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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, May 9, 2022

 As I was unable to get to the North Wall yesterday afternoon I made a special effort to make an early start in the hope that the Wood Sandpiper would still be present as reported several times yesterday afternoon and evening. Alas, there was no sign of it on the Breech Pool !! In fact very little bird life at all! I continued to the Halsey rife hoping it may have relocated but apart for a few of the regular ducks there was little else

However upon my return I was rewarded with a Little Ringed Plover on the almost dried up Breech Pool and shortly after this, a second LRP was spotted further along the pool in the shallows.

A couple of Marsh Harriers were about and one was collecting quite large twigs and taken them into the reed bed.

On Sunday morning there was a very vocal Lesser Whitethroat in the bushes alongside Whites Creek and unusually for the species showed itself quite well from time to time(for a few seconds!)

Just a word of warning, especially for any visitors to Pagham Beach and the spit that there are numerous  'tents' of Brown-Tail moths and caterpillars are emerging at an enormous rate.     

Although attractive these caterpillars are a menace.They have brown spiky hairs with a distinctive white line down each side and are up to 38mm long. Their hairs can cause an allergic reaction in the form of a very itchy skin rash. So take care and avoid!! 

A benefit from these caterpillars is that Cuckoos love them and on Saturday afternoon I found one in a few bush on the spit gorging itself, despite the fact it was a busy time of day and many people were about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Garganey at last and

 Late yesterday afternoon an alert from Les had me drop everything and head for the Breech Pool.

Yes, it was there ....a drake Garganey.

Several had been noted in the area and some had been seen coming off the sea at Selsey but to date I had missed out.  It remained all day today.

However as I had not been to Pulborough Brooks this year and as Little Ringed Plovers had been seen there (and I had missed them on the Breech Pool earlier) a visit was needed!

The Nightingales were in full song but quite difficult to see or photograph...

This was the  only shot I managed to get!

There were several Garden Warblers singing from deep "within" together with a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs but all were difficult to see. 
As I watched a glider I noticed a huge raptor gliding, also in a thermal...not a single wing flap during the short time it was in view at a considerable could only be a White Tailed Eagle.

Back on West Meads I was rewarded with 4 Little Ringed Plover displaying with their unusual high speed flights, twisting and turning at a fantastic speed. A pair eventually alighted on a distant island enabling a couple of photos.

Avocets were present too and one was sitting on a nest.

...whilst her mate was feeding or preening close by.

A very distant Buzzard sat on a post.

A few Lapwings were present, some with youngsters

..and a pair of Greenshanks were noted at some distance away.

A pair of Stonechats were in the field between West meads and Winpenny.

Back home, whilst sat at my pc preparing this blog a Stock Dove came to visit the garden. So finally, a shot of this bird which was too close to get all of him in shot! ( I had the wrong lens on the camera!)

Thursday, April 28, 2022

A visit to the Knepp Rewilding estate

 This is a 3500 acre estate south of Horsham and is probably best known for the reintroduction of White Storks. However I was  interested to see and hear the summer migrants that are currently establishing territories in this wildlife project (started in 2001). 

I was not disappointed in the numbers of warblers that were particularly vocal during my morning visit. Nightingales were numerous; Garden Warblers, Blackcaps, Whitethroats a few Lesser Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs all joining the throng. Conspicuously absent were Willow Warblers and not one was heard. 

Photography was difficult to the extent of being non existent. All the species were well hidden except the Whitethroats but even they eluded any decent photos.

The highlight was the presence of White Storks and although I only noted one nest on my short (White) walk there were several in-flight shots.

An interesting morning!

Oh yes....animals a plenty including Tamworth Pigs, Long-horn cattle, Deer and Exmoor Ponies. 

Here is a Red Deer (her fawn out of view and well hidden)

I must stay longer next time I visit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A brief update

Time for birding has been limited recently due to numerous constraints! However here are a few photos of the past few days. The highlight has to be a White Tailed Eagle soaring high over the sea in front of our bungalow on the beach, being mobbed by gulls and crows.

The seal is being seen regularly in the harbour entrance...

'Stumpy' the short billed Greenshank is back again by the sluice gate along the North Wall

The Short Eared Owl has been seen in the mornings in the Breech Pool reedbed

....and my first Cuckoo of the year was present on the 18th April 

The very regular Cettis Warbler at the entrance to the North walk

Several sedge Warblers now very vocal,

Water Vole near the slice.

...and finally along the spit a lone Brent Goose  feeding  last evening

....and a pair of Ringed Plovers were showing interest in the shingle spit and another single (below) was on the old Little Lagoon.

A pair of Linnets were building a nest in the gorse alongside the path which augurs well as a flock of 12 birds are regularly seen on the beach.

So, that's it for now.
 Hopefully,  there will be time for more birding soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

North Wall again.

 A Black Redstart was showing well this morning in the stable field by the North wall.

Apart from these Grey Herons nest building in Owl Copse there was little else of note.

In the late afternoon the Short Eared Owl appeared again and showed well over the reed bed nearest the stables