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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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A look our Mallorca holiday.

As it is a dull day here on Pagham Beach I thought I would sift through a few of my bird images taken on a recent trip to Mallorca. This will be my last blog for a few weeks but next time there may be a few more interesting this space.

This a record shot of a Palid Swift...note the the large white chin patch (much bigger than our own Swifts).This is one of a group of birds near Porto Columb
One of my favourite shots of a pair of Black Winged Stilts....a common wader on the reserve
A Squacco Heron...the only one I saw on the island and photographed from a hide through glass at some considerable distance.

A Woodchat Shrike was seen regularly at the entrance to the Boquer Valley walk....a hot spot for birds and birders!

Several Cattle Egrets were breeding in the S'albufera reserve and although they were very vocal they were difficult to see but this was the best view I managed to get!

A Cirl Bunting... not common in the UK but quite widespread in Mallorca...this one was in the Boquer valley.

Nightingales in Mallorca are amazing...they sing in the open on exposed branches unlike our birds in the UK which are very secretive and difficult to see!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bank holiday hazards!

I am so pleased today is a 'normal' day! Yesterday was SO busy that the birds really didn't have a chance. People,dogs, wind surfers and worst of all kite surfers! Just look at the above image showing just a few of the surfers just in front of the specially protected area for the Little Terns nesting site. They are skittish birds at the best of times but they don't take kindly to these massive intruders flying so close! On my 'round' this morning I didn't see a single Little Tern...maybe I was just unlucky but time will tell. The wretched resident Carrion Crow was also searching the area looking for food....probably eggs! You can gather I am rather depressed this morning.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A lurking enemy?

Here at Pagham we have no 'proper' trees on the beach but we do have one apple tree or a large bush, probably a result of a discarded apple core by a passing holiday visitor many years ago!

This has proved quite a magnet for some interesting species over the years and I have even seen Firecrests, Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts and various Warblers during migration times. Two years ago a Wood Pigeon started to make a nest in it and last year continued to improve the never raised a brood.

This year, however a Carrion Crow has taken up residence and is now sitting tight most of the time as people walk is very difficult to see. It is, however very 'jumpy' and if anybody stops at that point it will quietly 'slide' off the nest and fly over the marsh. Whether or not it will be successful, only time will tell.

I have mixed feeling though, as on one hand I am pleased to see a species which, to my knowledge has not bred before on Pagham Spit but on the other I am fearful of the effect it will have on the few breeding ground nesting waders. Already two clutches of Ringed Plovers eggs have disappeared. I will keep a close watch on the situation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Back to reality!

After 2 weeks in Mallorca visiting one of Europes prime bird reserves and photographing species rarely seen in the UK it is back to Pagham! Since my previous blogs things have changed on the birding front and we are into the breeding season. The Little Terns have returned and Common Terns are much in evidence. Ringed Plovers are nesting on the shingle and Linnets are taking up home in the gorse (at least 4 pairs).Skylarks have established territories and a MeadowPipit was prospecting yesterday.
...and oh yes the photo! It is a male Little Bittern that I was lucky enough to find in the S'Albufera showed up for about 7 seconds so I had to be quick!
Incidentally on return from holiday my computer went into total meltdown and I have lost dozens of precious images taken earlier in the year...another hard lesson to learn about backing up regularly.
Its no good getting upset; whats done is done. A good excuse to get out and get that shutter've got to remain positive!!