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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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Odd Couple!

The original pair in 2005...on the hedge.

The female (?) in the wheel barrow!
For the last  9 years a pair of Mallard Hybrids have visited our small garden on the beach and for the past two  have laid 2 and 3 eggs respectively. Last year it was a scrape down an alleyway, the previous year they used a sink garden and this year  a grassy patch bordering the road. The eggs are not brooded and obviously come to nothing. The birds will come and tap on the patio window begging for food or sit on a roof or a hedge or in a wheelbarrow...all most odd. They only come in March and spend the rest of the year on the Lagoon.
She seems to have a new partner this year or maybe it is the same bird having moulted but they always act in the same strange way.
Today approaching the patio doors

Today...the eggs on the grass.
The Iceland Gull was being fed by a chalet resident on the Lagoon at 7.15 this morning...a Peregrine flew over the beach at 7.30 but apart from a couple of Wheatears and a singing Dunnock very little to report...hence my story of the Mallards!

Looking pretty on Gorse

Dunnock in full song.

Monday, March 24, 2014

All white in flight!

Very little to report but conspicuous by their absence...Brents. I didn't see one!
A few Wigeon and a few Curlew and about 40 Turnstones.

So the 'white' theme...

Mute Swan past the Spit Hide
up, up and away.
Little Egret.
Little Egret

Black Headed Gull

Distant...Iceland Gull over the Lagoon (well...almost white!)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two surprises!

At 7.15 this morning, before too many people were about my first ever Kingfisher on the new rock it does have its benefits! No photo didn't hang about long!

Second surprise...a Red Legged Partridge scuttling past Laguna...the bungalow overlooking the Lagoon near the usual spot for the iceland Gull!

 ...and this despite a dog walker with just a few dogs !!!
Just a few!!!
 Also adjacent to Riduna some newly arrived Chiichaffs feeding and darting about in the bushes...madly!
A momentary pause in activity.

Up to the hide and a group of Turnstones doing what they are best at doing...turning stones!

Apart from that little to report...Brents, Wigeon and Merganser still present.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Kingfisher on the Lagoon first thing this morning was a nice surprise...only fleetingly though!

A Blackbird watched from  the notice board.

...and then flew to a gorse....

A pair of Ringed Plovers were watching me from the beach and looked anxious...a good sign, hopefully!

A single Red Breasted Merganser was patrolling the main channel and another two (females) were in the old entrance.

About 42 Brents were feeding in front of the hide and took flight whist I was watching....most seem to have departed and no doubt these will be here for only a few more days.

On their way any day now.
The Black Headed Gulls are now almost all in summer plumage.........

A visit to the North Wall  was uneventful .... a few Wigeon remain by the sluice gate and about 48 Teal were scattered throughout the Breech Pool. A few Black Tailed Godwit and Snipe were present but as yet no Garganey or Little Ringed Plover. A Curlew was feeding close to the wall.
Curlew...watching me!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Just like buses!

I have been expecting to see my first Wheatear on the beach for the past week but not a sign.
This morning outside the bungalow my first ! As I wandered up to the hide another on the path and then on the metalwork by the hide a third! A stonking male.....
Male Wheatear.
The Iceland Gull was on the beach at 7.00am. and later returned to the Lagoon. I couldn't resist taking a few more pictures at 3.45p.m.  as its in my 'patch' wont be here for ever!

Iceland Gull against a dark background flight.

...showing off the wing and tail markings well.
...and for good measure an ever present Tufted Duck
Drake Tufted Duck
...and a pair of Great Crested Grebes

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Iceland Gull showing well!

Tends to favour the far eastern end of the Lagoon but has become quite confiding and is not easily disturbed.

 A passing car caused it to fly, circle and return...
No migrants to report....not even a Wheatear although they are being seen the other side of the harbour.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Siberian Chiffchaff

Successfully tracked down the Siberian Chiffchaffs at the eastern end of the Lagoon with the help of Paul (Mrfurrylover).
If there was any doubt about the previous ID this time the birds were calling and singing so hopefully this is confirmation!
Anyway, here are some shots showing varying poses and feather detail.

Any comments anyone?

The Iceland Gull was also present on the Lagoon.

Good to meet Tim from Bedford again today on his brief stay on Pagham beach....he chose the right weather...a fantastic day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Black Redstart!

My first this year...a superb male Black Redstart flew from the Spit Hide to the Little Lagoon gorse bushes. Despite a search it was not seen again and regretfully no photo!
It's there somewhere between the hide and the metal work!

Little else of note but a superb Spring morning.

Turnstones on the Little Lagoon

Monday, March 10, 2014

It feels like spring but no migrants present.

A few Cormorants heading out of the harbour 

Numbers of Brent Geese dwindling noticeably

A pair of RBM in the harbour mouth
One of a pair of Ringed Plovers that were chasing each other in display flight

Numbers of Linnets increasing with a flock of 16 alighting in the gorse.

The North Wall was pretty devoid of anything unusual...Wigeon,Teal and Snipe present.

Awaiting first Garganey!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A cold but sunny morning.

Early morning walk around the Spit via the Lagoon....
...a few Wigeon on the Lagoon
...also present 5 Goldeneye (1 Drake, 4 females).

A fisherman wandering on the saltflats had disturbed most of the feeding Brent ...
putting them to flight.

There were, unusually, 7 Red Breasted Mergansers in the harbour entrance...a group of 6 and one closer, in the main channel...

...and again, unusually, 5 Mute Swans in the Little Lagoon

A pair of skylarks were chasing each other and occasionally burst into song...Spring really is on the way!

The peregrine was in his usual spot on New Island...
( A bit distant for a 400mm lens)
In the evening 3 Ringed Plovers were doing their manic display flight over the Church Norton Spit!

Still no Wheatear!