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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, March 30, 2012

The return of the Little Ringed Plover

A walk around the spit proved uneventful. Only 16 Brent geese from the hide (more Shelducks than Brent), a few Grey Plovers, Dunlin and Turnstone and the whole harbour looked deserted compared to recent weeks and before I was away for a few days in Suffolk. The Red Breasted Merganser that spent last summer here is still around and most of her associates have gone except one male I saw flying up channel.
However having noted that Peter Callis had repoted an  LRP yesterday I took a stroll to Breech Pool and initially failed to find it but patience rewarded and eventually it came into view..a bit distant but a record....

A couple of Black Tailed Godwits were having a real ding-dong and repeatedly had a 'go' at each other!
An angry Mute Swan on Breech pool
....still giving chase!

...a very different scene.
Heard a Blackcap singing in the vicarage garden and noticed this Woodpigeon sunning itself in the wam sunshine...oh! so peaceful!
I am getting into mothing and having made a moth trap tried it out last night and caught just 3 moths.

Earl Grey

Hebrew Character

Double striped pug, Gymnoscelis pumilata

..and finally a few photos from the Suffolk trip....

Marsh Harrier...Minsmere

Wood Lark...Dunwich Heath

Avocet...East hide Minsmere

Tree Creeper

Glossy Ibis...Eastbridge spoiled by heat haze (it was very hot for March in the UK! )

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Is summer here already?

What a morning!

The warmest by far this year although the birdlife was somewhat limited in the harbour. Just a a few Brents and Wigeon remaining  and wader numbers  noticeably less than last week.

In the bushes however  Greenfinches and Linnets singing besides Dunnocks and a distant Chiffchaff.

A few Meds flying over the Lagoon calling and Ringed Plovers on the beach zooming around in their characteristic display flights.

A really good morning to be alive!
Dunnock singing

Black Tailed Godwit  almost in summer plumage

Curlew in the main channel

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

 Its that Black Brant again from the Spit hide before the fog moved in at 8.30am...

It really stands out from the other Brents!

...showing off that triangular neck band and the diagnostic white flash.
The fog didn't clear 'til after midday and then it was sunny all the afternoon. A report came up on Birdguides that a Little Gull was present on Ivy Lake Chichester so that was a good excuse to get out. The gull was way over the other side of the lake and only record shots were possible...

It was easier to pick out whilst in flight as it showed its characteristic dark underwing.

..apologies for qualiy (itwas a long way off)

   I watched a Cormorant diving repeatedly to get a large underwater twig which it eventually hauled out and then made off wth it!

..and finally

...aggresive Greylag...from behind

..and in front!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Black Brant again!

After I had written yesterdays blog I realised I had not mentioned the Chiffchaff calling and then singing in the ivy clad bushes on the way to to the spit hide. This is the first one I had heard  singing this year and further  confirmation that Spring is here!
This morning there was no sign of him and only one male Wheatear was present on the pebbles by the hide.

The highlight this morning was the proximity of the Black Brant and although I didn't have my S.L.R. I was able to get a snap with my Lumix and a very good comparison with a Brent Goose!
Ok, it isn't a brilliant photo but it does give a pretty good idea of the difference between the two and yet at a distance they are sometimes very difficult to pick out....but I suppose you could sometimes be trying to find just that one bird  in a thousand or more!

A walk to the North Wall and the Paddyfield Warbler showed well, albeit briefly!

About 120+ Golden Plover were on their usual mudbank but a few were almost in total summer plumage.

Rock Pipits still present along the wall and Cettis Warblers bursting forth with their explosive song from time to time!

Monday, March 19, 2012


 I have been unable to update the blog for the past week as I have changed my provider and lost 'contact' for a while.

However  we seem to have moved into Spring rapidly with Wheatears now present and a visit of a fine Black Redstart.yesterday; during the week  it (or another one) came to our beach garden.

Linnets and Greenfinches are exploring the gorse and brambles and the signs
look encouraging!

Oystercatchers and Ringed Plovers are now beginning their noisy display flights

Brents have been on the move and numbers have dwindled; they have been seen moving out of the harbour and winging their way East.

A team of volunteers has been erecting the fencing on the Church Norton spit in readiness for nesting waders and terns.

...and this morning 3 male Wheatears were present on the spit and, right in front of the hide, a superb Black Brant showed up...unfortunately I was only able to get a record shot of it as it saw me and paddled off all too quickly!

Black Brant showing the extensive collar .

It won't be long now before the winter ducks disappear and the first Sand Martin drops in!
Roll on summer!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Warnham Nature Reserve

The blog today is nothing about Pagham Harbour.

If anyone wants a really ideal spot to photograph a variety of birds at close range Warnham is THE place.
This is where I've been today!!

Here is a random selection..some more selected 'specials' can be seen on my flickr site..


Lesser Redpolls
Is this a Mealy?


Long Tailed Tits

Water Rail

Great Crested Grebe

Greylag Goose