Bird Walk on 2nd February 2016

At 0945 on Tuesday morning it was grey, damp and chilly and it didn’t
bode well for our planned walk to Michelgrove lane but by the time the
seven of us had assembled under the trees near Michelgrove House and set
off, the skies gradually cleared so by 1100 it was near cloudless and
very pleasant.FCGBirdWalk2.2.162
We soon saw one of our target birds, a Red Kite, wheeling over the
countryside to the east and it was later joined by a second.
Continuing up the Lane into the Angmering Park Estate we crossed a stile
on to springy downland grass with the sound of Skylarks above us and
soon after the croaking call of Ravens. A pair were having a tussle with
two Buzzards. Up to five of the latter were later in the air together
over Blackpatch Hill.
In or near the leftovers of a maize crop, about 15 Yellowhammers, 30
Chaffinches, two Meadow Pipits, eight Red-legged Partridges and several
Pheasants all showed well in the bright light. Nearby, a Corn Bunting
sat singing on a fence only a few yards from us.
We descended through a wood on the eastern slope of Harrow Hill in warm
sunshine along a steep and rather sticky path emerging in a valley with
a horse training gallop in the bottom (unoccupied). Another distant Kite
was over the South Downs Way.
Gulls and Rooks were abundant on the last leg across the field back to
the road and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen when we returned to the
In all, some 26 species of birds were noted – better than expected when
we had set forth from Ferring!

Clive Hope