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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, February 25, 2011

School half term

Amusing grandchildren has been a challenge this week but I did manage to get to the local RSPB Pulborough Brooks Reserve yesterday but without a camera with my very keen birdwatching 10year old granddaughter. The feeding station was incredibly busy with Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tits all present accompanied by Nuthatches, Robin, Dunnocks and Blackbirds...all within a few feet away whilst having hot chocolate...very pleasant.
From the hides, hundreds of Lapwing,Wigeon,Teal and a score or so Golden Plover and  unusually (apparently), a Curlew.  A Peregrine was perched very obligingly in a tree giving excellent views from the'hanger.' 
As a bonus we had close up views of an Adder and on the way home I noted my first Brimsone butterly of the year near Amberley.

Whilst yesterday was bright and sunny today has been mostly dull and misty but with an absence of recent photographs here is a female House Sparrow taken in the garden this morning and a shot of a pair of Goldeneye on the Lagoon this afternoon ... I am sure they will be heading north soon.

...only a sparrow but look closely at the varied colours in the plumage (click on image)
Goldeneye still present on the Lagoon...several females but only this one Drake

Saturday, February 19, 2011

An Owl!

A short walk around the Spit early afternoon produced a Short Eared Owl on the marsh (thanks to eagle eyed Peter Callis! ). It was alert and looking around and never moved away all the time I was watching it ; four walkers who stopped to look  were very impressed having looked through the 'scope.
Whilst talking to Peter a Peregrine flew along the spit in straight flight and as it  moved over the water it suddenly accelerated in a dramatic nose dive but quickly disappeared and moments later landed on New Island...its usual 'spot' but it was unclear whether it had been successful .

Duck and wader numbers continue to drop but a few Goldeneye are still about mostly on the Lagoon. The Mediterranean Gulls are becoming quite noisy and a number of them are in full adult summer plumage.

Unusually, we have 3 Robins in our small is obviously unwelcome!! Iwonder why?

Monday, February 14, 2011

 Following a very wet and miserable day yesterday it was refreshing to wake up to a bright and sunny morning.

Pagham Spit this morning...superb!!

All the usual birds about with Goldeneye on the Lagoon and in the harbour and a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers on the Lagoon. Lots of Grey Plovers on the off shore shingle spit and one Bar Tailed Godwit accompanying them. A pair of Ringed Plovers were displaying  and I felt that Spring was not too far away...The gorse bushes were showing new growth
and even the ground hugging moss/lichen was bursting with energy! 
A female Stonechat  suddenly flew up to the top of a gorse bush but it was away again far too quickly for a photo..I haven't seen one of these on the spit since before Christmas.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

50 years today!

This is the letter I received 50 years ago to the day when I first became a member of the R.S.P.B.(I joined VERY young!!) It is fascinating to note their old address and telephone no. and the contents of the letter and I also have the receipt for sum of 10/- (50p) for junior membership for the year (1961)

left click on the image to read full size


What a contrast in the weather today compared to recent days.Bright sun and after a sharp early morning frost much warmer!
Little Egret

Although I have not got a photograph ther were 2 Scaup on trhe Lagoon besides a drake Goldeneye and 5 females.I was pleased to see the reappearance of the egret which has been missing for some time!
There was a distinct feeling that Spring can't be too far away.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A peaceful early morning walk

Sunrise this morning from the  living room window
Not a breath of air stirred as I set out on my early morning Pagham Spit inspection! Hundreds of Brent geese were feeding close to the hide and amongst them an easily identified Black Brant showing off its very whiute flanks and characteristic triangular neck pattern.(Alas no camera with me!). Further out on the mudflats mingling with 150+ Shelducks, 6 Avocets ...easily overlooked in their black and white plumage next to the Shelducks.

Then walking back along the shoreline the unmistakable  'cat like' call of a Mediterranean Gull and on the shingle spit a dozen or so of them...1 or 2 of them in almost full summer plumage!

Spring is on the way!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another drizzly day!

7 female Goldeneye accompanied by a single drake on the Lagoon.

Little else to get excited about...a few offshore Gannets and several Slavonian Grebes in the bay.