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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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More ducks!

Yesterday I nipped over to Hove to see the reported Long Tailed Duck. It was a very murky,foggy morning but it lifted quite quickly and I was able to capture a shot of the duck even though conditions werre far from ideal.Later in the day 5 Pochard (all drakes) arrived on the Lagoon....unusual for this stretch of water and this morning 8 Goldeneye were present (1♂ with 7♀).
5 Red Breasted Mergansers fished in the harbour entrance whilst Wigeon and Pintail were feeding on the low tide grassy mudbanks.
Large flocks of lapwings and the accompanying Golden Plovers still much in evidence.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What a contrast!

After the miserable weather of the past few days, this morning was a real contrast....windless,sunny and extremely pleasant. The sheer numbers of birds in the harbour was amazing with huge numbers of Lapwing,wheeling flocks of Grey Plover and Knot and hundreds of Wigeon and Brent Geese. The whole harbour had had come alive and was seemingly rejoicing at the return of some decent weather. During the morning when I walked to the harbour entrance for a second time I saw a flock of 72 skylarks...perhaps the biggest flock that I'd ever seen here! Several snipe were flying overhead uttering their characteristic flight call and then a Sparrow Hawk flew fast and low along the saltings causing short term mayhem! A pair of Reed Buntings soon ventured out and let me get quite a decent photograph! May we have many more days like this!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Albino Oystercatcher

A cloudy morning with a brisk S.S.W. wind and a temperature of 8°c ....with a threat of more rain to come. Highlight was a very strange looking Oystercatcher with almost all white plumage,with the exception of its primaries...a partial albino. A similar bird appeared for several years running in the'80s and '90s and one was reported last it the same bird?

Plenty of Mediterranean Gulls feeding on the beach and masses of Turnstones accompanying Redshanks and Grey Plovers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


After the dreadful weather experienced during the past few days it was good to get out again this morning! The clouds have cleared and it is an almost clear sky, although the forecast is not too hopeful for the rest of the week. A superb flock of about 300 knot flew low over the saltings and then straight over my head making a wonderful whoooshing sound as their wings beat the air in rapid flight! Brent Geese were feeding along the tideline and 5 Red Breasted Mergansers fished in the harbour entrance. A Shelduck enabled a very close appoach and I could see it had a broken wing but it struggled off the shingle and onto the water and did not permit me to get it...otherwise I would have taken it to the local Bird Hospital.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A typical January morning

A bright and breezy morning with a cold north westerly wind.Sunrise over Pagham beach made it difficult to see the hundreds of waders feeding along the shoreline but a superb flock of about 200 knot were wheeling above the sea before alighting on the off shore shingle bank.Turnstones were turning stones (as they do !) on the beach accompanied by Grey Plovers and Redshanks. In the harbour numbers of Red Breasted Mergansers have increased and were 'snorkelling' in their hunt for small fish. Highlight of the morning was a superb drake Goldeneye just in front of the hide and I counted 5 females elsewhere in the harbour.Brent Geese were moving from their overnight roosting sites to feed along the coast and a party of 5 Mute Swans flew overhead and landed on the Lagoon.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Blustery Morning

Not too much about this is quite windy (gusting 5or6) and the birds are 'keeping their heads down'. However groups of Pintails are flying over the saltings, the drakes showing off their wonderful plumage in the bright sunlight. 2♀ Goldeneye are present on the Lagoon and about 35 Mediterranean are feeding along the foreshore.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Bitter Day !

Only 1°c this morning with a fresh north easterly wind blowing and making it feel more like -5°c! A lot of weed has come ashore during the night and the Turnstones are accompanied by Redshanks and a few Oystercatchers searching for grubs along the tideline. The harbour is relatively empty of birds compared with the past couple of mornings....only a few Brents and Lapwings but Curlew and Dunlin are feeding in the centre of the harbour. A couple of Little Grebes are fighting against the fast outgoing tide, diving and swimming hard to virtually stay in the same place. A lone Peregrine is crouched low on New Island ..... one of his favourite spots. Although snow is forecast for some of the U.K. I doubt if we will see any...we rarely do in Pagham!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

JANUARY 1 2008

The harbour is simply teeming with birds this morning...a very still, overcast morning but vibrant with bird life!! Lapwings are the most abundant bird followed closely by Brent Geese but duck numbers are high as well with Wigeon,Teal and Pintail the most numerous.Shelduck are well represented and a few Goldeneye are present and a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers are fishing in the harbour mouth. Waders are represented by Curlew,Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank and a flock of about 180 Knot wheeling above the shingle bank just off shore. Pride of place this morning must go to a female Kingfisher sitting on the metalwork at the harbour entrance looking for her breakfast! (You need to be up before the dog walkers to see this bird who is a regular in the winter months )