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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.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tawny Owl and owlet.

Having not visited Pulborough Brooks for some time I was delighted to find the reported Tawny Owl in an oak tree between Westmead and Winpenny hide using the 'old' route. The two youngsters were in an adjacent oak but difficult to see let alone photograph!

One eye very slightly open ensuring the admiring photographers stayed their distance!

Just look at that vicious beak

This is one the two owlets...the most visible one!

A pair of Egyptian Geese had bred successfully and were just visible the other side of the Westmead pond...only four youngsters can be seen here but there were more.


Nightingales were in short supply and I only heard two singing males with just a fleeting glimpse of one at the bottom of the zig zag.

However Adders were showing well in the stack of pallets at the top of the zig zag...



A short but pleasant visit and good to meet up with Dave and Martin and to learn about their latest adventures! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Migrants galore

Another perfect morning! 
I set out from the beach and made my way towards the North Wall and soon realised there had been an overnight influx of warblers. Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were singing
from the Slipe Field bushes and Lesser Whitethroats were very active feeding but very difficult to photograph, constantly flitting from bush to bush....








Very occasionally they would pause and enable a record shot.


However best of all was a superb male Redstart in the field nearest the end of the dog walk.




Poor cropped shots but I was just delighted to have this brilliant bird on the patch.


On the return journey an obliging Collared Dove, Wren in full song and a spadge!




A short but rewarding walk.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Waders and problems for Grey Lags.

A  wander along Whites Creek this morning produced a distant Buzzard over the harbour, a few Chiffchaffs and a resplendent Spotted Redshank.....


In flight,even at a distance, the lack of a white wingbar distinguishes this species from the commoner Redshank.


A few Black Tailed Godwits were feeding on the mud although further out there was a flock of about 120.
In flight the black tail is usually more noticeable than when feeding or resting.

On the Breech Pool a pair of Grey Lag Geese were feeding quite peacefully....

...but soon began to become very restless giving me some good photographic opportunities!














It soon became clear as to what was causing the chaos......




This was a VERY territorial Mute Swan who  chased off the geese relentlessly and it was some time before the Greylags got the message and moved off a little way away from where the Swans mate was sitting on a nest!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Has Spring sprung at last?

This morning was a very pleasant surprise...weatherwise. The sun was out, it actually felt warm and there was no wind....a real contrast to the past few weeks, months even!
Made my way to the North Wall and it was perfection! However birds were lacking somewhat. They were there but they were reluctant to show...I heard my first two Sedge Warblers and a Willow Warbler. A Blackcap was in Owl Copse and the Grey Herons and Egrets were busy on their nests.

Grey Heron flying to Owl Copse


Little Egret 
The water in  Breech Pool was very high with only a Cormorant and a pair of lurking Gadwall on the far side.
A Cormorant doing what Cormorants do...drying its wings.


Gadwall pair.
A flock of about 120 Black Tailed Godwits were in Whites creek



 and a Great Tit posed in a hawthorn.



Back to Pagham Spit to find any new arrivals and two Swallows came in off the sea and headed north whilst a pair of Wheatear had obviously just arrived and were busy feeding around the Little Lagoon. They were very unapproachable and it wasn't easy to even get a record shot.

Nervous Wheatear!
A Chiffchaff was a little more accomodating.



Today's highlight for me was a brief visit of a Black Redstart in mid afternoon in the garden....



Taken through dirty double glazed window....great bird though.


...and during last week I was pleased to find a Firecrest...


...another 'special' bird.

On Sunday we had a dozen Hirundines drop in and remained on the telegraph wires for 20 minutes or so.....a mix of House martins and Swallows.

I think it's fair to say Spring has arrived although a little late this year!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Red Kite over Pagham Harbour.

At last....a superb morning, bright and sunny albeit with a chill west wind.
 Little about on the Spit save a few Linnets and a Chiffchaff but suddenly my attention was drawn to a raptor approaching from the south and heading for the middle of the harbour. Very quickly a pair of Shelducks took exception and mobbed the bird mercilessly!
Quickly identified as a Red Kite with the diagnostic forked tail showing well even at a distance...a few quick shots and it was soon gone heading northwards...a fantastic bird!








That made my morning!