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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 12th September 2009
Thorney Island
7.5 miles

It's Osprey season again, so we blasted off down to Prinsted, at the very western edge of our county, to circumnavigate Thorney Island clockwise with the earnest hope of seeing one of these fantastic birds. Of course, the first birder we saw was very keen to tell us of the one he'd seen earlier: a bad omen of course, as we had to do without any sightings whatsoever today. This may have had something to do with all of the activity going on on the island, as at the airfield a race meeting and fair was being held. The continuous squealing of tyres and crazy fairground noises would have been enough to scare anything off let alone a couple of Ospreys. None of this detracted at all from the wonders of Thorney though, as this place is truly stunning on such a sunny day as this. The island is also full of life with waders everywhere out on the mudflats and sand. Amongst many other species we saw; Ringed Plovers, Grey Plover, Turnstones, Dunlin, Redshank and Oystercatchers all probing in the mud. We watched Little Egrets skilfully feeding from shoals of fish on the shoreline: some of the fish were big and were leaping out of the water to escape these snowy-white predators. Wheatears escorted us around parts of the footpath and there were Roe Deer bounding along in the long grass. We even spied a couple of Grey Seals casually wending their way along the western coast.
Sunset was beautiful, especially as all of the noise at the airfield had stopped and a Lynyrd Skynyrd covers band had started up from the marina. Ok, we would have preferred some peace and quiet, but what we say is, thank goodness it wasn't jazz!
The entire footpath around the island seemed to be lined with blackberries and elderberries, so it's an intense blackberry and apple pie baking session for us tomorrow.

The tide was out when we arrived at 10:45.
The tide would be in again at 16:30, by which time we would be round the other side of the island.

Checkpoint Charlie on the eastern side of the island.

This is why you are asked to stick to the footpaths.

A Comma butterfly in perfect condition. It looked as if it hadn't been hatched long.

Speckled Wood butterfly. We also saw some very bleached looking Painted Ladies.

On Pilsey Island I did some sunbathing and birdwatching...

... while Gill hid herself in the dunes and did some water colours.

Did you go to Brighton on Saturday? Was it packed to the rafters?
We were the only people on this huge beach.

Grey Plover

Emsworth Channel, full of yachts, birds and a couple of seals.

The western checkpoint, which we reached at the start of golden hour.

This embankment just beyond the checkpoint separates the Emsworth Channel from the Great Deeps.
Today loud music was emanating from the marina. Luckily for us it was Lynyrd Skynyrd!

Grey Seals