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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.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

An Early Autumn Treat

A superb morning...warm, sunny and still. This red admiral butterfly was just enjoying the peace of the early morning. The only 'new' bird around was a Whinchat and as we don't often see them on Pagham Spit that was a real bonus on a really beautiful morning!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Wheatear Day

This was a morning when Wheatears were everywhere...they could be seen on the beach,on the fence posts,in the bushes and flying across the marsh.They spent most of the day feeding in preparation for the long flight home and presumably will decide when the time is right to depart!
Several other species were present including Meadow Pipits,Reed Buntings and a couple of Stonechats. At least 50 Mediterranean Gulls had arrived on the Lagoon and 2 Common Sandpipers were feeding on the edge of the water.There was a real sense that Autumn had arrived and things were on the move!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

At last ....a wryneck!!

Having visited the North Wall Pagham a couple of times in search of the reported Wryneck I decided to look at a second site where a Wryneck was supposedly 'showing well'. I arrived at the Church Norton car park and met a local man who described the precise location of the bird. Having got to the spot and searched without sucess I was joined by another birder and neither of us could locate it. At last having almost given up hope the 'local' man arrived with another group and pointed out the bird less than 20feet away from where we stood. Its ability to be lost against the background was remarkable!
However although it was difficult to photograph without some grass/foliage spoiling the picture I did eventually get a few reasonable shots from the 162 images taken! Who said bird photography was ever easy!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Migration is underway!

Having returned from a week in Suffolk on Saturday it was really good to find that migration was well underway in Pagham harbour. During the weekend reports were coming in of some interesting sitings including Ospreys,Honey Buzzards, Spoonbill and a Wryneck. With friends planning to arrive Sunday lunchtime a quick early morning check was essential and produced Redstart, Willow-chiffs and a numerous influx of Wigeon and Teal. It was late afternoon before we could explore the North wall for the Wryneck but alas we dipped out but met a birder who said he'd got some really good photos earlier in the day...have I heard that before!!! Oh yer!
Up bright and early today to find this elusive bird...but again no joy! However 3 Curlew Sandpipers were showing well by the Salthouse.The huge flock of 100+ Yellow Wagtails were still present albeit in slightly less numbers. Lesser Whitethroats and Common whitethroats were very evident,Cettis Warblers were calling everywhere, a Water Rail was doing his 'squealy pig' thing and a Kingfisher rounded off a good morning.
In the afternoon my first Brent Goose of the winter showed up, 37 Grey Plovers (in various states of summer/winter plumage) were accompanied by Knot,Dunlin and Turnstone.
5 wheatears darted along the path 'chacking' and showing off their white rear really does feel Autumny!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rain stops play.

A walk towards Pagham North Wall produced a splendid Kingfisher in flight over the marshes. From the Salthouse a Greenshank could be heard calling and not too far away 2 Spotted Redshank fed in the muddy fringe of the main channel. Numbers of Teal are now increasing and it won't be long before the first Brent Geese arrive....usually about September 20.
A lone Wheatear flitted along the harbour shoreline showing off his brilliant white rump and the resident Peregrine Falcon was preening on his usual spot on New Island...and then, all too soon, a heavy shower sent me scuttling for shelter!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Autumn has arrived

Sorry about the breakdown in blogs but have had a major problem with my computer! Well today has been really rough but just after midday it calmed down just sufficienly to enable me to venture out. 2 Gannets were very close to the shoreline and looked absolutely stunning against the dark grey of the storm clouds. As usual the camera was left indoors so regretfully no dramatic image!
The past few weeks have seen a little migration with streams of Swallows,House and Sand Martins moving west and, on several mornings in mid August, considerable numbers of Warblers have arrived overnight....mostly Willow Warblers but a few Whitethroats. Parties of Whimbrel and larger groups of Curlew have been present and numbers of Turnstone and Dunlin are building up. Common sandpipers too have been located around the Lagoon where several Little grebe have turned up during the past 2weeks.A fellow birder reported 13 Avocet on Sunday and a Spoonbill was reported hopefully after the stormy day today we can expect some more excitement during the next few days...I love this time of year!!