Trip reports

Walk around Chichester Gravel Pits

Walk around Chichester Gravel Pits

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Led by John Herring ten of us met up on a chilly, sunny morning - a welcome change after a spell of particularly stormy weather (which meant plenty of birds took the opportunity to come out and feed again). Walking along the track from the car park, we saw plenty of the usual hedgerow birds and spent some time looking at great and blue tits.

The highlight of the morning came early when, amongst other birds, we came upon a family of whooper swans on East Trout Lake. Also an unusual goose, which the non-plussed experts eventually described as a hybrid. Long-tailed tits were also spotted flitting through the overhead shrubs at the water's edge. (Although a bit of fuss was made of the cormorant sightings, I have to say those of us from Selsey were rather blase about it)

At Copse Lake we saw mute swan, moorhen, coot, mallard, gadwall, tufted duck, great crested grebe, pochard and a solitary heron. We could also see a small flock of greylag geese resting on the grass

Back on the lane, walking through the residential vehicle yard, we came across a very handsome bullfinch, wren, greenfinch and even a great spotted woodpecker. We went on to the stretch of water that is kept as a wildlife reserve and saw shoveler amongst others and herring gull, which led to some useful tips on identifying the various types of gull.

It was a very pleasant outing, with lots of help for the less knowledgeable and in all we saw 32 species and one member of the party heard a water rail, but unfortunately it was not actually seen.

Jenny Thomas