On Saturday morning we met up with our friends Tony and Jean on the south coast at Pagham Lagoon Spit for a walk around the harbour to the North Wall. The Lagoon held a few Tufted Ducks, 5 Goldeneye, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and the usual Little Grebes. Unfortunately the tide was falling so our intial views across the harbour were the very large numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Geese moving between the water and distant fields to feed.
Dark-bellied Brent Geese.
The view on arriving at the North Wall was one of water, water everywhere ... totally flooded fields and very little to be seen close by. However once we ventured along the embankment we picked out Wigeon, Pochard, Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Canada Geese and finally large numbers of waders much further away.
With many of the species somewhat distant I hunkered down to reduce the effect of the strong wind and attempted some digiscoping while watching the thousands of Lapwing lift off, circle around and then resettle on the very wet meadows.
I would have preferred to get some closer (and sharper) views but keeping the gear steady while attemting to focus on the continually moving waders in such poor light tested my patience somewhat! Anyway watching large numbers of species, especially waders, is always a delight.
A line of Golden Plovers resting face on into the wind.
A few Redshank taking shelter.
Other sightings included a Kestrel and a very distant Sparrowhawk, 5 species of gulls including Mediterranean, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Skylark and Linnet plus I also heard a Bearded Tit calling from the reeds. By the end of the day I had added 14 species to my year list so together with an unexpected sighting of 2 Hawfinch during a local patch walk (Horton C.P.) my January total now stands at 90. All I need now is some decent weather and light to add some species to the photo album. FAB.