• It's not all about the birds !!!

    The summer has arrived and in the distance the noise of the seabird colony can be clearly heard. but do not forget to look downwards as there are many other interesting beasties moving around you feet. As you observe the seabirds another visitor has been coming in from the continent, painted ladies have become an increasingly numerous migrant over the summer as warm air moves up from Spain. birds are well known for their…

    • 20 Jul 2019
  • A summer of Seabirds, Quail and Spoonbill – Sightings June to July

    Summer is usually a quiet affair when talking about the birds. That’s not because there isn’t any, it is just that as the summer progresses the business of rearing the next generation is in full swing. If you are patient and willing to spend time observing the reeds and bushes, you will observe many warblers – such as whitethroats, reed warbler, sedge warbler, blackcap all secretly collecting food for the young. However…

    • 20 Jul 2019
  • Hire a bike and explore our Medmerry reserve.

    We now have a new cycle path linking Pagham Harbour reserve to our Medmerry reserve and if you forget your bike you can hire one from outside our Pagham Harbour Visitor Centre. The scheme is run by App-Bike and you can download the app via their website - https://www.app-bike.co.uk/ 

    You can cycle all round Medmerry on the permissive cycle paths...

    .... or alternatively you can take the Route 88 / Bill Way and cycle…

    • 3 Jul 2019
  • Kestrel success and yet another character to watch

    Well it has been an excellent year for our birds of prey. Following the tawny owls success in rearing three owlets, the kestrels have managed to get all five of their chicks to fledging. They decided to leave the box this week at first sitting on top of it but gradually moving further afield. They are still reliant on the parents for at least another month as they learn how to hunt and fend for themselves. This juvenile…

    • 28 Jun 2019
  • Visiting in June

    One of the highlight of June is our breeding seabirds. Common tern, sandwich tern and little tern all breed in the harbour on Tern Island and New Island along with big numbers of black-headed gulls and a handful of Mediterranean gulls.

    Little tern chicks - Ivan Lang

    Ringed plovers and oystercatchers occupy the fringes and it is a cacophony of noise with birds bickering with neighbours or greeting partners and parents…

    • 21 Jun 2019
  • Kestrels doing well

    Our kestrel parents have been doing a good job keeping their chicks fed. Watching the adults hunt in the recent stormy weather really exemplifies their hovering skills. Despite being buffeted by the wind their heads remained fixed, focused on searching for their prey, all the while their wings and tail continually adjust to the constant changes in wind direction and speed.

    Looking at them in an action through the telescope…

    • 18 Jun 2019
  • A quiet spring moves in to summer – May to early June Sightings

    As May comes to an end, most of the expected summer visitors are in full attendance and have progressed to starting their new families. Spring proved very quiet with no unusual sightings to spark our bird watchers in to action. As June began the two most interesting sightings were two Spoonbill and a male Garganey on the Stilt Pools.

     

    This period of the year is always perceived as a quiet period for birds but that’s not…

    • 6 Jun 2019
  • Kestrel chicks hatched

    So as I suspected the kestrel eggs started hatching as soon as I took time off - they did the same last year and I'm sure they do it on purpose! Anyway, all five eggs hatched and the chicks are currently doing well with dad bringing in food for the female to feed her young.

      

    She will continue to brood for up to 2 weeks before joining the male hunting for food to feed their rapidly growing chicks. The youngsters won…

    • 27 May 2019
  • Special Open Day

    To celebrate our wonderful reserve and the work we have done on our Discovery Zone, we are inviting you to try your hand at a host of FREE activities from pond dipping and bug hunting, to mud-sifting, arts & crafts and wildlife watching!

    BBC One Show’s Mike Dilger will be joining in the fun as our special guest!

    So come on down and have a fun-filled day getting closer to nature.

    10am – 4pm

    All activities…

    • 26 May 2019
  • Mixed Weather this spring but migration continues – April and May Sightings

    In February we were privileged to have excellent views of the Tawny Owl adult roosting in the trees around the discovery area. As hoped they did nest in the box and many of you would have been following there exploits on the various blogs over the last few months. The baby ‘s finally showed their faces as eager birdwatches looked on. All three young successfully branched and promptly disappeared in to the undergrowth…

    • 18 May 2019
  • Gorgeous tawny owls

    As predicted the tawny owls have left their nestbox. The first chick 'branched on Friday night with the second following the night after. These two owlets gave us beautiful views over the weekend and even a couple of hardened local birders uttered an 'aawhhh' and gave them a cute rating of 11/10!

    The keen-eyed also spotted their evening meal their parents had stashed away in another tree for them nearby…

    • 16 May 2019
  • News from the creche...

    The three tawny owl chicks have grown rapidly and are getting curious about the world outside their box. Typically they remain in the nest for 25 – 30 days before moving out onto nearby branches, an act called ‘branching’, so it won’t be long before they leave their natal home. However, they won’t actually fly until approximately 32 -37 days old and will still be dependant on their parents feeding them for a further three…

    • 9 May 2019
  • Why visit in May?...

    May is a beautiful month on our reserve. The bird song is at its peak as the breeding season continues in earnest, while the plants and trees burst into leaf which in turn brings out a wealth of insect life. Cuckoos are often heard and seen around Church Norton, Yeoman’s Field, our Discovery Zone and the Ham area on Medmerry.

    Cuckoo - Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

    Swifts arrive and spotted flycatchers pass through…

    • 25 Apr 2019
  • Easter brings eggs and chicks.

    Monday morning I switched the nest cams on to find our kestrels had laid their first egg.

    This was promptly followed by a second on Wednesday and they now have three eggs.

    This is typical behaviour, with kestrels normally laying every other day with a clutch of 3 - 6 eggs. Generally when the third egg is laid the female will settle down to incubate for approximately four weeks.

    The blue tits have been busy. One pair…

    • 19 Apr 2019
  • Stars of our reality show…

    Our tawny owl has been very coy about showing us what she is sitting on but we did manage to glimpse at least three eggs. This week she delighted us with a peek at two newly hatched chicks. She has been keeping them warm and feeding them.

    Meanwhile the male kestrel has been bringing gifts for his mate in their box, including small mammals and a lizard, which the female quickly relieves him of! No eggs yet but the female…

    • 12 Apr 2019
  • 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