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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, June 25, 2014

Holiday Photos Week 2

During the second week of our holiday we spent a few days in the Yorkshire Dales at Grassington and the latter part in Silverdale not very far from the RSPB Leighton Moss reserve (conveniently!).

Our 17th century  accommodation nestled on the banks of the Wharf and besides a farmyard goose

 and the usual garden birds a Tawny Owl made a couple of appearances causing much consternation to the local Blackbirds but after several efforts of photographing it, I failed!

At nearby Linton, GreyWagtails and Spotted flycatchers were breeding but although Dippers had bred, I failed to find them.

Grey Wagtails gathering food.
Spotted Flycatcher gathering food for youngsters.

Spotted Flycatchers

Really good to see so many Spotflys when here on the South Coast we only see them 'passing through'....and likewise Common Sandpipers!

...and plenty of the 'usual'!
Wren...singing his head off!

Long Tailed Tit on lichen.

Lots of young Mallards....Cute!

On the way to Silverdale we stopped at Malham Cove, a traditional site for Peregrines.

...and a spledid male Redstart put in an appearance.

Next stop Silverdale..........and a visit to Leighton Moss

The feeders are always popular mainly because Bullfinches are very fond of them and on each of my 2 or 3 previous visits they have never failed to show up.

Male Bullfinch on feeder
Collared Dove
Male Chaffinch
The Black Headed Gull colony was under constant threat from the Lesser Black Backs who seemed to just pick off the youngsters at will.

Lesser Black Backed Gull with Black Headed Gull chick...about to have lunch
A pair of peregrines were present at nearby Warton Crag Nature Reserve but had not bred this year. So all in all an interesting holiday with a few opportunities for birding!

....and lastly a final visit to Leighton Moss this Avocet  proved an easy target just in front of the Morecambe hide

Monday, June 23, 2014

Holiday Photos WEEK 1

Just back from a basically 'non birding' holiday but with a few opportunities to capture some of the wonderful variety of bird life in Northumberland. We headed up to our base in Beadnell and made a detour to Bempton Cliffs with the intention of spending the morning there. Unfortunately within 40 minutes the heavens opened  but  I did  manage to get a few images in rapidly worsening light...not ideal and certainly a little disappointing!
Gannets...wonderful birds close up!
...and in flight

One of many Tree Sparrows nesting around the RSPB centre.
 ..and then it was on to Beadnell to settle in and next morning to catch the early crossing to Lindisfarne.The best birds were a collection of Raptors. I am am never very keen on seeing tethered birds but couldn't resist this Merlin!
Next day, a visit to Staple Island in the Farnes for an all too short visit...all the usual suspects were on view and afforded some close up opportunities.

Razoorbill....only a few.

Irresistible Puffins

Coming in to high speed.

A Puffin pair near their nest hole.

Still plenty of sand eels then!
A quick dash before the Lesser Black Backs steal them!
A drake Eider ...from Billy Shiels boat.

Kittiwake on nest
Shag...panting in the sun.

Back at Seahouses a female Eider guards her youngsters.
The following day whilst visiting Amble and learning that we could not get the boat trip to Coquet Island to view the Roseate Terns we visited Hauxley, Druridge Pools and Cresswell ponds.The highlight was a distant Red Breasted Goose.
Next day an early morning stroll around Beadnell with Ringed Plovers obviously breeding near by.

...and then inland to Ford where, whilst having a coffee, I happened to notice a Spotted Flycatcher feeding a youngster.

 ...and then onto Ingram and on the River Breamish breeding Oystercatchers and Common Sandpipers caught my eye!
Oystercatcher on the alert.

Common Sandpiper

Back at Beadnell in the evening and a quick visit to the Long Nanny Tern Colony where a 24 hour watch was being maintained to guard the Little Terns. At this stage my camera packed up and I only caught this Arctic Tern before returning to to 'base camp'....but that's another story.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pagham at its best!

I count it a real privilege to be able to watch these rare  Little Terns from the comfort of my living room...wihtout even having to go outside.

 ....and now as they nest on the newly formed spit it can't get any better!

Highly cropped I know but not many people in the UK can see this from their window!

Obviously viewing through a telescope affords a better view but this is almost a garden bird!

As I completed my Breeding Bird Survey on  Pagham Spit this morning I came across this Oystercatchers nest....

Oystercatcher nest and egg against a background of the harbour.

Close up.

...and then found a pair of Ringed Plovers obviously with a nest nearby. They are easily disturbed so I kept my distance although with the numbers of unleashed dogs on the beach I don't hold out much hope for already two attempts this season have failed.

The beach is looking really colourful now.....

...and its all here on my!