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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, October 28, 2011

Early morning bathtime.

The Short Eared Owl was present on the Pagham Spit again this morning and a late Swallow flew west .
Skylarks and finches were moving west and a number of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes had obviously arrived overnight.

A visit to the North Wall produced a sequence of bathtime images..............

A Grey Plover arrives

...settles down

...  'its cold'!

"oh well...if I must"

...takes the plunge

and gets on with it.

and then he's joined by a Redshank

...straight in messing

head well under

...and its all over!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An unusual visitor!

A pair of Red Legged Partridges on the beach today was a bit of a surprise...seemed somewhat incongrous!

2 Sandwich Terns in the harbour.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A late Tern on an early morning.

At 7.15 this morning as I was awaiting the sunrise a Sandwich Tern flew out of the harbour mouth calling as it departed.

...and then the sun came are a few images taken in quick succession from various points...a good time to be out and about!!

Pagham Spit hide

The Little Lagoon

Friday, October 21, 2011

Another Short Eared Owl

First thing this morning a Sparrow Hawk was sitting on one of the Nature reserve posts on the beach viewable from our living room window.  Even at that distance the eyes looked menacing!

Left click to see those eyes!  
A quick walk up to the Spit hide and I found it already 5 Magpies (on top not inside! )

Later in the mornig when out for a stroll with a visitor (non birder) a Short Eared Owl flew up from  the beach adjacent to the Little Lagoon....a nice find and the second time  in the past 10 days or so.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pagham Spit seemed a bit quiet this morning but later on a Stonechat put in an appearance and a  Wheatear visited our patio late in the afternoon.

So at 9.00am  it was another stroll around to the North Wall for a couple of hours ....I include some of the photos  below and it seems there is a watery theme running through this series!

The Golden Plovers are still on the same mad bank!
The local Heron in action...

...on a successful mission!   

This Redshank looked particularly splendid in the brilliant sunlight.

Grey Plover looking pensive.

..just an ordinary Coot but in a superb setting.

Black Tailed Godwit keeping an eye out!
Nothing very special but Pagham always has something to offer

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A morning at Lavington Plantation

This morning dawned bright and sunny but with a considerable nip in the air. There was very little activity on Pagham Spit so prompted by some good images on the SOS and flickr websites  I made my way to Lavington Common. On meeting a couple of people with cameras I enquired if they were looking for Crossbills and having had no success myself looking on the common, I was told I had been in the wrong area...I needed  to go over the road into the plantation! It was not long before I heard the characteristic 'chip chip' call!!
I located a few Crossbills in a tall pine and then stumbled on a patch of rainwater in a cart track. Knowing that Crossbills drink frequently I positioned myself with the sun behind me and waited. It didn't take long for the action to start....not only Crossbills but Woodlarks were singing, Siskins flew in, Meadow Pipits bathed and a Raven was harrassed by Carrion Crows...and then a Buzzard landed in a nearby tree and spooked the lot!
A few images below...and a good morning.

The first Male Crossbill

What a size diiefence....Raven and  Carrion Crows

Woodlark...about to sing!

A male Crossbill at the puddle.

Meadow Pipit appoaching pool.
Another male Crossbill...about to come to the pool.

Female Crossbill drinking.

Buzzard watching!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The last few hours of the 'indian summer'

It was a superb morning and with a bad forecast for the rest of the week I felt a visit to  to the North Wall and Breech Pool was essential! I wasn't disappointed as the early morning light was great for a few photos.
There were c50 Golden Plover on the mud in Whites Creek

The one footed Black Tailed Godwit that has become a resident by the sluice gate

A confiding Brent Goose quite separate from the other flocks that are building up on a daily basis

A Little Egret catching the sunlight looking brilliant against the dark background

 A single Yellowhammer mingled in with with a collection of Reed Buntings

Flocks of Lapwing are growing

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pagham airport!!

Well, this morning was very similar to an airport...there were arrivals,there were departures and some birds were just in transit.
The arrivals were the Brents coming in off the sea, several small flocks of 20 or so from the Arctic.
6 Grey Herons were dots to start with but they headed for the harbour and eventually landed....from France possibly.

The departures included Swallows flying along the coast before crossing the English Channel on their way to Africa....and a Chiffchaff in our garden tree feeding up on insects before departure.

...and then there was a Black Redstart on the beach side of the bungalow...I dont know whether he was coming or going but it is always good to see a couple at this time of year on the beach.

There were Meadow Pipits and many Pied Wagtails going east today into the wind (it had gone round overnight) and finches everywhere....mostly Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Linnets but also some Siskins.

More surprisingly for Pagham Spit 19 Magpies arrived from the East...stayed a little while in the gorse and then headed off westwards....and then a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over the harbour from Church Norton and continued on its way without stopping.

From the Spit hide there were 15 Little Egrets feeding just in front with a single Grey Heron.

...and all the while a local Kestrel was hovering over the pebbles searching for some morsel for its breakfast.

...a good Autumn morning!

One of many that dropped in

Some of the many Little Egrets in front of the Spit hide

What a size difference!

The hunting Kestrel

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Brents are arriving.

All day yesterday there was skein after skein of Brent Geese arriving off the sea - some coming into the harbour whilst others flew past heading for winter quarters further west. The size of most flocks was abour 20 birds but one larger flock numbered 82....a beautiful sight and sound as they 'chatted' to each other as they arrived!

Todays highlight was a Short Eared Owl flying over the car park and being harassed by a Peregrine...probably an inexperienced young bird, as it soon made off.

A single Wheatear present on the beach and a few Swallows flying west along the beach.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What a bird!! WOW!

After a brief walk around the Spit at 7.30 a.m. I made my way to Burpham to try and find the long staying and very rare, Pallid Harrier. After much searching I met up with a very helpful birder who had been on previous occasions and had got a fairly clear idea of its hunting pattern. However, whilst I was with him him it didn't show and I decided to go on and trace the track he had mentioned. Less than 5 minutes later there it was quartering the some distance however and hardly photographable. Nevertheless I managed to get a few record shots and the one below is probably the best flight least it is a record (and a great life tick for me)

The Pallid Harrier at Burpham

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegetation clearance on Tern Island

Another very warm start to this amazing October weather and today I joined a working party to commence clearance of the vegetation on Tern Island in Pagham Harbour. It was certainly hot work and we kept an eye on the tide to ensure we didn't get marrooned for hours on end! I guess next time (and there will be 3 or 4 sessions during the next few months) it will be considerably was almost too hot and after 2 hours we had had enough.
 23 Brent Geese were feeding not too far away and there  was a Black Redstart and a Ring Ouzel in the Church Norton churchyard....alas I didn't see either!

During the afternoon Swallows were flying west along the beach in considerable numbers.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pagham again....

Just arrived back from 2 weeks in Suffolk and a week in Norfolk....the weather has been too good for much migration but East Anglia never disappoints!

Back at Pagham there were 4 Wheatears on the spit today, 2 Rock Pipits on the tide line and a Chiffchaff in the apple tree. A very high tide produced few opportunities for wader watching as the saltings had  disappeared!

However heres a quick selection of some of the birds seen whilst on holiday.
Lapland Bunting on the dunes at Minsmere

Fiona..the escaped Flamingo now almost resident at Minsmere!

Brent Geese flying past the North Norfolk coast...on their way to Pagham Harbour ?

Bearded Tit at Cley

A particularly attractive Ruff at Titchwell

Egyptian Goose showing Titchwell

Spoonbill at Titchwell

Curlew Sandpiper at Cley
Mostly Knot and Godwits at Holme

I shall put some better ones on my Flickr site when I have more time to trawl through them next week.