, which has been running in the area for several years. The aim of the project is to understand the migration strategies of the greenshank and their behaviour and survival rates in the Chichester/Langstone Harbour area.  Birds are ringed, then the project team collates reports of any sightings including date and location. This information will help to manage the area to support the greenshank. We duly reported this greenshank to the Greenshank Migration project who informed us that the bird had been reported more than 70 times since September 2013 and said: Thank you for that. This is a creature of habit - except for the one sighting in Scotland! When the field near the beginning of the Billy trail s flooded it's quite often in there.’

 Thirty bird species were seen. Thank you Tony for leading.  Hopefully everyone has warmed up by now!  

  Diana Grosvenor


 

 Kestrel
 

The mudflats...



 


 

Busy Birders


Brent Greese

Chichester, West Sussex

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