Past Events

Walk 22 Oct 2023

After the wind and heavy rain of the previous day, we had brilliant, calm and remarkably warm conditions for our Friends’ walk on Sunday, which took us beyond Salt pool as far as Barn Pools then across to the beach. We saw a fantastic variety of birds, with very good views of many.

Other people we met expressed surprised that Swallows were still dashing through in late October but the 2021 Sussex Bird Report cites  December 5th as the 10-year average  last date (while in that year, the last Swallow was seen on Dec 31st!) From the car park we had already seen House Martins over the village (10-year average, November 20th).

Duck numbers (at least Mallard, Wigeon & Teal are building up on Salt Pool) but the real drama there was provided by hunting packs of Cormorants and mixed herons (Grey Heron, Little & Great Egret) corralling fish in the shallows then all suddenly decamping to a new location with a great flapping of black, white & grey wings. 3 Great Egrets, with long, snaky white necks and big yellow beaks, took little notice of us as we passed them; it was hard to believe that they were very rare here till less than 20 years ago. On the ground nearby we had close views of 2 beautiful Golden Plovers.

Another summer migrant still present, mostly alongside Narrow Pits, was Chiffchaff. We must have seen 10, especially in the company of roaming bands of Long-tailed Tits (more than 20 of these following the stream by the holiday park). But no “last date” is given for Chiffchaffs since, while some proceed south, others stay for the winter.

Overhead, we could frequently hear calls from Siskins and Redpolls but against the bright blue sky they were very hard to see, like the Sparrowhawk which passed low at high speed but unlike a Marsh Harrier circling up in the sunlight. The conifers by the Barns often provide cover for Goldcrests and, with a bit of patience, we were able to pick out 3 of them moving through the dark foliage.

From Crittall Hide, we were alerted by the angry croak of a couple of Crows to a brown young Peregrine they were persecuting high above Ternery Pool and as we watched them twisting and turning, we also picked out couple of distant Buzzards. 

We saw/heard 69 species, though not everyone saw or heard all of them, while other people on the reserve recorded at least a dozen in addition. To see the list, click on the link below: