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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.

Monday, January 22, 2018

At last...the Red Necked Grebe is within range.

...that is, from the Pagham Spit side of the harbour. Up until now it has been residing mostly on the Church Norton side of the harbour but this morning it was feeding in he main channel and although it wasn't ultra close it was just about in photographic range. Here are a few images... I will take a longer lens later and hopefully obtain some better photographs but this is a bird that has eluded me for some while, so it was pleasing to obtain these shots this morning.





Low in the water













Nice bird...hopefully it will will remain in the main channel for a few more days and give even better opportunity for some decent photos.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Disturbance in the Harbour!


Sunshine at last after days of dreariness! Nevertheless on the Spit there was little to get excited about. The reported Red Necked Grebe could be seen but was on the far side of the harbour and photography was not possible. Desperate to use the camera I made 'do' with a Carrion Crow...

Carrion Crow

A Fox watched me as I returned home as he sunbathed by the Lagoon...




Back in the garden a Chiffchaff was feeding in the ivy hedge....we had two Chiffchaffs on Sunday....probably overwintering.






Later in the morning I headed over towards the North Wall noting large flocks of waders resting on the mud flats...this shot of Black Tailed Godwits (mostly)



Lapwings flew lazily overhead...they do have a very lazy flight!





As I  approached the Salt House I was pleased to find Martin and Dave and as we commented on the lack of bird life in the Breech Pool a light  aircraft appeared and we watched for a good five minutes as it repeatedly flew at astonishingly low level to and fro across the harbour putting up all the birds and causing a huge disturbance

.











Completely reckless !


Later in the afternoon I couldn't resist the temptation to wander back to to the Spit and admire the setting sun. I was pleased  as a Kingfisher appeared on the rusty metalwork by the Little Lagoon!







Oystercatchers on the tideline in the late afternoon light.







A peaceful end to the day.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A dull, dreary and drizzly December Day but suddenly.....

....I looked up from my cosy log fire mid afternoon and was surprised to see a mass of white just offshore....diving Gannets!


There were at least 60 birds in a feeding frenzy circling and diving...very impressive. I grabbed the camera and began shooting through the double glazing. The light was poor but sufficient to obtain some record shots...it was just a pleasure to watch these amazing birds and reminded me of my visit to Bempton Cliffs a couple of years ago....here they were on my doorstep!









I knew I had witnessed a similar flock of Gannets from the window before and having checked the diary noted a flock of 60 were seen on Christmas Day 2004! 

Hoping to see them a little closer I wandered up the Spit but by this time they were off Selsey Bill .
However the two long stay Goosanders were in the main channel  but soon made off at my approach.




A very Happy Christmas to one and all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A December day.


Woke to a bright, sunny morning and headed straight to Bognor seafront and there, right in front of Butlins, a most obliging Snow Bunting,  totally unphased by numerous passers by and dog walkers.
The light was good but the background of tarmac was not ideal. It was feeding along the pathway but I was able to obtain a few shots of the bird on the shingle but it was not an ideal setting.








Next stop was Pulborough Brooks for the long stay Temmincks Stint. As we made our way down the Zig Zag we met local birders Dave and Martin who reported the Stint was 'scopable' from the Hanger but too distant even for record shots. (Here's one from earlier...in Lesbos many years ago... May 9 2005...note the diagnostic yellow legs!)

There was little else of interest apart from a few raptors viewed  from West Meads and the usual woodland birds...

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Kestrel
...so it was back to Pagham to try improve on my previous efforts to photograph the Goosander and Long Tailed Duck neither of which materialised! In desperation I photographed a Herring Gull!

However as I turned away from the gull a Kingfisher suddenly appeared on the metal work at the harbour entrance and was much more obliging as it fished from the sea wall in the late afternoon light.


I approached cautiously and noticed she seemed to be yawning but in fact she was just about to eject a pellet which can be seen to the right of the bird as she turned her head away!






Wonderful photographic subjects!
As I strolled back away from the harbour mouth a Red Breasted Merganser was feeding

...but saw me and dived

Splash!


and surfaced a little way away!




By now the sun had gone down and a lone Grey Plover watched as I made for home.



So, a day of mixed fortunes ...but enjoyable, nonetheless.

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