Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Birding Pagham Harbour

Birding Pagham Harbour, 28th September 2014

Our birding day at Pagham Harbour started at Sidlesham Ferry and looking over Ferry Pool.  A good start with Avocet, Little Stint, Green Sandpipers and Lapwings, a single Mediterranean Gull and lots of Teal.  A Buzzard and Kestrel were over the fields, whilst overhead a stream of Swallows, House Martins and Meadow Pipits.

In the creek a Spotted Redshank disappeared down the bank leaving just Common Redshank, as we approached the bushes we surprised a male Sparrowhawk which took off very quickly.  It was quiet for passerines though we did have Linnets and the usual small birds you’d expect.

Our next stop was Church Norton, we had a circular walk round through farm fields to The Severals, along the way we had Stonechat, Red-legged Partridge, Willow Warbler as well as Chiffchaff and heard Cetti’s Warbler.  Also enjoying the beautiful early autumn sunshine were Hornets, butterflies - Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Comma.

On arriving at the harbour a Peregrine flew across, and soared to a very great height moments later two Sparrowhawks moved along the wood edge and then found a another Peregrine sat on a post out on the beach.  The tide was only just starting to come in but we could see Curlew, several Knot were scattered along the main channel as were Oystercatchers and Turnstone. There was good numbers of Wigeon which were very restless flying around.

After lunch we drove round to the North Wall, our first birds were a ‘flock’ of Moorhens, a family party and others in the field with ponies.  A Kingfisher called and flashed past and a Cetti’s Warbler sang.

On the pools we counted five Spotted Redshank amongst the Black-tailed Godwits, a Water Rail crept through the edge of the reeds before stopping to have a lengthy preening session.  Looking into the harbour, now at high tide, we had Grey Plover, Greenshank calling as they flew across, Wigeon, Pintail and Teal.  On the rocks a couple of Wheatears were searching for insects to feed on.

However our real highlight was a little further on I looked down a creek where several Little Egrets were stood on the bank. I put my binoculars up and saw a Cattle Egret, it's yellow bill stood out like a sore thumb. I called the group over and Liz just got on to the bird when it flew up and went into the next field with the cattle.  We then all got good views, but the cattle were not happy with this intruder and they nudged it and pushed it off! It flew off in a north/north westerly direction but was not seen to land again.
Spotted Redshank at North Wall Pagham Harbour  Nick Hull

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