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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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

No sign of the Dartford Warbler today. A great pity in view of the much improved conditions....lightwise. I also  missed a Short Eared Owl according to visiting birder Tim who was up and about before me this morning.
Wall to wall sunshine all day but a visit to the North Wall was not very productive. Highlight perhaps, was a Clouded Yellow butterfly...
The usual selection of birds were present but somehow photographs were few and far between and
my hopes of a really good photography day did not come up to scratch. However here are a few...
Goldfinch....taken in trhe garden before I set out!

Reed Bunting along the North wall

Stonechat...there were a total of six Stonechats between the Little Lagoon and Church Farm.

Wrens are always good to see!

Redshanks are always on the look out

...and are the first wader to take flight when disturbed! there we have it...a pleasant day but nothing to get the adrenalin rushing!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dartford Warbler still here.

At 8.30 this morning the Dartford Warbler was still showing along the path east of the Little Lagoon near the apple tree....but elusive and quite mobile. A very dull morning hence the poor photos!

Nice bird to see but shame the light wasn't better!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A surprise at the end of the day!

A busy non birding day ended with a surprise.
A quick walk up to the harbour just before the sun was setting and a Wheatear perched on a 'dogs on lead' sign in the sunlight...
Wheatear ...just before the sun disappeared for trhe day.
As the sun went behind a cloud the gloom descended and I almost turned back but decided to walk towards the hide when a bird appeared on top of a bush. My immediate thought was that  it was one of the usual Stonechats that have been hanging around for the past couple of weeks but as I raised my 'bins' suddenly realised it was none other than a Dartford Warbler. The light was awful so I raised the ISO on the camera and managed to get a few record shots.

...nice bird and quite unusual on the spit.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My first Sawbill of this Winter,

Female Red Breasted Merganser
This bird had presumably just flown in and was in the new channel just in front of the bungalows. Brents continue to arrive daily....
These Brents were a couple from a party of ten that flew in and landed very close to the RBM.

A pair of  Stonechats are still in the gorse along the path to the Spit Hide. Here is the male...
Earlier in the day I made my second visit to Cissbury Ring in a week to see, or better still, photograph the Ring Ouzels that many observers have been enjoying. Not a squeak! Third time lucky... hopefully!
On to RSPB Pulborough Brooks to check out the Grey Phalaropes reported for the past few days....another blank!
But.... there was a distant Red Breasted Goose on the Brooks with hundreds of Canada Geese....too far for even a record shot.
In reflective mood...sleeping Canada Geese...a tranquil scene.

More come in

On West Meads apart from more Canada Geese,Wigeon and Teal there was a single Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Thursday, October 16, 2014

An early  inspection of the spit this morning produced a mixture of birds....some coming for winter, others leaving our shores for warmer climes.
  A few Wheatears were flitting from gorse to gorse.
A single Meadow Pipit dropped in for a moment or two but didn'nt stop long.
Meadow Pipit
 A pair of Stonechats have been here for a couple of weeks now.
 Brent Geese have been arriving in small parties all through the week and numbers are really building up now.
Brent Geese
 For an hour or so this morning Hirundines were were flying west towards Selsey some stoppng for a while on the protective fencing.,.. mostly Swallows but a few Sand and House martins.

Later in the morning I wandered along the shoreline towards the North Wall  but the clouds threatened rain, so an early return was necessary if I was to avoid wet optics!  Nevertheless a few waders showed up....
Common Sandpiper in Whites Creek

Black Tailed Godwit...enjoying the mud.

A ruffled Little Egret.


A passing Cormorant.
....and back home, 'our' robin!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Living on the beach, as we do,  is not an ideal habitat for Tits so it is always good when they visit us. This morning we had both Great and Blue Tits...they didn't stay long and were gone within  a minute or so...I just happened to be going out on my morning walk with the camera.
Visiting BlueTit

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...and Great Tit
 I made my way down the eastern side of the harbour and it wasn't long before a flock of Golden Plovers were twisting and wheeling before landing on the mud flats...a fair way out but closer than usual. They are never easy to photograph but a few record shots were possible.

They look great in the sunshine!
As I was enjoying the Goldies I was joined by Andy House and we just enjoyed the unusually  warm Autumn sunshine whilst scanning the waders and gulls. 
A couple of Gulls caught our attention....
...a Lesser Black Backed and a more unusual Yellow Legged Gull...interesting to be able to compare the species side by side. There were a few Spotted Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks and the usual Redshanks and Dunlin. ( I missed the Curlew Sandpiper)

I went on in the hope of getting my Kinfisher with 'fish in the beak shot' and although I saw the bird there was far too much visitor disturbance. I must make it earlier next time.

On my return the only bird of note was a lone Wheatear.

A fabulous Autumnal morning.....long may this weather last but it is not too conducive for passing migrants. The forecast is for a change in the weather by the weekend....good and bad news!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Cattle are in the field!

High expectations as I walked past the Salthouse this morning. I could see a herd of cows in the field next to the Breach Pool! The Cattle Egret MUST be there this morning! Not so!

The pools had the usual waders, Blackwits,Snipe, Lapwings....

Black tailed Godwit....wading



A flock of Lapwings looking black and white as they flew over...
 dropped in. great close up views of their iridescent backs!
Four Stonechats were present on the fence, several Reed Buntings together with small flocks of mixed finches were feeding in the bushes, a Cettis Warbler burst into song and a distant Water Rail did his 'squealy pig' thing! But no sign of a Cattle Egret So it was back to the Kingfisher spot to try and get that 'fish in the beak' shot. Having sat patiently for an hour or so it did appear and it did catch a fish but it decided to fly to a distant mud hump and despatch the fish well out of camera range!

Far too far away and not a pretty picture....another day perhaps!

Whilst waiting I noticed a Black Headed Gull was using his own  'Kingfisher' tecnique...diving for fish, not very successfully I noted; but it was something to photograph while I waited patiently!

Result....nothing!   About as good as I had got this morning! I gave up on the Kingfisher!