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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.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oenanthe query

After watching 3 Rock Pipits on the harbour wall I turned around and saw a small bird on the Spit hide. It was crouching low and initially, from the colouration I thought it was a male Chaffinch. Immediately I realised it was a Wheatear but from the overall dark orangy/pinkish breast.belly and flanks it struck me that this was not a 'normal' Northern. It flew quickly to a fence post and the white rump confirmed it was indeed a Wheatear ...but the coloration was more striking. I took one distant quick shot with my 16x digital zoom point and shoot and show below a cropped and more heavily cropped  poor shot. It disappeared after about 10 seconds and despite a search and several return visits it never reappeared. Any ideas ?

On a subsequent later visit to try again it was good to see a redhead Goosander in flight showing clearly the sharp division between the brown upper neckand whitish lower foreneck....quite different to a Red Breasted Merganser.

...and then onto the beach where the Greenfinch flock was feeding alongside a few Linnets.

...before a quick look over to the off shore spit to see the impressive high tide wader roost.
left click to check species!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Early morning atmoshere.

After yesterdays dullness and afternoon rain this morning was in distinct contrast...perfection. Not a breath of wind, bright sun over the sea and mist over the saltings. Although difficult to capture 'on film' here are a couple of digital images.

....and one of the heavy dew (left click to appreciate! )

..and another misty one at the harbour entrance...note the Sparrow Hawk at the bottonm of the had been after a Greenfinch but had failed to capture. The Greenfinch flock is about 150 strong and I believe they found safety in numbers on this occasion!

...and for  Pagham Beach visitors here is a picture showing the 'cliff'' that has developed in front of the bungalows as a result of recent erosion and formation of the elongated Church Norton spit.

..and finally, a superb example of a Fly Agaric at Pulborough Brooks this afternoon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lets give Burpham a try!!!

Set off from Pagham after a quick Spit inspection revealed little of interest. Arrived Burpham (pub carpark) and walked up past the farm and towards the Burgh. Plenty of Fiedfares and Redwings about and a distant Red Kite...but no sign of the much watched Rough Legged Buzzard.
On returning to the 'triangle' several birders present with optics poised but I had missed the had showed at about the time I was parking the car and was walking in the wrong direction...story of my life.
At least there was one familiar face present..a proper photographer with the full works...I had only taken my 'toy' lens. Hung about for a couple of hours... still no RLB but the Kites got closer...took a few shots...heavy crops against the light most of them, but just wait untill you see the 'proper' photographers results....heres a shot of him making adjustments. I'll give the reference when he posts them on Flickr.

Lots of others there too!

...and all I managed to get!!
A pair of Red Kites

Unmistakable, even as a silhouette.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A gloomy November day

Really gloomy!!
...but a look at the Lagoon was worthwhile with my first pair of Goldeneye of the winter plus 3 Female Red Breasted Mergansers joining the 5 Pochards and the usual Tuftys and Mallards.

The only other unusual sighting was the appearance of 13 Shelducks landing on the Church Norton spit opposite the Pagham Spit which at low tide is now only separated by about 20ft of water! Apart from that plenty of Med gulls around.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time is moving on...

....and 2 Swallows were a bit of a surprise this morning as they flew east past the Lagoon. With a temperature of 14c at 8.30 this morning and with the trees still in leaf it is not surprising these two were somewhat confused.
A Rock Pipit accompanied a Pied Wagtail at the harbour entrance as a  Seal headed into the harbour.

Later in the day I walked to the salthouse on the North Wall and as the tide was receding  noticed high numbers of Ringed Plovers and Dunlins. Lapwings and Golden Plovers were the most numerous waders but Curlews, Black Tailed Godwits and Grey Plovers were well spread throughout the harbour. Brent Geese numbers have grown considerably during this week and Wigeon and Teal are present on the Lagoon and in the harbour. A few Pintails are about but as yet I have not seen any Goldeneye....we need some cold weather!

A single Spotted Redshank was feeding in Whites Creek.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A dull few days

....but today at 1.00pm the sun appeared!

On the Lagoon the Pochards are still present - 2 males and 3 females and surprisingly 22 Little Grebes in a tight little flock in the centre of the Lagoon....a quite unusual sight!

Best of all a splendid Marsh Harrier quartering the salt marsh just west of owl copse visible from the spit hide.

Still plenty of Med Gulls about and good numbers of  Lapwings and Golden Plover put up by the raptor.

Small flocks of Starlings continually flying west.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hard work for some!

Work continued this morning on clearing the grass and weeds on Tern Island in preparation for the nesting season next Spring.

Volunteers at work

...some on their knees

...others in back breaking positions!  

...unfortunately not much time for birding and with a strong southerly wind blowing a couple of hours was quite enough!