Monday 18 September 2017

Turtle Dove

Another visit to Pagham Harbour, mainly for a reported Curlew Sandpiper and the chance to see the very obliging Turtle Dove at the visitor centre. We kicked off at the North Wall with an adult plumaged Yellow-legged Gull out on the mud, accompanied by what might have been a 3cy bird. In the creek we found plenty of Redshanks, Black- tailed Godwits and some early returning Teal and Wigeon. Further out lots of Pintail cruising up and down but unfortunately no sign of any Curlew Sands.

Nice to see a few birds on Breech Pool; whilst we were scanning the birds four noisy Greenshanks arrived for their daily bath. Hidden amongst a fair number of Black-tailed Godwits were three Spotted Redshanks, fast asleep and trying to remain inconspicuous. As the tide advanced the creek emptied and we failed to find our target. Whilst the water levels in the pool have dropped slightly I guess it is still too deep for the smaller waders like Dunlin and Sandpipers.

Finally on round to the Visitor Centre where the juvenile Turtle Dove was out on display and waiting for us.


Tuesday 12 September 2017

Migrant Hawker

Today was our first birding trip of the autumn, great hopes of getting to grips with some of the migrants that would of course be passing through the Pagham area. The only problem is that no one has told the birds that his should be happening. Breech Pool, White's Creek, Ferry Pool and Church Norton could almost be described as devoid of birds. Not a single wader on Breech or Ferry pools, where are they all? At least it was good to find some Whinchats at the back of the pool, albeit at a fair distance.

Out on the mud from the North Wall we found a colour ringed Black-tailed Godwit, Blue Lime + Orange. I nearly always report these and as this one had been ringed by Pete Potts I snapped a record. When I got home I was amazed to find that I had recorded the self same bird exactly six years ago, and again five years ago on Farlington Marsh. I sent off a report and would be interested to know if this bird has done any travelling since I last saw it.

Captured same place 12th September 2011
And again on Farlington Marsh/Langstone Harbour 13th September 2012

Photographically speaking it would have been a poor day save for the bramble patch at the top of Ferry Creek, several interesting dragonflies to be seen. The usual Common and Red Darters and a couple of obliging Migrant Hawkers. I couldn't leave without recording the Red Admirals which appeared to be half drunk having gorged on ripe blackberry juice.


Church Norton produced only a Spotted Flycatcher and a trip to Medmerry, where we normally find Clouded Yellow, produced nothing either. It looks as though the Fleabane , which is a favoured nectaring plant, is not so plentiful as in previous years

And three from the garden, a nice, but worn Painted Lady followed by a Southern Hawker and a Red-legged Shield Bug, Pentatoma rufipes, sometimes known as a Forest Bug, which had landed amongst the laundry.

Friday 1 September 2017

Adonis Blue

Today was probably the last butterfly day, there may be some late Clouded Yellows to come, but I have seen precious few up to now.  This time of year Anchor Bottom is worth a visit. A typical downland combe, running east to west, so it has a south facing slope that is baked by sunshine. Today was no exception and there were a host of second brood Adonis Blues on the wing.  A supporting cast of Meadow Browns and just singletons of Comma and Clouded Yellow.


Job done then - time to take it easy.


An added bonus is that there is a huge population of Autumn Lady's Tresses present, although this year I had left my visit a little on the late side and most of the blooms were just about done.


Still a few nectar sources available 

Viper's Bugloss

Carline Thistle
Round-headed Rampion

A few from earlier in the week, a walk round the fields of Honer Farm at Pagham produced very little. Whilst trying to photograph Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers  I was treated to a low fly-by of a very vociferous Buzzard. Every year when there are some close Wheatears on the North Wall I say to myself -"Got plenty of Wheatear photos - don't need any more"  then proceed to snap away at some really obliging subjects.


Common Field Grasshopper
This Sandwich Tern managed to catch a fish every time when I failed to get focus - the Law of Sod made sure that when I got a clean shot he missed.