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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, October 28, 2019

Back at Pagham




After an interval of a few weeks on the blog, (due to a number of reasons), its back to my local patch watching.
It seemed quite quiet along the North Wall this morning save for a pair of Yellowhammers...


...and the usual contenders.


A decent flock of Lapwings
and a few Curlews




...plus a fly-by Kingfisher by the sluice gate(too quick for photo!)

Back on Pagham Spit there was a little more of interest....
 A pair of Stonechats...

 A flighty Chiffchaff in the apple tree


A distant Meadow Pipit (one of two)



Oystercatcher along the shoreline


A few Brent Geese...no large flocks yet in the harbour
A pair of motley Teal (in eclipse plumage)




A few Little Grebe on the Little Lagoon




The ever present Turnstone








An over flying Cormorant
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....and finally from last week




A Song Thrush...unusual on the beach,

AND BEST OF ALL.....
 A Black Redstart!!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Suffolk break

A week in Suffolk seems a long way away now but it's only just over a week ago that we returned. It wasn't all birding but Minsmere was visited most days either in the mornings or in the evening( when most of the visitors had gone home). In fact on two occasions at about 7.15pm we were rewarded by badgers feeding in the rhododendron tunnel whilst watching from the car...

Badgers from the 'car hide'


During our visits most of the usual suspects were seen but one of the highlights was a Pectoral Sandpiper that put in an appearance on the East Scrape.

Pectoral Sandpiper


Snipe and Avocet  gave some good views from just in front of the East Scrape Hide



 Snipe


Avocet

 Others were more distant but this Ruff in dramatic plumage raised a few eyebrows from the others in the hide but this was probably the same bird we had seen in previous years.


Whilst there we met a team from the Waveney Ringing Group who had erected mist nets and had caught a pair of Bearded Tits....really great to see these fabulous birds in the hand!



Male
 Female


...and a Reed Warbler


 ...and a Coal Tit



From Island Mere, 3 distant Hobbys were mopping up the dragonflies


...and eventually a Bittern flew briefly between the reedbeds

In the bushes...Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat




...and on the feeders, numerous Great Tits




At Thorpeness, where we were staying, I was surprised to find a Tree Sparrow (juv) mixing with a large group of resident House Sparrows. I cannot ever remember seeing this species here during the past 49 years of our visits!











Along the fenceline by the beach bungalows this single Whinchat.



















So that's it for another year.
A bit on the quiet side birdwise but suffolk is always pleasant,
.....if only to watch the resident Greylags.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

A new garden bird!!

Well hardly a garden bird but certainly a 'from the window' tick!!
At 10 past 8 this morning  I casually looked out the window and noticed a few gulls over the sea  battling against a strong east wind. As I looked out I thought it looked like a morning for off shore gannets which very often appear in these conditions. My attention was drawn however, to a particular bird that was not battling against the wind but was circling in large arcs just off the Church Norton spit a good half mile away. I grabbed my bins and called to my wife  'I think I've got an Osprey...come and look while I get the 'scope on it". As I was setting up the scope she said, 'thats an Osprey alright'. Once I had it in the 'scope  there was no doubt about it, so next, I had to get a photo. It was not much more than a dot to the naked eye but  I did manage to get a few record shots. It was still there an hour later having watched it plunge and catch what appeared to be a decent sized Mullet I wandered along the Pagham Spit in an attempt to get a better shot but when a kite surfer disturbed it I managed a very long distance flight shot as it headed towards Sidlesham. So here a few shots of my newest 'garden' bird!!
First sighting!

With the fish....first shot


Moving fish to safer ground



Top left is offending kite surfer.



Heading off to the west side of harbour.





I know they are rotten photos but to me it was a memorable moment from inside the bungalow. 


Earlier in the week a record of a Wheatear on the spit....several are presently passing through each day on their way to the African continent.






Great birds to photograph!