Trip reports

RSPB Pagham Harbour & Church Norton

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The programme said Saturday 3rd October, the calendar said 3rd October, but the overall weather on the day said Saturday 3rd June! The day started with a fair amount of hazy sunshine and low mist, but gradually the sun burned that away to give us a truly glorious day.

We started our day looking out on to Ferry Pool and had good sightings of waders, ducks and a buzzard trying its best not to be mobbed by crows. As is the norm, all views looking across on to Ferry Pool were interspersed with equally good views of the tops of passing lorries.

At 11.30 we left for Church Norton and split into two groups. one led by Neil, the other by Sedley. I am pleased to say that the roof of the hide at Church Norton is now looking attractively new and green, blending in with the surrounding foliage, so no longer will we have to fret about sitting under a sieve whilst birdwatching during rainy days.

One group of birders decided they would walk back to the visitor centre at 2.30, the rest returning on the coach. The aforementioned glorious weather encouraged all that returned to take advantage of the outdoor seating and many availed themselves of the locally made ice cream, which I understand was delish.

On a more serious note, before the journey home, Linda Wintle drew attention to the plight of the migrating birds across Malta and a goodly number on the coach took the relevant postcards to send to their MEP about this barbaric practice. On a lighter note, another member mentioned Saturday's evening entertainment on Eastbourne seafront provided by the local Bonfire Society. An all round enjoyable day and we look forward to a return visit to Pagham sometime next year.

During the time at the reserve we heard Cetti's warbler and in addition to the birds already mentioned we also saw rook, magpie, wood pigeon, blue tit, great tit, greenfinch, chaffinch, robin, black tailed godwit, lapwing, black headed gull, avocet, shelduck, curlew sandpiper, dunlin, teal, common sandpiper, red legged partridge, snipe, starling, kingfisher, coot, moorhen, little egret, curlew, redshank, blackcap, great black backed gull, dunnock, meadow pipit, goldfinch, heron, cormorant, oystercatcher, turnstone, ringed plover, widgeon, brent goose, herring gull, great crested grebe, lesser black backed gull, pintail, swallow, pheasant, mute swan, greenshank, stonechat, little grebe, chiffchaff, mallard, knot, house martin, osprey, kestrel, pied wagtail, and green woodpecker.