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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Pagham Harbour walk; Section 1:Turnstones and gulls on Selsea Beach

Left to right are Liz, Richard and Gloria, who turned up for the Pagham harbour walk, which I lead on this day.  The weather forecast was light rain and drizzle, which was fine.  Our only complaint was too much sun in the late afternoon.  After a bus ride from the RSPB center we started from Selsey lifeboat station... in light rain.
The walk was so eventful that it will be blogged in sections.
A Black-headed gull in winter plumage, which might have come from Scandinavia.  The UK population jumps from 200,000 to 3,000,000 in winter.  The oldest ringed bird survived over 32 years.
A Lesser Black-backed gull.
Another gulping a fish.
These Turnstones were delightful.  Click here to see the RSPB page on Turnstones and you can understand that in the rain they looked a bit like golden plovers.  They are present for most of the year. Birds from Northern Europe pass through in July and August and again spring. Canadian and Greenland birds arrive in August and September and remain until April and May. Non-breeding birds may stay through the summer. 

 This bird was midway between summer and winter plumage.

Aren't they pretty!

A distant male Wheatear perched on a bench on the promenade.

Click on any picture to expand it.
The walk was all very civilised up to now.

A serene walk.

A dry walk on a shingle beach.
This was the highest tide that I had ever seen here in Pagham harbour.  And there is a path there somewhere around the harbour perimeter... under the water!
For what happens next.... please wait for section 2 of this fun-packed walk!

Meanwhile, here is a trailer.

Why is it that my recent walks have been so much fun?  And so much water?
 Janis Dyer made the following comment; Think it was a Spring Tide as new moon Wednesday. My late father was in the Thames River Police and talked about tides to me.Spring tides happen just after every full and new moon, when the sun, moon and earth are in line. That's when lunar and solar tides line up and reinforce each other, making a bigger total tide, thats why you may all have had to have a paddle!!!!!!!

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