Top Paragraph

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, May 19, 2016

North Wall

I was greeted this morning by a nice surprise...a Short Eared Owl on top of a small hawthorn behind the Breech Pool along the North wall...........

Unfortunately I had only taken a smaller lens but here are some big crops..

Apart from that, a Pheasant on a fence...

and a Blackbird having a bath.

..and feeling better for it, obviously!

Earlier, on the Spit I checked to see if the Ringed Plover was still sitting on its nest in front of the hide....that was!!
I was relieved to note the plover was still there!

A sad sight but a necessary one.....wretched vandals, weekend party goers, rough sleepers etc.
The path leading to.... 
...a concrete slab!
It just doesn't look right as I look over to 'the other side' and the Church Norton chapel....sad!
It will be missed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Back at Pagham Harbour.

Whilst it is good to get away and find new places and species it is always good to get back on the home patch. During the last few days I have been doing some 'catching up' and adding a few more photos to my growing collection. Here's a sample............

It's good to see the Terns are back, especially the Little Terns although I doubt they will be very successful on the new 'spit island' that has been created dramatically after Storm Katy a few weeks ago. The area has not only become accessible from the beach at low tide but is a veritable magnet to residents and holiday makers.

There were sixty Sandwich Terns one morning last week...a fantastic sight as they weaved and dived

Several pairs of Ringed Plovers are present along the beach and one pair is attempting to nest in front of the Spit hide...a very vulnerable site ...proven by the hide being vandalised last week and being used as sleeping quarters overnight recently.

The Heronry along the North Wall is busy with both Grey Herons and Little Egrets are very active in the hawthorns.

A Little Egret coming into its nest site.

It is good to see and hear the Reed and Sedge Warblers are now established in the reed bed....
Sedge Warbler

Reed Warbler

 A Mute Swan is defending a nest but with apparently no eggs yet.

A Green Woodpecker feeding in the horses field

...and Linnets

Its always good to see the return of the Swallows busy flying in and out of the stables.
I visited Pulborough Brooks during the past week but the excitement of the newly arrived Nightingales a few weeks back has died down and they seemed less active or at least less apparent!

 ...somewhat shy now, hiding in the bushes making photography difficult.

...and rather quiet!
This Song Thrush certainly made up for their lack of song!

Well that's an update and by the way a pair of Cuckoos seem to spending a fair bit of their time in the bushes on Pagham Spit where there is a plentiful supply of caterpillars!

Post Script.

Since writing this blog the Pagham Spit hide has been demolished this afternoon and removed by the RSPB .
Fortunately the Ringed Plover is still present and seems to have survived the disturbance.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mallorca ............Part 4

Besides the previous sites we made various visits to other areas during our stay. Formentor is a real tourist destination and the very attractive beach is a magnet for sun worshippers. However by getting there at  about 8.00am it is quiet so whilst I left Gill reading a book in the sun I headed for the local sewage treatment works set in the pines only a couple of hundred metres away. It is a small area which has produced interesting species in the past. My target this time were Crossbills...Balearic Crossbills! Crossbills tend to be attracted by water as they drink a lot due to their diet of pine seeds. The trees were tall, the sun was bright and very few birds were about, apart from a female Mallard and one youngster.
Mallard and youngster of a few days.

Then, the 'chip chip' calls I was waiting for and a family group appeared but alas they never came down to the water to drink in 40 minutes! They stayed high up in the trees making photography challenging, to say the least. I achieved very little but here are a few shots of the younsters being silhouette!

Juvenile male Crossbill (balearic)

Adult Crossbill

Juvenile Crossbill

Further along the steep, winding road from Formentor is a well known migration hot spot...Casa Velles. However, changes had been made since our previous visits and all the fig and olive trees had been replaced by vines. The only birds we saw were Red Legged Partidges...

Red Legged Partridge
One day we drove South to Porto Colum looking for Balearic Warblers, Pallid Swifts and Thekla Larks. It is a splendid area of garrigue but after a search we only ended up with Thekla Larks which were an easy target in the car parking area!

On a trip up the Tramuntana mountain range to Lluc we found more Flycatchers, Warblers and Tits...nothing unusual but a very pleasant spot in the moutains. 

Blue Tit...balearica

Pied Flycatcher...(f)

...and a VERY distant Black Vulture!

..and later in flight (highly cropped!)

Throughout our stay Yellow Legged Gulls were common

but Audouins Gulls were most often seen on the beach at Puerto Pollensa...
Difficult to appreciate these are still one of the rarest gulls in the world...but now increasing in the Med.

Well, that's it for another year...all we have now are memories and a few photos as reminders...

....the 'hoop hoop hoop' calls of the Hoopoes

....Greenfinches ...they look brighter than our own but I am told it is due to the Mediterranean light!

...the constant 'zit-zit' call of the Zitting Cisticolas

..but the one bird that will always remain in my holiday memory bank...the vivid BEE-EATER...what a bird!!

The End