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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 31, 2013

That's it for another year!


Forty minutes before high tide this morning on the beach showing the new revetment and machinery on standby for more repairs!


....and the big Spring Tide is on Sunday...watch this space if we are still here!
Apologies to all my followers for the absence of updates during the past couple of weeks but a few problems have beset the Pagham Birder from birding. This will all change as from January 1 2014...

Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ruddy Shelducks in the Harbour!

 
I met a couple of birdwatchers who wanted me to point out a Knot and having shown them feeding on the mudflats I was making off when they called me back for further I.D. In the far distance they had spotted a couple of unusual birds accompanying the Shelduck....they were Ruddy Shelduck....thank you very much whoever you were!

Ruddy Shelducks










showing the distinctive white wing patches


any comments.....escapes/genuine vagrants?

..and here are the Knot


 



and a fox on the prowl right in the middle of the harbour
...disturbing the birds!














Monday, December 9, 2013

Almost there!

This was the scene yesterday morning as the last but one 'sheet' was put in position.
 


Today was 'a tidying up day' so I was told and the last of the rocks were put in position and the rock revetment was complete....here is a panoramic at high tide today.
 
 
 
...and at the harbour wall this morning a large shoal of mullet...


...and some big ones amongst them.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

 
No new news today but still reviewing photos from yesterday and enjoying my close encounter with the  Great Grey Shrike !! 
 
 
The Great Grey Shrike at Chanctonbury yesterday.
 
Revetment News

Work will continue over the weekend to make up for lost time and should be completed on Monday.
Photo taken at lunch time today....


...this shows progress to date and the way which the fabric liner is placed behind the rocks to prevent the escape of shingle.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Great Grey Shrike, Chanctonbury Ring

In contrast to yesterday the weather was fine and dry....ideal photographically, so a visit to check out the reported shrike at Chanctonbury was a 'must'. After a long uphill trudge with heavy equipment I searched for the bird in vain for an hour. Then, suddenly...there it was, right in front of me...wow!
Here are a few images, different to those on my Flickr site  http://www.flickr.com/photos/7358698@N03/


A superb bird







Choking up a pellet


Getting rid of it!
Well worth the long uphill walk to the top.

Revetment update.

Meanwhile back on the beach, the wind had subsided and Charlie Rock arrived mid morning and disgorged its load of rocks and work continues.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bad news...

... the Handfast Tug and Charlie Rock reached the Isle of Wight but then took shelter off Shanklin last night but with high winds forecast in the Solent decided to play safe and docked at Camber Docks in Portsmouth this morning.

Harry is not happy..........

....Harry in the spotlight first thing this morning!


Another high tide halted work but the rocks are doing their job.


Presumably it's a waiting game now until the winds die down.
No wonder Harry and all the lads are fed up....just as locals are.
Completion date November 30....long gone!
December 6?...not a chance.
Sorry birders.....by the end of next week we hope all  this will be history and we can report on "The birds of Pagham Spit" again but as you can gather we are rather pre-occupied with rocks, JCBs and barges etc.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No bird news...only revetment update

The Handfast Tug is well on its way and is due at Pagham Beach around midnight. Hopefully work will be compete by the weekend.

Photos taken today at 1300hrs.


Looking west





Looking east

Red/white posts indicate inner edge of rock revetment...good solid beach awaiting to be hacked into and removed !!

Viewed looking towards red/white post showing present extent of the cut into beach.
 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Another very grey and very dull morning....and it  remained so all day!
 ...but it was good to see the seal back in the harbour.
A bit of a distant shot of the Seal...but unmistakable

As there was no wind, sea watching was quite productive as the sea was smooth as a millpond with Great Crested and Slavonian Grebes, Red and Black Throated Divers, Scoters, Eiders and, in the harbour, the Goosanders had increased to five.


Flight shot (female) Goosander



The now regular Merlin showed well on the shingle bank for a while  before making off northwards over the bungalows.
A Chiffchaff showed up briefly in the garden buddleia.

Revetment News

The Handfast Tug with Charlie Rock visited the quarry quay this morning, loaded up and is now heading our way from Falmouth....due Pagham Beach Wednesday midnight.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A dull start to the day enlivened by these three Goosanders just landing in the main channel in front of the bungalows.
At the 'old' harbour entrance the female Goldeneye have now been joined by a resplendent male!
Female Goldeneye

The Male!!
(Apologies for quality...ISO 800 and a big crop in dull light.)

Revetment update


So that's a Seahog.

The work continues slowly...the next load of  rocks have not left Falmouth yet!  No rush then!

Where shall we put this one?

Later in the day another inspection ...this time it's the time lapse camera given the once over!

View from off shore
End of another day!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Tourist Attraction....or what!

An early and late(ish) wander on Pagham Spit ensured that I avoided the 'crowds' visiting this 'new' visitor site to photograph the revetment progress!

The early morning visit produced Peregrine, Kingfisher, Sparrow Hawk, Knot, Dunlin, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Red Breasted Mergansers (3 in the main channel), Goldeneye +++

Late afternoon and a close view of a Merlin on a fence post next to the hide alongside a Kestrel...
(no camera, of course!)
I wonder how many of the visitors noted the variety of birds present on and around the spit.

Well at least it was quiet today as far as dumper trucks and JCBs were concerned and I am pleased to note that the Handfast Tug and Charlie Rock have got back to Falmouth and are now standing off the quarry...so hopefully by the end of this week the last batch of rocks will have arrived and the work completed...here's hoping!