For budding and bona fide birdwatchers alike, Pagham Harbour is a must-visit destination during the winter months.
It's also a great walk with lots to see.
The reserve covers 1500 acres, about half of which is salt marsh and mudflats, while the rest comprises farmland, copses, lagoons, reed beds and shingle beaches.
One of the few undeveloped stretches of the Sussex Coast, it is a crucial wetland spot for wildlife, with up to 20 000 waterbirds set to feed and roost across the harbour in winter alone.
For avid 'birders', brent geese, lapwings and black-tailed godwits are regular seasonal visitors, not to mention gtey and golden plovers and dunlins. Winter also brings slavonian grebes and red-breasted mergansers into the harbour.
One potential point for feathered findings is Ferry Field, where the hide close to the Visitor Centre provides a popular vantage point.
When the tide is high, the freshwater pool just in front of the hide can also be a roosting place for hundreds of lapwing and is an excellent feeding place for waders and wildfowl.
Elsewhere, Mill Pond Marsh lies just east of Sidlesham Village and is perfect for reed-loving birds such as sedge warblers, as well as water rails.
If you're unfamiliar with birdwatching though, there are regular workshops available to help get you started.
Away from the birds, the harbour houses plenty of other wildlife to look out for. The purple hairstreak butterfly, childing pink flowers, water voles and numberous species of dragonfly can all be found as you explore further. You may also catch a glimpse of common and grey seals basking on the islands, but only if you're very lucky.
There are many other activities to enjoy. The reserve is enriched with stunning landscapes, offering long walks around the harbour edge as well asnumerous nature trails throughout the calendar year.
Entry is free but donations are greatly appreciated.
'excerpt taken from taste West Sussex'