Day out in West Sussex

Saturday 10th March 2012
Paddyfield Warbler, Pagham Harbour
I spent a great day out in West Sussex with Jake, Mike and John, the main destination being Pagham Harbour for the PADDYFIELD WARBLER. We arrived at around 8am after an early start, and it wasn't too long before it was seen by other birders between the third and fourth benches along North Wall. After a brief glimpse, and a bit of a wait, by 10.00am we were getting superb views of it moving through the reeds near the third bench, fly-catching above the reeds, and perching for a while in shrubs. Hearing calls and a brief bit of song added to the experience. Photography-wise I just wasn't in the right place at the right time - the one below is by Mike - my best effort is the one above (mine definitely record shot status), but what a cracking bird.
Paddyfield Warbler, Pagham Harbour (photo: Mike)
And a video, also by Mike: Other interest here included c170 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, a few Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, and good views of Cetti's Warblers.
The Paddyfield's reedy channel, from North Wall
North Wall and the tidal marsh, Pagham Harbour
We then headed for Ferring where we caught up with a Red-necked Grebe among c50 Great Crested Grebes on the sea. Nine adult Mediterranean Gulls were stunning, with six on the sea and a further three on a field behind among Black-headed Gulls, and three Red-breasted Mergansers flew by.
The Burgh
We finished the day at The Burgh, north of Arundel, for a Rough-legged Buzzard. By now the earlier cloud had given way to warm sunshine and perfect Buzzard weather. Despite seeing at least 10 Commons in the air, I dipped the Rough-legged, which Mike and Jake had seen back at the car while John and myself had stayed at its usual haunt just beyond the triangular-shaped wood. It wasn't too desperate though given the star bird earlier, and the good range of birds seen including a Short-eared Owl hunting in the sunshine, a Red Kite, Grey Partridges and Corn Buntings.
Grey Partridge, The Burgh
Many thanks to Jake, Mike and John for a great trip.

Travelogue time:
Arundel Castle
St. Philips Church, Arundel


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