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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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My first Sawbill of this Winter,

Female Red Breasted Merganser
This bird had presumably just flown in and was in the new channel just in front of the bungalows. Brents continue to arrive daily....
These Brents were a couple from a party of ten that flew in and landed very close to the RBM.

A pair of  Stonechats are still in the gorse along the path to the Spit Hide. Here is the male...
Earlier in the day I made my second visit to Cissbury Ring in a week to see, or better still, photograph the Ring Ouzels that many observers have been enjoying. Not a squeak! Third time lucky... hopefully!
On to RSPB Pulborough Brooks to check out the Grey Phalaropes reported for the past few days....another blank!
But.... there was a distant Red Breasted Goose on the Brooks with hundreds of Canada Geese....too far for even a record shot.
In reflective mood...sleeping Canada Geese...a tranquil scene.

More come in


On West Meads apart from more Canada Geese,Wigeon and Teal there was a single Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Thursday, October 16, 2014

An early  inspection of the spit this morning produced a mixture of birds....some coming for winter, others leaving our shores for warmer climes.
  A few Wheatears were flitting from gorse to gorse.
Wheatear
A single Meadow Pipit dropped in for a moment or two but didn'nt stop long.
Meadow Pipit
 A pair of Stonechats have been here for a couple of weeks now.
Stonechat
 Brent Geese have been arriving in small parties all through the week and numbers are really building up now.
Brent Geese
 For an hour or so this morning Hirundines were were flying west towards Selsey some stoppng for a while on the protective fencing.,.. mostly Swallows but a few Sand and House martins.
Swallows

Later in the morning I wandered along the shoreline towards the North Wall  but the clouds threatened rain, so an early return was necessary if I was to avoid wet optics!  Nevertheless a few waders showed up....
Common Sandpiper in Whites Creek

Black Tailed Godwit...enjoying the mud.

A ruffled Little Egret.
Curlew

Curlew

A passing Cormorant.
....and back home, 'our' robin!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Goldies!



Living on the beach, as we do,  is not an ideal habitat for Tits so it is always good when they visit us. This morning we had both Great and Blue Tits...they didn't stay long and were gone within  a minute or so...I just happened to be going out on my morning walk with the camera.
Visiting BlueTit

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...and Great Tit
 I made my way down the eastern side of the harbour and it wasn't long before a flock of Golden Plovers were twisting and wheeling before landing on the mud flats...a fair way out but closer than usual. They are never easy to photograph but a few record shots were possible.





They look great in the sunshine!
As I was enjoying the Goldies I was joined by Andy House and we just enjoyed the unusually  warm Autumn sunshine whilst scanning the waders and gulls. 
A couple of Gulls caught our attention....
...a Lesser Black Backed and a more unusual Yellow Legged Gull...interesting to be able to compare the species side by side. There were a few Spotted Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks and the usual Redshanks and Dunlin. ( I missed the Curlew Sandpiper)


I went on in the hope of getting my Kinfisher with 'fish in the beak shot' and although I saw the bird there was far too much visitor disturbance. I must make it earlier next time.

On my return the only bird of note was a lone Wheatear.


A fabulous Autumnal morning.....long may this weather last but it is not too conducive for passing migrants. The forecast is for a change in the weather by the weekend....good and bad news!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Cattle are in the field!

High expectations as I walked past the Salthouse this morning. I could see a herd of cows in the field next to the Breach Pool! The Cattle Egret MUST be there this morning! Not so!

The pools had the usual waders, Blackwits,Snipe, Lapwings....

Black tailed Godwit....wading

...washing

...preening


A flock of Lapwings looking black and white as they flew over...
 dropped in.
...giving great close up views of their iridescent backs!
Four Stonechats were present on the fence, several Reed Buntings together with small flocks of mixed finches were feeding in the bushes, a Cettis Warbler burst into song and a distant Water Rail did his 'squealy pig' thing! But no sign of a Cattle Egret So it was back to the Kingfisher spot to try and get that 'fish in the beak' shot. Having sat patiently for an hour or so it did appear and it did catch a fish but it decided to fly to a distant mud hump and despatch the fish well out of camera range!




Far too far away and not a pretty picture....another day perhaps!

Whilst waiting I noticed a Black Headed Gull was using his own  'Kingfisher' tecnique...diving for fish, not very successfully I noted; but it was something to photograph while I waited patiently!

Result....nothing!   About as good as I had got this morning! I gave up on the Kingfisher!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cattle Egret...what Cattle Egret?

Well, it was reported with the cattle in the field adjacnt to the Breach Pool yesterday afternoon but alas, the cows weren't there this morning and neither was the Egret. The Kingfisher put in a very brief appearance at a distance....


 ..but despite waiting for it to return to the 'usual' post the wait was in vain. Nevertheless it was good to meet up with Dave and Martin and no doubt they will have some splendid shots on their blogs. Grrrrr!
 A late afternoon foray to photograph a pair of Stonechats that have been present on the spit for the past few days proved challenging....dog walkers, cyclists etc but in the end I did get some reasonable shots. In fact there are now two pairs and although initially quite skittish seemed to get used to me with time and eventually I managed to get a few shots at a reasonably close distance. Great birds, especially in the late afternoon sunshine!
Initially quite hidden

but eventually accepting my presence.


Big yawn!

On the Lagoon the winter birds are arriving with Brents, Teal and Wigeon accompanying the Mallards,Tufted Ducks and numerous Little Grebes.

A few of the Brents...
Teal with Tufted Duck and Mallard.
Make the most of the Autumn sunshine...its all about to change!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014



Following yesterdays excitement with the appearance of a Wryneck there were many visiting birders but THE bird failed to show up.


However, there was plenty to see, both in the bushes and on the mudflats...all  well reported on the Birding on the Selsey  Peninsula blog.

There were a number of Chiffchaffs around the Lagoon area together with a  Stonechat....
... in early morning sunshine.



Chiffchaff...one of several.


Further along the North Wall there was a Little Grebe in the usual spot...I just liked the reflections!


and a number of Moorhens ...tree climbing!


 Unusually, there was a Sanderling in Whites Creek which reminded me of my holiday in Suffolk last week where I also found a couple of Sanderling on a weed covered outfall in company of a single Purple Sandpiper...

Sanderlings (juveniles) at Minsmere and below the Purple Sandpiper.
Bearded Tits...Minsmere
Spotted Redshank...Minsmere
Snipe in front of East Scrape hide Minsmere.