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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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ospreys...I missed the one reported over the harbour Sunday!

Quiet on the Spit this morning and only B T Godwits, Redshanks and 3 Snipe on Breech Pool and no sign of the Glossy that has turned up again, so I needed a boost and decided on Thorney. Certainly two Ospreys (maybe three) and a very pale Buzzard but quite distant for any decent shots but here are a few long distance heavily cropped flight shots just to prove they were there!
Distant flight shots
At times it seemed to be sky dancing was NOT plunge diving!
...and I saw no fish caught.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Breech Pool again!

This time it was to look at and photograph the Wood Sandpiper reported on the  S.O.S. web site yesterday. joy.

A Curlew obliged in the saltmarsh...


...and a variety of geese showed up on the Breech Pool.
 Besides the Canada Geese....a Barnacle Goose, a Grey Lag Goose and the pale faced  Canada

Barnacle Goose
Grey Lag...just the one

Pale face!

The Ruff (or is it a Reeve) was feeding in the pool once the water level had dropped sufficiently.

...but still no sign of my target bird!

Four Greenshanks, 2 Spotted Redshanks and a Common Sandpiper joined the Redshanks in the main channel extending to Whites Creek....we await the Curlew Sandpipers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Breech Pool

A brief early morning visit  to Breech Pool to see if anything interesting had turned up resulted in little excitement but as always there is usually plenty to see and enjoy!

Mute Swan flypast...anything but mute in flight!
Reed Warblers were again much in evidence and a Cettis called from the sluice gate area but as usual kept well hidden.

Black Tailed Godwits

Black Tailed Godwits were enjoying the shallow water of the pool ....but the star of the show had to be a single Ruff feeding alongside but frequently preening. (See Flickr)

It was a pleasant hour simply enjoying the peace and quiet and trying to capture a few images of the varying bird life!

Here are couple of shots of the ever present Egrets... in typical hunched poe

...and another in 'take off' position!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pagham Spit Walk for Friends of Pagham

An early recce of the Spit produced just 4 Willow Warblers plus the usual Linnets and Greenfinches in the gorse but high overhead going westwards, was  a flock of Sand Martins...had it not been for their calls I would not have noticed them.... a little later about 30 House Martins and 20 Swallows flew low over the Lagoon. The tide was coming in and Grey Plovers, Curlews, Oystercatchers plus a few Dunlin were feeding on the mud but I knew that by the time of the RSPB/Friends of Pagham Harbour walk started the mud would be covered and most waders gone to their high tide roost.

Then at about 10.00am my neighbour shouted 'the car park is open'!

I told them it was not open to all!!
As the members spilled out they made their way to the Lagoon after an  introduction by Bill Martin from the 'friends'   he and Sarah Hughes, the Community Wildlife Officer led the group for a very interesting walk around the Lagoon and onto the Spit.

Viewing the Lagoon the Spit Hide

 The weather was superb but despite  bird life being a bit thin on the ground everyone enjoyed the walk..


Distant views of a few of the birds noted.
Little Egret and Grey Heron

On the walkway....discussing the 'new' shingle spit!

...and by the way......
Mothing has improved  and two oak Eggars were  caught overnight
Decided to take camera for evening shots of gulls in flight with the sun shining on their undersides...a number of Mediterranean Gulls were feeding on flying insects so they were my target. Absolutely hopeless and I failed miserably but I did capture a Lttle Egret and a B.h. gull so it gives the idea of the lighting I was after!

Med Gulls next time hopefully!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An early morning hour at Breech Pool

A familiar spot to regular visitors to Breech Pool....and the ever present farmyard geese!

The Canada Geese are regular
...but this one has an unfamiliar face pattern.

...but my main purpose was to capture a few shots of Reed Warblers before their return and I was pleased to find two pairs feeding youngsters.

Adult Reed Warbler

Youngster begging.

..waiting patiently for the next beakful.


Difficult to photograph because of the habitat....dense reeds!  However a nice record to look back  on, on a cold winters evening!

A Great Crested Grebe lurked on the pool

...and a Cormorant flew overhead
Nothing special but a superb warm, quiet  and windless morning...people and dog free!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A quiet morning.

Pagham Spit always surprises! Some mornings it is alive with birds....Linnets, Greenfinches, Waders, Peregrines, Migrants. Other mornings are sometimes, but, rarely, dead. This morning was in the latter category. A lone Little Egret was fishing in the Little Lagoon but the bushes held nothing. A single female Wheatear on the beach and that was it!

Little Egret on Little Lagoon

Little Egret in hunting mode
During the morning I heard the flight call of Green Sandpipers and five flew in from the sea quite high overhead and during  late morning  four Swifts flew west.
I was pleased to note that some kindly soul had cleared the rubbish from the hide mentioned in my previous blog. Thank you whoever you are.

Friday, August 10, 2012

It makes you spit!

This is the third morning this week that I have been greeted by this site in the Spit Hide. I have cleared it up on both mornings and had words with the youngsters  responsible on the first occasion when  I caught up with them but obviously this has had little effect. Perhaps the hide should be locked during the summer always used to be but it seems a shame for visiting bird watchers to deny them the facility. 

Party time?
Willow Warbler
This is one of three in our silver birch this morning but there were a few more on the spit plus a Whitethroat, 2 Common Sandpipers on the Lagoon and a juvenile Peregrine murdering an unidentifiable bird at some distance on the Church Norton spit as it cried for mercy! Several parties of Swallows flew west during the day plus a singfle Swift.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The coast is an exception...its usally the other way round!

After a fine start with  a few Willow Warblers and a Wheatear arriving overnight the sea fret rolled in at mid-day and the afternoon turned misty and quite cool. Most of the country enjoyed warm sun...not so Pagham. Here's hoping for a better tomorrow.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Breech Pool

The morning started looking dull and uninviting and a visit to the Spit hide was fruitless. As the morning improved I was attracted by the numerous Starlings visiting the fat balls on the bird table so decided to give the camera an  'airing' and captured a few of the Sturnus Vulgarae in various states of plumage.

Although they may be very common they are querky birds and quite attractive when seen at close quarters.

Late morning and the weather improved  so took a trip to Breech Pool to look for waders. As I arrived I could see the familiar figure of Dave Potter hunched over his '500' and not so far away a Green Sandpiper posing for him.  As usual, I didn't have my camera so decided to return home, grab the camera and within 20 minutes returned to the spot...sandpiper gone! (It was alleged that I  spooked it as I made off ) However the bird did return for a short while and I was able to get a few very quick shots before it flew off again and then remained out of distance for the next couple of hours.
Here are my efforts...I just hope Dave enjoyed the quality time prior to my arrival and got some cracking piccys!

Curlews arriving over Breech Pool

Very little else showed up but a small flock of Curlews flew over and 2 Spotted Redshanks were present. Although very distant the Spotted really stood out and this very cropped shot shows how  distinctive this bird is, when seen with its cousins.
Spotted Redshank