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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, February 28, 2014

An Iceland Gull pays a visit to Pagham Lagoon.

As I was checking to see if the 'possible' Siberian Chiffchaff  still remained in the bushes adjoining Pagham Lagoon I checked the birds on the Lagoon and there, right in the middle, was an Iceland Gull! I had the camera with me and got a few shots of it as it paddled about before taking flight and circling around several times before heading off in an easterly direction.
A cracking bird!

Circling before heading east
A couple of Goldeneye still remain together with a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers and early in the day a female Pochard(not so common on the Lagoon).
Drake Goldeneye....soon to depart!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Injured Guillemot...update.

Feeling better now...
 On my blog of February 19 I mentioned the injured Guillemot found on the beach at Pagham and taken into care. I have just heard that the bird is doing well in hospital having been stitched up (nasty gash on its back), is feeding and will be sent to Brent Lodge for a period of recuperation before being returned to the hospital (as an out patient, presumably!) to  have the stitches removed and then hopefully released. A remarkable service from West Meads Alpha Pet Surgery, Bognor Regis.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A sibe?....maybe not!

Yesterday afternoon in poor light I was walking along the Pagham Lagoon when a warbler flew out from the bushes and alighted momentarily on an exposed a branch....a Chiffchaff but a very pale bird. This morning it was relocated and photographed....any comments?

 What a difference a day makes! Blue sky pretty well unbroken all day. A day with the camera...first, the North Wall where a Cettis was calling and Greenfinches, Chaffinches and a Reed Bunting were all starting to sing. Nothing unusual but really good to enjoy a bit of decent light for a change!

Swans against a background of Goodwood

Swan close up

Heron over reed bed

Incoming Curlew

Drake Tufted Duck on Breech Pool

....with the duller female.

On Pagham Lagoon two drake Red Breasted Mergansers and a single female....

A very handsome bird!

Wing stretching

...and along the beach in the afternoon....

Turnstones galore! isolation


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Several sea birds have been found along the Sussex coast this week following the storm which have included Razorbills and several Puffin. There was a dead Guillemot on the beach yesterday but the one today was quite lively but had a nasty wound on its back.

I took it to the Westmeads Alpha Rescue Centre and hopefully it will recover.

The Slavonian Grebe continues to show well on the Lagoon and 2 Drake Goldeneye are accompanied by 3 Females. A Little Gull has been present for a couple of days but as yet I have failed to photograph it. Mediterranean Gulls are losing their winter plumage and the reported Glaucous reported yesterday, failed to show up . The Peregrine is being seen more often on New Island. 

 Mediterranean...losing its winter plumage

A couple of Meds in Summer plumage on the Lagoon

One of the drake Goldeneye on the Lagoon .

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kittiwakes at Pagham Beach

At about 3.30 when the rain eased,  I ventured out onto the beach to see the effects of the high tide
after yet another rough morning.  On walking along the top of the revetment my attention was drawn to a very dark coloured 'gull' in flight above the rocks. As I got closer I noticed  that a Kittiwake was nestling in the rocks and the dark coloured  'gull' in flight was in fact a heavily oiled Kittiwake. It was dipping down and was showing what appeared to be concern about the  other bird on the rocks. Kittiwakes mate for life and it was obvious the birds were a pair. I took a few photos with my compact camera of the Kittiwake on the rock which permitted a very close approach making me assume it was injured.

After going home to get the SLR and decide what action I should take to catch the 'poorly' bird  I returned to find that the oiled bird had disappeared and the other Kittiwake was flying up and down the revetment as it would a rock face in its nesting quarters.

However, all seemed well and I managed a few photos in very poor light as it was an unusual occurence for me to see  Kittiwakes on the beach...I see a few off shore!

Note the characteristic 'dipped in ink' wing tips.

I'm now not at all sure that it is 100% well looking at the somewhat dull eye.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Kracking Kumlien's!

Kumlien's Gull in flight.

Reports of a Kumlien's Gull and a Glaucous Gull during the weekend was sufficient to entice me to Littlehampton this morning. Met up with like minded birders only to be told the Glaucous had flown east and the Kumlien's was on  the other side of the harbour entrance. Much discussion, should we, shouldn't we drive all the way round to the other side. Maybe the birds will come back this way...maybe not!

After 40 minutes decided to drive round to the Clymping side only to be told the Kumlien's had just flown to the other side ...somewhere!.

Decided to stay and wait and sure enough, a shout eventually went up ...."there it is in flight and coming this way"!!

Had an enjoyable time  taking over  400 photos as it fed on molluscs giving good photographic opportunities.

Kumlien's Gulls are the North American race  of Iceland Gulls and breed in Baffin Isand and N.E. Canada hence a nice rarity to catch up with.

Kumlien's Gull
...just taken off...and away it goes!
Birders watching from the east side of harbour entrance.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A visit to Warnham LNR

After seeing web reports of a Mealy Redpoll for the past week or so and the many excellent photographs I decided to make tracks for Warnham following last nights half decent weather forecast! I arrived in dull, cloudy conditions and headed for the hide. It wasn't long before a light coloured Redpoll turned up on the niger seed but photographing the bird was not going to be easy. It soon disappeared and returned twenty minutes later but again proved was on the wrong side of the feeder and I really don't like photos of birds on feeders! However I managed a few half decent shots but then doubts crept in as to whether this was in fact the Mealy! There were a lot of Redpolls about and they all showed subtle plumage variations...however I am pretty certain the ID is correct...please correct me if I'm wrong.
Mealy Redpoll

Mealy Redpoll
Not on a feeder but an unnatural pose!

Lesser Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll

Warnham LNR is a fabulous reserve for photographers who want really close up views of garden birds...

A humble Chaffinch watching the many camera lenses poking out from the hide.
Robin watching attentively.

Reed Bunting
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker

Close up of male GSW

The beady eye of a Magpie
...and a diminutive Long Tailed Tit
A great morning and the weather did cheer up gradually!