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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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

An 'exercise' walk took me along the North Wall this morning past the three Garganey  in Breech Pool and along to Owl Copse. A small flock of Cattle Egret suddenly alighted in the bushes...

There were nineteen in total

Grey Herons flew to and fro....

A couple of Canada Geese flew over

 Drake Wigeon and Teal at the sluice.

 Goldfinch....along the dog walk....Slipe field

Mute swan on nest

Male Reed Bunting

Wood Pigeon

...and finally a Cormorant in summer plumage.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A quick visit to the Breech Pool to check on the Garganey

 Yes, they were there, in the middle of the pool...rather distant but today they were not asleep!!

How long will they stay?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A trio of Garganey.

A early start to the North Wall following a late report of Garganey yesterday afternoon resulted in a blank 35 minutes searching the Breech Pool. Having given up and assuming they had possibly  moved on I wandered back towards the sluice gate and  during a final sweep of the harbour, there they were; two males and a female all sleeping with heads down on a mud bank... an unexpected spot to locate them.

They remained for a time but suddenly  took flight and headed for Whites Creek and quickly settled down with heads under  their wings again...sleeping.

...except for a moment when the female showed her head...with Teal on left.

Earlier I had the good fortune of actually seeing  a Cettis Warbler and grabbing a few shots of this very noisy but secretive bird!

...and finally a few other shots of the 'regulars'

Grey Heron....admiring the view! of many this morning 

Great Crested Grebe the sluice gate

Drake Wigeon

Monday, March 16, 2020

A Wheatear...Spring has sprung!

The first Wheatear of the year is always memorable none more so than on a 'perfect' morning like this morning. As I was wandering up Pagham Spit I looked across to New Island (Peregrine Island) and saw this white dot of a bird...with a very upright stance. Couldn't be anything else apart from a wheatear. Great! 
Even with a 560mm lens it is a still very small image....but unmistakable!
 There were another couple on the spit but both were flighty and unapproachable!

My other highlight was a fairly close encounter with a seal as it made its way out of the harbour on the ebb tide.

Mute Swans on the move..

 ...and a Skylark on one of the remaining posts on the south side of the Little Lagoon. (Eighteen boundary posts have recently been lost as the result of recent storm erosion)

Looking forward to more Spring migrants in the next week or so.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Slavonian Grebe

After several recent reports of a Slavonian Grebe in the harbour I tracked it down off Pagham Spit this morning...a bit of a long distance cropped shot, but recognisable!

...and a Great Crested Grebe...much easier to photograph! a few Brents still hanging on!

At least it was mostly dry today so an improving picture...weatherwise.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

More Cattle Egrets

Up early and arrived on the North Wall at 7.00am. The fields behind the breech Pool and in front of Halsey farm were more flooded than ever.

 As soon as I started walking along the 'wall' I could see there were egrets in the distant bushes.

Once close enough to Owl Copse I noted twenty five Cattle Egrets.... an all time record (for me). Seventeen were preening in the bushes whilst a further six were feeding in the field.

The one at the top right of above is moving into breeding plumage.

Whilst watching with Ian H they tended to change position between their preening spots in the hawthorn to their feeding position on the ground.

A great spectacle and worth the early start.

The Grey Herons are now very active nest building!

Black Tailed Godwits are still present in considerable numbers making full use of the flooded fields. 

The usual confiding Curlew was still present  foraging just below the pathway.

Back on the Pagham spit later there was little of interest. The wind had got up again and these Turnstones were seeking shelter in the Little Lagoon...but not much else.