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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.

Friday, July 31, 2009

One of several Willow Warblers

Yesterday morning started well with a flurry of warblers in the gorse along the track to the hide...several Willow Warblers a Whitethroat and quite unexpectedly a Sedge Warbler.
Unfortunately, someone had been into the hide where the Swallows are nesting and left the door swinging and banging in the wind. They hadn't even fixed the wire back around the clasp. The good news is that the Swallow parents were still feeding and continue to do so today...they must fledge soon.
A visit to Pulborough Brooks produced a Greenshank, several Redshanks, Common Sandpipers and a single Green Sandpiper. For me however the bird of the day was a splendid male Crossbill 'chipping' on the topmost branch of a pine tree.

Back on Pagham Spit today it is quite quiet with a few passing Sandwich Terns and few waders except for a couple of Whimbrel and the usual Oystercatchers etc. There has been a steady westerly movement of hirundines, mostly Sand Martins. I am expecting a returning Wheatear any time now. My records show that they usually show up July 31/August 1.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On the move...

Certainly Painted Lady butterflies were on the move again today with a real influx being noted during the past couple of days but especially today, they were everywhere...brambles,beach and budleia(25 at a time in the one bush!)
Swifts were moving westwards together with a few Swallows; Sandwich Terns were noted again but not as many as recent days in the harbour; Common Sandpipers were seen in the harbour and on the Lagoon and Whimbrel were heard.
The Swallows are still very busy feeding their nestlings in the hide and I suspect they will fledge any day now!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Peregrine morning.

Waders are a bit thin on the ground still but there are plenty of terns around....mostly Sandwich. There were well over 60 of them fishing in the harbour mouth on Saturday morning but this morning it was the turn of the Peregrine Falcons. As I wandered round the Spit there was the typical gravelly call of a Peregrine and at first I looked across to ther usual spot on Tern Island but soon realised it was coming from above me and looking up saw 5 of these magnificent raptors circling high up and calling!

As I watched, one of the juveniles came low down and shot past me and I fortunately had my camera at the ready!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Very Windy Day

A strong South Westerly produced a constant stream of Gannets moving West together with Common and Sandwich Terns all flying against a head wind. Swifts were also moving along the coast in considerable numbers until about 9.00a.m.
The 'hide' Swallows seem to be doing well judging by the parents regular feeding.
A pair of Linnets were gathering nesting material and building in a gorse just off the main path.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Swallows have hatched!!

Great news this as they have had quite a bit of disturbance from 'unthinking' people and although wedged shut, the door has been pushed open on many occasions. However I have tried to secure it and have taped off the path leading to the hide and hope this will act as a deterrent and allow the birds to bring up their young in peace!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A newbird for this week.

As I wandered down the East side of the harbour I noticed a group of birders looking over the Breach pool so decided I should join them. To my delight there was a Spoonbill actively feeding alongside a Little Egret and a summer plumaged Black Tailed Godwit. We all watched for about 10 minutes when it took to the air and flew overhead to join a group of roosting Little Egrets at their high tide roosting site in the harbour affording excellent photographic opportunitries. Needless to say I had left my camera at home so the image above is one I took earlier....on 5th October 2007 in the harbour.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Change in the Weather

After the very warm calm weather of the past week or so, this morning felt very different...cooler and VERY gusty!

Six Common Sandpiper had arrived on the Lagoon and more Curlews were present on the salt flats. A small Grey Seal was fishing in the harbour mouth .

The Swallow was brooding in the hide despite interference yesterday with more flaps opened and the door left swinging...why can't people just accept that the birds need peace and quiet.

Little else to report except there were at least 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 2 Black Tailed Godwits on Breach Pool. The farmer was cutting and rolling the adjacent field right up to the edge of the water and Moorhens, Coots and Lapwings with young birds were fleeing for their lives...hopefully with no casualties but I wouldn't be certain.

Friday, July 3, 2009

An early Brent Goose?

As I made my way to the Pagham spit hide this morning to remove a flap to ensure the nesting Swallows don't get shut in, a Brent Goose flew low over me and out to sea. I am not aware of any reports of of an oversummering Brent so has this single just arrived. Any answers from local birders?

...and the good the news is that the 2 young Ringed Plovers that I mentioned yesterday had 'disappeared' have 're-appeared' and are looking a lot stronger.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Good and Bad news!

Sedge Warbler

Another very hot day yesterday and again today. A walk along the North wall revealed many Reed and several Sedge Warblers feeding young. Waders were noticeably absent apart from a single Black Tailed Godwit and a few Lapwing and in the harbour Curlew numbers are building up with a few Grey Plovers and a single Common Sandpiper at the harbour entrance.

Another Ringed Plovers nest was discovered a few days ago with 3 eggs but this morning one of the eggs was broken (7.30am) and at 10.15 am all the eggs were missing! 2 Carrion crows were lurking. So far about 7 nests have been used but only 2 chicks have been seen and they "disappeared" after 4 days.

The good news is that the Swallows are still present and don't appear to have been disturbed to any great extent...lets hope it remains that way!