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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, March 17, 2017

Yesterday was yet another foggy day day...for the most part.
Today was a different story and the morning started off bright but cold. An early walk to the North Wall alongside the harbour was pleasant but a little chilly.
A Dunnock showed up on a bramble and looked at its best in the low, bright sunshine.

Dunnock...a very under stated bird.

Out on the mudflats Black Tailed Godwits and Grey Plovers were feeding with Wigeon, Teal and Shelducks foraging in the channels. A few Redshanks were feeding along Whites Creek and the Spotted Redshank was in its 'usual' spot. It was just within 'photographable distance' whereas everything was too far out for my lens. So a few shots of the 'Spot Red'...










A Cormorant flew up the channel...........




As I was photographing a Teal...

 ...Ian Redman arrived anxious to find a Wheatear having seen my earlier note of a pair being on the beach on Monday. I had had a quick check along the beach before I set out from home and couldn't locate any but very often they do turn up on the rocks along the Wall. This was not to be this morning but whilst we were chatting a small mammal appeared and ran in and out of the rocks. I  immediately thought it was a Stoat but later decided it was a Weasel as it did not have a black tip to the tail. (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). Nevertheless it entertained us for a few minutes before disappearing.




A very pretty little creature!


There was little else of note so I made my way home admiring the Blackthorn in flower...



..and then on the beach on a rather distant post...a WHEATEAR!!!


Sorry about that Ian and Peter (who has spent an hour or so searching the Spit earlier in the week)

That's birding!

Monday, March 13, 2017

A sunny morning...at last!

A great start to the day with bright sun and only a little N.W. wind . The pair of Wheatears had stayed overnight and the male looked great in the sunshine...




 
I can't help myself from taking photos of these brilliant birds when they first arrive!

The only other bird worthy of note on my local patch this morning was this Curlew although there was a skylark singing his heart out high over the top. 


I hadn't been to the North Wall for a couple of weeks as the weather had been so dire but today was a 'must'!

Plenty of Black tailed Godwits  in front of the Salthouse..............

 The Herons were active and could be heard making their characteristic calls from deep inside the heronry.






 However, there was not a lot of other activity apart from singing Cettis Warblers and Reed Buntings and this Wren skulking through the undergrowth.  



 Hopefully  it wont be too long before the reedbed is full of Sedge and Reed Warblers.

On my return there was a single Spotted Redshank feeding in the channel....

 ...and a  female Wigeon joined some others feeding nearby


A Mute Swan flew over at low altitude....


 ...and a flock of Curlew headed out to harbour.


Apart from that, not a lot was happening so I made my way up to the Burgh,  in search of the reported Hen Harrier.
 Four distant Red Kites, five Buzzards and a Sparrow Hawk were the only raptors in two hours.

A distant Red Kite 

...and just a pair of Linnets....it was hard work!




Here's to another day!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My first Wheatear of 2017!


Yes....a couple of Wheatears on the beach late afternoon. Great news...Spring really has sprung.

Not a great photo as it was quite skittish and didn't allow a close approach. Nevertheless proof that they are on their way .


Still a few flocks of Brent about; this one on the Church Norton side of the harbour.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pagham...fog bound!¬

!

The Little Lagoon
 
Harbour entrance

This week has been rather uneventful and, for the past two days, the beach has been shrouded in fog. The highlights, such as they were.... on Monday, just before darkness fell a fine male Pheasant  ran along the beach just in front of our bungalow...rather unusual! On Thursday there was a mass exodus of Brent Geese; flocks were heading out of the harbour and then flying out to sea gaining height and then turning east into the distance.

                            A lone bird was feeding in the 'new' lagoon on Thursday morning in the mist. I noted no others

On Friday the fog descended and an Eider Duck made an appearance in the harbour mouth.



A pair of Red Breasted Mergansers were nearby...here is the male (through the mist)



A newly arrived Chiffchaff  was feeding on the beach in the Valerian ...obviously very hungry after his/her channel crossing.




A lone Skylark sat hunched on a post.

Black Headed Gull looking miserable.

My highlight today was a first for the garden tick list...a Meadow Pipit close up through the window. (Probably got lost in the fog)


Apologies for such a rotten lot of photos.

 Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week if the fog lifts!


Looking towards the beach bungalows this afternoon. Not ideal conditions for birding or photography!

Friday, February 24, 2017

North Wall and back....


What a contrast to yesterday...weatherwise. The only birds of note yesterday were ten Red Breasted Mergansers sheltering from the Force 8 on the Lagoon...the highest number I've noted there.
This morning was very different with calm sunny conditions.
A stroll to the North Wall along Pagham Harbour may produce some windswept oddities...so I thought. Not so, but still plenty to interest. The Linnets are back in force after a winter absence and earlier this week I noted thirty in the gorse This morning there were a few perching on brambles...not yet in full breeding dress but still looking good.
Linnet

At this time of year the Brent Geese begin to look restless and become quite noisy chatting to each other non stop.





They know full well that in a few weeks time they will be on their way to their breeding grounds and tend to move around in small flocks


Time for me to obtain a few more photos before their departure date which according to my diary from previous years is around March 10 



Soon they will be winging their way overhead, homewards.




 The wintering duck will depart a little later and the harbour will feel very empty
 Wigeon grazing in the paddock
...and flying over the reedbed. 

Here's a drake in closeup.

...and a passing drake Pintail (my favourite duck)





 It was good to hear a Reed Bunting in song this morning 



Black Tailed Godwit flypast over Breech Pool 




 After meeting up with Dave and Martin discussing the lack of birds around it was time to set off homewards. A Grey Plover was sitting it out at high tide along the harbour edge.
A Cormorant in full breeding plumage flew past affording a good photo opportunity.
Almost a Sinensis?
A real treat!

...and then a beautiful Kestrel hovering just ahead of me!
Another treat!