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Pagham Birder: The Blog

A regular account of the birds seen mainly on and around Pagham Spit, the Lagoon and the North Wall plus other birding exploits from time to time.
News regarding the ongoing erosion problems on Pagham Beach is, from now on, shown on my new blog. Click on link Pagham Beach Blog on this page.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wheatears, Whitethroats and Whinchats!

A still slightly misty morning on Pagham Spit was rewarding.
Highlight was two stonking male Whinchats and a female.






 Irresistible birds to photograph!

Several Wheatear were on the Spit and near the hide...
Two Whitethroats were feeding in the gorse by the Lagoon and whilst photographing the Whinchats  I heard the song of a Reed Warbler from deep inside the thick cover of ivy and a more distant Lesser Whitethroat by the Little Lagoon. Several Willow/Chiffs were present.
Med Gulls  and a pair of Little Tern flew over the Spit....an interesting Spring morning.

Monday, April 21, 2014

An S.E.O. on the spit.

As  I went for my regular wander on the spit this morning at 9.15  I was surprised to flush a Short Eared Owl from virtually under my feet. It circled and then eventually landed on the south side of the Little Lagoon...no camera, of course!

A few Swallows came in off the sea.

At about mid-day my neighbour came and told me a bird was nesting in her car....what should she do! I went to investigate and a Blackbird had started to make a nest on the top of the rear wheel of her car ....under the wheel arch! It had obviously started in the early morning ans was about a third of the way through the construction. We had no alternative but to remove the nest as the vehicle was needed!
The partly built Blackbirds nest on the rear wheel...under the wheel arch!
Several parties of Whimbrel flying in off the sea during the day, besides Curlew.

Lots of Bank Holiday visitors on the beach ....with dogs!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cuckoo calling!

The first baby Mallards I have seen on the Lagoon this year.

The last three of our own 'kitcen sink' Mallard eggs disappeared yesterday morning between 5.00.a.m and 7.00a.m....my suspicions for the robbery lie with Carrion Crows but I still am curious that the raid on 8 eggs in 20 minutes took place so quickly.

I heard my first Cuckoo this morning....distantly but somewhere from the Siddlesham side of the harbour.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Disaster has stuck on the home front!

As those of you who follow this blog will be aware we have a Mallard Duck which is nesting in a sink garden less than a metre from our front door. She is totally unconcerned by our comings and goings. She has laid eleven eggs. This morning I looked out at 6.00am  and she was sitting in the sink as normal and at 7.00am I went for a short stroll along the beach. On returning at 7.20 am the Mallard was missing and so were eight eggs! Just three remained in the nest. There was no sign of broken egg shells and no sign of any disturbance. I haven't seen the duck since! It is very sad but does anyone have any clues how this could happen in such a short space of time and with no obvious reason.
Just three remaining.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Number eleven!

An early morning visit to the Spit Hide produced nothing new. The Spoonbills were very distant and even with a 400mm lens they look a long way away! A little better when drastically cropped but only a record.
A few Linnets, a couple of Willow Warblers, a single Wheatear and that was about it..



Skylark. .gaining height.
So it was time to explore the North Wall....Cettis were singing in the reedbed and a Robin greeted me by the horses field.

...almost 200 Black Tailed Godwits were feeding/sleeping on the muddy Breech Pool.
I met Peter Callis who asked if I'd heard a Sedge Warbler but on returning to  the sluice gate  it was not performing but patience was rewarded as, after a few minutes,  it suddenly burst into song...unfortunately  neither of us saw it as it remained well hidden! A couple of Swallows flew by and a pair of Buzzards were performing way above us. Slightly unusual was the number of Mute Swans hanging about in Whites Creek.



Back at home Mrs Mallard left the nest in the garden sink last night at 9.00pm and did not return until 10 past 6 this morning. She remained on the 'nest' until 2.50pm when I noted there were 11 eggs and returned at about 5.00 pm.
Room for one more, perhaps!
I am concerned at the erratic brooding times and don't understand why she leaves them all night...getting cold.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spoonbills in the harbour.

There had been a report of a flyover Spoonbill during the past week from the North wall and later two had been seen from Church Norton. Today was the first time I located them, right in the distance from the Spit Hide. I only had my 400mm lens and at the considerable  distance involved  they were only just recognisable with bins...hence a very poor record shot!
 
The Mallard in the garden sink failed to brood overnight not returning until about 6.00am this morning and then sitting until 2.00 pm when she revealed a tenth egg!

 These were well covered with dead grass and down but were left unattended until 6.00pm when she returned.
There is not much room for many more eggs and I had thought the clutch was complete 2 days ago but I was obviously wrong!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The continuing story of Mrs Mallard.

The Mallard was disturbed last evening at about 9.00pm probably by a fox who makes regular visits to the garden at about this time. She didn't return until 6.00a.m. this morning, promptly laid yet another egg (No. 9) and departed for the rest of the day until returning at 5.00p.m. Surely this on/off brooding behaviour will create a problem!

Nine eggs....but she is now partially covering them when not brooding.


Seven Mute Swans on the Lagoon this morning with one bird being chased off repeatedly


Little else apart from a single Swallow arriving off the sea at 4.30pm....my first on the beach this year.