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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.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A dull, dreary and drizzly December Day but suddenly.....

....I looked up from my cosy log fire mid afternoon and was surprised to see a mass of white just offshore....diving Gannets!

There were at least 60 birds in a feeding frenzy circling and diving...very impressive. I grabbed the camera and began shooting through the double glazing. The light was poor but sufficient to obtain some record was just a pleasure to watch these amazing birds and reminded me of my visit to Bempton Cliffs a couple of years they were on my doorstep!

I knew I had witnessed a similar flock of Gannets from the window before and having checked the diary noted a flock of 60 were seen on Christmas Day 2004! 

Hoping to see them a little closer I wandered up the Spit but by this time they were off Selsey Bill .
However the two long stay Goosanders were in the main channel  but soon made off at my approach.

A very Happy Christmas to one and all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A December day.

Woke to a bright, sunny morning and headed straight to Bognor seafront and there, right in front of Butlins, a most obliging Snow Bunting,  totally unphased by numerous passers by and dog walkers.
The light was good but the background of tarmac was not ideal. It was feeding along the pathway but I was able to obtain a few shots of the bird on the shingle but it was not an ideal setting.

Next stop was Pulborough Brooks for the long stay Temmincks Stint. As we made our way down the Zig Zag we met local birders Dave and Martin who reported the Stint was 'scopable' from the Hanger but too distant even for record shots. (Here's one from Lesbos many years ago... May 9 2005...note the diagnostic yellow legs!)

There was little else of interest apart from a few raptors viewed  from West Meads and the usual woodland birds...

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Kestrel it was back to Pagham to try improve on my previous efforts to photograph the Goosander and Long Tailed Duck neither of which materialised! In desperation I photographed a Herring Gull!

However as I turned away from the gull a Kingfisher suddenly appeared on the metal work at the harbour entrance and was much more obliging as it fished from the sea wall in the late afternoon light.

I approached cautiously and noticed she seemed to be yawning but in fact she was just about to eject a pellet which can be seen to the right of the bird as she turned her head away!

Wonderful photographic subjects!
As I strolled back away from the harbour mouth a Red Breasted Merganser was feeding

...but saw me and dived


and surfaced a little way away!

By now the sun had gone down and a lone Grey Plover watched as I made for home.

So, a day of mixed fortunes ...but enjoyable, nonetheless.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Nothing of particular note during the past week but the Goosander has been hanging around in the harbour entrance. Perhaps the highlight of the week was the arrival of a female Long Tailed Duck on the lagoon on Friday. It was still there this morning.

In the harbour several Great Crested Grebes

...and Pintail

The resident Kestrel

...and a few Greenfinches.

On Saturday a Chiffchaff visited our beach garden


My Grandson managed to capture this Robin in our living room with a Canon 7D2 with 560mm lens!!

Christmas is coming!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Pagham Spit in December

The weather has been very mixed as of late and opportunities limited.
Here are just a few shots from last week ..... nothing exceptional but just proves that life does still exist on the spit!

Oystercatchers waiting for the tide to go out on a dull day.

...but here on a sunny morning (what a difference the sun makes)

Gull and Cormorants in a feeding frenzy at the harbour entrance.

Turnstone on the move

...and again waiting for the turn of the tide.

At least five Red Breasted Mergansers have been in the harbour for a while and spend a lot of time displaying!

A Curlew looks on...unimpressed.

A single female Goosander is currently based in the harbour mouth and although distant can be readily picked out from the female mergansers by her very clean cut white neck.
...not so obvious in this shot.

An obliging Kestrel has been recently 'hanging around' on the Spit
Well, that's just a taster for now. Must return to some serious birding soon but recently occupied by domestic activities. All change in the New Year...hopefully!