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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, August 21, 2014

An early morning visit to the North Wall in the hope of finding Yellow Wagtails and the Cattle Egret.

Whites Creek was full of life but mainly Black Headed Gulls and Redshanks...
Black Headed Gulls
Redshanks and an Oystercatcher.... I heard a Spotted Redshank but failed to see it!
The bushes held a number of warblers, mainly juvenile Whitethroats and Willow Warblers; a Cettis was singing and a few Reed and Sedge Warblers were present.

Whitethroat
Whitethroat

Willow Warbler in the reed bed.
A Curlew was feeding close to the wall and a Cormorant flew over.

Cormorant in flight
...and then I noticed the cows were entering the field in front of the farm. One of my target birds soon appeared and although distant here is a record shot!
Very distant but no doubting it is a Yellow Wag!
I'm still waiting to see the Cattle Egret!

A Kingfisher flew along in front of me...too quick to capture but a Grey Heron sat stationary at the edge of the reedbed ....
Grey Heron
 ..before flying up to a hawthorn bush


   

and enjoying the morning sunshine.....

 
Meanwhile on the pool a couple of Black Tailed Godwits were having a real 'go' at each other!





Later, I wandered up the Pagham Spit and saw little except a single Wheatear, a few Linnets and some Turnstones in the Little Lagoon. Yesterday there was, unusually, a Greenshank there and of note perhaps, a Blue Budgerigar visited the garden.
One of several Linnets

Turnstone on the Little Lagoon

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A few migrants in the bushes

This morning had a distinctly Autumnal feel to it. The morning walk along the spit confirmed that Autumn was well on its way with five Wheatear, a few Willow Warblers and juvenile Whitethroats present in the gorse and the apple tree....always a magnet for migrants.
Willow Warbler
Whitethroat...in the apple tree.

Wheatear

A rather tatty looking Blue Tit accompanied them.

Blue Tit
 The tide was out and a Greenshank was calling in the distance whilst a Little Egret was feeding in front of the Spit Hide and a Curlew was enjoying a bath!

Stalking
Preparing for the kill!
Curlew enjoying a splash



Job done and he was away!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

After a very wet night, the morning dawned bright and sunny. I was hopeful that the bushes would would be alive with migrants and that yesterdays Long Tailed Skua would be in the harbour harassing the terns. It was not to be!
Two Wheatear in the 'old' car park were the only migrants and a Blackbird was enjoying the puddles.
One of the Wheatears on a 'dog bin'

Preparing for a bathe.

A big splash!
Apart from that a few Turnstones were preening along the shoreline....

Turnstones preening.
 



A handsome individual still retaining most of his summer plumage.
Nevertheless, although quiet on the bird front it was a perfect morning to be out and about early...not a breath of wind, warm sun...perfection! 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Long Tailed Skua!!

A shout went up from my wife at 6.00pm from our living room....what's  that bird being chased by the Terns?

 I grabbed the bins and there heading east towards the 'Mulbery' in the bay was the much reported Long Tailed Skua being mobbed by several terns. It headed towards Butlins and then did a 180 degree turn and landed on the sea affording reasonable 'scope views. By the time I had got the camera set up (just in case it came within range) it headed back towards Church Norton and was reported on Bird Guides shortly afterwards.
Hopefully it will be back but not a bad tick from our bungalow!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Another sunny start to the day with little of interest apart from this Oystercatcher  that's obviously been probing in the mud...



 ...and this Sandwich Tern returning with breakfast after a fishing foray.


A juvenile Pied Wagtail was feeding near the Spit hide...



...but the highlight for me was finding the almost fully grown Ringed Plover on the beach which I have been watching for the past few weeks from a few days old..



 It's looking quite grown up now.

In the evening a Wheatear was present and finally a silhouette shot of Mallards over the Little Lagoon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hirundines on the move!

Sand Martins and Swallows over the beach this evening.

Mostly Sand Martins making use of the beach fencing.
Definite signs that Autumn is on it's way!

In addition the juvenile Wheatear  near the Spit Hide has now been joined by an adult.


Juvenile Wheatear


...and the adult on the Spit hide.

A perfect evening, warm, absolutely windless ideal for catching Bass off the spit!

Nice one!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back from hols!


The resident Blackbird...in moult.

Out onto Pagham Spit this morning after a week away and it was very quiet except for a few Common Sanspipers on the Lagoon and along the harbour edges.
A juvenile Wheatear was a surprise near the Spit hide.
Little Terns were were very active on the Church Norton Spit and one was seen feeding a chick and others were fishing.
Sandwich Tern
Later in the day there were at least 10 Little Terns and a few Sandwich  flying over the harbour and on to presumably the Langstone direction and a rather larger bird....
...caused a little disturbance!

It was encouraging to see the Ringed Plover still in protective mode but I could not locate the offspring!

A week in Germany and the Netherlands produced very little excitement on the birding front..but the real purpose of the visit was to attend the Andre Rieu concerts in the Vrijhof Square, Maastricht.
The Eifel National Park was a venue for Black Grouse but the only one located was somewhat immobile.
Black Woodpecker was on the 'hopeful' list but this one in Maastricht Natural History Museum was hardly tickable!

Maastricht Park did have a real live .....



Cormorant !.....

As expected Black Redstarts and White wagtails were widespread.


It is July and it was very hot (32C at times) so its back to Pagham now and we await the late summer movement to start very soon!