CHICH­ESTER GRAVEL PITS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

Th­ese are a se­ries of gravel pits ad­ja­cent to the A27 Chich­ester by­pass. In­ter­est­ing bird­ing is pos­si­ble in spite of oc­ca­sional in­ten­sive use for wa­ter­sports and fish­ing. A com­plex of pits with lit­tle mar­ginal reed growth is cov­ered in some places with wil­lows, sal­lows and bram­ble scrub. In win­ter, a few Scaup and Gold­en­eye oc­cur among more nu­mer­ous Tufted Duck and Pochard. Dab­bling ducks are rel­a­tively scarce, though Shov­eler and Teal oc­cur. The pits are best in hard weather, when Goosander, Smew and the oc­ca­sional diver may ap­pear. Chif­fchaffs win­ter in water­side trees. Easter­lies in spring pro­duce small num­bers of Lit­tle Gull and Black Tern. Whimbrel and Bar-tailed God­wit can pass over­head. Breed­ers in­clude Great Crested Grebe, Shel­duck, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Kingfisher and war­blers. Com­mon Terns breeds on rafts built by Sus­sex Ornithological So­ci­ety. In au­tumn pas­sage waders, in­clud­ing Green­shank, Lit­tle Stint and Ruff, oc­cur, and small num­bers of Lit­tle Gull and Black Tern can be seen. Large num­bers of hirundines roost.

GREAT FOR Hirundines and Cor­morant roosts

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