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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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Back to Pagham....difficult to beat for sheer variety of wildlife.

It's always pleasant to get back on you local 'patch' after a time away and this morning was no
The North Wall has a wide variety of habitat hence a wide selection of birds and again as I strolled along by the Breech Pool I realised how fortunate we are in actually living in this location...literally on our doorstep!

First up, feeding on the mud, an Oystercatcher....

Next up...
A Black Tailed Godwit in winter plumage

...but a few retaining some of their summer plumage 

On the other side of the pool a Spotted Redshank preening

alongside a few Dunlin

A Grey Heron flies in....

...settles down and starts fishing.

 Sedge Warblers are busy tending youngsters...

 ...but keeping a careful eye on me was this Roe Deer

 but he soon settled down once he knew it was safe...

 ...and all that could be seen was this!

A few Swallows watched from a bush...

 On returning back along the 'Wall'  a Lapwing eyed me cautiously..

 and a Greenshank fed in Whites Creek.

I noticed a couple of Teal in eclipse plumage on the pool...a sure sign that Autumn is on its way!

As I was just standing by the Salthouse a bird suddenly flew up on to the fence surrounding the horses field...a Juvenile Green Woodpecker.

 It looked distinctively  'Wryneck like' in posture!

 ..but the colour on the back of the head and nape showed no resemblance to its cousin!!

It too, eyed me cautiously...

 ...until a dog walker came along, when it hopped back onto the fence, had a quick look round and was off!!!

I finish the blog today with a crop of this photo...a superb bird.

See what I mean about variety of wildlife....Pagham Harbour takes a lot of beating!!
(all within an hour and a half)

At 5.30p.m. I looked out of the living room to see this....

An off shore flock of Gannets moving west along the Channel.

We don't often see Gannets go past;  maybe in ones and two and usually a lot further out to sea so it was good to see this...quite a spectacle.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Magic of Marquenterre!

We have just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Andre Rieu concert in the Vrijthof Maastricht, Holland but managed a few days detour in France and Belgium for a spot of birding!
This was our first visit to Le Parc du Marquenterre in the Baie de Somme, about an hour from Calais.

 We were most impressed with the facilities and the wealth of birds in this reserve which offered special discounts to RSPB members! Although it is summer and perhaps not the best time of year for birding the spectacle of breeding spoonbills, egrets, herons and especially storks was stunning. Here is a sample of photos taken during a couple of visits...the lighting conditions were not particularly conducive to good pictures but nevertheless there were good opportunities to practise on birds in flight and some less common British birds.

White Storks were nesting in the pine wood and repeatedly flying in to feed their youngsters.

 Spoonbills were much in evidence either on nests in the pines or gathering as non breeders in the adjacent fields ....

A couple of Common Cranes ....

Large numbers of Little Egrets were breeding and a few Cattle Egrets
..................rather distant !

Grey Herons nesting alongside the White Storks and Egrets.

...but perhaps the most impressive of all
....the Great White Egrets

....gorgeous birds!

Also in attendance...Coots on nests

 Busy feeding younsters

White Wagtails replacing our own 'Pieds'

 ......and breeding Black Necked Grebes...resplendent in summer plumage

 Waders were few and far between- just a couple of distant Ruffs, Little Ringed Plover, Black Tailed Godwit, one Oystercatcher  and these three Greenshank

Next stop was Nadrin in Belgium where birding was very poor and except for a distant Red Kite and a Short Toed Treecreeper (not photographed) little else was seen

....except that is, for a pair of breeding Fieldfares, which I had not expected in Achouffe, home of the well known brewery.!

 The parents appeared to be feeding two well grown youngsters.

and of course the ubiquitous Black Redstart

...with a nest under the eaves of the brewery shop.

The only excitement in Maastricht apart from  the main purpose to visit  the  concerts was a Capercaille in a back street...

                                            ...but I think it had seen better days!

..but the lasting memory will be the close up views of White Storks

But I forgot to mention the Wild Boar...only a fleeting glimpse but another highlight from Marquenterre...
                                  Cute 'humbugs' quickly disappearing into the forest

We will return!!!