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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.
Any news of interest regarding the ongoing erosion problems on Pagham Beach will, from now on, be shown on my other blog together with general beach photos.. Click on the link... Pagham Beach Blog on this page.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

After a very misty morning...

..the sun came out and yet  another visit to the North Wall.
I can't remember ever featuring a Dunnock on the blog before but there was little else about! Nevertheless a very under rated bird.
I met a very interesting photographer from Woking (whose Flicke site I have forgotten!) who was only too pleased to have the opportunity of photographing these ever present waders.
He was using a 500mm with 2x extender hand held on a 5D!

Black tailed Godwit

Teal and Snipe ...

LAdd caption

 ...and the 'usual' Kingfisher resplendent in the late afternoon sunshine.

What a bird!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

More of the usual.

A quick visit to the North Wall to check if there was 'anything about'.

 Nothing unusual but I suppose I almost get complacent about 'the usual' which is a real shame.

A few shots therefore of  some of ' the usual'!

A stalking Grey Heron

A humble Mallard
A brilliant Kingfisher

                                Still not the definitive 'fish in beak shot' that I'm after!

...and the now regular pair of Ruddy Shelduck feeding with the Shelduck way out in the middle of the harbour.

...and the Lapwings and Black Tailed Godwit
...and the ever present winter flocks of Brent Geese

                ... so there's always something interesting to see.  Not a bad, local patch! eh!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Diappointed hopes.

Monday dawned bright and sunny and having heard that Short Eared Owls and various Raptors were being seen at Burpham a visit was a must! As I approached the village a Red Kite soared over the car and I thought I was in for a good morning. Alas how wrong can one be!
As I wandered up towards Peppering Farm a covey of Grey Partridges crossed the road, paused momentarily before heading into the long grass and away. A few long distance cropped shots...

They've seen me!
A quick dash...

..into the long grass and they were gone!

Then it was up to the dew pond and down the hill where a small flock of Fieldfares were feeding on the Hawthorn
Very skittish birds...they didn't stop long.

Few other birds about except for a two chaffinches and this Song Thrush..

So it was onto Arundel and Swanbourne Lake to locate the reported Firecrests...but alas, not a chance!
Apart from the usual wildfowl and these Jackdaws...zilch!

Here's to a better trip next time!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

 The gloomy conditions of the past week have not been conducive to bird photography so this afternoon after concluding my domesticities I wandered along to the North Wall with Big Bertha who was fed up with being  confined to barracks for so long!
On arrival at the Salt House I was pleasantly surprised to find  fellow photographer ...'Friends of the Fourth Groyne'  concentrating his efforts in attempting to obtain shots of a Kingfisher in a very difficult and dark location .
 Alongside much banter I attempted  to get a few record shots and now and again the bird did actually come out from its hiding place and briefly chose a perch in the late afternoon sunshine. Nothing to write home about but at least something for the blog!

In the shadows

Competition from local fisherman.

In the sun.

Back on his usual post.

On the alert.

Sunset over the harbour .

Monday, November 24, 2014

The last Swallow?

Up early before sunrise to locate the Short Eared Owl that's reportedly been lurking on the Spit for a little while. The only birds of note however, were a pair of  Peregrines that streaked across the harbour from Church Norton, then flew the whole length of the spit trying for a wader before both turning 360 degrees and then gaining height and heading back from whence they had come.
A single Spoonbill was feeding right in the middle of the harbour.

Next port of call....the North wall to find the Kingfisher in an attempt to get a photo of the bird with a fish in its beak which has alluded me to date! No sign of the Kingfisher let alone 'with fish in beak'.
Big flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover and a calling Spotted Redshank. However a chat with local birders Andy and Peter fuelled my desire to get across to Medmerry to locate the Black Redstarts and Great Norther Diver. The forecast indicated that today was the best day of the week and the light was good so I was off.

The tide was rushing in through the breach and the water was high but although  the Great Northen was present, it was very distant and could only just be made out with binoculars...
Distant Great Northern Diver

The Black Redstarts however were a little more obliging and did enable a few almost acceptable photos.
Black Redstart

Black Redstart

Black Redstart...why do they choose such unattractive perches!

It was time to be going to Church Norton and on arrival I found the track was impassable due to a high tide. The churchyard held  nothing of special interest  apart from Robins and a Song Thrush.

Robin on a gravestone
Song Thrush
 I decided to make my way back up the road and then cut across the fields to the beach. A couple of Pheasants looked really good in the afternoon sun

 and were soon accompanied by these Roe Deer

A Splendid Threesome. 

...and then when almost to the beach....a Swallow!!!! late is that ...the last of the summer swallows!!

( I notice on the SOS web a Swallow was seen off Aldwick....probably the same one.)

Ended up overlooking the harbour watching masses of waders  returning to feed as the high tide ebbed. late afternoon sun...fantastic!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I am always amused when watching Brent Geese washing...they are very thorough, often turning upside down.
Washing procedures...legs in the air!

A sizeable flock of Golden Plover is now present in the harbour ...
...often on the move
and very often undecided where to settle.

..but looking so good when they do...often distant though!
Up again in the late afternoon.
That's it for today.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


A visit to the Spit hide with the 'big' lens enabled a few shots of the two Spoonbills out in the middle of the harbour.....they were very active and after preening were displaying....not sure whether aggressively or otherwise!

They are elegant birds and I couldn't resist taking lots of photos .Just a pity they weren't a lot closer to get some good quality pictures.Photographers are never satisfied.

Possibly ringed in Hungary.

Just look at those outspread wings and those rings !!

A fabulous bird..
...and nearby Greater Black Backed Gull...another ringed bird

Curlew on the mud....pondering.

..and on my return a Meadow Pipit in the 'old 'Pagham Spit car park...I liked the knotty wood!