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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, November 26, 2008

A single Fieldfare!

During todays early morning walkabout I flushed a single Fieldfare from a bramble bush. It made its raucous call and headed over the harbour in a northerly direction. I can't remember ever seeing one here on Pagham Spit before. A few fly over in cold weather but there is very little to encourage them to feed and stay! 3 Lapwings flew in from the sea and headed North...they must have come from France as it was early morning and the sun was just rising.
Later in the day I noted 5 Slavonian grebes from my sitting room window and realised again how fortunate I was to be situated in this location. I checked my 'species seen from the window' and noted it was 102...not bad as far as window lists go!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another nice sighting... Bearded Tits

I had a telephone call last evening letting me know there were a party of 'beardys' about along the North Wall...I had looked previously after someone had spotted them but they had disappeared by the time I had got there. Today was different and although difficult to find in the reedbed eventually a pair showed themselves. As it was dull and the light was poor I didn't take the camera but the splendid male above was one I had taken earlier at Minsmere....they really are beautiful birds.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A bright start to another day.

A superb start to the day....out at 7.30 to a calm, still, sunny morning. As I made a quick eyeball check across the harbour I noticed 6 crows harrassing a large was a Short Eared Owl.
This was the first sighting this autumn for me and only yesterday I was looking at my records for past years and noticed this was about the week that I should see one. Wow...and there it was. I took a few shots but it was a fair way out but the record shot above is recognizable.
Wandering up to the harbour mouth a Kingfisher suddenly appeared in front of me resplendent in the early morning sunshine...but it was gone again just as suddenly...and then the clouds rolled in and the sun wasn't seen again all day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A pigeon morning!

Every year in early November we experience 'pigeon mornings' !To-day was such a day. At about 7.30am as I set out for my early morning sortie there were flocks of Wood Pigeons flying westwards along the coast at varying heights...some small flocks , some larger flocks of about 2-300. Some years there are flocks of several thousand and 20 to 3000 birds passing in a morning would not be exceptional. They have come from the continent and are spreading along the south of England for the winter months. In addition this morning there wereSkylarks and Meadow Pipits together with mixed finch flocks feeding on the tideline...a superb crisp, windless morning.
At midday I set out again and found a lone female Eider Duck in the harbour keeping well away from the Brent Geese and Wigeon and first Purple Sandpiper of the winter, kindly pointed out by a local birder with VERY keen eyes! It spent most the time asleep with its head tucked firmly under its wing but very ocasionally it would look up. I reckon it was resting after its long flight from the Arctic!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A better day!

A much improved day weatherwise and the light was good for photography. A group of Turnstones were foraging on the tide line and I was able to get slightly below them and secure an almost eye level shot of one. The bright orangy/yellow legs often get lost when taking shots looking down on them when they are in weed so I was pleased to get this!
I had also heard there were some Goosanders about so a quick look round soon found them near the harbour entrance albeit a bit distant...however a record shot!

Numbers of Brent Geese are really picking up now and there is a Goldeneye on the Lagoon.
The Black Necked Grebe continues to attract a number of visiting birders.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An interesting day!

I was alerted yesterday by a fellow birder that there were a few interestng birds about so I was out today to search! It was not long before I had located a Scoter out to sea and although distant I was pretty certain it was a Velvet Scoter. As I returned 3 Swallows flew east over the Little Lagoon and a Kingfisher put in an appearance. As I approached the Lagoon I noticed the bushes were full of Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Redwings...obviously driven in from cooler climes by the N/East wind of the past few days.
On the Lagoon the Black Necked Grebe was showing really well although spending a lot of time beneath the surface searcing for food. And then....the bird I really wanted to see....a Scaup. These don't turn up too often here but there it was and although well hidden in the reeds, it did in the end, show very well. As a bonus a female Goldeneye was nearby but it preferred to keep company with the Tufted Ducks. The light was not good enough for photography but hopefully tomorrow will improve.