Monday, April 17, 2006

Pagham Harbour - Nature Reserve

A cold grey morning, with a biting wind blowing in from the sea and poor light all day. Also we’d believed the BBC weather forecast from the previous day, so were woefully under-prepared for the conditions, it was freezing! The tide was mostly out, so we walked down to where we’d been told a Long-eared Owl had been seen of late. The strong Easterly wind suggested we’d be very lucky to see it. On the way down to the Severals, we passed through Church Norton’s churchyard, where I got a couple of blurry snaps of some migrant warblers:

A Willow Warbler:




















A Chiffchaff:

















Also in the main hedgerow on the way to the churchyard we got a very clear view of a Cetti's Warbler, but he moved to quickly to snap, the way they hold their tail, like a Wren, is a real help in idenitification.

At one point we heard a Skylark close by and stood to watch it descend to sit a fence post no more than 30 yards away, too far for the camera but close enough to train the telescope and watch the wind ruffle its feathers. It took off and then came back to this post a couple more times, we suspect it was seeking to distract us from its nearby nest.

From here down to the Severals. With the wind still strong and our hands icy we headed inland to complete the circuit out of the wind. Here I heard and saw my first Blackcap. My field guide (Collins Bird Guide) suggests they have one of the finest songs, and I agree, both captivating and really quite enchanting:




















In this part of the reserve we also saw our first House Martin, more Barn Swallows and Sand Martins. We cut back onto the harbour shoreline to see the tide racing in, and it really was racing... before spotting some unusual birds, which on reflection were probably female Wheatears, but never having seen these before we had no frame of reference.














... before spotting some unusual birds, which on reflection were probably female Wheatears, but never having seen these before we had no frame of reference. However we did meet a couple who had just come from Selsey Bill where they had seen a large group of Wheatears, so we headed off there next…

1 Comments:

Blogger Samantha said...

Beautiful photographs you have taken at Pagham, its by far one of the best places for wildlife in the UK. My husband and I go every year and stay on the Church Farm Caravan Park in the heart of the nature reserve by the harbour.

12:08 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home