Bird Watching

Meets on the first Thursday of each month.

{Use links on the right for local bird sightings/websites and the link to older walks}.

The group is led by Christopher Evans. We have a monthly walk in varying locations, details of which are posted on this page about a week beforehand.
NB We currently have limited vacancies for this group, given the ongoing restrictions. Should you wish to join the group, then please call me or email me, details below.

Contact: Christopher Evans - mobile: 07772 534479; to email me, click on the Blue Bird below the U3A logo.

October 2020 walk

This walk will be at Farlington Marshes. As last month, I’m offering two options with a maximum of six people per walk. First come, first served. We’ll do our normal anti clockwise walk, with one group starting at 9.45 and the other at 10.15. Bring a drink for a mid walk stop and a packed lunch, if you want to remain on site once the walk is finished.If you wish to contact me, see details above.

September 2020 walk

We resumed activities post lockdown with a walk at RSPB Medmerry, starting at the Easton Lane car park and walking to the Stilt Pool and back. Outbound we saw a Green Woodpecker perched across the track from the poplars and further on a couple of Meadow Pipits and about half a dozen Swallows. Arriving at the Pool, the 3 Spoonbills reported in recent days were still present but shortly after we arrived one flew off eastwards. In addition to a Swan family, Cormorants and Mallards, there were a number of Starlings and one each of Lapwing, Little Egret and Grey Heron.

On our return leg with the tide coming in, there were 3 Greenshanks, 2 Common Sandpipers and a Wheatear on the mud near the poplars. As we started to walk away from the poplars, 2 Spoonbills appeared, heading south/southwest. They looked to be going to land in one of the new reservoirs, until about half a dozen Canada Geese flew up and spooked them and we couldn’t clearly see where they headed after that.

Update May 22nd 2020

You may be interested to know that the Tern raft at the Hayling Oysterbeds has finally been put in situ. It’s normally positioned towards the end of April but has been delayed this year because of the lockdown and the number of people required. Wez Smith the local RSPB warden estimates that there are already 34 Terns on it. I had a quick look this morning and have added a couple of photos to the album "Virtual Birdwatching". Yesterday evening, I had a walk at Medmerry where I was lucky enough to see a Barn Owl. Other sightings included Swallows, Yellowhammers, a single Whitethroat, 3 or 4 Roe deer and a Brown Hare. Earlier in the week, I had a productive walk around Farlington Marshes. Starting last week, I have been adding to a Google Photo album titled Virtual Birdwatching for those members that can't get out and about. I have added a link to it, which can be found on the right hand side of this page.

Covid-19 update

Along with many other activities our walks are currently suspended. Hopefully you can do a spot of birdwatching whilst out exercising. Back home, you can use the links on the right to follow the activities of the Chichester Peregrines* and the Selsey birders are continuing to post whilst they are out exercising.

  • The Peregrines at York and Salisbury can also be found online.

March 2020 walk

This should have been at Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve but was cancelled due to a forecast of heavy rain all day, which proved to be the case. Ironically the next day was bright and sunny so I headed over there and had an enjoyable visit, with sightings including Marsh Harriers and both Goldcrests and Firecrests.

February 2020

8 of the group enjoyed a visit to HIWWT's Blashford Lakes reserve on a bright if chilly winter's day. The first two of the group to arrive spotted Nuthatch and Treecreeper from the car park. A Nuthatch was also present on the Woodland Hide bird feeder along with Blue, Black & Coal Tits, Chaffinches, Dunnocks and a Siskin. On Ivy Lake, there were numerous Wigeon and Coots, along with a few Pintail, Cormorants, a pair of Mute Swans and just before we left the hide, a brief view of a Kingfisher. On Ibsley Water we saw a male Goldeneye, a female Longtailed Duck and five Great Crested Grebes whilst at the Lapwing Hide. Moving on to the aptly named Goosander Hide, we saw a group of about 8/9 of that species, along with a male Pochard. We finished up at the Tern Hide where we didn't see anything new but were interested to note that recent sightings had included 540 Pintail and 20,000 Starlings.

January 2020

No walk given that due date was January 2nd.

December 2019 walk

This was at Farlington Marshes on a chilly but brighter than expected morning, when we saw a total of 34 species. The stand out species was undoubtedly the Bearded Tits, though the views were limited, with the birds proving difficult to locate as they darted about through the reeds. Other significant sightings were Avocet, Curlew, Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Lapwing, Stonechat, a distant Buzzard, a Wren, a Song Thrush and a Kestrel.

November 2019 walk

Ten of us met by St Mary's Church, Chidham on a bright but chilly morning to walk down to Cobnor Point and back. Species seen included a small flock of Skylarks, an 18 strong group of Curlews, 3 female Reed Buntings, a lone Dunlin, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, plenty of Brent Geese including a family of two adults and two juveniles, a flock of Teal wheeling about, Song Thrushes, a Buzzard and a Kestrel. At the end of the walk some of us saw two Roe deer, tricky to spot on a ploughed field.

October 2019 walk

We met at Church Norton on a distinctly chilly morning, which did warm up a bit as the day progressed. After a short but interesting chat with a fisherman, who had been catching Sea Bass in the harbour mouth at low tide, we walked down to the edge of the harbour. The highlight of our visit was watching an Osprey catch a fish, fly off with it to a post on the southern edge of the harbour, then, when mobbed by crows, see it move a bit nearer to us and sit on the metalwork of the old harbour mouth. Through a telescope we had good views of it eating its prey and it was still there when we retuned to the churchyard for coffee an hour or so later. Another good sighting was a pair of Bar Tailed Godwits, as well as Ringed Plovers, a single Turnstone, a couple of Grey Plovers, a pair of great Crested Grebes and a number of Common Redshanks, Curlew, Cormorants, Little Egrets and Swallows. After our coffee stop, where we met Andrew House, one of the editors of the Birding the Selsey Peninsula website, we moved on to RSPB Pagham. After an initial stop at the hide where there was little to see apart from a few Black Tailed Godwit, we walked out to our favourite bench alongside the ferry channel to eat our lunch. The water level was still low but the tide started to come in more noticeably whilst we sat there, with Teal and Wigeon visible in the distance and we also had a lone Whimbrel fly past up the channel towards the Ferry Pool. We also had distant, intermittent sightings of what may have been a second Osprey or the original one further in to the harbour. Walking back we had a brief glimpse of a Goldcrest/Firecrest but too deeply hidden in a bush to be certain which it was. Finally, Doug Yelland noticed a Spotted Redshank alongside a Common Redshank giving us an opportunity to compare the two and notice the differences. All told a good day with a total of 42 species logged, including about 30 or so Lapwing that had arrived on the Ferry Pool by the time we returned.

September 2019 walk

Unfortunately, I was away and no one signed up for the proposed walk at Farlington marshes.

July 2019 Walk

Thursday, July 4th. This started at Church Norton and then moved on to RSPB Pagham, where we saw a reasonable number of species including a late brood of Shel - ducklings on the ferry Channel.

June 2019 Walk

Our June walk was at Fishlake Meadows Nature Reserve, Romsey, which was a new destination for the group. Situated alongside the River Test, at this time of year, it has a profusion of yellow Irises. We weren't overly successful with our bird watching, hearing rather than seeing, Cetti's Warblers, Chiff Chaff and a distant Cuckoo, along with possible sightings of Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat. Actual sightings were more common species such as Grey Heron,Carrion Crow, Robin, Goldfinch, House Martins and a single Cormorant. Nonetheless it was an enjoyable walk on a mostly sunny morning

May 2019 walk

This was at RSPB Pulborough Brooks when 8 of us attended. The morning started of bright and sunny and although it subsequently clouded over and got chillier, the threatened rain didn't materialise. The two iconic seasonal birds the Cuckoo and Nightingale weren't seen but were heard, the Cuckoo more so. Raptors seen were a pale Buzzard, a Kestrel and briefly, a Red Kite. A Hobby was reported by others on the site but not seen by us. Other seasonal sightings were Blackcap, Chiff Chaff, Whitethroat and Martins. On and around the water there were Lapwing plus the odd chick, Little Egrets, Shelduck, Grey Heron, Black tailed Godwit, Canada Geese and Egyptian Geese. We were also entertained by a pair of Great Tits busily flying to and from a nest box feeding their young, whilst on my way back to the visitor centre I had a good view of a Song Thrush with a beak full of grubs. An interesting non bird sighting was a neatly coiled, young, male Adder right by the path.

April 2019 walk

This was at RSPB Medmerry. Six of us started out on a wet and unseasonably chilly morning, having seen a Buzzard at close quarters over the Earnley car park. Three of the group quickly decided to head back, whilst the remaining three battled on. En route to the Stilt Pool the only identifiable birds we saw were a Skylark and a couple of Coots. At the Stilt Pool the rain made viewing through binoculars tricky but we did manage to identify Avocets, Cormorant, Dunlin, Tufted Duck and Shelduck. When the rain eased Doug Yelland took a few photos which subsequently revealed that there were both Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover present, as well as a lone Sandwich Tern. On the return leg, a Greenfinch and a few Starlings were spotted by the holiday village

March 2019 Walk

This started at North Wall, Pagham on a blustery though reasonably sunny day. Offshore there were Wigeon, Teal, Curlew and a lone Oystercatcher. On the Breech Pool there were Coot and a small number of Tufted Duck, whilst in the middle distance were two Mute Swans. Crossing the very wet field towards Honer Farm, we disturbed a flock of Brent Geese that flew off. Continuing north up Honer Lane we admired the Primroses and Celandine in the roadside ditch. On Honer Reservoir were a pair of Wigeon, which promptly flew off, a pair of Tufted Duck, a pair of Gadwall and a single Little Grebe. Whilst drinking our coffee, a pair of Shelduck flew in and almost immediately flew off again. To avoid the flooded field we took a mostly urban route back to our starting point, which had little of interest to report.

February 2019 walk

This was at RSPB Pulborough Brooks on a breezy but generally sunny day.The highlight was undoubtedly the Kingfisher that sat on a post in front of one of the hides for several minutes and was still there when we moved off. Raptors came in the form of brief sightings of a Kestrel and a Marsh Harrier as well as distant views of two Buzzards perched in a tree. Regrettably we didn't see the Peregrine and Red Kite that were seen by other visitors. Other species included Lapwing, Black Tailed Godwit, Shoveler, Teal, Shelduck, Great Black Backed Gulls, Cormorants and a couple of Sanderling. Smaller birds included Robins, Great & Blue Tits and a brief glimpse of a Goldcrest. All in all a good visit to this always rewarding reserve.

January 2019 walk.

This took place at RSPB Medmerry on a cold but dry morning with, thankfully, little wind. The number species seen was low (early twenties) and included Rooks, Starlings, Linnets (probable), Sparrows, a single Yellowhammer, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Lapwing, Shoveler, Juvenile Cormorants, Shelduck, Little Egret and Grey Heron.

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

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Advanced French Conversation Adventures in Literature
Bird Watching British History
Canasta Creative Writing
Current Affairs Cycling for softies
Day Trips Family History
Film Studies Gardens
Geology and Landscape German
Italian intermediate Line Dancing
Local History Mah Jong
Music Appreciation Philosophy
Photography Play Reading Group
Poetry (writing) Scrabble
Singing Sociable Singles
Spanish Advanced Spring Time
Theatre/Opera/Ballet Use Your Bus Pass
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