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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, January 25, 2012

A Dull Day

After yesterday's all day rain it was good to get out again today.

The highlight of an early lookaround was the sight of a pair of Avocets from the hide  chasing each other and both swimming across the channel in hot pursuit of each Spring in the air already?

One of many Teal
Lots of Teal and Wigeon about, huge flocks of Lapwing and a flock of about 1600 Brents in the middle of the harbour. The usual Med Gulls on the off shore shingle bank plus Grey Plovers, Knot, Dunlin etc.

The resident Kestrel on the lokout

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What a sunrise!

As I looked out this morning at 7.40 I noted this fantastic sky well before sunrise

This is a stitched panorama from 3 images...left click to appreciate   

20 minutes later the sun arose
. A quick walk up to the harbour entrance and all the usual birdlife was present plus a Kingfisher (no photo unfortunately)
A busy day precluded any more birding and as night fell I learnt that Bearded Tits were present in the reedbed along the North Wall and photographers had a field day. I wonder if they will remain until tomorrow?

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Non Pagham day....but two life ticks!

In view of the recent TV coverage regarding the Spanish Sparrow I decided it was time to pay a visit to Calshot and maybe call in to the Dark Eared Junco site and perhaps look up the Great Grey Shrike on the way! To cut a long story short we called into the Shatterford car park at the Beaulieu Station location and could not locate the GGS. Then onto  to Hawkhill enclosure where the Junco had been seen 10 minutes earlier....waited fot an hour and a half and then got a 10 second sighting of the Junco before it disappeared...resulting in a couple of very poor images....
The Dark Eyed Junco perched on this branch for all of 3 seconds.

Dark Eyed Junco feeding on seed behind whispy grass creating focusing problems!
..and then on to Calshott where I initially went without camera into the kitchen of the local birder who had kindly opened up his house to all and sundry and got a good view of the Spanish Sparrow on the bird table. Upon returning with the camera I caught a glimpse of the bird but by the time I was set up it disappeared and failed to return whilst I was there!

 Not entirely satisfactory but nevertheless, two lifers, so I can't complain....much!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

As I was in Worthing this morning I decided to go a little further east to Widewater in search of the long staying Snow Buntings. Met a local birder who told me he was more interested in photographing Little Egrets but who kindly pointed me in the right direction. It didn't take too long to find the 'spot' as a couple of pigeons were feeding on the beach and there, with them, a pair of Snow Buntings. It was just after 8.00am and the sun was low and gave the buntings quite an orange glow!
Keeping a lookout...and it was only a high flying Redshank!

...and then it was time to return, but as I was passing the Burpham turn and it was a very pleasant morning   I couldn't resist the temptation to wander up toThe Burgh! A ringtail Harrier and distant view of the long stay Rough Legged Buzzard plus loads of Corn Buntings, Reed Buntings and a somewhat incongrous flyby Grey Heron made the journey worthwhile
One of several Reed Buntings at Burpham

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pagham Lagoon....a newcomer.

As I walked past the western end of Pagham Lagoon this afternoon  I was surprised to find a grebe in the fenced off area amongst the grassy tussocks. Assuming it was one of the regular Little Grebes I   realised it was indeed a Black Necked Grebe and once it was in the water it started feeding on small fish. After 5 minutes or so it chose to ignore me and enabled me to get some decent photos at close range. Initially I thought it was unwell but it may have just been exhausted from its flight assumimg it had just arrived as it seemed to be feeding well although I did not see it dive and it was only picking the tiny fish from the shallows.I shall check on it tomorrow morning!

After initially stagerring out of the grass it soon made it to the water.

Yesterday whilst showing my grandaughter the delights of  watching the waders on the shingle bar  from our living room window during mid-afternoon she suddenly drew my attention to a distant flock of  duck flying westwards.....she mentioned that a few of them had white patches on their wings. On 'scoping them there was a flock of Scoter accompanied by 3 Velvets....its great to have young eyes!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nothing dramatic to report...the terrible weather early in the week made birding difficult and then yesterday it all changed sky, little wind and therefore a wander along the North Wall was called for....
20 Fieldfares and a single Redwing in Owl Copse plus a few Reed Buntings, Greenfinches and a Yellowhammer. 3 Rock Pipits along the wall, big flocks of Brent Geese alighted on Breach Pool much to the delight of a visiting birdwatching group

Several flocks of Curlew arrived and quickly joined others feeding in the fields in front of Halsey farm..

Another decent day today with flocks of waders throughout the harbour...this one of Knot in front of the Church Norton hide being just one example.

 The Lagoon held the usual ducks including the splendid drake Goldeneye

Two Water Rail in the reedbed walkway area but, as ever. unseen!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An unbirdable morning...

...and a very windy afternoon afforded little opportunity for any serious birding apart from sea watching or rather, watching the sea ! (if you could stand up!)

Pagham Beach

Monday, January 2, 2012


.........and good birding to one and all !!!!!

..a forty minute walk up to the harbour Spit hide past the Lagoon and back produced  the following  2012 bird list to date ..........
Mute Swan
Brent Goose
Tufted Duck
Red Breasted Merganser
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Grey Heron
Little Egret
Ringed Plover
Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Black Tailed Godwit
Black Headed Gull
Herring Gull
Greater Black Backed Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Common Gull
Collared Dove
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow

46 in total...thats just over one a minute...not a bad start from a home patch but slightly diaspponting as I expected to see Peregrine and Kingfisher as previous recent  mornings!

...and here's a photo of the beach showing the extent of the continuing erosion problem.