Top Paragraph

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, August 24, 2009

Was it a Falcon...or was it a Vulcan?

That was yesterday! All is peace again today after several interruptions resulting from the Shoreham Air Show.
A couple of Common Sandpipers, a Spotted Redshank, a calling Greenshank, a single Wheatear and numerous Swallows moving S.W.was the total early this morning. Also 2 Little Grebes have turned up on the Little Lagoon and 7 have arrived on the main Lagoon. They will probably increase in numbers during the next few weeks and remain for the winter, as they usually do.
A walk along the North Wall revealed little else except 30 Black tailed Godwits and a few flyover Yellow Wagtails plus the regular waders. Spotted Flycatchers were reported at the entrance from Vicarage Lane but I missed them! Weather on the change again after a fantastic day yesterday. Engish weather is very interesting!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A change in the weather

After the VERY hot weather yesterday it was relatively cool this morning. A Whimbrel permitted a relatively close approach at the harbour mouth...they are generally much less skittish than Curlew.
Apart from that, Gannets were passing offshore and there were reports of a few Fulmars, a Black Tern and a 'dark' shearwater...possible Sooty!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An early morning Wheatear

As I strolled round the harbour at about 8.45 this morning I almost trod on a Wheatear! It flew a few feet in front of me and stayed still for several minutes near a clump of sea kale and enabled me to get a reasonable photo before flying up to the ironwork when I was able to obtain another shot in the early morning sunshine.A couple of Sandwich Terns drifted over and the usual Peregrines were preening on New Island...a perfect morning,sunny, warm and windless and on passing the lagoon I noticed a Kingfisher perched on an overhanging bramble.Superb!

Later in the morning 2 Spotted Redshanks on Breach Pool.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Repairs and renovations

This morning, time was well spent repairing the benches in the hide on the Spit. They have been broken and unsafe for several weeks but as the Swallows were nesting it didn't matter. Now, with the 'interesting' season fast appoaching more birders will be visiting, so service is now 'back to normal'. The door actually stays closed too!
2 Peregrines were sitting on 'their ' island this morning and a flock of c150 Turnstones whistled over my head as I was heading back past the Little Lagoon..the biggest flock to date.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Clouded Yellow butterfly.

This is the first time this year I have seen a Clouded Yellow ....plenty of Painted Ladies still about but this was a 'first' for this year for me.
A few Wheatears on the shingle and Greenshanks calling in the harbour. 4 Wigeon in the main channel looking from the Salt House.
A lot of holiday makers about!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bird movements.

A few Wheatears on the beach today and many Linnets with young in the gorse...its been a good breeding season for Linnets. On the wader front numbers are increasing and a lot more Dunlin in various stages of plumage are now present. Greenshanks can be seen from the hide at low tide when the mud is exposed and Ringed Plovers and a few Grey Plovers are about. A few Sandwich Terns flew west and Sand Martins (and noticeably no House Martins) likewise. There was a report of a couple of Knot about and an Osprey was seen and reported on Birdguides!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Is it a bird? is it a plane?

Well actually is a Hovercraft in the harbour at eight 0'clock this morning. Not many waders about for some reason...hovercraft are VERY noisy. I guess it was from the Environment Agency as it was stopping every so often to take water/mud samples.

Willow Warblers and a few Whitethroats were in the bushes but the highlight was a group of 8 Cormorants flying into the harbour peacefully when a Peregrine suddenly appeared and singled out one and gave chase. At the last moment it veered off as the remainder of the small flock turned back as if if to help and the Peregrine disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared.

I re-fixed the flap in the Spit hide as the Swallows have now gone and don't appear to be returning even at night as they have done since fledging last Monday. When returning home at 11.30am 5 Wheatears had arrived and were feeding along the path.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Wheatear returns

I have seen returning Wheatears a a few days earlier than this most years but they always indicate to me that Autumn migration is underway. A few Willow Warblers were also present plus a Whitethroat lurking in the the gorse. The Spit is alive with Linnets at present with several family parties searching for food on the ground. The highlight for me today was the family of Swallows permitting a close enough approach for some reasonable photography...see
2 Peregrines were sitting stationary on New Island; numbers of Curlew are steadily building. A number of moulting Mediteranean Gulls were roosting on a mud bank with a dozen or so Sandwich Terns.

Monday, August 3, 2009

They've fledged!!

The Swallows have successfully fledged and were flying in and out of the hide this morning.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Swallows again!

An early inspection of the nesting Swallows yesterday morning revealed that the door had been opened despite being wired up and the open observation flaps had been shut. Thankfully, I had removed one flap in case of such an eventuality. The swallow parents were flying round anxiously so I quickly opened the flaps and secured the door after first ascertaining the youngsters were still in the nest, took a record shot and beat a hasty retreat.

(The previous evening as it was getting dark I noticed 3 lads with fishing rods appoaching the end of the spit and in the gloaming saw them through binoculars fishing in front of the hide...)

The good news is that the parents were feeding them again this morning!