Tuesday, 18 December 2012


The vagaries of birding were well demonstrated today. Two reports on SOS, one of a Goosander on the lower pond at Petworth Park, the other, that the fields above the North Wall Pagham were awash with waders. The final score was Petworth 1 Pagham 0. The Goosander was present but difficult to photograph and Pagham was DOB - Devoid of Birds.

Photographing a distant bird with white plumage on a dark pool in morning sunlight was a bit of a challenge which resulted either in blown plumage or underexposed bird. However, those that I could rescue are here.

When I approached the lower pond I was greeted by a rather odd sight and sound, 8 Egyptian Geese up a tree, calling for all they were worth. As I walked under the tree they relocated to the pond resentful of my intrusion.

Definitely a "whacky" bird

There were two anglers present but they reported nothing caught, not surprising considering a tree full of Cormorants nearby.

Now I know I'm not a real photographer and a million miles away from being an artist but I can appreciate what old Lancelot "Capability" Brown was up to in engineering the landscape. The trees and the views of the lansdscape of Petworth defy proper capture on camera pixels. You just have to stand there and observe its splendour as the light changes throughout the day.

On finishing at Petworth I decided to forego the hunt for a Black Brant at West Wittering, seduced by the North Wall being awash to the gunnels (gunwales to landlubbers) with birds. Bit of a mistake, all too apparent on arrival, the creek was nearly empty and Breech Pool contained a handful of Teal and Mallard. Out in the North Fields stood a lonely Grey Heron and a single Curlew occupied one of the flooded parts of the field. Where did they all go?

An empty Breech Pool

Not a lot in the creek

There are still berries available in the hedgerows but the only taker today was a single Blackbird.

I noticed these plants growing between the sluices, not sure what they are but they only seem to occur in the one location, very odd indeed.

Subsequent to some research I believe these are Tree Mallow, Lavatera arborea which is becoming something of a pest in coastal habitats, spread by its floating seed heads.



  1. Glad to see you got the Goosander picture before the year end and with better lighting conditions than I had.

    1. Hi Martin
      looking forward to the first posting of your blog. Good luck - I shall try to be the first follower


  2. Nice effort with the Gooseander Dave the last one that i took looked like a black head and blown body. They are definitely not easy.