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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, November 29, 2013

I notice that the Handfast Tug has remained in a stationary position just off Horseshoe Bay, Isle of Wight since leaving Pagham Beach yesterday, presumably with Charlie Rock in tow, who I am told should return with a final load of Cornish Rocks next week. Is there a problem I ask?

Later...been talking to the Foreman, Harry and the answer is......"bad weather in the Channel, further west"!
More delays!!!   ....Handfast now in Portsmouth (14.15 hrs) Just seen Handfast passing Spinnaker on webcam 15.50 hrs leaving Portsmouth...on her way back to a mooring off I.O.W. (1700hrs).

...but work continues on the beach.....

Panoramic view (left click for bigger image) day

...and by night ( well not quite) but when it gets dark at 5.00p.m.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Charlie Rock arrives under the cover of darkness!

At 5.00am I looked out and could see a tug moored off shore...well lit!

At 7.00am I wandered down onto the beach and there she was....

Charlie Rock is here!

...with Handfast Tug alongside

..spewing out her Cornish rocks!


and more!!

Now ,hopefully the work can continue....there is a good pile of new rocks to work on!

At 10.15 the Handfast and Charlie were on their way back to Falmouth and had passed Selsey.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Dull Grey Day.

What a contrast to yesterdays bright sun!
Little to report....4 Goldeneye in harbour entrance.


..plenty to watch on the beach if you like rocks and diggers!

The trench is VERY deep and very close to the properties!

The triangular shape of the revetment can be seen clearly now...but not for much longer when they backfill.

The smaller pieces being gingerly  guided into position

...a huge machine with a gentle touch....the chaps operating these machines are real specialists!

 The next barge load is on its way 4.00p.m. its between Swanage and the Isle of Wight

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

As there was a good weather forecast I was torn today as to  whether to go further afield or stay on my local patch for a few more photographs. The light was excellent and I decided to stay and see what was around....if I didn't live here I would probably want to come here on a day like today!!

First of all a Grey Plover on the Little Lagoon along with the usual Redshank, Little Grebes, Teal, Tufted Ducks and Mallards.
Grey Plover...different lighting creates a different look. See below 

As I passed the Lagoon on the way to the North Wall I noticed this female Pochard keeping an eye on me....
Pochard (f)
Along the edge of the harbour I was aware of flocks of finches and buntings flying into the bushes from Slipe Field, predominantly Reed Bunting but with a few Yellowhammers..
Reed of dozens

Yellowhammer....fantastic birds...especially in the sunshine
...and then I was aware of movement, low in a bush in front of me...a diminutive moving and always tricky to capture on camera.
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes...such a great name)

... and then a Chiifchaff...probably over wintering..a mere glimpse but just time to get one poor shot!

Almost at the Salt House a Wigeon was looking anxiously back at me...

...before making off.

Last but not least a Pied Wagtail posed on a weed covered post...just perfect!

Pied Wagtail on stump.

Revetment News

It was good to note on the computer at 7.00am this morning  that the tug, Handfast left Falmouth Harbour and made for the quarry a few miles to the west. At 10.00am it set off and headed east and later in the afternoon I noted it was about 20 miles south of Polperro traveling at 4.4 knots.
Work continued on the beach shifting rocks as more liner had been delivered in the morning and enabled work to carry on.
Stocks of lining had run low last week but now all was well and work could continue

Checking the height of the revetment
Progress as at 3.00 pm this afternoon

Handfast Tug passing Plymouth at 6.30p.m...its on its way...slowly!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pagham Harbour for a variety of birds...difficult to beat!

I checked for yesterdays Black Necked Grebe at the harbour entrance but could not locate it. However a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers were there together with two female Goldeneye along with the usual Wigeon and Brent.

However, unusually there were eight Shovelers on the Lagoon together with three Pochard, two Godeneye plus hundreds of Coots.

Six of the eight female Shovelers on Pagham Lagoon

Mute Swans over Honer Farm against a dramatic sky.
A visit to the North Wall in the hope of finding a few Beardies resulted in a blank. However a female Reed Bunting posed on the reed stems...
Reed Bunting (f)

Reed Bunting (f)

..and a Heron was viewing the low water level of Breech pool............

...and then a Green Woodpecker flew from the tree by the paddock to a fence by the sluice...what a bird!

Green woodpecker 

No Beardies but still the camera was put to good use....Pagham rarely disappoints!

Revetment News

Progress slows as current stock of rock running low...further supplies held up in Falmouth....due this week sometime?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A nice bird for the harbour !

As is my custom an early walk around the Spit just to ascertain what's about. In the harbour mouth I noticed a grebe and assumed it was a Slavonian as I had seen a few off shore yesterday but as I wandered home something made me think I had made a wrong diagnosis. Returning with camera I found the bird in question which had come closer by now and realised it was a Black Necked Grebe. A dog off the lead ran along the beach and I thought all hope of a photo was gone but it was not disturbed and allowed a few shots from a reasonable distance...don't get too many of these in the harbour so I felt pleased I had returned with my camera..

Black Necked Grebe ...winter plumage

The red eye is quite noticeable even at a distance...a smart bird, but in summer plumage it's a stunner!
Summer plumage...taken in

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pagham Harbour...early morning at its best!

Waning Gibbous Moon  an hour after sunrise over Pagham Harbour this morning
A crisp Autumn morning and a 30 minute walk up to the Spit Hide and back reminded me of how fortunate we are to live here!

Here are just a few of the birds encountered.
Drake Wigeon moments after a splash landing.
Male and female Wigeon taking off.Add caption

Little egret in flight...just look at those marigolds!

Little Egret fishing

Oystercatcher...the early morning lights really highlights the bright orange bill.

As I looked over the harbour wall a Turnstone was feeding very close by.

Curlew on the salt marsh

A wing stretching Curlew 

Returning via the Lagoon the usual Coots and Tufted Ducks were accompanied by 3 Pochard and a couple of female Goldeneye.

Female Goldeneye...the males usually arrive a few weeks later.

Yes...a superb morning!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A quiet day...apart from the noise!

Little to report today apart from two Slavonian Grebes just off the 'new' spit.

The fence posts were removed yesterday from off the spit...presumably to be relocated next April just prior to the breeding season.

Work continues on the revetment with four 'dinosaurs' in action! 

They look quite impressive in the late afternoon sunshine!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A watery sunrise

Early morning ...Pagham Beach.
   Shortly after this photo was taken the drizzle started and then the rain and later in the morning heavy hail.

As high tide approached I checked on revetment  progress and the sea seemed closer to the properties than ever!

Later the curve of the structure was becoming apparent and the line it will be taking is becoming much clearer ......still too close for comfort for the worst affected properties!

At 2.15 the clouds departed and the sun came out....time to look for the Kingfisher. was on its favourite spot but too distant for a decent photo....nevertheless a record shot!

A strangely confiding Brent Goose was on the bank at the far eastern end of the Lagoon and enabled a few close ups...I just hope it is well.

Brent Goose...unusually confiding

There is now a roving flock of Brent Geese in the harbour...about 1500 strong.
...and finally

Black Headed Gull in late afternoon sun.