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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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

We have recently returned from our annual pilgrimage to the amazing Andre Rieu open air concerts in the Vrijthof Square in Maastricht, Holland and managed a couple of birding days in Le Parc du Marquenterre on the way home which is probably less than 100 miles from Pagham Harbour as the Egret flies! Although this reserve is relatively close to my local patch it is quite surprising to find species breeding which are only rare visitors to us!
Unfortunately the weather turned from being the very hot and sunny days we enjoyed in Maastricht, to typically British damp and cloudy conditions. Lighting for photography was certainly not at its best and hence results were generally disappointing. However, here are a random selection of the birds present at the time of our visit and some which were not, but were on our 'wanted' list. We did have a fleeting glimpse of a Crested Tit but the Black Woodpecker eluded us and  the only sign was a tree with a notice indicating that it had been here!!

Black Woodpecker evidence.

The main interest is the number of Egrets of all three species, Spoonbills and the 'stars' of the reserve..... the White Storks.
Cattle Egret and Little Egret

Cattle Egret (Juv)
Juvenile Cattle Egret

Great White, Cattle and Little Egret.

Grey Heron

Part of the Spoonbill colony.

Feeding Spoonbills

Preening and sleeping Spoonbills

Yawning Spoonbill

Showing off his amazing spoon bill!

White Stork on nest at top of pine.

Nest with youngster.

Youngster begging.

The nests are HUGE!

A couple of Cranes were present.

A few Grey Lag Geese

Cormorant on log 

A large breeding population of Black Headed Gulls producing hundreds of juveniles.

Common Sandpiper...a probable non breeder on return migration

Good numbers of Black Tailed Godwits and Avocets present.

A couple of Spotted Redshank in summer plumage.

Numerous Oystercatchers.

One of five breeding pairs of Black necked Grebes.

Really good to hear and see a Turtle Dove...distantly.

White Wagtail.

Black Winged Stilts...such elegant waders!

Other Wildlife included...
Rabbits...this one enjoying a dandelion.

Humming Bird Hawk Moth 

I was surprised to find this Coypu on the reserve!

If you are in Northern France anytime this reserve is well worth a visit and RSPB members get a discount!

Those Spoonbills just have to be my 'favourites'!

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