Trip reports

Wednesday Walk: Around West Rise Marsh

male stonechat perched on bramble

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

On a dull, very cold November morning, and with a bitter chill sweeping over the water from the north, twelve of us set off for a walk around West Rise Marsh, led by Sedley Underdown. Quite a good selection of birds were on the water including coot, gadwall, Canada goose, great crested grebe, black headed, great black backed and herring gulls, heron, mallard, moorhen, pochard, shoveler, mute swan, tufted duck and wigeon. Around the marsh we found chaffinch, crow, goldfinch, kestrel, magpie, wood pigeon, meadow pipit, starling, stonechat (pictured), and lastly as we turned back for the car park we were delighted by a pair of snipe rising into the overcast sky.

Probably the highlight of the morning, for most of us, was finding the six water buffalo that roam across the marsh - very impressive beasts.

As everyone departed for the warmth of their homes, I decided to have a last look around and was rewarded by a crow sending up a buzzard that was having a quiet moment or two on a fence post. The buzzard then slowly and gracefully drifted across the marsh looking for a more peaceful perch, and then several cormorants came in from the coast before dropping in for a spot of fishing on the West Rise Level.

Tony Vass