A very early start saw me pulling up in the the car park at the RSPB’s Pagham Harbour LNR at 5.30am. A leisurely stroll scanning the harbour every now and then in case the bird was in this area. You could see that birders had trampled small patches of vegetation, which meant that the bird must have been on view from these points at some stage.
I hadn’t been to Pagham (birdwatching) since the 1970’s. It was still familiar and memories of large flocks of Bar-tailed Godwits and Slavonian Grebe’s on the sea came back to me. I was caught up by another birder and we discussed our options. I said that it was often seen from or close to the hide. High tide was at 5.00am, yesterdays RBA report was of the bird flying past the hide and across the harbour. I said that our best bet was the hide, but I favoured the area between the hide and the shingle beach. Then up popped the Whimbrel, it brown rump making identifying it straight forward. It didn’t fly very far and we had good scope views though getting a full frame photo was definitely out of the question. Another birder appeared in front of us and was trying to workout where we were looking. The bird was walking away when it took off again and flew a short distance before landing on the edge of a creek. The three of us enjoyed good views for at least 10 minutes before it took of once again. This time it flew past us and headed down towards the areas of mud that were now appearing.
It was well worth the trip but work meant that I couldn’t go for the Greater Yellowlegs.
It was just a shame that the sun was so low when the bird flew but they will do.