Tim Holter from SDOS sent us this report of the bird walk which was supported by FoSB
Despite or maybe due to the altered route 16 people enjoyed this mornings walk in initially dull and slightly damp conditions which gradually improved.
Not only was the east river bank closed by the Environment Agency for tidal walls work but at Ropetackle contractors were noisily water jet cleaning the promenade stonework!
We started by looking south from the Norfolk Bridge where, very cleverly in the grey light, one of us discovered a Grey Heron, almost invisible against the grey shell-banks. These days a relative rarity here compared to the number of Little Egrets regularly present. Observed from Ropetackle were a number of Turnstones which had to be searched for amongst the stones; a challenge in poor light! Little Egret and Redshank were also present. Looking under the railway bridge, where the route north is blocked, we could see a number of Ringed Plovers on the mudbanks.
Coronation Green occupied us for a while. 10 Oystercatchers were counted and a small mixed flock of Dunlins and Ringed Plovers moved about either side of the Ferry Bridge, RSPB riverbank and the Yacht Club. Some saw a Kingfisher flash past to the Yacht Club and others saw a Grey Wagtail in undulating flight heading up river. Redshank could be seen and a couple of Teal were in the east end of the houseboat channel, newly returned to the estuary after being away for the summer breeding season.
A walk behind the houseboats took us to the west end of RSPB Adur Nature Reserve where excellent views of two Greenshank were enjoyed in the houseboat channel near Jess Aidley’s boat and later one was enjoyed in Flood Arch Lagoon. Also in the houseboat channel were at least twelve more newly returned Teal and more Redshank.
We then stood on the road bridge in Dogs trust (private road) and looked along the drainage ditch which I observe as part of the WeBS count. Perhaps a little naughty being there with a large group having not sought prior permission. This was a last minute addition to the itinerary following the closure of the river bank. Their staff indicated they were happy for us to be there but were obviously concerned that our numbers were causing some concern to car drivers. We will be guided accordingly for the future!
However this proved an interesting visit. Besides the usual Coots and Moorhens a Grey Wagtail was seen catching insects along the bottom of the reeds. The highlight was a most unusual performance by a Kingfisher. From a perch in the reeds it made quickly repeated shallow dives into the water, at one time ‘bouncing’ in and out three times before returning to its perch. We wondered if it was pursuing aquatic insects on the surface.