Saturday, 8 January 2011

Hayling to Pagham Harbour, Hampshire

Just moments after publishing last nights post, this Mouse (thought to be a Wood Mouse) appeared on the Lifton's nut feeder, however the jury remains out on a final identification.

This morning the forecaster was suggesting there might be rain, and the sky certainly looked like it but fortunately none developed to spoil our days birding. Paul and I alone headed first of all to the

and the redundant oyster beds close by. Hayling Billy refers to the also defunct railway line that formally ran from the mainland

across this bund and onward to the

Holiday Resort of Hayling Island.

This signal is one of only a few signs left of the old track

This is today's active road bridge connecting the Island and crosses the mouth between Langstone Harbour and Chichester Harbour. All of this is part of a vast expanse of salt & brackish marshes, flooded grasslands, reed beds supporting tens of thousands of winter migrant birds.

Predominantly Lapwing and other Waders take to the wing on the arrival of a Peregrine Falcon,

while Grey Plovers and others seek sanctuary on sandbanks as 'top of the tide' approaches. With a few species in the log we made a short stop at

Ivy Lakes on the Chichester road where Ruddy Duck was recorded for the year.

A 20 minute drive around the perimeter of the harbours found us at Church Norton on the eastern fringe of Pagham Harbour.

An Iron Age earthwork close to the car park.

Not surprisingly, Curlew were numerous, while on the adjacent fields

half a dozen Mistle Thrush were feeding.

Shelduck were also aplenty, while seeing both

Hen (below) and Marsh Harriers together was an excellent bonus, particularly seeing the latter take a Teal. As far as other additions to the Year List were concerned c4Ruff were very welcome, a Bittern was extremely lucky, a Jack Snipe even luckier with a female Scaup bringing up the rear.

This brings the Bird List to = 143
and the Mammal List to = 12

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