Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Red-necked Grebe

With the weather set fair and some cracking images of the Church Norton Red-necked Grebe being posted by Dorian, we just had to give it a visit. But, after some deliberation, we decided to give the Warblington Cattle Egret the once over first. At this time of year we prioritise those birds that we are unlikely to see again during the year. When we arrived at Warblington the sun was up but the temperature was distinctly cold. Locating the bird took us a while but Martin finally spotted it in with a small herd of cows and several Little Egrets.

With the bird duly recorded we set off for Church Norton, a short detour to the Nore Stream to see if the regular Greenshank was in residence, sadly not, the friendly Spotted Redshank was home but we declined to stay as the number of dog walkers at this venue has reached epidemic proportions.

Arriving at Church Norton we met Dick and Sue who were on their way to see the Red-necked Grebe. Andrew House gave us the good news/bad news lowdown on the bird. "it's here but has moved a fair distance offshore". Not deterred we set off at a good clip for the spit. Sure enough the bird was a fair way off but its constant squabbling with a Great Crested Grebe  gave the possibility that it would be driven closer into camera range. And so it transpired, the bird came close enough to be recorded in the pleasant sunlight, until it slowly drifted off to the north and when we left was no more than a black speck.

Next up was a visit to the North Wall where we had a pleasant meeting with Trevor, a fly by Kingfisher, a ridiculously close GCG and an idiot in an aeroplane. Surely it cannot be right, nor legal, to fly a plane through a nature reserve at the extremely low altitude of 25 feet. A report to the RSPB visitor centre brought the expected response - nothing. Up to now the the CAA haven't bothered to respond to my report either, so it would seem that no one but the observing birders cared a jot.

A bit close for the 500mm


  1. Dave, when I was with the original volunteering group at Pagham when the RSPB took over, Owen advised us all that there was a 500m NO FLY ZONE in service over the reserve and all obvious infractions should be recorded. It's not an RSPB rule, it's the CAA and you look to have caught someone red-handed including the tail number. Hopefully the CAA will act.

  2. Dave, maybe you should post those last two photos on Twitter, and add @Natures_Voice @RSPB_SouthEast @ChrisCorrigan3

  3. I left a message on the answering machine at Pagham Visitor Centre, I also tweeted the contacts suggested by Jim. The response from the RSPB - a big zilch. Not unexpected as I have come to regard the RSPB akin to a chocolate fireguard when it comes to bird conservation. They are more interested in Restaurants, Shop, Pond dipping oh and Birds as an afterthought. Bring it on RSPB more shops and kiddies playgrounds!! Pah!