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Church Norton

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Old Friday 29th October 2004, 18:18   #1
Ken Noble
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Church Norton

I hadn't been to the Pagham reserve for some years and as I was in the area I paid a quick visit there today (29th Oct.).
I arrived at Church Norton at about 12.30. The tide was so high that you could not walk round the lagoon, but I was able to have a good scan from the point where the path ran underwater. At first sight there did not seem to be many birds except for a couple of small grebes (which turned out to be little grebes) and the odd great crested grebe. But soon I began to notice tight packs of waders roosting on the few remaining dry areas. A large proportion of them were grey plovers. After a while I noticed various bunches of waders taking to the air and flying off in an erratic manner--so I began to scan for a raptor. I didn't spot one so I began to scan through a distant wader flock. Suddenly a dark shape ripped through the flock which took off in an instant. I couldn't focus on what had caused the panic because it was flying too fast but shortly afterwards I finally picked out a peregrine flying low over the lagoon. I was able to follow it for a moment or two before it disappeared low over the beach.
The peregrine helped me spot various waders as they were far more visible in flight than in their roosting flocks. Dunlin, sanderling, oystercatcher, turnstone were all present... and no doubt others that I missed.
There were about 20 red-legged partridges inland of the church and also green and great spotted woodpecker.
I added curlew, greenshank and redshank at Sidlesham ferry, where there were also plenty of teal and a few shelduck.
I hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary but, nonetheless, a very enjoyable outing.
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Old Friday 29th October 2004, 18:22   #2
wibble wibble
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Nice and wholesome! I enjoy seeing Peregrines at work but have yet to see a successful engagement.
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Old Friday 29th October 2004, 21:39   #3
Karl J
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And I've yet to succesfully see a Peregrine at all, so i'm really quite envious !
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