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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, April 30, 2021

Nightingales at Pulborough Brooks RSPB

 Having failed last week in pinning down a Nightingale I was determined to give it a second attempt.

So having arrived at the reserve before official opening I walked down the zig-zag when a sudden burst of song announced I was in its territory. Sure enough, although initially well hidden, it obligingly dropped to the ground enabling a quick burst of photo action. It was not going to hang about and after a couple more exposures on a branch  he was gone.

A short and sweet appearance ....

I was pleased but on visiting several other known locations and hearing four other Nightingales I had no further success.

Blackcaps were much in evidence....

A Wren was very vocal!

A Raven flew over croaking but it was the simple pleasure of watching a Song Thrush in the childrens play area, collecting worms gave me an opportunity of obtaining some reasonable photo shots of this declining species.

As I left, I watched several House Sparrows on the provided nest boxes and although still a reasonably common species, I have not had a single sighting in 4 years in my Aldwick garden.

Later in the day I paid  quick visit to the North Wall Pagham harbour and was pleased to hear and see a Cuckoo in a hawthorn bush...albeit a bit distant.

The Honer Farm field was flooded (somewhat unusually at this time of year) and numerous species were present. There had been reports of Wood Sandpiper but this had moved on.

Grey Plover

Bar Tailed Godwit
Mallard with five of her six ducklings
Pied Wagtail,Grey Plover and Oystercatcher
Shelduck and Coot.
A strange collection on what is normally a grassy field.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Back to the North Wall

 It was good to see that a pair of Cattle Egrets were back in Owl Copse and showing all the signs of breeding.

In the rife below a Coot was busy feeding six very young chicks.

...together with a Little Grebe nearby.

 A pair of Swans were getting to know each other.

The resident Buzzard on the usual post

A flock of 15 Whimbrel flew from the harbour towards the Honer fields.

In the late afternoon I paid a third visit to the Honer reservoir to try and obtain a better photograph of the Ring-Billed Duck but during the time I was watching he raised his head for just three seconds and  could not have been further away on the opposite bank.!

The highlight was the sudden appearance of a Little Ringed Plover that dropped in out of the sky and landed on the far bank...hence a very heavily cropped photo .

A Whimbrel just below the sluice of a pair.

...and finally a blackbird  with the moon as a backdrop

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Pulborough Brooks for Nightingales!

Its that time of year ago to enjoy Nightingales and what better place locally than Pulborough Brooks RSPB Reserve. 

Arriving at 8.45 in glorious sunshine, before the majority of visitors arrived I headed for the zig-zag and almost immediately caught the snatch of a song. Just a snatch but no sighting. Heading down towards the Fattengates area a Nightingale in full song. Elusive bird. Suddenly it flew from deep inside a bush and disappeared a little further along. A Blackcap showed well, briefly, but he too quickly disappeared. Next stop had to be Adder Alley, a favourite Nightingale hideout. Yes, there was one singing but again, a 'no show'!

So, no photos this time but a delightful Wren posed beautifully.

A Song Thrush was feeding in an adjacent field

A Dunnock was singing his heart out.

The Peregrine was in his usual tree overlooking the brooks.

Jackdaws were loitering outside the closed Winpenny hide

...and a Nuthatch showed up briefly by the feeding station in the childens 'bit'.

I will have to visit again in perhaps a week....maybe  I was just a little early and the nightingales needed time to settle in, having only arrived a few days ago. We'll see!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ring necked duck!

A few shots of the Ring Necked Duck reported last night on Honer reservoir and still here throughout the day. Apparently, only the second time recorded on the Manhood Peninsular, so great to be able to get some shots of it on the local patch. 

Despite it having its head buried under a wing for most of the time it did in fact wake up now and again.


On returning from the reservoir along the lane I chanced upon  this Green Woodpecker feeding on ants.