Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Sinah Common SSSI

This morning we spent a couple of hours walking around the south-west corner of the island, an SSSI called Sinah Common. We managed to walk along a beach made of shells, over sand dunes, through open grassland, around a lake, under oak trees, across a common, through thick gorse and along the edge of mudflats. Not bad for a mornings walk!

We walked along the beach and realized that it was made almost entirely from slipper limpets.
Shell beach

Almost entirely made of slipper limpets
 We found an angels wing that had fallen onto the beach.

Bug Mad Girl found a new type of shark egg case, much bigger and darker than the others we've found. Judging by its size and square shape, we think it might belong to a thornback ray.
Thornback ray egg case - looked quite a lot like an After Eight mint wrapper!
The beach soon turned into sand dunes that were fun to climb up and down. In a couple of weeks they'll be covered in green winged orchids. We watched a kestrel hunting and had a look in the gun site.

Sand dunes

Gun site
At Gunner Point, the dunes opened out into grassland and we could hear the skylarks singing. BMG managed to spot a meadow pipit in the grass, even though they are really hard to see.

Meadow pipit
Then we headed away from the beach and walked through a small area of woodland towards Sinah Common and the lake.

At the lake we saw a chiffchaff in a tree above us, a heron flew past and tufted ducks were on the water. A swan was at the waters edge and a small egret was stood on a little island in the middle.

Little Egret
Past the lake, we walked along a path cut through thick gorse bushes and could smell the coconut scent from the gorse. A fox appeared in front of us, stared at us for a minute, then carried on its way. It didn't seem worried at all that we were there.

Fantastic Mr Fox

We then came to a nature reserve called The Kench, which is a tidal inlet that's part of Langstone Harbour. Lots more mud, brent geese, oystercatchers and redshanks!

Brent goose



Oops, got too close!

Redshanks, having a snooze
As we were leaving I saw a swallow swoop past, my first of the year. The beaches here are the first landfall for many of our spring migrant birds.

What a great morning and we managed to see so many different habitats all so close together.


  1. I think your bird is a meadow pipit not a skylark. What a great shot of the fox! Your very lucky. I have a miner bee BMG might like to ID for me on my blog.

  2. Thanks - we weren't sure. There were definitely skylarks singing, so I guess they were both there. I'll update the post!