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April 2017

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The RSPB Chichester Local Group News Letter - April 2017

Dear Members

Welcome to my second Newsletter as group leader.

The main purpose is to announce our AGM on the 25th May, the agenda for which is enclosed. I am still finding my feet in this post and feel I have a long way to go before being able to do a polished, slick job.
On the indoor meeting front I have to commend Di Grosvenor on organising such an excellent last two speakers who were both entertaining, informative and relevant to our local birds. Graham Giddens' talk on his work in the New Forest on woodcocks showed there is still much to be learnt about species in our area. Several people came up to me after Brian Nobbs' talk saying how they enjoyed it.

Our outdoor meetings have been running very smoothly with between 8 and 21 people on them. We have had some truly memorable walks recently. At Ivy Lake in February we had excellent views of a male Scaup and Long tailed Duck; species we normally associate with having to go to Dungeness to see. Plus a 'mega' bonus of a Bittern flying right in front of us - a lifer for 3 participants. The March walk around The Burgh gave outstanding views of a perched close-by Short-eared Owl, one of three seen on a day that most people felt was not worth stepping outside for, with a howling wind and heavy rain first thing. It goes to show that you cannot trust the weather to predict how good the birding is likely to be.

I have still been unable to give up my twitching past! At the end of January I went on a 5 hour drive to Derbyshire; luckily I was successful in seeing the dusky thrush on a gloriously still sunny day in Beeley. The next day it was foggy, cold and windy. This Siberian Thrush is an extreme rarity. I'd previously "dipped" on one at Margate cemetery 2 years ago. Several members asked why I hadn't done the same with the Blue Rock Thrush at Stow-on-the-Wold. I was in fact the finder of one on the Isles of Scilly in 1999, which at that time was the first twitchable one in Britain.

Three of our group recently volunteered to help clear the shingle of vegetation on Tern Island in Pagham Harbour. We've marked the spot to see if a little tern nests on the patch we cleared!
Finally, I hope you will find great enjoyment and company attending our meetings.

Chris Furlepa Mobile: 07581 722040

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