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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, July 17, 2018

July can be quiet for birding!

A stroll from the beach to the North Wall produced very little of interest.
Best was perhaps this Stag Beetle found on the 'dog walk' path...

An elegant beast!

Whites Creek had the usual Redshanks, Gulls and some summer plumaged Black Tailed Godwits and a few rather tatty Lapwings...

The resident family of Canada Geese were  near the sluice gate .

A few Reed Warblers were seen in the reedbed surrounding Breech Pool and a solitary Snipe was seen briefly at the far end and a  pair of Common Terns were present, briefly.

On the return journey a family of Whitethroats were seen suggesting successful breeding but not much else!

So, July is quiet for birds and birder alike!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Another hot day but a bonus evening Barn Owl!

Hot, summer days very often reduces 'bird' activity  apart from early mornings or evenings when it is more pleasant for both birds and birders.
During the week I have been endeavouring to obtain a photo of a Green Woodpecker visiting a garden birdbath and this morning at  5.30 a.m., as I was setting up the camera behind an open window the woodpecker suddenly appeared in the viewfinder before I was even ready or expecting it. It stayed drinking for about 30 seconds and I simply pressed the shutter release and hey presto a result. I have recently experimented with using an auto ISO facility and although not keen about adopting this method I was surprised to note the photos were either using ISO6400 or ISO3200.  I was pleasantly surprised!

I then decided to try for the juvenile Swallows near the horse paddock at the North Wall but there were no birds at all.  I stopped at the Salthouse and managed a few distant photos of a fishing Little Egret ...attracted mainly by the reflection.

Big splash but I didn't see a catch.

Two Spotted Redshanks made off from the Breech Pool leaving a lone Greenshank by the far bank...with low water levels I am hoping  a few more waders will arrive soon.
Distant Greenshank

Apart from this Reed Warbler there was little to report but as ever it is always pleasant to catch up with other birders-Owen M and Ian R.
 (Ian had driven over especially to photograph the Swallows but with the same result!)

I was however alerted to the fact that a Barn Owl was showing at about 8.45p.m. on a regular basis so a return was a 'must'.

There were many Sand Martins circling the reed bed preparing to roost....

..and then the Barn Owl but alas, very distant!

...but I was pleased to see it despite only being a photographic record shot!
                   Good night....tomorrow is another day.

Friday, June 22, 2018

A Random selection of recent photos.

Major excitement on the morning of June 20. An American Royal Tern had been spotted on Tern Island during the evening before but unfortunately for these twitchers (viewed from Pagham Spit)  photographed at just after 7.00 the following morning it had flown west at about 4.20a.m. and had only been seen by a few early risers!

As I have been somewhat inactive during the past few weeks (for various reasons) I show below a few of the 'regulars' although the family of Canada Geese on the beach on Wednesday morning was a bit of a surprise!
The youngsters were sleeping but on my approach...

...they soon made off.

Last seen heading towards the harbour.

Nothing particularly unusual about but the recent sunny weather has seen Pagham at its very best especially in the early mornings!

Little Egret reflection - showing his  yellow foot.

Greenfinch...what a beak!

Magpie...the local threat to all small birds at this time of year.

Reed Warbler....Breech Pool. One of many nesting in the reed bed.

Male Linnet...another successful local nesting bird.

Lapwing in flight..Whites Creek

Wood Pigeon...increasingly numerous.

The Swan family on Pagham Lagoon

Goldfinch with a nest nearby. Who said English birds are dull!!

Roe Deer with one of her two fawns...behind Breech Pool.

Two of four Herons that flew over Breech Pool this morning, landing briefly before heading north.

 Another Swan family...this time in Whites Creek.

Well that's it...for now!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tawny Owl and owlet.

Having not visited Pulborough Brooks for some time I was delighted to find the reported Tawny Owl in an oak tree between Westmead and Winpenny hide using the 'old' route. The two youngsters were in an adjacent oak but difficult to see let alone photograph!

One eye very slightly open ensuring the admiring photographers stayed their distance!

Just look at that vicious beak

This is one the two owlets...the most visible one!

A pair of Egyptian Geese had bred successfully and were just visible the other side of the Westmead pond...only four youngsters can be seen here but there were more.

Nightingales were in short supply and I only heard two singing males with just a fleeting glimpse of one at the bottom of the zig zag.

However Adders were showing well in the stack of pallets at the top of the zig zag...

A short but pleasant visit and good to meet up with Dave and Martin and to learn about their latest adventures! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Migrants galore

Another perfect morning! 
I set out from the beach and made my way towards the North Wall and soon realised there had been an overnight influx of warblers. Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were singing
from the Slipe Field bushes and Lesser Whitethroats were very active feeding but very difficult to photograph, constantly flitting from bush to bush....

Very occasionally they would pause and enable a record shot.

However best of all was a superb male Redstart in the field nearest the end of the dog walk.

Poor cropped shots but I was just delighted to have this brilliant bird on the patch.

On the return journey an obliging Collared Dove, Wren in full song and a spadge!

A short but rewarding walk.