Saturday, 4 February 2012

Pagham North Wall (03-04 February 2012)

Friday 3 February.  A dawn (07.00) visit to the North Wall in the hope of seeing the Paddyfield Warbler that has been present since at least Monday.  -4C on the way over didn't bode well and no sign by 09.40 when I left for work.  2 Whooper Swans and 2 water Rails were little compensation.  A Thursday visit was effectively ruled out by a 10.00 meeting although in the event I could have seen the bird and just made it.

early morning Fieldfare at Pagham North Wall
Saturday 4 February.  Back on the North Wall at 07.10.  Hardly in hope let alone expectation but, amazingly, the Paddyfield Warbler had survived another -4C night and showed around the eastern end of the Breech Pool between 07.30-08.00.  I'd walked level with the middle of the Breech Pool and was delighted to be called back by Jake Everett as he first saw it fly across the pool - how nice to have young eyes!.  Most of the time the bird was petty much invisible on the grassy bank, presumably feeding on the ground as the vegetation barely moved.  I saw it twice distantly perched through my telescope, twice, closer, perched through binoculars and twice in flight.  Total viewing time was probably less than two minutes but after being certain it had gone that way exceeded expectations.  Richard Kelly and I then walked north of  Homer Farm and found the Black Brant in the Brent Goose flock but viewing conditions were difficult.  The swan flock was partly over the brow of the hill and I walked back towards the sewage works - where there was a Grey Wagtail and a Chiffchaff-  and saw the 2 Whooper Swans from a better angle.  At least 3 Water Rails were running and sometimes slipping around on the ice by the Breach Pool.  I moved on to Fishbourne. The tide was going out and Little Stint, 2 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank and a Kingfisher were seen in the creek by the sewage works.  I drove on to Chichester and met Megan at the Festival Theatre where we saw an enjoyable production of Yes Minister.  My first theatre visit for over 10 years but a good end to an excellent day.

Little Stint at Fishbourne, if only all waders gave such good views!


Spotted Redshank at Fishbourne, one of the most elegant of waders

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