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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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Peregrine family.

It was good to note both adult Peregrines and their 3 juveniles on and near  New Island this morning.

The summer 'resident' Brent Goose, Curlew, a single Whimbrel and a few Oystercatchers, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers were the only birds of note from the Spit hide (yet again reeking of beer with at least 60 discarded empty cans ++ )

Monday, July 22, 2013

More of the same!

Moths in the trap this morning  included;

Swallow Tailed Moth

Garden Tiger

Poplar Hawk Moth
Birds this morning on Breech Pool included;

Little Egret in the hawthorns

Coot in the rife

Tatty Lapwing in the pool.

Besides these there were the now usual 2 Dunlin,1 Snipe, 12 Black Tailed Godwit, 2 Green Sandpipers, Redshank etc.

A promised  change in the weather may create some excitement soon, hopefully!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A friend returns from Australasia.

Yesterday a friend who has been visiting relatives on the other side of the world touched down at Heathrow last night after a very long flight. This morning  a Black Swan had arrived overnight on Pagham Lagoon. What a strange coincidence.

Black Swan

An unusual visitor to the Lagoon
Close up!

I can't ever remember seeing a Black Swan on the Lagoon before...only from the North Wall or in the harbour.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Quiet on the bird front...

...but a good night for's one of many trapped overnight and released this morning.

Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor


60 Oystercatchers flew into the harbour in a flock first thing this morning. Sand Martins and a few Swifts on the move during the morning.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Breech Pool ...again!

Yesterday I mentioned the summer plumaged BT Godwits but as I didn't have my camera I returned this morning to capture this fine example....
...shame about the lost eye but appreciate the brilliant colour!
Here are some of the others.... various stages of plumage

An Egret in the shallows by the sluice gate..

..and a humble House Sparrow

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Back to Pagham from a quick continental break.

I have just returned from a 'non birding' holiday in Holland and Belgium and first thing this morning paid a visit to the North Wall. I was interested to note that Jim Western had reported  hearing/seeing a  Grasshopper Warbler but alas no sign of it this morning. As it happened I met Jim on a walk to Medmery, loaded with plenty of water....rather him than me on a day like today!
However, it was a superb morning and still quite cool when I arrived at 7.00am...Cettis and Reed Warblers were very vocal. A dozen Black Tailed Godwits were feeding in the pool, resplendent in summer plumage! A few were sporting rings. The only other waders I saw were 2 Dunlin...also in summer plumage and 10 or so Lapwings and two Redshanks. A Greenshank was calling in the harbour.

Back up to the Spit hide and the only birds of note were 22 Curlews.

In the garden a surprise....the Mallard had laid another 3 eggs in the alley way but the bird was nowhere to be seen. Like the 2 laid previously this year I suspect nothing will come of it and doubtless the eggs will disappear one night probably to a fox or rodent.

Incidentally, although not a birding holiday it is difficult not to note the various birdlife. It generally seemed very quiet but a lot of Black Redstarts were noted in both town (Verviers) and countryside (High Fens in Belgium); Buzzards common and just one Red Kite. In Maastricht whilst watching an outside concert the 'screaming' of hundreds of Swifts overhead was indeed memorable! On the way home two Common Crane were seen just west of Dunkerque.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A hot summers day!

Birdlife was minimal but a Spit walk  showed  'work in progress' on a number of fronts. The Environment agency continue drilling to the west of the lagoon..
Viewed from the Lagoon

...showing the temporary road to enable vehicular access.

From the hide the valiant volunteers could be seen to continue rebuilding the steps at Church Norton.
See the Selsey Birders blog for July 8th.
You can almost feel the heat as they work in just about 80F

Oystercatchers on their high tide roost.

High tide at the 'old' harbour entrance.

Ground ivy in bloom.

The only birds along the shoreline were a pair of nesting Ringed Plovers but a dog walker with FOUR great dogs came along...all without leads and they had to scatter! This must happen time and time again during the day...what hope do they have!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Yellow Wags!

During the course of the day 3 Yellow Wagtails flying westwards over the spit...the first this 'autumn'!
 50+ Swifts and 25 Sand Martins 7.00-7.30 a.m.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sand Martins galore!

At 9.00a.m.  this morning the beach was alive with Sand Martins. Scores were using the far end of the Church Norton Spit as a resting place and every so often they would all take off, feed over the water and then return to the pebble least 200+ impressive sight.

It wasn't too long before they were disturbed by fisherman and departed.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Little Ringed Plover on the Lagoon

On the beach at 7.00am, and on the shoreline a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper just outside the bungalow. A stroll up to the hide ... the Peregrine was in the usual spot on the saltmarsh and then, as I returned past the Lagoon, a Common Sandpiper called and flew along and landed almost in front of Laguna and was joined by a Little Ringed Plover.This is a first for me at this location but alas, it was soon disturbed by a dog walker and flew to the other side.
In view of this I thought the North Wall might be productive but the only waders were a Common Sandpiper and a fairly confiding Curlew.
A number of junior  Little Egrets were practicing their flying skills in the hawthorns 

....and a rather motley Heron appeared between the sluice gates as I left.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Where's that Spoonbill?

Out at 7.00am to check the harbour for the reported Spoonbill but apart from more Swifts over the lagoon and a hunting Peregrine there was little of interest and  no sign of the target bird.

...those tail feathers are put to very good use

...another 'Swift' morning.

However, early afternoon it was reported on the North Wall viewable from the sluice. So, armed with camera, I arrived at the Salt House and there, in the middle of the harbour a  pin prick of a sleeping creamy white bird which, with bins was the Spoonbill. Photographable?...well no!
.... here's the proof!
700mm and a massive crop!
Having lugged the camera to the Breech Pool what could I photograph?

 A Shelduck with four youngsters the other side of the pool...

 and then I was reduced to Magpies!

...but hang on, if these were rare we would be bowled over by their plumage...just look at these tail colours and the general 'exotic' look of the bird.! Enjoy Magpies!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Scaup, still on the Lagoon.

An early morning visit to the North Wall... Cettis, Sedge and Reed Warblers very active and very vocal, a Turtle Dove purring in the Honer Farm trees and then two calling Avocets  flew in and started feeding on the mudflats just in front of me (no camera,of course! ).

Back to the Lagoon a little later (with Camera!)where the female  Scaup was still accompanying the Tufted Ducks..

Female Scaup on the viewed from just east of  'Laguna'

Having noted that Andrew House had seen a Spoonbill yesterday morning and that  it was seen again last night I was disappointed not to find it near the islands as reported. (I did find Andrew searching for it in vain!). There were a few Sandwich, Common and Little Terns fishing and except for a Peregrine little else of special note.
A moulting Sandwich Tern
The Childing Pinks were late in blooming this year and the one's I have found are much smaller than last year....presumably because of the late spring .If anyone wants to see a few,  check just below  the old No. 10 trail post just before the lone apple tree on the way to the Spit hide.

Childing Pink 

The Environment Agency has started work on strengthening the 'causeway' and off loaded some heavy gear this morning in the old car parking area.