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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, July 25, 2014

Another sunny start to the day with little of interest apart from this Oystercatcher  that's obviously been probing in the mud...

 ...and this Sandwich Tern returning with breakfast after a fishing foray.

A juvenile Pied Wagtail was feeding near the Spit hide...

...but the highlight for me was finding the almost fully grown Ringed Plover on the beach which I have been watching for the past few weeks from a few days old..

 It's looking quite grown up now.

In the evening a Wheatear was present and finally a silhouette shot of Mallards over the Little Lagoon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hirundines on the move!

Sand Martins and Swallows over the beach this evening.

Mostly Sand Martins making use of the beach fencing.
Definite signs that Autumn is on it's way!

In addition the juvenile Wheatear  near the Spit Hide has now been joined by an adult.

Juvenile Wheatear

...and the adult on the Spit hide.

A perfect evening, warm, absolutely windless ideal for catching Bass off the spit!

Nice one!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back from hols!

The resident moult.

Out onto Pagham Spit this morning after a week away and it was very quiet except for a few Common Sanspipers on the Lagoon and along the harbour edges.
A juvenile Wheatear was a surprise near the Spit hide.
Little Terns were were very active on the Church Norton Spit and one was seen feeding a chick and others were fishing.
Sandwich Tern
Later in the day there were at least 10 Little Terns and a few Sandwich  flying over the harbour and on to presumably the Langstone direction and a rather larger bird....
...caused a little disturbance!

It was encouraging to see the Ringed Plover still in protective mode but I could not locate the offspring!

A week in Germany and the Netherlands produced very little excitement on the birding front..but the real purpose of the visit was to attend the Andre Rieu concerts in the Vrijhof Square, Maastricht.
The Eifel National Park was a venue for Black Grouse but the only one located was somewhat immobile.
Black Woodpecker was on the 'hopeful' list but this one in Maastricht Natural History Museum was hardly tickable!

Maastricht Park did have a real live .....

Cormorant !.....

As expected Black Redstarts and White wagtails were widespread.

It is July and it was very hot (32C at times) so its back to Pagham now and we await the late summer movement to start very soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Plenty of juvenile Passerines about today...I believe it has been a good breeding year for several species!

Whimbrel are now passing through with three in the (new) main channel where interestingly, two Common Scoters flew along yesterday late morning. Also this morning a few Turnstones (accompanied by a single Dunlin)...some sporting their  resplendent tortoiseshell summer plumage!

Little Tern still feeding in the main channel where the young Ringed Plover(growing bigger daily) is still being protected by its watchful parents  .

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tweet of the day.

As the featured bird on BBC Radio 4 this morning was the Ringed Plover it seemed appropriate to put my 'patch' bird on the blog!

So here it is...still protecting its single offspring of a few days old.

The single youngster looks very vulnerable as it peers out from the beach at the wide world beyond!
Apart from that a fairly quiet morning with just a few terns fishing in the harbour.

Common Tern looking great against the approaching storm clouds.

...another shot showing the diagnostic bright red bill with black tip.
Sandwich Tern with bill with yellow tip!
Later in the day ...a tailless Blackbird....a sure indication of the end of the breeding season...summer is going fast!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A quiet morning.

Swifts were very active first thing this morning feeding on flying insects near the beach for about 45 minutes before moving west.

Very difficult to capture in flight but interesting to note their extended throat pouches.

A lone Common Sandpiper was present near the hide

 ...but apart from this there was little activity of note. A Ringed Plover was alarming frantically along the beach and as I stood well away for a little while, a very young youngster made an appearance although  it was very difficult to detect on the simply mingled in with the stones and only when it moved could it be seen!
The watchful parent.

Later in the morning I stopped off at the North Wall but apart from singing Reed Warblers there was little activity although two Shovelers on the Breech Pool was unexpected.

As the month draws on there is sure to be more activity on the wader front...I just wish there were some muddy fringes to the Breech Pool!

Friday, July 4, 2014

July...a traditionally quiet month for birding.

A quick walk around Pagham Spit this morning confirmed that July IS quiet. A juvenile Whitethroat put in an appearance in the Lagoon bushes confirming my suspicions that a pair had bred successfully. A Goldfinch flew off a nest in a gorse....obviously a good year for this species as we have had many Greypates visiting the garden feeders.
In the harbour a few Curlews were feeding...
Curlew...watching me.

...but were easily disturbed and quickly took flight.
A few Oystercatchers were feeding near the (old) entrance and a pair of Ringed Plovers was calling anxiously is I returned along the beach...a good sign as they were still either brooding or had youngsters.

A lone Black Headed Gull admired its reflection in a pool .
Is that me!
Vipers unusually stunted specimen very close to the high tide mark.

A Small Copper looking good on the pebbles.

In the late afternoon I headed for the North wall as David Illman had let me know of a good opportunity to photograph Swallows. I arrived and went to the suggested spot...and nothing!
On along the wall and apart from a singing Reed warbler and a Reed Bunting the only birds of interest was a distant Buzzard and half a dozen Curlew plus the usual Mallards and Coots. Two Juvenile Little Egrets were feeding up the channel leading into Breech pool. At the far end of the pool a Green Sandpiper was feeding and a few minutes later flew down to the main pool.
 Sand Martins were hawking flies...
One of several Sand Martins.

...and a Cormorant flew over

Back to the sluice gates .......and there they were! A Swallow family of three youngsters waiting to be fed. I didn't have to wait long. Soon they were being fed by the parents whilst they remained on the wing.

So despite July being quiet, there's always plenty to see!

...and thanks David for the tip off.