• After the wind the sun

    The last week has seen the whole gambit of weather from gale force winds, heavy rain and even some sheet but finally the sun has come out. This has heralded a burst of activity of birds preparing for spring the Tawny Owls in their box have a head start and are already sitting on eggs. Blue Tit's are feverishly collecting nesting material and the kestrel are a little more laid back, no need to collect nesting material…

    • 17 Mar 2019
  • Why visit RSPB Pagham Harbour & Medmerry in April...

    Surrounded by urban sprawl on either side, like a pair of green oases, free of light pollution and jutting out into the English Channel on the Manhood Peninsula, our reserves of Pagham Harbour and Medmerry are migration hotspots. Some birds will stay all summer while others will rest and feed before continuing their journeys further inland.

    Staring out from the beach swallows can be seen flying in off the sea and wheatears…

    • 11 Mar 2019
  • hot off the press -- kestrel returns

    Last year a pair of Kestrels nested near the visitor centre and the public watched as the breeding season unfolded live in the VC. good news is that a Kestrel has returned to the box for the first time this morning, hopefully this is the start of the drama again.

    • 4 Mar 2019
  • Spring arrives early but does it! -- Recent Sightings February 2019

    February has turned out to be the warmest on record in the UK and this has been shown with the activity from all the wildlife gearing up for the spring season. However, casting the mind back to last year, we were in the middle of a freeze, what a difference a year makes. As with last year the visitor centre will be a hub of activity as the nest cam’s start appearing on the screen. The warm weather has got one p…

    • 1 Mar 2019
  • Why visit Pagham Harbour & Medmerry in March

    March is officially the first month of spring and there are signs all across our reserves of Pagham Harbour & Medmerry. The warm sunshine encourages lesser celandine to open its flowers like splashes of gold on a green canvas.

    Lesser Celandine

    The silky paws of the pussy willow catkins ripen, transforming into yellow puffs full of pollen, attracting early bees and hoverflies. Blackthorn hedges burst into blossom…

    • 24 Feb 2019
  • The New Year starts with a flush of seabirds – Recent Sightings January 2019.

    The weather over the latter part of 2018 and in to the beginning of 2019 was dominated by a high-pressure system over the country, producing very still and calm conditions. The wintering birds arrived as expected and these continued to increase over the month with the January wetland bird counts producing excellent numbers of duck with 3000+ Brent Geese, 2000+ Wigeon and 346 Pintail. As one year moved in to the next most…

    • 4 Feb 2019
  • Why visit Pagham Harbour & Medmerry in February

    For me it is the last month to experience the saltmarsh at its atmospheric best. Curlews start to call more frequently and their melancholy voices drift across the mudflats under moody skies.

    Curlew - Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    February sees a peak in numbers of winter wildfowl and waders before they start to leave for their summer breeding grounds. Vast clouds of nervous lapwing frequently take to the skies before settling…

    • 11 Jan 2019
  • One to look out for…

    We have a rather special bird spending the winter with us on our Medmerry reserve, one that is helping to provide information on the conservation of her species. Site Manager, Steve Webster picks up the story…

    As part of a European effort to safeguard Curlews, there has been an initiative in Poland that has radio-tracked 266 birds across Europe between 2013 and 2018.

    A tiny solar-powered GPS device is attached…

    • 13 Dec 2018
  • Why visit in January?

    As we move into January and a new year many of us may be thinking of how to work off the excesses of the festive season. A walk in the countryside is as good an exercise as any but a walk around our Pagham Harbour & Medmerry reserves has the added bonus of some great birds. Plus of course, if you want a good start to your 2019 year list, 70+ species in a day is more than achievable.

    January is an excellent month to…

    • 11 Dec 2018
  • Recent Birds Sightings October/November 2018

    Once again, the autumn changes in to the winter with a distinct character alteration in the harbour. Gone are the excited voices of the warblers and songbirds, to be replaced by the squabbling notes of geese and ducks. The harbour is now filling up again and the air is alive with the toing and froing of the waders as the tide ebbs and rises. Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover and the occasion Sanderling are regularly seen wheeling…

    • 30 Nov 2018
  • Why visit Pagham Harbour & Medmerry in December?

    Other than the obvious escape from the hordes of Christmas shoppers and to take a break from the festivities for some fresh air, there are a number of reasons to visit in December…

    As the numbers of winter wildfowl and waders continues to increase across our Pagham and Medmerry reserves, goldeneye arrive in harbour and on Pagham Lagoon, the males of these diving ducks being particularly handsome.

    Goldeneye - Ben…

    • 15 Nov 2018
  • Why visit in November?

    There is a definite nip in the morning air and with November on its way you might be tempted to stay indoors and remain fixed to the sofa. However if you do so, you’ll be missing out on some beautiful wildlife, dramatic landscapes and some of my favourite sounds from the bleaker months of the year. 

    During October, the harbour, so noisy with the constant clamour of chattering terns and raucous gulls in summer, descended…

    • 13 Oct 2018
  • It is not all about the birds

    Autumn is the time for migration and many a birdwatcher is eagerly rushing around the site looking for those species that breed further north. Hobby, Merlin and Osprey have all been reported recently around the harbour. These have been joined by more exotic arrivals with the herons prominently represented over the last month; spoonbills, cattle egret and more recently a short stay by a Great White Egret have all brightened…

    • 11 Oct 2018
  • Recent Sightings August to mid-September

    The beginning of August brought the end to the hot dry weather of the previous two months; however, for myself I was away in Bulgaria viewing the wildlife of this interesting eastern country, along with the continuing warm weather. With beautiful scenery and fantastic wildlife, it was such a contrast to the quiet period of July, which is the post breeding season and waiting the on set of the migration. After a successful…

    • 9 Sep 2018
  • Have a wild family day out this summer at RSPB Pagham Harbour

    Calling all wildlife detectives! Join the team at RSPB Pagham Harbour nature reserve this summer and learn all about the wildlife and bugs that live on the reserve. From pond dipping to bug hunting, and arts and crafts to seashore safaris, a series of special events allow families to adventure in nature together and discover the wonders of wildlife within the beautiful coastal reserve.

    Or, for a weekend long adventure…

    • 4 Jul 2018
  • Latest on our kestrels and other youngsters

    The mystery of what happened to the fourth kestrel was revealed shortly after our last update. It turned up in front of our Visitor Centre on Saturday 16 June having left the nest early and was unable to fly or fend for itself. It was taken straight to our friends at Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital but sadly did not survive. We then had to witness a second act of siblicide as the remaining three became two and on Wednesday…

    • 2 Jul 2018
  • Trials of life

    I’m afraid our concerns for the smallest of the kestrel chicks proved correct and we unfortunately witnessed siblicide first hand. This is when older birds will eat their younger and weaker siblings when there is not enough food being supplied by the parents. It is very common among birds of prey and almost always as a result of environmental conditions. Although it can seem to us quite brutal, it is a sensible survival…

    • 16 Jun 2018
  • The Mediterranean arrives at Pagham

    Over the recent weeks you would not been blamed to think you were in the Mediterranean particular if you are luckily enough to have seen our range of species arriving on the reserve. The start of this was a beautiful Bee-eater which was initially reported from Church Norton  and was seen again yesterday nr Ham. a few days after the discovery of the bee-eater a Golden Oriole was heard also at Church Norton.

    Then early on…

    • 3 Jun 2018
  • Tern Island is Buzzing or is that squawking

    After all the recent work on Tern Island it was hoped that there would be lots of little pattering of tiny feet and so it starts. over 450 pairs of Black headed Gull have made their home on the island this year, a record again!!!, and now there are a whole load more with the gulls starting to hatch.

    the gulls inside the new fence

    home is set up and the new arrival

    As the gulls are now in full home making mode…

    • 2 Jun 2018
  • Here's a news-fledge!

    On Thursday 31 May the blue tit chicks were getting very restless in the box. There was lots of preening, wing stretching and flapping. 

    The parents tried to encourage chicks to venture out into the world.

    One of the chicks was enticed out, however, the weather took a turn for the worse and despite the parents best persuasions the rest of the brood decided to stay put and keep warm. The following morning the remaining…

    • 1 Jun 2018
  • News from the crèche.

    Our blue tits have lost the baby chick look and are now starting to look like blue tits. There is much stretching and flapping of wings while the parents continue to try to keep up with their hungry demands. Blue tits fledge around 3 weeks after hatching so will be leaving us very soon.

    The stock doves went on to lay a second egg as expected and have started incubation. Stock doves are similar in appearance to the…

    • 26 May 2018
  • Kestrels and others doing well…

    If you’ve been following us on twitter or keeping up to date with our blog, you’ll already know that on the morning of Thursday 17 May the first of the kestrel eggs hatched. All five eggs went on to hatch over the course of Thursday and Friday. Mum will continue to brood the chicks for up to two weeks while dad is being kept busy hunting for the family. Typically he’ll bring in small mammals such as voles but will also…

    • 21 May 2018
  • The Day Has Arrived..............

    After waiting for about a month and lots of hard work from their parents the Kestrels have hatched with two newly hatched young on the cameras whilst the third is hatching as this goes to press

    also after the refit of tern island the gulls are setting up home

    also the moths are now gracing the reserve

    Scorched Carpet

    Puss Moth

    • 17 May 2018
  • Our first brood.

    On Friday 11 May our blue tits hatched. Two eggs remained unhatched giving us a total of 9 bald and blind chicks. At first the female stayed with the chicks keeping them warm while the male brought in food. However, now both parents are feeding the hungry chicks, bringing in food on average times in 5 minutes. The chicks will not open their eyes until around 11 days old, so at the moment they are relying on sound to recognise…

    • 16 May 2018
  • Kestrel update

    Both our expectant nest-cam mothers have settled down to the job of incubation. Our kestrel laid another egg and finished with 5 eggs – a very respectable number!


    She has been sitting for a few days now with the male sometimes taking a turn too and the young should hatch after 28 – 29 days.

    The blue tit eggs have been harder to count as quite often the parents cover the eggs over with nesting material…

    • 30 Apr 2018