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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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Birds can't read.

I carried out the second May Breeding Bird Survey for the local reserve today and was disappointed at the lack of Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers breeding on Pagham Spit (nil today). 2 Sylarks were singing and a good number of Linnets were present, 2 pairs of Greenfinch and a few Dunnocks and surprisinly a Blue Tit with caterpillars in its beak obviously feeding young nearby (there is no suitable site on the Spit! ) A Whitethroat was singing lustily in a bramble.
However just after midday a neighbour called to say she had found 3 eggs on the beach which she 'rescued' as the high tide was about to wash over them! They were Ringed Plovers and had been found further along the beach and would not have survived.... alas, they will not survive despite being rescued!

Why don't the birds nest within the designated protected fenced areas?

This blog will now be closed for a few weeks .

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The beach

The beach is beginning to come into bloom with the Sea Kale and Valerium starting to burst into life!

This Sea Kale has already burst!

but....the ground nesting birds are conspicuous by their absence. There appears to be no Ringed Plovers or Oystercatchers attempting to nest and now, in the last few days the Mute Swan has left her nest and has departed from New Island.

What is happening?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More problems for the ground nesters.

Where has the time gone since my last blog ? What's been going on?

An Oystercatcher produced a single egg near the hide and was siting on the 13th and 14th but on the morning of the 15th the Oystercatcher and the egg was gone!
I have a feeling the local fox is responsible for overnight losses

The local pair of Carrion Crows have now deserted their nest and spend much of their time sitting on fence posts watching every movement on the shingle bank noting especially the Little Tern and Ringed Plovers.

Whilst the Cormorants don't nest here they are always present and this one flew over my head the other day close enough for a reasonable image.

A pair of Greenfinches are nesting on the Spit in the brambles and are in really brilliant plumage at this time of year.

Today there are 2 Brent Geese in the Harbour and have obviously no intention of returning to the Arctic. The Swan is still sitting on its nest on New Island and an Oystercatcher, likewise, is sitting on a nest a few yards fear of foxes there!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The downs and ups of birding!

A glorious morning....warm, sunny and windless. But...the bad news...the Ringed Plovers nest has been robbed with all 4 eggs gone. No egg shells and no evidence as to the robber. I suspect the local pair of Crows.

A visit to North Wall for some photography proved interesting with a hybrid Scaup/Pochard

A pair of Long Tailed Tits busy in the bushes.

A few Whimbrel in the fields .

A family of Coots feeding some very young is one

Sedge Warblers and numerous Reed Warblers in the reeds...where else!

One of two Little ringed Plovers at the back of Breech Pool

A Wheatear on a fence post on the Spit
... and the bird list in the Salthouse from Tuesday 11th May

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Little Terns

During my early morning recce of Pagham Spit a Sparrow Hawk flew over the Chuch Norton spit and was promptly seen off by a total of 24 Little Terns!!

Ringed Plover brooding on beach and about a dozen pairs of Linnets, Greenfinch ,Blackbird and Dunnock all showing signs of nesting/nest building. A pair of Meadow Pipits feeding near the hide and one female Wheatear present
Mute Swan continues to sit on her nest on New Island.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Island....New Home!

I don't recall ever seeing a pair of Mute Swans on New Island in the middle of Pagham Harbour but during the past few days a pair have taken up residency and a shallow nest has been built and the pen is now sitting on it with the cob keeping guard a few metres away. I don't think they have anything to fear but I'm not sure how the Peregrines will take to one of their favourite sites being occupied by the 'intruders' !

Forgot to mention that a Wood Sandpiper was on Breech Pool a couple of days ago along with the Garganeys and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A May Morning

A superb sunny morning but a chilly N/Easter!

3 Male Wheatears and a single female near the spit hide. A mixed flock of Dunlin (in summer plumage) and Ringed Plovers on the mudbank. Turnstones turning they do! A couple of Little Terns and a few Whimbrel in flight. About 16 Linnets feeding and exploring the gorse and a Carrion Crow sitting on a single egg on its nest.

The nest and single egg of the Carrion Crow.

A Lesset Whitethroat singing from deep inside a bush near the Lagoon.

Quiet but pleasant.
Later in the day on Breech Pool 2 Drake Garganey showing well towards back of pool and reports of 2 Wood Sandpipers and 2 Little Ringed Plovers.