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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A week of two 'firsts'!

The first 'first'

This is only part of the twitching party!

Most birders will have heard by now of the mega twitch at Pagham Harbour which started last Saturday with the sighting of an Elegant Tern. Hundreds if not thousands of visitors have come to see this extreme rarity from all over the UK.  From early morning until dusk each day since, birders have been lined up along the harbour watching out for this tern. Plenty has already been written about the origins of this bird whose home is on the Pacific coast of the USA but suffice it to say that although I live right next to the reserve I have yet to get a decent view. The other evening I was watching along with several others when one birder who had been there most of the day turned to me and said he had better be going back home...which he said was a five hour journey to Shrewsbury! 

The second 'first'.
The Peregrines that have been present throughout most of the winter and spring period have bred on New Island....remarkable as this is only the second time that Peregrines have nested on the ground in the UK (so I am told). In the arctic they will be ground nesters but then there are no trees or cathedrals! The news has only just been released by the RSPB as a precautionary measure.
Photography is impossible (for me anyway) but here are three heavily cropped shots.
Taken from the East side

Adults and the two partially hidden youngsters.

Male on left of photo(I think) with female bringing in prey to the two youngsters.

I understand that youths have actually visited the Tern Island during the week  and have  trampled some nests and this afternoon another group of youths created havoc when they got stranded as the tide was coming in and one had to be rescued by the  Selsey in shore life boat.
The rescue.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Suffolk...for a few days.

Earlier this week we spent a few days in the Minsmere area and enjoyed a couple of days of reasonable weather but these were the the exception! However a few photographs were captured of the bird life in this 'flagship' RSPB Reserve but the predation of young birds was somewhat worrying. Gulls were numerous and Black Headed the most common but Mediterranean numbers had increased considerably this year.

Black Headed Gull on nest with chicks.

Other youngsters were a little older.

Adult Mediterranean Gulls
Mediterranean Gull in flight.

Threats and fighting amongst Mediterranean and Black Headed was commonplace.

Mediterranean Gulls were of mixed ages!

Geese were present with Greylags, Barnacles and even Bar Headed....all with young.

Greylag Geese

Barnacle Geese...from a feral flock

Bar Headed Geese...escapees.

Several Shelducks had ducklings!

 Waders were in short a Redshank

...and just one obliging Oystercatcher

 Avocet numbers were drastically less than visits made at the same time of year in previous seasons but some were just outside the West Hide...

Pride of place has to go to a rare visitor...a Purple Heron

Distant shots and big crops but a great bird to see in the U.K.

Outside the reserve on The Meare at Thorpeness there were two broods of Egyptian Geese...

Sand Martins were nesting on the cliffs....( the usual colony at Minsmere was non existent...we were told they had moved to Dunwich but these were at Thorpeness)


What an aerodynamic shape!

Very distant Hobbys at Westleton heath

Huge crop...poor evening light

Finally....'just a Blackbird'