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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.

Friday, February 24, 2017

North Wall and back....


What a contrast to yesterday...weatherwise. The only birds of note yesterday were ten Red Breasted Mergansers sheltering from the Force 8 on the Lagoon...the highest number I've noted there.
This morning was very different with calm sunny conditions.
A stroll to the North Wall along Pagham Harbour may produce some windswept oddities...so I thought. Not so, but still plenty to interest. The Linnets are back in force after a winter absence and earlier this week I noted thirty in the gorse This morning there were a few perching on brambles...not yet in full breeding dress but still looking good.
Linnet

At this time of year the Brent Geese begin to look restless and become quite noisy chatting to each other non stop.





They know full well that in a few weeks time they will be on their way to their breeding grounds and tend to move around in small flocks


Time for me to obtain a few more photos before their departure date which according to my diary from previous years is around March 10 



Soon they will be winging their way overhead, homewards.



 The wintering duck will depart a little later and the harbour will feel very empty
 Wigeon grazing in the paddock
...and flying over the reedbed. 

Here's a drake in closeup.

...and a passing drake Pintail (my favourite duck)





 It was good to hear a Reed Bunting in song this morning 



Black Tailed Godwit flypast over Breech Pool 



 After meeting up with Dave and Martin discussing the lack of birds around it was time to set off homewards. A Grey Plover was sitting it out at high tide along the harbour edge.
A Cormorant in full breeding plumage flew past affording a good photo opportunity.
Almost a Sinensis?
A real treat!

...and then a beautiful Kestrel hovering just ahead of me!
Another treat!

Photo of the day!
(I was pleased with this one, even though I say it myself)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bits and pieces from the week.

Wednesday started bright and sunny and the Starlings were  trying to attract females with typical wing flapping displays...maybe Spring isn't too far away!

Looking very smart!
On Thursday there was some interesting activity off the beach but too far out to capture on camera...a single Great Northern Diver, seven Slavonian Grebes, three Eider Ducks and six Great Crested Grebes.
On Friday a visit to West Wittering to check on the long staying Snow Buntings was successful but the birds were flighty and the invasion of dog walkers made the morning challenging! It took a little time to locate them ... their plumage just melted into the pebbles..see below!


However with patience and fieldcraft a few photos were obtained..




                                                       Despite them being a bit 'jumpy'!

On the way home I checked into Ivy Lake.... the Long Tailed Duck was still present but distant.


This morning dawned bright and sunny and remained so all day. Ringed plovers were very active on the beach and displaying madly showing off their erratic display flight...a real taste of Spring in the air.
 Lovely birds always a delight to watch.



On just returning home this bird made me look twice... a very bedraggled Meadow Pipit on a neighbours wall. It had just flown up from a roadside puddle.

Well that's it for another week.....what excitement will next week produce!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Waxwings...at last!


There has been much publicity about the Waxwing invasion this year but to date there have been very few reports of any local birds arriving in West Sussex. However today  a report came in of a few birds feeding on 'red berry trees' on Shoreham Beach...a somewhat vague description but worth a look! So having arrived in Shoreham Beach the search was on for 'red berry' trees! As I drove up and down various roads  all was in vain until I saw some starling like birds high in a roadside tree...but not a berry in site!  Yes...WAXWINGS!!.


Just five birds sitting and preening in Harbour Road by the bus stop opposite the Fitness Centre. They were high up and photography was difficult as they were partially obscured by the branches and the best place to get some reasonable shots was in the middle of the roads...not ideal!

Most of the time they were preening...
..and adopting very awkward poses!

They did change positions from time to time so a few shots were obtained before they flew off and were never seen again despite another search.







Such charismatic birds!


As I hadn't been to see the long staying Serin at Newhaven Tidemills I decided that it was time to pay a visit, but it was difficult to photograph and kept returning to a rather distant bush or fed on the ground hidden by foliage. Other photographers had featured the bird  on a nearby stone  wall with a great clear background but alas this was not to be for me. Here are are a  couple of distant, heavily cropped shots.




 A cracking bird all the same!

Monday, February 6, 2017

An encounter with a greedy Little Egret.


An early morning walk around Pagham Spit this morning was rewarded by a close encounter with a Little Egret.

The following photos speak for themselves. Please don't get bored but scroll to the end!
























Splash...it's a gonner!


Moral...don't bite off more than you can chew...it rarely works out!