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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 30, 2011

Suffolk awaydays

Jack Snipe
Have just arrived back from a few days in Suffolk and have sorted out  some  photos...waited hours in the Minsmere hides for Bittern to show up but failed miserably. Others there had seen them and achieved some fantastic images but I arrived 20 minutes too late! Story of my life! However, I did manage the  Jack Snipe (above) plus all the usual!
Here are a couple....


An elusive Cettis they always are!
Back on Pagham Beach the Wheatears are here and a Chiffchaff was calling in the gorse this morning . 2 drake Red Breasted Mergansers and 3 females are still loitering in the harbour entrance and 2 Scaup are present on the Lagoon. Here's one...

...and a fishing Great Crested Grebe

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Brents are restless

Very little about early morning and with the wind from the north I didn't expect much activity. By late morning the misty conditions had improved and a Chiffchaff was calling in the bushes around the Lagoon. The pair of Red Breasted Mergansers are still present...the drake looking really handsome.

and a pair of Mute Swans are chasing intruders off on a regularly basis.

One of a pair
The last  one hundred or so Brents are getting very restless and circled the harbour several times and on some occasions going quite high but each time as I watched them they returned. They won't be here much longer I am certain.

Still not seen a Wheatear!

...but just I had finished this blog I looked out of the kitchen window to see this Chiffchaff in the garden. Perhaps spring really has Sprung!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Todays highlight....a Red Kite!

A quick look at the Lagoon at 7.30am and the only bird of interest was a Red Breasted Merganser. He won't be here much longer!

Red Breasted Merganser

Then, from the Spit hide a display by a pair of Ringed Plovers and in fact there were two pairs performing their aerial manoeveres.

Ringed Plovers displaying.

...and then at 10.45 a visit to the North Wall and within a few minutes a distant raptor....a very long way off beyond the farm buildings and with the benfit of modern optics...a Red Kite  

Little else to report. The Little Ringed Plover of last week had gone and a few ducks remained so photography a bit limited

A pair of Teal on Breech Pool
Wigeon in flight.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The first L.R.P of the year . ...for me!

An early morning walk around the Spit produoced nothing new ...Brents,Wigeon,Teal, a single female Goldeneye and a Red Breasted Merganser were all that was noted.

A visit to capture Great Crested Grebes displaying secured a few photos and then it was back to the North wall and a nice surprise to find a Little Ringed Plover on a muddy pool beyond the main Breech pool....too far away for a decent photo but here is the proof.

..and then the distictive call of a very distant Raven and here again  a record must have been half a mile away!

A quick look up the main channel from the Salthouse  and there was the resident heron fishing in the usual place.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another quiet day

Little happening here today..a few Bar Tailed Godwits from Spit hide but little of interest to report. A couple of Chiichaffs have been seen on North Wall (thanks Ian)
However there was one interesting event but I don't know how it occured. I came  out of the hide and turned right along the top path and found on the ground a freshly dead Dunlin. It was totally undamaged with no sign of cause of death but it was still very warm! Eyes were open and I half expected it to revive but it showed no sign of life...a mystery death.

The Tern fencing is being erected on the extended shingle spit  today courtesy of Ivan Lang and his band of volunteers from the Nature Reserve and the only other notable is a Survey Ship partolling Pagham Bay most of the day.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pagham Spit is quiet

As Pagham Spit still remains quiet I spent a few hours at Pulborough Brooks yesterday and  although there were plenty of Wigeon and Teal and a few Pintail there was not a lot to get the adrenalin rushing. A pair of Peregrine was harassing a Buzzard, Snipe were showing well from West Mead hide and the adders were enjoying the sunshine. Nevertheless there was a feeling that Spring is not far away.
I enjoyed taking a few photos!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Forgot to update the blog yesterday and today has been a non birding day! However yesterday was a good day for photography so I set out along the North Wall expecting to get some really good shots in the excellent lighting conditions but alas there was an absence of birds. I met a birder/photographer on holiday who was crouched by the rife with a Nikon 500 and he too was disappointed at the birdless scene and despite having tracked down a Little Grebe there was little else. A couple came along and mentioned they had just had superb close up views of a Beardy so the pair of us made haste to the spot and waited in vain to even hear a 'ping'!
On the return a few Curlews flew over and there was a drake Teal just within range so that was it. Heres to the next fine day.
I note from various blogs including Portland that the past few days have been quiet so I'm not alone...roll on the first Spring migrants!

Over flying Curlew

A dabbling Teal

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nothing special...but the weather is better!

Sunny but cold with a sharp frost. A quick walk to the Spit Hide produced little of real interest but as the light had improved dramatically it was good to get the camera clicking again... so 3 photos from the hide this morning.....
Brent Goose


Back home from the living room window out at sea  6 Scoters, 3 Eiders, 1 Slavonian and 2 Great crested Grebes and  a pair of red Breasted Mergansers flying west

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Quiet Day

After another grey start to the day but  from about 11.00am the sun shone although a cold north wind  was really keeping the temperature down. A wander around the spit produced nothing of note and I get the distinct impression that we are between seasons. Brent Geese and ducks are still  present but in smaller numbers  and waders long the shoreline were non existent . A couple of Redshanks were feeding in the Little Lagoon ...I am looking forward to the first Wheatear!

Redshank ...Little Lagoon.