Birdwatching appeal for Chichester Harbour

Brent Goose
Brent Goose

CHICHESTER Harbour has called on the public to help track bird movements for winter.

The harbour conservancy has launched a new online service to help people report bird sightings.

The new facility is primarily to help record the numbers and movements of Brent geese, a popular winter visitor to the harbour area.

Visit www.conservancy.co.uk and follow the links to Goosewatch.

There is a simple registration and you can input the number of geese and click on a map to show the location.

The results are then shown on a map showing all the data collected so far. The system also allows the recording of a range of other bird species that also use inland fields, such as curlew and lapwing.

The information collected will help the Conservancy build up a much better informed picture of the habits of these special winter visitors.

A spokeswoman said: “Last winter, over 10,000 dark-bellied Brent geese visited Chichester Harbour, making the area internationally important for this species with about five per cent of the population.”

The geese fly in loose flocks, unlike the V formations of Canada geese, or form groups on mudflats.

In the daytime, they move inland and can be see grazing on farmland and playing fields.

The conservancy is particularly interested in their use of the inland fields.