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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, August 31, 2011

Is that a Hovercraft in the Harbour?

An unusual site but its not the first time I've seen one ....I think it is probably the Environment agency taking advantage of a very low tide to take mud samples etc. Can anyone confirm this?

The Red Breasted Merganser is still here and has been throughout the summer

5 Wheatears on the Spit first thing this morning...this one choosing the hide as a lookout of many.

The very high spring tide pushed the waders off the islands and some came all along the shoreline in the harbour
A single Knot mingled in  with the Turnstones and Dunlin just next to the hide

...and one of the ever present Turnstones

Monday, August 29, 2011

August Bank Holiday

An early  visit to Breech Pool where the Spotted Redshank still remains and is easily overlooked as it mingled with the Black Tailed Godwits, head under wing for most of the time!

...not ALL the time though!

Spotted Redshank
Teal and Shoveler accompanied the Mallards and many Canada Geese whilst a couple of dozen Curlews were feeding in the fields with Reed Buntings, Whitethroats were the most obvious birds in the bushes. A few flyover Yellow Wagtails but little else of interest in my short visit.

A report of a Spoonbill in the harbour later in the day eluded me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just another day...but a bit special!

An early walk around the Spit on a superb morning...the moon just visible  in a cloudless blue sky.

From the hide a Little Egret was preening and all of a sudden shook violently and enabled me to get this shot in all its splendid finery. No wonder the Victorians wanted the feathers for hat decorations!

The Grey Mullet are back with a vengeance and there are some monsters amongst them!

Throughout the day I could hear Yellow Wagtails flying over the beach in a westerly direction...they are very hard to see and only on one occasion did a group of 3 land on the pebbles before hurriedly going on their way.

The evening was again wind, warm and an almost Mediterranean feel to it. A lone Black Headed Gull paddled in the shallows and then a group of Whimbrel flew in from the sea...calling. A perfect end to the day!

Whimbrel arriving in the harbour in evening sunlight

Thursday, August 18, 2011

During the  early morning  walk  around the Spit a single Wheatear on the shingle and an adult Peregrine plus a juv.
Wader numbers are increasing rapidly now with an influx of birds mainly  Dunlin, Ringed Plover,and Knot.
From the hide I arrived just as 12 Shoveler flew around the harbour and landed in the first this Autumn.
Having seen on the S.O.S website that 2 Spoonbills had been seen yesterday I took a trip round to the North Wall but unfortunately no sign.

Grey Wag...record shot

The Three Whinchats..just for proof! (left click to see a little better! )
The Black Tailed Godwits were doing what they seem to spend a lot of time doing. a Grey Wagtail was present around the sluice but the highlight was 3 Whinchats a fair distance in a hawthorn bush( thanks birders from Brighton! )

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Sparrowhawk appeared yesterday afternoon and remained on the hedge waiting his opportunity to strike, completely unphased by my presence. Our population of House Sparrows is at an all time high at present and she is determined to reduce it!

At least 5 Wheatears on the beach this morning - easily spotted when on the skyline....

but surpriingly difficult to see when feeding on the pebbles
Linnets have had a good breeding season and are still present in the gorse and feeding youngsters.
A fine male Linnet...forward facing

....and back view.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sightings today

4 Green sandpipers in the harbour seen  from path to hide, took flight and headed towards Sidlesham at 8.30 am. I have rarely seen them from this spot before.

5 Wheatears along path and 1 Chiffchaff in the bushes.

Little Terns (10) fishing in new spit channel and sandwich Terns going West during day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Its not all birds!

A quick walk around the Spit revealed 5 Wheatears but with visitors today little else was observed except the M.V. Balmoral on a pleasure cruise from the Isle of Wight to Brighton and back...very distant but with 700mm lens and some cropping readily identifiable through the heat haze!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Hot, Sultry Day

A quiet morning with just a single Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat showing up in the bushes. Three Peregrines on New Island ( 1 adult male and 2 juvs) . A flock of about 100 Dunlin flashed past me with that characteristic 'whoooosh' and a few Turnstones were present on the tideline. About 15 Little Terns still present on the church Norton Spit. The female Red Breasted Merganser still in the main channel and finding plenty of fish!
Apart from that very little to report on the bird front so how about a few images of the vegetation1.

There is much more Ragwort on the spit than ever before!

A few stands of Vipers Bugloss still looking good!

Teasles now coming into flower...this will attract the Goldfinches soon.