RSPB Pagham Harbour – 10/12/2023

With Great Tits and Blue Tits visiting feeders near the car park we proceeded to Ferry Pool.

The Discovery Area had attracted quite a few birds. First two Goldcrests and two Chiffchaffs were seen in a large hawthorn beyond the dipping pool. A flock of Goldfinches flew around and Chaffinch, Robin and House Sparrow then put in appearances.

A Little Egret flew over and from the platform adjacent to the hide which remained locked, we checked Ferry Pool. Twenty Avocets were grouped along the northern perimeter and 14 Shovelers, (ten drakes) were on the water. Rooks were actively searching for worms in the field whilst a single Curlew did similarly at distance. Redshank, Lapwing, Teal, Wigeon and Starlings were also seen before a Common Buzzard perched on a fence. The ten Black-headed Gulls present were accompanied by one Common Gull.

The tide was high so the saltmarsh was quiet. Six Dark-bellied Brent Geese, two distant Grey Herons and a Great Black-backed Gull being the main sightings.

At Church Norton we became confined to the hide as the rain became progressively worse. One or two Redshanks were seen as the tide slowly ebbed. Fifteen Cormorants were lined up in the harbour and a few Pintail were spotted at distance. A large flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese flew in and settled on the sea. These birds seemed somewhat restless though and many took off again in small groups south.

A Slavonian Grebe in the main channel showed obligingly, having first been a challenge to see well. This bird proved to be the sighting of the day at Pagham.

At Hayling Oyster Beds, three Little Grebes, a female Red-breasted Merganser and a hovering Kestrel were added on the first bed. Grey Plover, Dunlin and Oystercatcher were also seen before the long staying female Long-tailed Duck was located and showed beautifully to end our day.