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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, December 16, 2019

Birding on the spit this morning was interrupted by police and bomb disposal making safe an ordnance found on the beach.

In the entrance a group of 5 Red Breasted Mergansers were accompanied by a single female Goldeneye.

Here are just 4 of them with the Goldeneye. They were restless and soon made off seaward returning later to the harbour 




There were a pair of Stonechats alongside the Little Lagoon...
A big flock of Black Tailed Godwits...
...and Lapwings seen looking towards the North Wall.

Apart from this, a party of 5 Skylarks and 4 Meadow Pipits. 
(Apologies for the poor blogs of late...will try to improve)

Friday, November 29, 2019

Pagham Spit...in the sun!!!

At last, a really pleasant autumn day. This must be an opportunity for me to photograph the Eider duck which has been around the harbour for three weeks or so, but usually too far away for even a record shot of the bird. However having tried in the morning to locate the eider and failed I made a second attempt at 2.00 pm and found a photographer with camera trained on the bird  but still at a  air distance and in less than ideal lighting conditions. I recognised the photographer as Andy Wilkes from his numerous tweets and had a pleasant conversation about birds and cameras.
The sun was almost behind the Eider but I did manage to obtain a few poor shots...





During the course of our conversation we discussed that Short Eared Owls had been difficult to see this autumn and we parted company. However a little later I caught up with Andy looking seaward and he said he'd just seen a Short Eared Owl  fly in from the sea.
Sure enough the bird was hunkered down in the long grass...




It remained there some time and as Andy made off  a dog walker disturbed the owl and it took off...


..and headed towards the harbour and landed in the marsh.











Yet again it was disturbed  and flew over the harbour upsetting the ducks













Thanks Andy....I would not have spotted this without you!

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.