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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, November 27, 2009

The diggers have gone.

The diggers have gone for the time being but we expect to see them back in February/March next year. We are hoping there will no storms before then if we are to remain intact, as more shingle than ever has disappeared from in front of our dwelling during the past two weeks!

The sun shone this morning after a very stormy night with thunder and lightening and hailstones keeping us awake in the wee small hours!

The Peregrine was keeping watch on New Island and numbers of Lapwing have built up considerably accompanied by Golden Plovers. In Slipe field a large flock of finches comprised mainly of Linnets and Greenfinches but also Goldfinches, Chaffinches and a few brightly coloured Yellowhammers...really bright in early morning sunshine. Good numbers of Teal, Wigeon with a few Shoveler on Breach Pool but Pintail again in good numbers in the main 'salthouse' channel.

According to local birder Tim Edwards I missed a Leach's Petrel flying past my place this morning at 8.30am!

Some interesting developments regarding the local reserve appeared yesterday ...see links below.(copy and paste)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another wet day?

Early morning view from the window.

After another noisy night with high winds and lashing rain I ventured out to the shoreline (which is getting closer by the day). Dozens of Turnstones were foraging through the seaweed but the recently reported Purple Sandpipers couldn't be found. The resident Peregrine was sitting on his usual spot on New Island and distant flocks of Golden Plover and Knot were facing the wind on a mudbank. The Lagoon was devoid of birds apart from 3 Goldeneye...two females and a superb drake and a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers....and then a flash of an emerald jewel coincided with a break in the clouds...a Kingfisher shot past me and perched briefly on a clump of reed stems in the sunshine before quickly disappearing.....not such a bad morning after all!!

Just got back before the heavens opened again...haven't we had enough yet?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shingle work continues rain and wind this morning at 7.00am....view from window.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Knots and Surfers

Nothing excepional to report today but 35 skylarks feeding in front of the Spit hide was a good number to see.

A view from the Spit hide towards Chichester cathederal with the flock of Knot wheeling! (Click on image to view large)

A trio of surfers enjoying the slightly calmer sea today!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More wind!!

Little to report today except for a splendid drake Goldeneye accompanied by two females on the Lagoon. The black headed gulls looked pretty miserable as they crouched low on the beach endeavouring to get out of the wind.

This flag shows the amount of wind we have had recently....flying in one of the beach bungalows!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A peaceful end to a bad start!

We were awoken this morning at 4.30am to the roar of engines....the BIG diggers had arrived to catch the early morning low tide. With headlights blazing they were constucting a road bridge to cross the channel to get more loads of shingle. Having spoken to the chaps last week they assured me they were not working at night...well I suppose this was early morning...great!!

However there were a lot more Brent Geese in the harbour this afternoon and as I wandered back from the harbour mouth I captured the photograph above which reminded me (on a small scale of the lochans of North Uist! )

Saturday, November 14, 2009


What a blow....the diggers had a day off today but even yesterday they gave up during the day due to high winds and lashing rain. On looking this morning at the work they had done on the beach so far I guess almost 20% of the shingle had been washed back into the sea by the last 2 big high tides!
As far as the birds were concerned they were keeping their heads down as they tried to balance in the ferocious gusts. Maybe something of interest may turn up when it is possible to stand up again outside but at present it is well nigh impossible to hold the bins steady!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pagham Beach Brent Geese disturbance!

Despite 3 lorries,a grabber and a tractor the Brent continue to feed unconcernedly in the shallows!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

An Autumn morning....much cooler than of late!

Good westerley movement of Meadow Pipits and Skyklarks along the coast this morning and a single Chiffchaff in gorse by lagoon.

Quick visit to nearby Ivy Lake Chichester revealed a pair of Whooper Swans along with c80 Mutes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The diggers have arrived on Pagham Beach!

On looking out at 7.00 a.m. this morning after hearing the roar of engines I discovered the day had arrived to start work on protecting the beach bungalows. We had received notification a few days ago that this would happen before the Brent Geese arrived, to avoid disturbing them. Obviously nobody had told the local council that the Brents have been here for over a month and anyway they seem to be feeding quite happily in the foreground!
By 9.00am the tide was coming in and the vehicles retreated. I was told by the workman that this was a trial run and work would start in earnest next week.
The Wheatear was still on the beach and a seal was fishing in the harbour entrance.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's gone !!

Yes, the Lapland Bunting was not present this morning. Suspicion lies at the door of the resident Sparrow Hawk seen patrolling the area on a regular basis...but there is no proof!

Nevertheless there was plenty to see...3 Avocets in the main channel from the Salthouse, Spoonbill asleep on its usual spot, Spotted Redshank, Redpolls (flyovers)and if you were up early c3500 Wood Pigeons going west with a few small flocks of Stock Doves.

Knot flocks are building up but the Brents are not here in any great numbers yet.

On the beach in the afternoon a late Wheatear and a brief view of a Black Redstart and a couple of birders had seen a Short Eared Owl being mobbed by a group of Gulls at about 2.00pm

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two good birds....still here!

Another morning when Wood Pigeons were streaming westwards from about 7.15 for an hour or so....small flocks averaging about 350 but totalling 4000 (approx!). A Spotted Redshank and a single Knot on the Little Lagoon with a Greenfinch flock (350)on the spit were the only birds of note.
In the afternoon I went to check on the Lapland Bunting and it was still present on the North Wall...tamer than ever! I've posted some close-ups on my Flickr site.

The added bonus today was the flypast by the Spoonbilland although the images aren't perfect I was pleased to get a couple of flight pictures.

Shortly after this I made a run for home and almost got there before the heavens opened and then the sun came out and hey presto a superb rainbow.