Friday, 30 September 2016

Pagham Spit & Lidsey SF

With good coverage on the North Wall this morning (see the Selsey Birder blog) I thought I would also try a quick look at Pagham Spit later in the day.

There was lots of small bird activity between the showers with five Wheatears, three Stonechats, plenty of Meadow Pipits, a Chiffchaff, a charm of Goldfinches and a large flock of Linnets all present. It was nice to just sit and watch the many waders & wildfowl come and go from the end of the spit and while doing this I saw the Peregrine come off its regular island and have an aerial duel with a Raven, quite spectacular. (In the pic the corvid looks smaller but that's a product of "small, far away" as they say on Father Ted!). On the way back a nice Pintail was with the Wigeon near the shoreline and there were 37 Turnstones (count 'em!) and two Redshanks on Little Lagoon.

Lidsey SF on the way back produced four Grey Wagtails, better numbers of Chiffchaffs (surely a Yellow-browed Warbler here at some stage!) and a few Pied Wagtails. I shall be devoting a lot more time to this area and its surrounds from now on.

Butterflies today were Small Coppers, Large Whites, Commas and Red Admirals.

Stonechats, North Wall:

Wheatears, Pagham Spit:

Stonechat & Wheatear, Pagham Spit:

Peregrine & Raven:

Grey Wagtail, Lidsey SF:

Friday, 23 September 2016


After a stressful week at work (was asked if I ever did work the other day, cheeky!), it was nice to get out to North Wall at Pagham and even better to find a Wryneck while there. I picked up on top of the hedge line near where the LEO was last year and it then skipped along a bit before landing on the path about 30 yards ahead of me. The pictures were made difficult by the undergrowth & not wanting to spook the bird knowing others were on the way so some poor quality ones I'm afraid. Unfortunately, the bird flew towards the scrub at Owl Point and couldn't be refound despite a good hunt later. (Apologies to PC for not getting you on the bird, I need your mobile number!)


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Small Copper

While looking for birds at Halsey's Farm I came across a few Small Coppers one of which seems to be a faded caeruleopunctata form, ie: its got blue spots on the hindwing:

In the Bill House garden in Selsey was a standard Small Copper:

Friday, 16 September 2016

Near miss Pallid

A somewhat frustrating day: firstly there was no sign of yesterday's Red-backed Shrike at Halsey's Farm and look for the Pallid Harrier was unsatisfactory. I didn't mind not getting the Shrike today as I saw it yesterday, albeit distantly, and the Redstarts showed well at their regular spot but the journey up to the downs to look for the PH was problematic with two access roads to the area blocked by a fallen tree and broken down car respectively, ho hum. Eventually via MTB I made it to Canada barn near North Stoke and scoped the valley there for a few hours. Raptor results: a Peregrine, a Kestrel, four Red Kites and three Buzzards and frustratingly about 30 seconds of what I'm fairly sure was the Pallid Harrier. I picked it up late and it dipped behind the tree line before I could get much on it but four fingers, probable boa and collar, orange that got way I could claim it on such a brief view. Always tomorrow, who knows what might turn up!!

And the blogger app doesn't work on ios 10!!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Semipalmated Sandpiper

A Semipalmated Sandpiper was found yesterday at Titchfield Haven NR and was still there this morning giving great views! Better pics to follow but here's one showing the palmations:

...stubby, nearly blob-ended bill...

...head pattern & palmations...

...nice little bird:

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Red-necked Phalarope

A generally pretty miserable day as far as the weather was concerned considerably brightened eventually by the juvenile Red-necked Phalarope at Thorney Island today. I'd bumped into a few friendly birders there early on but the rain & wind made viewing nigh on impossible. Fortunately I managed to take advantage of a break in the weather late afternoon and was afforded very nice views of the bird down the front of the Little Deep.

Red-necked Phalarope:

Friday, 9 September 2016


There is a newish gravel pit on the A29/A259 junction in Bognor Regis that has been attracting the wading birds recently and so I went today for a look; I'd been here in the Spring on the search for a rather rare wader without success so at least I knew the lie of the land as it were.

After a bit of to-ing & fro-ing on my part I did catch up with the Wood Sandpiper & the Pectoral Sandpiper and I have photographic evidence of both...not very good photographic evidence but it is what it is and at least decent scope views were had, especially of the Pec that flew closer in as we watched it.

Other birds present: Dunlin, Ruff (lots!), a Little Stint, a Curlew Sandpiper, five or so Greenshanks, Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpipers, Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, a Snipe, lots of hirundines, a Hobby (which CM saw take a wader as big as itself!), a Grey Heron and two Grey Wagtails, I missed a Kingfisher too.

Pectoral Sandpipervideo

Pectoral Sandpiper:

Wood Sandpiper:

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


Still a few butterflies out & about on the farm: Holly Blue, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Small White today and a Brimstone moth.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Red-footed Booby!

Astonishingly a Red-footed Booby, a British first, was washed up on St Leonards on Sea beach this afternoon! The bird is alive and initially was taken into care by East Sussex WRAS but has now been turned over to the RSPCA for "more specialist care". The story was initially picked up on by Rachel Ramaker and Marc Read on Sussex Birders facebook and I tweeted it with some pics to a pretty large response. Obviously the most important thing is the welfare of the bird but I expect quite a few people will turn out if the release, all being well, is made public. This matter is being dealt with by responsible parties (not me) so we shall see what we shall see.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Ortolan 2

A bit annoying that the Ortolan Bunting was re-found this morning, despite initial reports to the negative, especially as I was in the area and could've nipped up to the SDW...still you can't blame ARK, not the first time something has been ID'd from photos and at least it is still about!

At Amberley an absolute abundance of Everlasting Pea caught my eye...surely a Long-tailed Blue must find it too! Watch this space on this one, i intend to find out what access is permissable in September/October, worth a go I reckon!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Ospreys & Ortolan

As I haven't had much luck with the Pagham/Medmerry Ospreys I went over to Thorney today as BC had reported a few. Luckily three were on show, two on the fence posts and one in the air, then all three in the air at once. (Pity about the grump birder there.) 

Afterwards went to look for ARK's Ortolan Bunting on the SDW just up from Kithurst but no sign alas, hopefully a twitchable one might turn up though seem to be quite a few around this year.


..with Bass:

And these are a few pics from the last week or so.

Got lucky with the Church Norton Wryneck this week:

A Ruff at North Wall:

Grey Plover there too:

and Yellow Wagtails: