RICHARD WILLIAMSON Country Walk...Fishbourne Channel

This is not so much a walk as a viewing platform. You have just six weeks to use the map for a fabulous view of waterbirds before they fly back to Russia, some to the Kara Sea and the future oilfields there.

Park either at Dell Quay or next to St Mary’s Church. Public footpath as shown.Viewpoint A, lowtide. Looking north-west to furthest channel edge you should see 500 wigeon. These ducks breed in Norway and Russia. The drakes have big white wing patches and yellow foreheads, with pink heads and breasts.

Three hundred brent geese often fly in to the channel for a wash and brush-up in the fresh water flowing from Fishbourne spring. They breed around the Kara Sea.

You will see and hear oystercatchers here. Black and white with red beak and legs, they pipe loudly to each other, shouting ‘be quick’. Long orange legs and beak. They call a lot as well – ‘tloeet-teet-teet’.

On the very edge of the water, creeping like white mice, will be packs of dunlin. You will see about ten curlew from this viewpoint, stalking about the mudflats alone, but often singing their name.

In cold weather 20 coots might be feeding among the boats on the mudflats, having come in from Chichester lakes during frost.

Viewpoint A, hightide. Shore opposite often has 100 redshank asleep in the bay, and 100 black-tailed godwits.

Viewpoint B, lowtide. Wigeon and brent again, but brent might be feeding in field next to horses. Redshank again along edge of tide. Usually a little egret close by on saltings to right. Oyster catchers and dunlin and curlew scattered.

Viewpoint B, hightide. Opposite shore saltings holds up to 200 curlews packed together, also 150 redshank, 200 blacktailed godwits, all asleep.

The wigeon will be mainly here as well, but in easy view as they are awake and feeding. Mid-channel may have rare divers and grebes. I often see half a dozen goldeneye ducks here too.

Viewpoint C, lowtide. The sewage works outflow is clean but rich in nutrients and attracts birds to the invertebrates in the water. Pintail ducks gather here, also wigeon and maybe a sawbill duck, the red-breasted merganser. Usually 20 redshank feed here in the mudflats grass clumps called spartina grass.

Viewpoint C, hightide. Same as for Viewpoint B.

Viewpoint D, lowtide. Mid-channel has up to 1,000 black-headed gulls at dusk, and this year, 50 greater black-backed gulls. Look to the right (north) and you should see 30 redshanks creeping silently among the spartina clumps, feeding.

Viewpoint D, hightide. Look north to the old salthouse bank on which should be roosting 100 redshank, 20 grey plover, 30 black-tailed godwits, 100 dunlins, some lapwings, wigeon and curlews.

Whatever the state of the tide you should by now have seen 1,200 waterbirds of up to 15 different species. Good birding.