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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.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A quiet day.

Just 5 Red Breasted Mergansers in the harbour mouth this morning, Linnets possibly prospecting for nest sites in the gorse...

One of eight Linnets in the gorse

 ...and a Meadow Pipit

plus a few Chichaffs.  This one in the garden was singing now and again but feeding voraciously as it had probably arrived overnight.



Time now 7.30 and I couldn't resist putting this photo of setting sun over Pagham Harbour from our garden....

Looks as if it could be a good day's hoping!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bits and pieces.

A quick visit to the hide at 7.30 but the only sightings were a few Chifchaffs, 2 Ravens in flight and a small party of Brent Geese in off the sea...all the rest appear to have departed.

Shelducks were much in evidence and a few Wigeon remain.

but little else of interest....

except of course  the ever present Turnstone along the shoreline..

So later on, a visit to the North Wall.............where the Black Tailed Godwits put on a splendid display.

Here are a few shots....

At rest at last....most turning into summer plumage
Admired by a few bird watchers.
In the distance  seven Buzzards were circling at a great height over in the Marsh Farm direction. Two later came over Slipe Field on my return journey.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A missed opportunity for a Firecrest photo.

A day of heavy showers and bright sunshine. Got out about 9.00am for a quick look round but only had my compact camera....guess what? A brilliant Firecrest in gorse opposite the old apple tree. Whilst watching it, a 'cronk,cronk' alerted me to a Raven flying overhead. On the  beach in front of the Spit hide  three Wheatears .

So for the only photographic record,  a Ringed Plover prospecting along the shoreline.....

...and for good measure the breach of the spit which is growing daily in depth and width.
This was taken well before high tide and certainly relieves the pressure of water which flows in front of the revetment. Could this change the plans for any future man made 'cut'?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My 'first' Wheatear.

After diligently searching my local patch (the Pagham Spit), I eventually tracked down my own Wheatear close to the hide. One was recorded yesterday by one observer but I failed to connect. It is always good to find your 'first'. I find the these early arrivals are always quite skittish and don't allow a close approach but here is distant shot. They are far more confiding during their return passage in late summer/autumn.

My first Wheatear....more than week later than previous years..cold North and Easterly winds have probably accounted for this.

Monday, March 21, 2016

One very elusive bird!

Along the North Wall this morning I at last  managed a distant, but heavily cropped shot, of a Cettis Warbler...they are so elusive...often heard but seldom seen.....

Not much else about but a few singing Reed Buntings....this one was quite well hidden in a bush

There was a singing Chiffchaff but no other migrants. In the Breach Pool 100 BlackTailed Godwits, 2 Snipe, plenty of Teal and a few Wigeon.

From Pagham Spit groups of Brent were noted heading out of the harbour rising high and then when about a half a mile out they would turn East before descending to sea level and to form a long string....obviously in 'migration' mode homewards.

Brent Geese ....homeward bound, just before they formed a long 'string'
Interestingly at 3.15 there seemed to be a bit of a mass exodus with big groups totalling probably 800 birds heading out to sea before turning east and were last seen through binoculars heading towards Shoreham.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Taste of Spring

A great morning to be out early but little to report...birdwise. My highlight was a Green Woodpecker  on a telegraph pole!!
                                   Outside Riduna, the bungalow overlooking the Lagoon.

In late afternoon I took the 500mm for a 'walk' just to see if I could find some fodder for the blog.! Not a lot, but this is a record of what I saw...not very exciting I'm afraid!

 Mute Swan

Distant Flock of Brent Goose...they'll soon be gone to their breeding grounds.

Carrion Crow on the look out.

A splash caught my eye.....what was that?
It soon popped up... Great Crested Grebe in the main channel...against the light.

Curlew leaving the harbour.

Cormorant entering the harbour.

A pair of Wigeon coming into the harbour...far fewer of them about now.

...and that's it for another day.

Friday, March 11, 2016

There's nothing wrong with a photo of the familiar Black Headed Gull (albeit of the one legged variety) in summer plumage.

Oh, I know Mediterranean Gulls are more exciting and here are a few of the 75+ on the Lagoon today...and they are now very noisy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sunday March 6:The Sanderlings are still on the beach

Three or four of these birds were mingling with the Turnstones in the early morning...constantly disturbed by the dog walkers but always returning to the same no real problem to them...more so to the photographer!

Always a delight to watch...always on the move on their 'clockwork' legs!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A local day out.

It was a bright sunny morning with a good forecast so, as I have not been to Pulborough Brooks for some time, this was my first stop. I arrived before the Centre opened so I had the place to myself.  A few Redwings and Fieldfares were calling and some were feeding in the lower field....

As I entered the West Meads hide the vista was amazing....the South Downs were shrouded in early morning mist and the water supported dozens of ducks looking absolutely resplendent in Spring plumage!
Drake Shoveler


Shoveler and Teal (asleep)

 In addition there were Pied Wagtails...

and Lapwings
...looking resplendent in their iridescent plumage

But the highlight were the seven Snipe feeding on the grass just in front of the hide....

Stunning birds!

Time for a wander in the woods...

Great Spotted Woodpecker


On to Waltham Brooks...


A particularly pale this a 'Sibe' anyone?
Goldcrests galore but well nigh impossible to capture...such fast little movers. Dozens of blank photos and almost no 'keepers'...

The best of a disappointing lot!
Finally to Arundel WWT to improve on my previous Firecrest shots...not a sighting in two hours!!
A passing Red Kite ...
...with a bird in its talons
A Long Tailed Tit

and finally...........................

A Water Vole as I was the entrance.