Wednesday, 25 June 2014

20th - 21st June - Sidlesham, West Sussex

Another Weekend away back at our favourite haunt in Sidlesham.  The middle of June is not the best time for wildlife, but we were not there totally for that reason.  Arriving Friday evening we set off for a short walk to the North Wall.  As we crossed the fioeld from Hal;sey's Farm we noticed Marsh Orchids in the field for the first time, and as I moved to photograph them, they were joined by a Large Skipper.

 There weren't that many, but what there were stood out amongst the long grass.

As we walked up on to the bank  the view looking towards the North Wall looked lovely in the evening light.

For once the paths were dry, but a little overgrown.  Approaching the breech pools a single adult Heron sat on the post, enjoying the warm sunshine.

On the water there were several pairs of Mallards, the adults now moving into eclipse plumage.  There were a pair of Lapwing bythe water's edge, and from across the field we watched a Kestrel come across.  It stopped to hover looking into the long grass on the wall.  We watched as it dropped lower and lower keeping the head completely still.  At one point it just hung there not moving a thing.

Then finally it dropped, and came up with what looked like a small mouse, we then watched it fly across the harbour and out of sight.

We walked as far as the sluice, and then on around the paddocks in my belief we could walk a loop.  As always this turned out to be completely wrong, so we came back the way we had gone, getting stung all over again.  The water was now much higher, and the swans were taking advantage.

Blackbirds were singing around us, and this one was very vocal as it sang drom the top of a conifer.

There was a single Great Crested Grebe on the pool, probably waiting for it's turn to incubate eggs nearby.

As we headed back to the Crab and Lobster, a single Common Tern came over.  Hovered over the pool, dived and came up with a fish that it carried away to a nest somewhere in the harbour.

As usual at the Crab and Lobster, dinner was superb, and in the morning we also were treated to a magnificent breakfast.  The task then was to walk it off.  We were going to the beach a Church Norton.  Walking past the house with the large pond at the Quay, a Coot was feeding it's young close to the reeds.

Wrens are as noisy here as they are back home, and this one was using a high perch to ensure everyone heard it's song.

We walked past the visitor centre, and then on to the Ferry Pool where there was quite a bit of distant activity, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Shelduck and ducklings, and a single Spotted Redshank, but all too far away for a credible picture.

However on the inlet as we set off on the path for Church Norton, there was a Little Egret that didn't stay too long.

and a Coot alongside her nest.

A little further on an almighty fight broke out between what we think was the Coot's partner and some Mallard, the Coot not happy they had strayed so close.

Along the path, a Large Skipper posed on a Bramble flower.

And for once a Sedge Warbler was singing as if it's life depended on it from the top of a small Oak.

As we approached Church Norton a blue butterfly frustratingly passed us, but as we came off the board-walk Helen managed to find it on the bramble (yet again).  It was a Holly Blue, the first I have photographed for some time.

We carried on towards Selsey, and the Lifeboat station.  Looking back the tide was well out, and the bay sweeping around as far as Littlehampton and a distant Worthing looked a picture.

Our walk to Selsey terminated in the Lifeboat Pub, then we made our way back.  The bright sun would pick out the gulls as they flew by, first a Black-headed Gull.

Then a Herring Gull.

We then found a spot on a very empty beach where we could look at views like this.


And even get close to this...

Late afternoon we headed back to round off a wonderful day with another superb dinner.

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