Sunday 23 October 2016

A day at Pagham Harbour

Today we were meet with lovely sunshine but a stiff easterly wind for our tour.

First stop the ferry pool several small groups of Lapwing along with a few Teal and about twenty Wigeon, a single Green Sandpiper also found on the muddy edge.

A Cetti's Warbler blasted out its call giving a very brief view as it dropped down into a thick bush.

Just as we were about to move off a large bird of prey shot over the top of the pool putting up some of the Lapwing this turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon looking for breakfast. We watched it for a few minutes as it dived at something out in the field but did not see if it had caught anything.

Moving down the footpath towards the estuary we encountered several different birds with Little Grebe calling on the small pool along with Tufted Duck, Coot and Moorhen, also several vocal Curlews rose up out off the marsh along with a few Redshank. A Water Rail called from within the reed bed but we could not locate it so moved on.

Moving a little further down we watched a Sparrowhawk fly out over the marsh but it did not seem to be hunting on this occasion. Checking the fields we found around 30 Skylark feeding along with Meadow Pipits, Pheasant and Red Legged Partridge also a group of a dozen Swallows flew past us on their way back south.

Heading towards the hide we could see several groups of waders out on the mud flats so decided to head into the hide to get a little shelter from the wind and check out the groups.

Scanning through them we found Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover, Black tailed Godwit, Turnstone and several Little Egrets. We also found the Peregrines again sat out on one of the islands giving some great views through the telescope really showing the size difference between the larger female and the very much smaller male.

Taking lunch in the hide we had a brief view of a Kingfisher as it shot past also a late Red Admiral Butterfly flew by.

After lunch we heading back checking the more tree lined areas and found Great spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Jay, and a very close view of a male Kestrel sat in the tree tops. Smaller birds were harder to find today maybe they were hiding out of the strong wind.

Checking one of the small channels on the way back we found a single Greenshank giving a nice close up view and a single Reed Bunting dropped into the reed bed also a couple of Snipe were seen flying over.

Other birds seen included Pintail, Buzzard, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Goldfinch and Greenfinch in total a list of 62 birds seen or heard on the day.

Again we struck lucky with the weather no rain but a little windy but still a very enjoyable day at this fantastic bird reserve on the coast. DT.

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