Trip reports

Coach trip to Thorney Island, Sussex, February 18th

Coach trip to Thorney Island, Sussex, February 18th
Graeme Hutchinson

Saturday, 18 February 2017

A sunny and mild winters day. The tide was well out on the estuary. There were curlew feeding and making their wonderful bubbling calls, redshank, and goose-like shelduck. Then our first flocks of brent geese (later we heard their lovely soft barking flight calls). The first red-breasted mergansers appeared, shaggy headed, and diving regularly. In the air above the marsh and fields to our right we started to hear the sound-of-summer outpourings of several skylarks, which we eventually saw, and lapwing flying. A sparrowhawk flew by, then a peregrine drifted over high. A bridge over a creek was fenced off, so we had to clamber over rocks and mud to bypass it. There were pintail and wigeon on a pool inland, and some people saw a kingfisher flyby. We had lunch sitting on a wall, enjoying good views of brents and mergansers in the sun. Retracing our steps, a close male reed bunting and a distant greenshank. After a loo break we walked to the other side, and added kestrel, shovelor, teal and a female scaup.