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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, November 17, 2018

November....winter is not far away.

The last week or so has been exceptionally mild for the time of year....most of the usual suspects have been present in the harbour but as yet I have not noted any Goldeneye, usually seen on the Lagoon by now. Brent numbers have continued to build up and this one allowed a particularly close approach but I noticed its eye seemed a little  glazed (never a good sign of  healthy bird).

 A Grey Heron visits the new lagoon twice a day and seems successful in catching small fish and eels.

Mediterranean Gulls have taken a liking to the new lagoon and I have been trying to photograph  them alongside Black Headed Gulls for comparison as they search for food along the incoming tide.

 ....and just for comparison Black Headed Gull

Mediterranean Gulls with Herring Gull

...with immature Herring Gull

...more Herring gulls 

Turnstones are almost always seen turning stones in search of food along the tide line.

 In Whites Creek this afternoon a lone Golden Plover with a group Lapwings.

The wind has gone round to the east today and the forecast is for distinctly cooler weather....maybe this will bring in the Goldeneye and perhaps even a Smew.

Monday, November 5, 2018


A couple of Redhead Goosanders have been hanging around the harbour entrance for a few days but this was the first time I was able to get a shot of them both. Much of the time was spent snorkelling with both birds with heads under water so I was pleased to get this shot of them from Pagham spit.

Interestingly a Little Egret was following them very closely and trying to benefit from the small fry they were disturbing.
 They very soon took flight and headed out of the harbour.

A Kestrel was showing well this morning alighting on various posts...this time with a Grey Heron in the background (just to add a little interest)

Friday, November 2, 2018

A fantastic Friday

Pagham Harbour early on a crisp November morning is truly fantastic....clear sky, clear air, windless and birds everywhere!
Nothing particularly unusual but a good mix of species. Skylarks and Meadow pipits overhead; Reed Buntings in the bushes: massive flock of Woodpigeons. On the mudflats, waders galore....Redshanks, Dunlin, a few Knot (one with colour rings and a leg tag) Oystercatchers, Curlew. Hundreds of winter ducks....Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck plus good numbers of Pintail.  A huge flock of Canada Geese flew in making a terrible din....
Just a few of the Canada Geese
There were 150 Brent Geese on the shoreline yesterday afternoon and there are now good numbers spread throughout the harbour. There seems to be a reasonable number of young  birds....always a good sign of breeding success.  Here's an image of a juvenile....

At the sluice a Little Egret was fishing but in the morning light the reflection was really very special!

Pagham Harbour on a morning like this, is difficult to beat...anywhere!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Beginning of another week at Pagham Harbour.

Another cracking morning on Monday with bright sunshine and very little wind...a Short Eared Owl was being harassed by several corvids high over the harbour...

...going higher and higher as it drifted west until out of sight.

Duck numbers are increasing with good numbers of Pintail...

...and Wigeon spread through the harbour

Some in splendid winter plumage...others not so!

Plenty of Lapwings are present although the Golden Plover seen last week seem to have moved on.

The regular Curlew was feeding in the sunlight by the sluice gate and was an obvious photographic subject!

On Tuesday the day dawned in a somewhat drab fashion so photographs too, looked somewhat drab.

Subjects were difficult to come by  as it was mainly Mute Swans and Grey Herons.

On the return trip along Whites Creek I managed a few very long distance shots of a pair of Spoonbills...apologies for quality but at least I had the pleasure of seeing them.

 ....and finally for today a few more Pintail.

 Bit of a grey morning and decidedly cooler than of late.

Friday, October 19, 2018

An early start

I was up before the sun arose at the North Wall, Pagham Harbour in the hope of seeing the seven Cattle Egrets reported a couple of days ago. Although I was reasonably pleased with the group I captured a week or so previously there is always room for improvement!
At 7.34 a Mute Swan took flight in Whites Creek..

..and then a small flock of Canada Geese was just caught in the sun above the trees of Owl Copse

...and then a single Cattle Egret flew up from the field just beyond the Breech Pool catching me unawares...a few grab shots but these are  the only ones in reasonable focus with the sun just lighting up the underwings. It flew off in a northerly direction and that was it...gone!

The only other excitement was meeting Owen and hearing his ventures to Shetland(in the rain) seeing a Lanceolated Warbler ++ and a twitch to Lands End (there and back in a day) to see the much publicised Catbird!
Whilst chatting, this Grey Wagtail showed up by the sluice gate.

A flock of Lapwings  joined the waders in the harbour

A Cettis Warbler sang in a nearby bush and a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank called from the creek.Pleasant!