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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 11, 2021

The Purple last!

Having missed out on a few 'good' birds whilst being on recent holidays I was pleased to hear that the Purple Heron had reappeared in the last few days.

So this morning I felt it would be worthwhile to get out early to see if I could locate  the spot it had been seen several times usually during the early part of the day. I was on site at just before eight and initially could not locate it until I saw a birder some way away looking towards me from the other side of the field. At last I located it in the middle of the field viewable from 'the 'gate' as in previous reports.

It was a long way off for any decent photos but here are a few record shots.

At least it was a record and a first for the Pagham area for me although I have several records from Minsmere and Mallorca....but this was special.... a Pagham special!!


Although during the past week Brent Geese have been circling the harbour they all seem to decide to fly on westwards. However, on Saturday these eight Brents were seen from Pagham Spit...the first I'd noted in the harbour.

The huge numbers of Red Admirals and Peacocks on the ivy was extraordinary.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

North Cornwall V Pagham Harbour.

Having just returned from a holiday in North Cornwall it was good to be back on Pagham Beach despite the murky conditions this morning.

After a week of rain and more rain, conditions for birding were not favourable for photography and these images of Wagtails in the stream running into Porthcothan Bay were the only records. Choughs flew over the bay on a couple of occasions but were fleeting and a fair way away...certainly not birds to be encountered at Pagham.

Pied Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

However skeins of  Brent Geese were arriving in good numbers this morning.....some in fives and sixes and others in thirtys and forties...some accompanied by Shelduck and a few Wigeon.

...these with five Shelduck

This skein circled the harbour and may have landed, but way over the Sidlesham end.
  Other skeins flew on past the harbour mouth towards Chichester harbour.

A Little Egret was feeding in the Little Lagoon

A surprising number Red Admirals were enjoying the ivy

This spider caught my eye before the drizzle dampened my enthusiasm and I returned thinking how fortunate to live in this place where it never rains...much!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Autumn has arrived.

 Shorter days, cool mornings and  bright moonlit nights have given a real feeling of Autumn. A few small flocks of Brent Geese have been noted flying west with a few circling the harbour and then flying on to perhaps Chichester Harbour. A single bird flew into the harbour yesterday and appeared to land but I was unable to locate it later. An Osprey was present over the weekend and was seen perched in the middle of the harbour on Monday albeit very distantly.

Wheatears have been present each day and seem to favour the fencing around the old Spit carpark.

Juvenile Linnets have been seen with flocks of up to 20 birds...

A pair of Stonechats have now arrived and are currently occupying a favourite gorse area on the spit.

The North Wall has been interesting especially when the cattle are in the Halsey fields. At least 24 Cattle Egrets have been present and 50 plus Yellow Wagtails very often accompany them.

In the Honer fields, Curlews and Black Tailed Godwits have been accompanied by  a Bar Tailed Godwit

...and  several Ruff

It was good to note a whisp of Snipe fly over Breech Pool earlier in the week...not an every day sight.

Yesterday, a Grey Wagtail turned up at the sluice and was seen again today. 

...and here's the regular 'stunted billed'  Greenshank which often gives visiting birders a bit of head scratching!

This morning was a Swallow morning. Hundreds of birds were resting on telephone wires in West Front annual event at this time! there we have it; Autumn has arrived. 

...and the 'regulars' watch on as the seasons progress!

Friday, September 17, 2021

The past couple of days....trouble along Whites Creek.

 Yesterday morning dawned bright, sunny and clear. A wander along Whites Creek was rewarding for the number and varieties of  ducks and waders which had arrived in the past few days. Grey Plovers and a single Golden Plover accompanied Dunlin, Knot and Black Tailed Godwits. Wigeon and Teal numbers had increased and a few Pintail were present. Great Crested Grebes were swimming happily in the main channel.

I was just photographing a couple of Turnstones perched on a rock and enjoying  the peace and quiet of the place when suddenly every bird took off . To my utter dismay a couple of unleashed dogs raced out across the salt marsh and that was the end of my peaceful photographic session.

A Sparrow Hawk was near the sluice gate with Cettis Warblers singing together with Whitethroats and Willow/Chiffs.



Today was a little less sunny but nevertheless very pleasant. Again I was along Whites Creek at about 10 past 9 admiring the ducks and waders when again they all suddenly took off. My immediate thought  was dog disturbance again. How wrong I was! An Osprey was being escorted along the Creek towards the harbour entrance by Corvids! I wasn't quite quick enough with the camera but managed a few rear view shots. 

Time was short again today so I had to return but not before photographing this Reed Bunting near the sluice gate bushes.

...and the Turnstones were now  feeding (and turning stones!) just below the salthouse....but undisturbed today, thankfully.

Back home a Stock Dove was ambling through the flower bed and onto the lawn. It has been a regular visitor of late.