Despite a poor weather forecast of a chilly start, 40% chance of rain and frisky winds from the north, the group was soon taking off jackets and walking in near full sunshine for the rest of the day. The sunshine and warmth brought out a number of butterflies including wall, speckled wood, clouded yellow and large white. Near the dew pond there were several common darter dragonflies about.
Birds of prey included kestrels, peregrines (two jousting in the afternoon), buzzard (five wheeling in one thermal), a female marsh harrier quartering a field and putting up three grey partridges, numerous red kites, while a ring-tailed hen harrier gave brief views before drifting out of sight. Ravens were present, three seen and others heard kronking. Skylarks were singing and there were good numbers of swallows and house martins, often quite low.
Good views were had of yellowhammers, chaffinches and goldfinches with several flocks of linnet chattering overhead. A jay flew over and chiffchaffs were calling with at least one individual singing. The wooded areas revealed long tailed tits, wrens, robins, blackbirds, goldcrests, blue tits and great tits. A perched meadow pipit gave good scope views before it flew off and a green woodpecker was heard. As well as grey partridges there were red-legged partridges, outnumbered by pheasants.
Less flighty sightings included Arundel Castle, the expanding wind farms off Shoreham and the Butlins towers at Bognor. All this prompted the group leader to give a much-appreciated lesson on taking bearings at sea! A splendid walk produced 38 species identified.