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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.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Spring into summer.


I was pleasantly surprised to find this Shelduck on Friday with a total of thirteen youngsters in Whites Creek near the sluice.






Irresistible photographic subjects!






Breech Pool was very quiet with a pair of Black Tailed Godwits....







They were very wary of my approach and made off.



...and the usual Tufted Ducks

Male and female (below)


Other subjects were scarce so the Swan, up the rife, caught my attention !

She was obviously watching me as well!



During the week I have been practising my Tern photography attempting to capture the moment of entry into the water...with limited success!


Sandwich Terns are the most obvious choice as they are the largest but it is still incredibly difficult to judge the correct moment














Missed it again!


                          ....but this bird was also  unsuccessful in capturing its prey!





 Off to try again....and so shall I on another day!

I gave up on the Common Terns




---and the little Terns







Oystercatchers are always present in the harbour and are fantastic subjects to photograph.
Just look at the orange eye ring and the long bright orange beak...fantastic birds!






Here are few Skylark photos to finish off the week













...and finally a bumble bee on thrift.





Saturday, May 20, 2017

Another couple of days on Pagham Spit.

On Friday morning there was a single Wheatear flitting from post to post as I approached the harbour mouth....
Keeping me under surveillance!
 

Apart from this overnight newcomer there was little else apart from two pairs of Skylarks singing and repeatedly dropping onto one of the posts...


With crest raised.


The Cuckoo has been 'cuckooing' for hours on end and continues to feed on the caterpillars of the Brown Tailed Moth which have become a real menace. Having stripped all the foliage off all the blackberry bushes they have  moved into the gardens and are now exploring anything and everything, even crawling up the walls, window panes and sometimes coming indoors!


We need a lot more Cuckoos to control these beasts!

This evening in quite a stiff breeze all three Tern species were patrolling the main inlet to the harbour...


Common Tern with fish.

The smallest and rarest...the Little Tern

The largest and most plentiful....the Sandwich Tern.






...and that's it for this week.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cuckoo chase!

For the past few days I have been trying to convince myself that there is a rufous or brown morph Cuckoo present in the bushes surrounding the western end of the Lagoon. There have certainly been two Cuckoos and at times I have been convinced there has been a third. 
This morning as I was on my early morning recce I was suddenly aware of two Cuckoos chasing each other. One was calling and flew along the spit towards the Little Lagoon and the other disappeared. However I  soon noticed a bird in a hawthorn and as I approached cautiously it was indeed a very rufous coloured Cuckoo. I approached cautiously and with a little stealth was able to get a decent view and some photographs....

Initially a bit distant.



...but with care, I nailed it!

For comparison the 'standard' male Cuckoo





This bird has been present for some time, no doubt attracted by an endless supply of Brown Tail Moth Caterpillars.
                       *******************************

A pair of Whitethroats were very busy feeding nestlings in a patch of bramble/nettles where a couple of weeks ago, I noted nest building activities.













 The Coots nest had survived the heavy overnight rain



...whilst a Heron fished nearby.



Another good morning!