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.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

A stroll by the Lagoon and along the waters edge in the late afternoon was a good break from Black Friday shopping!

A few random photos....

A splendid drake Goldeneye on the Lagoon 

When the heads turn and catch the sun, the iridescent green head can be fully appreciated.

Winter plumage Stonechat on the spit.

Drake Red Breasted Merganser in the harbour entrance.

A lone fishing Curlew
A mixed flock of Gulls with the 'Mulberry' in the distance.

(There were also three Rock Pipits feeding on the seaweed.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Long Tailed Duck

At last I have been able to get improved views of the Long Tailed Duck now it has been driven into the harbour by the stormy weather. I first noted this bird  a long way out on November 15 but at least there has been some benefit from storm Angus!
At first, not easy to spot in the choppy water.

...but gradually it came closer.

...until it gave some stonking views!

Wing stretching.

Not often seen up close but need a male bird next time...never satisfied!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Black Brant last.

An uncertain start to the day on the Spit but the Long Tailed Duck was just visible...
...but a long way out!
The Red Breasted Mergansers were still about but photography was nigh impossible in the poor light.

This mornings highlight was a 'fly over' Raven and this is becoming a much more common sight of late...sometimes a pair of Ravens fly East during the morning.

 Not great photos but sufficient to note the huge beak and the typical long 'fingers' of the wings.

In the afternoon I was pleased to catch up with the reported Black Brant less the two hundred metres from my back door.....

Black Brant....showing the diagnostic white flanks
and the large white crescents almost touching at the back of the neck.

Two Slavonian Grebes were noted off shore but a telescope was essential. A Kingfisher was fishing in the harbour and to conclude a pair of Mute Swans flew past.....

Friday, November 11, 2016

Two glorious days but little to report.

I was out a first light on Thursday morning sea watching for the reported Slavonian Grebes and maybe the Black Brant on the spit. No joy, but my first Long Tailed Duck of the winter was off shore, but repeated diving made it difficult to watch and impossible to photograph as it was far too far away.
The light was good all day but the birds were noticeably sparse. A search for the reported Bearded Tits along the North Wall was unsuccessful too!

A Little Egret in a Hawthorn bush was the only attractive subject....

Little Egret before grooming.

Little Egret looking resplendent following a preening session...what a difference!
Waders were in short supply but it was good to note the build up of Golden Plovers in the harbour...
Distant Golden Plover...against the light.

Today was another day of almost unbroken sunshine and many hours were spent birding. Unfortunately I have little to show for it, although I did track down three Bearded Tits in the reed bed along the North Wall in the late morning; they were very flighty and would drop into the reeds only to completely disappear!
So, just a distant shot of a Water Rail skulking along behind a sleeping Teal....

Perhaps I would have had more success fishing....
...but maybe not, looking at what this fisherman was pulling in!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mid-week update

As I was photographing Stonechats on Pagham Spit this morning I happened to look up and to my surprise a Marsh Harrier was circling high above me. Although the camera settings were all wrong I was at least able to capture a few record shots, albeit distant 'cropped' shots.

I can't recall having seen a Marsh Harrier directly over the spit before...nice bird!

I continued watching a pair of Stonechats and managed a few stealth!

The male was a little more wary and more difficult to approach.

 ...but patience was rewarded.

It was a cloudy morning but when the sun came out even the rusty metal work of the harbour entrance looked attractive!

 ...but my attention was drawn to a resplendent Goldeneye coming in with the tide.

 Superb drakes...I just love them!

Brents against a darkening sky over Pagham Church.

 Here's a few random shots from Sunday and Monday....
Distant shot of Peregrines on "their" log!

Several Reed Buntings 'dropped' in.
Linnet bathing in a puddle.

Carrion Crow
 Recently there has been an influx of Magpies on the spit...on one morning their were thirteen of them!

If they were not so common we would marvel at them!

Always expect the unexpected....what's next?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The past few days have been relatively quiet for me but visiting birder, Tim from  Bedfordshire has already seen Dartford Warbler and Merlin on the spit and the first Goldeneye of the winter on the lagoon! I missed the first two but have nailed the Goldeneye this afternoon...a distant record shot.
Drake Goldeneye with female Tufted in the middle of the Lagoon.

A pair of Pochard have been present....again difficult to photograph due to distance and poor light. 

Drake Pochard

Drake Tufted Duck

....whilst we are into ducks here is a couple of Wigeon 

...and a trio of Brent Geese 

The harbour is beginning to brim with Geese with Wigeon,Teal and Pintail  all increasing  in numbers every day. 

This morning dawned bright, sunny and cold with ideal conditions for photography but very little to photograph...all too far away, except perhaps this pair of Curlew.
Curlew...magnificent in early morning sunshine.
A Turnstone was enjoying his ablutions....

...watched by his companions who probably felt it was a tad too cool to take a bath!

Back in the garden a group of Starling had invaded the bird bath and all piled in together...complete mayhem in the bathroom!

That's it for this week is Black Redstart week in Pagham and maybe with all the records of Waxwings coming into the East Coast counties and already spreading, just maybe they will arrive in West's hoping!

An interesting sky late this afternoon!