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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

RSPB Medmerry & Fishbourne Channel (Chichester Harbour). Little Ringed Plovers & Avocets. 19.03.22

I went to RSPB Medmerry yesterday because I had read on the Birding the Selsey Peninsula ( blog that there were Avocets settling on the newly fenced island (where they nested last year) on on the Stilt Pool and that there had been Little Ringed Plovers seen. Last year I saw Avocet chicks at the Ferry Pool and I was keen to see the start of their breeding year this year.

I got to the Stilt Pool at RSPB Medmerry by getting the train to Chichester and then getting the 53 Wittering Bus to Bracklesham. Getting of at the Clappers Lane stop I walked down to Earnley. At Earnley church I turned turn right (south) into Drove Road, the road to the RSPB Medmerry Car Park. At the car park there is a signed path into RSPB Medmerry,. You can catch the 53 or 52 bus - one (the 52) goes to West Wittering forts, the other (the 53) goes to East Wittering first. 52 Bus Route & Timetable: Chichester - East and West Wittering | Stagecoach ( and 53 Bus Route & Timetable: Chichester - East and West Wittering | Stagecoach (

I visited Medmerry and the Fishbourne Channel last on 09.11.21, but I went to Fishbourne first then; see: Fishbourne Channel (Chichester Harbour) & RSPB Medmerry. Winter geese, ducks & waders. 09.11.21

Birds seen:

Medmerry: Canada Geese Avocets, Black-Tailed Godwits, Little Ringed Plovers, Teal, Wigeon, Mallards, Tufted Ducks, Little Grebe, Black-Headed Gulls, Cormorants, Starlings, Fieldfare, Magpies, Carrion Crows, Moorhens, Coots

Fishbourne Chanel: Long-Tailed Tits, Black-Tailed Godwits, Turnstones, Redshanks, Little Egrets, Teal, Wigeon, Mallards, Brent Geese, Mute Swans, Black-Headed Gulls, Carrion Crows, Magpies

RSPB Medmerry

RSPB Map of Medmerry rspb-medmerry-trail-guide.pdf

Walking into Medmerry

Canada Geese in a small pool on the way to the Stilt Pool

Peacock Butterfly. This probably overwintered, as Peacock Butterflies normally emerge as adults from July.

An Avocet on the Ferry Pool on the newly fenced island where they nested last year; this bird looked as if it were preparing the ground for nesting

Black-Tailed Godwit on the same isalnd.


Black-Tailed Godwits

The Stilt Pool

The Avocet (as above)

Black-Headed Gulls (turning into summer plumage)

Black-Tailed Godwit

Little Grebe

Black-Tailed Godwit

The Avocet again (as above)

Black-Tailed Godwits

Little Ringed Plovers

enlargement of above



Gulls (Blacked-Headed and possible some Mediterranean)

Black-Headed Gull and a pair of Tufted Ducks

More Avocets

Cormorants and Canada Geese

Tufted Ducks and Black-Tailed Godwit upended


Upended Mallard

Black-Headed Godwits


Black-Headed Gulls on the saltmarshes created by breaching the Medmerry sea-wall. This video shows how Medmerry was made by the Environment Agency: Medmerry from The RSPB on Vimeo and see: Medmerry Nature Reserve, West Sussex - The RSPB

A flock of Fieldfare. UK conservation status red. One of the UK's "winter thrushes", along with Redwings. Approx. 680,000 Fieldfare visit the UK from October to April; they breed in Northern Europe.

Dell Quay and Fishbourne Channel

As it did not take too much time to see the Stilt Pool, afterwards I walked back to the bus stop at Clapper Lane and got the 52 bus to Dell Quay Road. I walked down Dell Quay Road to Dell Quay and then walked along the Fishbourne Channel to Fishbourne, where I walked the clearly marked footpath to Chichester Station

Map from: Google Maps

Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris, or "Kingcup" (as they were supposed to look like the cups of Kings, in a ditch next to Apuldram Land, near the Dell Quay Road bus stop

A Long-Tailed Tit along the road to Dell Quay

Black-Tailed Godwits on the exposed mud (low tide) at Dell Quay

Dell Quay

Black-Tailed Godwits (in breeding plumage)

A pair of Mallards

A Little Egret

A flock of Turnstones

The Turnstones with a Little Egret. Turnstones can be seen all year round in the UK but Turnstones do not breed in the UK Birds from Northern Europe pass through in July and August and again in spring. Canadian and Greenland birds arrive in August and September and remain until April and May. Non-breeding birds may stay through the summer. Turnstone Bird Facts | Arenaria Interpres - The RSPB

Between the fishing huts on Dell Quay. South Downs north of Chichester in the background

Fishbourne Channel

Brent Geese on Fishbourne Channel

enlargement of above

A Redshank

Brent Geese, Wigeon and other ducks using the fast moving falling tide water stream to travel south done Fishbourne Channel

Brent Geese and Gulls

Fishbourne Channel

Brent Geese

Fishbourne Channel

Ruined boat


Mute Swans

Wigeon, Teal and Black-Headed Gulls

Oystercatcher, Mallards, a Wigeon and Black-Headed Gulls where the River Lavant joins Fishbourne Channel

Black-Headed Gull

Black-Tailed Godwits

Top of the Fishbourne Channel

Black-Tailed Godwit

A new house at the top of Fishbourne Channel

A Magpie


Black-Headed Gulls at the very top of the Channel

Bridge in Fishbourne Meadows

Daffodils in Fishbourne Meadows; southern marsh orchids, will bloom in the meadows in May



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