Winter Waders and Weeds Walk (Thursday 11th December 2014)

P1100066Approximately 25 members of Ferring Conservation Group braved a bright but chilly December morning to take a walk along the beach from Sea Lane, Ferring, towards Goring. To keep us on our toes Tricia Hall set us a 5 star challenge with a list of wading birds and seaweed to find and identify. Jane Hayman, FCG’s Publicity Officer, reports ‘our members rose to the challenge and by the time we reached our destination most had identified at least 4 species of wading birds and 4 types of seaweed’.

Tricia explained that although it resembles a plant, seaweed is actually a type of complex algae. Seaweed algae builds itself into multi-cellular forms that can withstand the deep waters of the ocean. Spiral wrack, Bladder wrack, Serrated wrack and Egg or Knotted wrack were among the seaweeds identified.

With the aid of field glasses and telescopes our group were able to spot 4 types of wading birds in the  form of Dunlins, Turnstones, Ringed Plovers and Sanderlings. The Sanderling is a small, plump, energetic wading bird. It has a short straight black bill and medium length black legs. It is pale grey above and white underneath, and there is a black mark at its shoulder where the folded wing meets the body. It does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor and passage migrant in spring and autumn.

Our walk concluded with hot drinks etc. at a sea front café where the hardy bunch chose the outside option to enjoy the winter sunshine.