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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.

Monday, May 23, 2022

A week in Suffolk.

Glossy Ibis...Minsmere 

We have just arrived back from  10 days in Suffolk, staying at Thorpeness just a few miles south of RSPB Minsmere. Having had many holidays since our first visit in 1970 we really do know the area very well!
We visited Minsmere almost every day, usually in the morning and again in the evening before or after closing time to avoid the busy visitor time. The morning visit would conclude at the cafe  coinciding with their opening time at 10.00. (They do serve good hot chocolate and an excellent range of cakes and we were on holiday!)
Birding never disappoints and this year was no exception except that we happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on no less than four occasions and dipped out on....5 Bee-Eaters, a Golden Oriole, 2 Cranes and a Purple Heron!  But that's birding!
The two Glossies were good to see, the Stone Curlews were in their usual site (but no photos this time) and most of the usual suspects were showing well.  We saw, on two separate occasions, a stoat transferring her kits to a new home but again no photo!
However here are a few photos mostly taken at Minsmere during our stay.


Great White Egret
Grey Heron...closeup

Egyptian Goose
Canada Goose family
Shoveler (drake)


Common Sandpiper


Common Tern
Common Gull


Marsh Harrier being harassed by Black Tailed Godwits

Marsh Harrier


Dartford Warbler...Dunwich Heath
Reed Warbler
Sedge Warbler

...and finally  a Painted Lady.

A good week and good weather!

Monday, May 9, 2022

 As I was unable to get to the North Wall yesterday afternoon I made a special effort to make an early start in the hope that the Wood Sandpiper would still be present as reported several times yesterday afternoon and evening. Alas, there was no sign of it on the Breech Pool !! In fact very little bird life at all! I continued to the Halsey rife hoping it may have relocated but apart for a few of the regular ducks there was little else

However upon my return I was rewarded with a Little Ringed Plover on the almost dried up Breech Pool and shortly after this, a second LRP was spotted further along the pool in the shallows.

A couple of Marsh Harriers were about and one was collecting quite large twigs and taken them into the reed bed.

On Sunday morning there was a very vocal Lesser Whitethroat in the bushes alongside Whites Creek and unusually for the species showed itself quite well from time to time(for a few seconds!)

Just a word of warning, especially for any visitors to Pagham Beach and the spit that there are numerous  'tents' of Brown-Tail moths and caterpillars are emerging at an enormous rate.     

Although attractive these caterpillars are a menace.They have brown spiky hairs with a distinctive white line down each side and are up to 38mm long. Their hairs can cause an allergic reaction in the form of a very itchy skin rash. So take care and avoid!! 

A benefit from these caterpillars is that Cuckoos love them and on Saturday afternoon I found one in a few bush on the spit gorging itself, despite the fact it was a busy time of day and many people were about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Garganey at last and

 Late yesterday afternoon an alert from Les had me drop everything and head for the Breech Pool.

Yes, it was there ....a drake Garganey.

Several had been noted in the area and some had been seen coming off the sea at Selsey but to date I had missed out.  It remained all day today.

However as I had not been to Pulborough Brooks this year and as Little Ringed Plovers had been seen there (and I had missed them on the Breech Pool earlier) a visit was needed!

The Nightingales were in full song but quite difficult to see or photograph...

This was the  only shot I managed to get!

There were several Garden Warblers singing from deep "within" together with a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs but all were difficult to see. 
As I watched a glider I noticed a huge raptor gliding, also in a thermal...not a single wing flap during the short time it was in view at a considerable could only be a White Tailed Eagle.

Back on West Meads I was rewarded with 4 Little Ringed Plover displaying with their unusual high speed flights, twisting and turning at a fantastic speed. A pair eventually alighted on a distant island enabling a couple of photos.

Avocets were present too and one was sitting on a nest.

...whilst her mate was feeding or preening close by.

A very distant Buzzard sat on a post.

A few Lapwings were present, some with youngsters

..and a pair of Greenshanks were noted at some distance away.

A pair of Stonechats were in the field between West meads and Winpenny.

Back home, whilst sat at my pc preparing this blog a Stock Dove came to visit the garden. So finally, a shot of this bird which was too close to get all of him in shot! ( I had the wrong lens on the camera!)