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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, February 29, 2012


Having received an email from Dave Potts last night telling me the Yellow Browed was a 'cinch' I made my way in the mist and gloom arriving at the site in Worthimg town at 8.00am. Maybe it was a 'cinch' to see and hear it but photographing it was quite a different matter! The light was dreadful, the bird was constantly on the move and near impossible to track in the bushes as it flitted hither and thither. After an interesting hour I got a few record shots and here are some... for what they worth! Pretty noisy and colourless due to the high ISO, but  they do show the main ID markings on the wings etc.

I returned later in the day when the light had improved but the bird was very elusive and I only got 2 or 3 shots which don't show the wing markings etc.
However I have put it on my flickr site

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Paddyfield pictures.

During the the early morning walkabout  I met a father and young, very keen son who, amongst other sightings, mentioned a Sandwich Tern. As we discussed this early date and whether  this was an over wintering bird two more Sandwich Terns flew from the harbour. They also mentioned they had seen the Paddyfield Warbler in more or less its original 'spot' but as the light was poor I waited until the sun broke through after 1.00pm,

There were a few birders on the NorthWall so having set up I waited and eventually the Paddyfield Warbler showed up!. Not the easiest bird to see let alone photograph but every now and again it hopped up a reed stem or caught a fly and then disappeared again moving along low in the reeds and popping up further along.

Paddyfield Warbler...showing for a few seconds at a time...infrequently!

The elusive Paddyfield Warbler shows up!

...easily overlooked if you didn't know it was there!
Keeping an eye on us!

A group of Roe Deer appeared in the field beyond and one was in velvet
Is this neck band unusual?
Along the wall the usual  Rock Pipits were present....

and on the water  in the harbour the Pintail looked fabulous in the sunlight!

Friday, February 24, 2012


As I took a  quick look round the spit this morning I unexpectedly flushed 2 Short Eared Owls just along the path between the hide and the Little Lagoon....from almost under my feet!

The RH Smew still present on the Lagoon.

More surveys seem to be being  taken along the beach and a yellow jacket and assistant were making notes just after 9.00am....a good sign hopefully!

A visit to Selsey was interesting as Barges loaded with rocks were being taken to the  Medmerry site to form barriers to prevent that area from being eroded...what about Pagham Beach!!.

A Black Headed Gull looked on.

At Church Norton there were a  siege of 11 Grey Herons (only 6 in this image)

and a group of birders birding!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pagham Lagoon

Mediterranean Gulls are showing various plumages at present as they change into summer dress. They are also becoming far more vocal and this alone is sufficient to differentiate them from Black Headed Gulls. A good time to visit Pagham Lagoon if you are not  familiar with this soon will be!

Just a few more images of some the birds on the Lagoon at present.

Little Grebe with fish (right click)

Female Goldeneye

Redhead Smew...still present today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

An impressive sunrise

Too good to last!
Shortly after this photo was taken the clouds rolled in and it remained cold and windy all day. A look around the Spit revealed nothing unusual; the Pintail were feeding near the hide but soon flew off at my approach.

 The mid morning peace was shattered by a tannoy announcement from our local councillor in a car reminding all the residents of todays exhibition...and the need to make our feelings felt about the non action proposed by the EA at the present time! 

The beach is still being eroded each time we have a spring tide coinciding with a wind from the 'wrong' direction. Action needs to be taken NOW!!!

            This Common Gull is  making the most of the next post before it is washed away!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Wild Goose Chase?

After a quick early morning sortie around the harbour spit and noting a superb Kingfisher at the harbour mouth I decided to try Hayling for the Shore Lark as the light was ideal for photography.  I had no sucess so went onto to Warblington to locate the Cattle joy. Final stop, Thorney Island for the Great White Egret...dipped  !

On the way home decided to stop off at Pagham North Wall and was eventually rewarded by the flock of 7 White Fronted geese which had previously eluded me. front of Honer Farm

....perhaps it would be  best to stay on the local patch in future.

Teal behind the sluice gate

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I looked out this morning to see a splendid male Sparrowhawk on the stayed a few minutes before making a dash to the front of the bungalow where it normally snatches a breakfast! I could not confirm whether it was successful!

Later in the morning I made my way to Summer Lane and sample the delights of the local sewage treatment works...this is a real magnet for Pied Wagtails (c50) and Meadow Pipits (c20) and a pair of superb Grey Wagtails and a Chiffchaff.  In the fields beyond I picked out the long staying Whooper Swans when, as I did so a huge flock of Brents came in from the harbour and landed in an adjacent field....there must have been 2000+.

As this week it is school half term, I took my grandaughter to Pulborough Brooks yesterday and had superb close up views of the Water Rail from the centre window and later watched the resident Bullfinches

Monday, February 13, 2012

A cold and dreary morning.

A bunch of birders still waiting in anticipation for the Paddyfield Warbler showing up, but although it had been seen at 8.00a.m. it hadn't been seen again at the time of my visit, just before noon.

Back on the Lagoon the RH Smew was showing well and was keeping close company with a female Goldeneye in front of Laguna.

A smart drake Goldeneye was attended by 7 females in the harbour entrance channel at 8.30am...he was VERY attractive! (Sorry - no photo.)

A single Slavonian Grebe off the beach...but if visiting beware several distant Gt Cresteds!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pagham in Winter...never take it for granted.

....from the living room window....5 Slavonian Grebes on the sea

...on and around the Lagoon....Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, 50 Med Gulls,Water Rail, Pochard,Tufted Duck,Gadwall but no Smew this morning

...from Spit Hide...Superb Drake Goldeneye plus several females and Pintail, plus big flocks of Knot, plus, plus !

....from North Wall...Paddyfield Warbler showing well in the 'tyre bush' (beware Wren and Stonechat sharing the bush! ) and a Black Brant  in with the main Brent flock.

Some of the Med Gulls on the in summer plumage.
One 'Paddy' visitor remarked  that I was very lucky living in a place like this...I suppose he was  right!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New signs and a Smew!

 We arrived at the Pagham Harbour Information Centre at just the right moment this morning!!

Its out with the old....


...and out!

..and its in with the new that level?

..perfect, and RSPB Pagham Harbour is  installed.

 Back on the Lagoon the reported Redhead Smew was showing well from the boardwalk (thank you Peter Callis! ) and despite poor light I was able to get a few photos.