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Saturday, 19 April 2008

Strictly for the birds - circular around Pagham harbour and Selsey

The looks of euphoria on the faces of these happy ramblers was possibly due to a diversion from the intended path to the sanctuary of the old church at Church Norton. There, for a peaceful few minutes we escaped the freezing east wind and steady rain that battered us for the first exposed miles around the harbour. Click on the picture to expand.

We started off well with fabulous views at Ferry pond of an avocet, shoveller, redshanks, and scores of shell ducks. Then followed the icy blast around the harbour. After lunch in the second hide, we battered our way along the beach to the harbour entrance. Ringed plovers swirled around us as we walked along (see rspb plovers). It was near high tide and the shingle bank at the harbour entrance looked precipitously steep. It being too cold for an accidental swim, we retraced our steps back along the beach.

After a little debate in the wind and rain, we walked along the beach to Selsey as an alternative to the farms route. That was a good decision. We noticed that slurry was being sprayed on the field that we would have walked past! And it was a strong wind.

The weather was just too awful to take any pictures. There are some below, on the blog entry when I walked out the route. The Alexanders plants were just starting to flower, with a heady, rather pleasant scent. The strong celery taste of the leaves was refreshing too.

The weather forecast was for heavy rain. So it was pleasing that there were 9 of us braving the elements. Despite the possibility to escape back on the bus from Selsey, we all finished the 9.8 miles walk on this Saturday 19th April. Sussexrambler is so impressed with the tenacity of this gallant band that I have inaugurated and awarded the "Sussexrambler order of Merit" to one and all! Thanks for coming.

In addition to the birds listed above, we saw, coots, egrets, mallards, herons, mute swan, curlew, oyster catchers, cormorants, black-backed gulls, black-headed gull, chaffinch, blackbird, Canada goose, skylark and heard chiff chaffs, pheasants and green finches. There were loads of other birds that we just could not identify due to glasses streaming with rain and condensation and the inclement weather.

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