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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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pagham Lagoon

A quick  look around the Lagoon on a beautiful Spring morning...with camera!

Dunnocks displaying 

Tufted ducks with 'proper' tufts

 G C Grebes looking their best.

Coots busy building 

Willow Warblers warbling!

My first Reed Warbler this year.
Female Blackcap

Male Sparrow Hawk spoilt for choice!

 Spring has arrived!

Friday, April 19, 2013

This and that.

After a quick walk around Pagham Spit first thing the only observation of any note was the presence of a pair of Red Legged Partridges and a female Wheatear  on the beach.  A few (9)  Brent Geese in the harbour and a smattering of Wigeon and Teal and a mixed flock of  Ringed Plover and Turnstone flying up the main channel. Two pairs of Ringed Plovers may be breeding ,at least by their reactions to me.

...and so, over to the North Wall and the very first bird of any note was a Black Swan accompanying  nine Mutes in flight...
This is a striking bird in flight...totally unmistakable!
Next up was a small flock of Black Tailed Godwits.....
Brilliant in the early morning light

Then along to the gurgling Little Egrets in Owl Copse but they were not showing up at all well and I only managed a shot of a Grey Heron attending to nest repairs.

Whilst waiting and watching the heronry the bushes on the other side of the rife were alive with warblers....Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs.  A resident Cettis was in good voice and a male Reed Bunting was nearby, posing.
After chatting with Peter who was patiently waiting to hear his first Cuckoo I returned to the sluice gates and  and apart from a party of Mute Swans saw little else but enjoyed the peace and the warmth of the sun!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring has last!

A sunny start to the morning and a wander around the spit with camera. Greenfinches seem particularly numerous at present and the males are very tempting photographic subjects!

Greenfinch in sunshine!

..and another!

Wing stretching or displaying.

I had hoped I would find a Wheatear near the hide where it was on Saturday when I was without my camera but it was nowhere to be seen. Returning along the beach I found a single Ringed Plover who was viewing me suspiciously and I suspect may have a mate on a nest further up the beach. A quick photo and I left him in peace.
Ringed Plover eyeing me suspiciously.

As I was walking back to the path a white flash....the rump of a Wheatear and a second . Both birds allowed me to approach until within range and hey presto! my first Wheatear images this season.
Male Wheatear

Wheatear female
Spring really is on the way
..and then 2 Swallows flew in off the sea!

Mid afternoon I checked the North Wall and a pair of Swallows have returned to the barn in the horses field and a Sedge Warbler was singing in the reed bed. A drake Gadwall on the pools.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Garganey....Breech pool!

A call mid morning from Ivan from the RSPB  telling me of photographable Garganey, had me racing round to the North Wall.  Ivan was there and so were the Garganey but, and a big but, they had moved to the far bank of the pool and were asleep!

A very heavy crop of the Garganey  pair with Teal on the right

A close up of  a male Blackbird up the lane...just look at those eyes!
Early afternoon a walk to the Lagoon revealed a superb Firecrest at the western end in company with several Willow Warblers....a quick dash back for the camera but it was feeding very actively and constantly on the move and I failed miserably to capture a single frame before it vanished! I resorted to Willow Warblers and Dunnocks!

Treading water!
Typical light legs and yellow feet.

There's nothing dull about the humble Dunnock!

Great Crested Grebe to the hairdresser
...several Swallows over the Lagoon this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring must arrive soon!

Yesterday we had a fleeting glimpse of a female Black Redstart on the beach from our living room window. It was VERY fleeting...two or three seconds and it was gone...just long enough to note the firey red flash of the tail!

Today as I was in the Worthing area and had to kill a couple of hours I paid  a brief visit to Pulborough Brooks. A Jay posed for a quick photo

 before making off at speed!

....then it was down to Netleys hide and besides all the expected birds, the distinctive flight of a Little Gull albeit a long way off and virtually impossible to capture with a 100-400mm!

Just identifiable.

On the return a couple of male Bullfinches were nipping off the newly formed flower buds of a blackthorn but were most uncooperative and had no intention of posing for the camera!

Apart from that a few Chiffchaffs and much activity from Nuthatchs, Tits and Treecreepers  but there was a definite 'feel' that Spring was last!
(and I forgot to mention 2 Swallows and 6 Sand Martins from Jupps View)

Friday, April 5, 2013

A mid morning highlight....enough to brighten a grey day!

Yet another cold grey morning....Brent Geese, Wigeon and Teal still much in evidence albeit in smaller numbers.
Peregrine  present on New Island....not seen him there for some time now!
Spit Hide thrashed yet again...even worse than a few days back.
Walked to North Wall...several Chiffchaffs en route plus Knot, Grey Plover and  Black Tailed Godwits in harbour.
....and then...just beyond Breech Pool ...a magnificent male Marsh Harrier..a superb bird quartering the reed beds and eventually flying over horse field and back beyond Honer Farm...a magnificent sight despite the rotten light and cold wind atop the wall! (Camera at home! )

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An improving picture!

With good light and a little less cold, a visit to the North Wall  seemed a possibility  to find the reported Black Redstart...especially as a certain birder from Worthing had just posted some excellent photos!

On arrival  it was nowhere to be seen as the horses were being fed and watered and run around the field at great speed! However a birder from Surrey who had been present for several hours advised me of the birds' circuit and in time it showed quite well. A little tricky to start with especially as the wind was ruffling its feathers but eventually it came to the barbed wire fence and posed for long enough to obtain some reasonable images ...two of the best I've posted on my Flickr site.

The wind was causing problems to balance

It flitted from the straw heap to the ground to the fence post constantly on the move

On the straw heap

...on the post

...on the ground

...and back on the post!

A  couple of Chiffchaffs also present and a very confiding Robin,.


Robin...also windswept!