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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, March 24, 2008

One bold bird!

Garganey are usually quite difficult to approach but this one is different! I caught him yesterday feeding with the resident Mallards on Pagham Lagoon on bread thown out from one of the caravans on Chuch Farm. The Black Necked Grebe is still present today but I haven't seen the Little Gull. A couple of Wheatears were present on Pagham Spit and a Chichaff was singing from an ivy clad bush despite the cold N.W. wind. The past few days have seen hoardes of birders looking at the recent arrivals and there is a report of a Scaup/Tufted duck hybrid which has caused added interest and not a little debate!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Garganey!

Another dull, cold morning but a walk around the Lagoon soon revealed that the Black Necked Grebe is still present and the reported, somewhat elusive Garganey showed up well. It seems quite 'jumpy' flying from one end of the lagoon to the other, then flying again but eventually settled down quite happily with a group of the resident Mallards on the north side of the lagoon, preening. This is a really nice bird to see and the first one I have seen at this location. (I must try and get a photo but I didn't have my camera this morning and it was just too far away to get a decent shot)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A "dainty" gull visitor.

During the last few days a Little Gull has taken up residence on Pagham Lagoon and is constantly flying up and down this stretch of water searching for food which it is finding on the surface....reminiscent of a marsh tern. It is a very dainty gull and the small size is quite obvious as it mixes with Black Headed and Meditteranean Gulls.
The Black Necked Grebe is still present although a number of visiting birders have missed can be very illusive!

Monday, March 17, 2008

My First Wheatears !!!!

Yes....the day I have been waiting for! Two Wheatears appeared on my local patch this morning ...Spring really IS on the way but you would hardly think it with the brisk biting North Easterly blowing. A pair of Peregrines sat motionless on new island in the harbour surveying their territory and contemplating their next meal.
A visit to North Wall produced lots of newly arrived Chichaffs actively feeding in the hawthorns plus three Cettis Warblers singing their explosive song from deep within the undergrowth. About 60 Black Tailed Godwits were feeding in a field beyond Breach Pool most of which were changing into sumer plumage. A buzzard sat in the dead pine tree and a Sparrow Hawk flew overhead.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A quieter last

The Black Necked Grebe stayed overnight and is showing quite well today venturing more into the middle of Pagham Lagoon permitting me to get a few photo images of it. Although they are only record shots taken with my new Canon 40D with 100-400L with 1.4converter in poor lighting conditions I was quite pleased just to be able to get a few pics! Also present on the Lagoon today were Tufted Ducks, 5 Goldeneye, a pair of Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Grebe, a party of Brent Geese plus the usual Gulls which included 50+ Mediterranean Gulls....many now in superb summer plumage.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Force 8 winds have continued on and off all day. Late yesterday afternoon I was able to get a shot of a Scaninavian Rock Pipit in front of the Pagham spit hide but todays highlight has been a Black -Necked Grebe on the Lagoon. A very attractive bird in the sunlight showing a bright red eye and staying in the company of several Little Grebes.

Two superb drake Goldeneye with 3 females in attendance plus a magnificent Red Breasted Merganser and 100+ Mediterranean Gulls added to the spectacle on a very windy (and cold) afternoon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another stormy night.

An early morning inspection of the beach revealed there had been another very high tide. A further 2 metres of beach has disappeared and the sea is getting closer to our pateo door. The sea had actually gone through to the road to the east of Pagham Yacht club. Large slabs of concrete hard standing had been tossed about like matchwood and lay in a heap in front of the clubhouse.

The forecast is not good today but the spring tides should be going down, so hopefully the worst is over....lets hope so!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Storm alert!!

The forecasters were was a BIG storm! We had gusts this morning of 62m.p.h. and the high spring tide at just before 1.00p.m. was very threatening. Sand bags were 'at the ready' and a very sharp lookout was kept to ensure they weren't needed.The shingle bar that has built up off-shore during recent weeks was over-topped in several places and the waves came ever nearer. Fortunately the high tide came and went but the shore line has been severely scoured and the sea kale which has just started sprouting has been uprooted in many places. Tons of shingle has been lost and we are now even more vulnerable to storms and high tides in the future.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Man from the Council!

A strange sight met me this morning as I set out for my daily beach walk...a man with an first I thought he was an artist but on approaching him I could see a rough outline map of Pagham harbour and beach.He explained he was from the council offices and was expecting to hold a meeting to discuss the problems arising from serious beach erosion. In the event of flooding to plan evacuation procedures for local residents etc...'no scaremongering you understand...just in case its needed''!! He would also be looking at ways to prevent the sea from destroying the properties along the beach front

...and then, another strange sight! A pair of Red Legged Partridges flew up from my feet just in front of the hide. This is a 'first' for me on the beach...what are partridges doing on a beach...totally out of their usual habitat! Well, as I say when birding, always remember to expect the unexpected!!