I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.
18 of us met at 9.30 with Owen Mitchell the assistant warden of Pagham LNR after a quick introduction in the visitor centre we set off along the western edge on route we stopped at the frozen Ferry Pool and added Mediteranean Gull to our list along with Shelduck, Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe, Black Headed Gull. Further down the banks we added Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, a single Knot, several Grey Plover and 5 Avocet. On the nearbye fields several Partridge were feeding. On the way back to the centre we stopped again at the Ferry Pool and saw a Common Buzzard on the ground being mobbed by a couple of Crows.
After a coffee break we set for Church Norton and met up with some locals all looking towards Tern Island in search of the reported Spoonbill. It was reported to be out of sight round the corner then it appeared and flew west and out of sight, a couple of minutes later was seen again and flew in front of us all and landed back on Tern Island.
After good views and a poor photo we set off for the beach and found a couple of Great Crested Grebes, a couple of Slavonian Grebes, a few Wigeon and a Gannet fishing well off shore, looking back over the harbour a Sparrow Hawk and Kestrel were seenalso a good flock of Golden Plover. In all the group had seen 69 species.
After a tour around the graveyard and a talk about the "Bird stained glass window" we departed, several of us to Ivy Lakes where a report of Whooper Swans had been seen in the last hour. On arrival at the lakes there they were 4 of them on the ice having a good spruce up, in addition a couple of Ruddy Ducks were there along with Tufted, Gadwall, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler.
As it was now only 2.30pm I set off to Burpham to find the herd of Bewick's Swans, I counted 43 and by chance I found my first Tree Creeper. Another superb days birding, 3rd January and already 3 new species to my list.