• What to look out for in autumn

    Autumn is a great time on the reserve with birds moving through as they head on to their wintering grounds. Sitting on the Manhood Peninsula jutting out into the English Channel, many birds pause here to feed up before taking the next step across the water. Wheatear are best encountered along the shingle beaches and any fence line is worth checking for whinchat.

    Whinchat - Ivan Lang

    Spotted and pied flycatchers can be…

    • 16 Aug 2020
  • Nesting birds - not always where you expect (Pt 2)

    This is a continuation of our nesting bird blog, if you have not read part one, please follow the link below:


    Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

    Avocets, which you may recognise from the RSPB’s logo, nest near brackish water and bare mud in loose colonies of up to 150 birds. Both parents pitch in to…

    • 2 Apr 2020
  • Nesting birds - not always where you expect (Part1)

    Picture a nest in your mind. Is it in a tree or a bush? Is it made from twigs and leaves? Those are the thoughts that generally spring to mind but in many cases, they are not true at all. Did you know that a lot of bird species do not nest in trees, or even build what you might consider a conventional nest? Nesting season is quickly getting underway at Pagham Harbour and Medmerry, so we are breaking down the nesting behaviour…

    • 27 Mar 2020
  • RSPB Pagham Harbour & Mederry Coronavirus update

    Following the latest clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home apart from a limited number of allowed activities, we are closing our reserve to visitors until further notice. 

    This means we will close our car park, toilets and hides to the public. These measures are on top of the existing closure of our visitor centre.  It is with great sadness that we ask people to refrain from visiting the RSPB…

    • 24 Mar 2020
  • Recent Sightings 22nd March

    The spring has finally come in a bit of sunny weather, but please remember to check the latest advice regarding visiting our reserves and the government before venturing out.

    Sightings for 22nd March 2020

    Ferry Pool

    33 Shoveler

    13 Gadwall

    50 Wigeon

    50 Black-Tailed Godwit

    7 Avocet

    Stilt Pools, Medmerry

    38 Avocet

    2 Gadwall

    2 Little Ringed Plover

    5 Brent Geese

    Avocet of Stilt Pools

    Little Ringed Plover

    Marsh Barn, …

    • 22 Mar 2020
  • Recent sightings for 21st March 2020

    In light of recent events in line with government advice the visitor centre at Pagham is now closed for the foreseeable future. However the Reserve does remain open for visitors to enjoy the on set of spring, but please continue to follow all the advice that is presently being issued by the government by socially distancing whilst enjoying the reserve and remember that the advice is changing in this rapidly developing…

    • 21 Mar 2020
  • Tawny owl news...

    So the big news is that our tawny owl is sitting on at least one egg. This was the view we got on Thursday 19 March.

    She will have started incubating straight away and may end up laying three eggs. This means that the eggs will not all hatch at the same time and is a strategy common in owls and other raptors. The first chicks (or owlets) to hatch have a head start on their siblings and inevitably are able to beg more…

    • 21 Mar 2020
  • RSPB Pagham Harbour & Medmerry Coronavirus update

    Following the latest government advice, we have made the difficult decision to close our visitor centre to visitors by Friday 20 March. All our March and April events are also cancelled. This is to prioritise the health and welfare of our staff, volunteers and visitors.

    These are difficult and unsettling times for all of us, but we hope that nature can provide a welcome respite in whichever form and wherever you may encounter…

    • 19 Mar 2020
  • She's back!

    She has kept us waiting and I confess I was starting to think she might not return this year, but this weekend we turned on the nestcams and there she was... the tawny owl. 

    Last year the tawny owls were very successful, raising 3 owlets and giving us wonderful views on the TV in our Visitor Centre.  

    Our most common UK owl, the tawny owl is about the size of a wood pigeon, with a tubby body, large round head and rounded…

    • 16 Mar 2020
  • Kestrels return

    Yesterday, with the help of @wildsussex we put the kestrel box back up. This morning the kestrels returned and have even been doing food passes in the box, reaffirming their pair bond and rights to this des-res!

    • 6 Feb 2020
  • We are now on Facebook

    Yes RSPB Pagham Harbour & Medmerry now has it's own Facebook page... https://www.facebook.com/RSPBPaghamHarbour/

    • 6 Feb 2020
  • New Year Brings a Clean Beach

    The vegetative shingle habitats around the reserve provide some of our most threated species a safe place to live. However with the  daily rise and fall of the tide a continuous delivery of a variety of waste is deposited on the beach. This will pose a unseen threat to the species that are either feed in the strandline or collect their nesting material from it. As the New Year is heralded in 17 keen volunteers donned their…

    • 4 Jan 2020
  • An Autumn of few surprises moves in to winter of frantic activity – Recent sightings Nov 2019

    The highlight of a quiet autumn migration was the appearance of a juvenile Rose-Coloured Starling which appeared for a few days with the starlings feeding in the saltmarsh off the tramway near the visitor centre. The migrants started for flow through and many birdwatchers marvelled at Redstarts, Ringed Ouzels, Spotted and Pied flycatchers as they fed up before their crossings to the continent and on towards Africa. Out…

    • 30 Nov 2019
  • Autumn has arrived – Recent Sighting August

    The seabird season has finally ended with the final Sandwich Terns fledging at the beginning of the month. The final results of a very successful season are 13 Little Tern, 139 Sandwich Tern and 12 Common Tern fledged. Nevertheless, there has been a continued present of a large post breed flock of terns around Church Norton consisting predominantly of Sandwich Tern with a few common and little amongst them. Some lucky…

    • 27 Aug 2019
  • Pagham Harbour LNR Comunity Forum January 2019

    Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve

    Communities Forum

    29th January 2019

    Pagham Visitor Centre


    Pieter Montyn, County Councillor, WSCC (Chair)

    Steve Webster, Reserve Manager, RSPB

    Tim Callaway, Hants and IOW Area Manager, RSPB

    Charlotte Weller, Countryside Services Manager, WSCC

    1. Welcome and Introductions

    Introductions were made by the Chairman, Pieter Montyn.

    1. Reserve Management Update

    Steve Webster made…

    • 1 Aug 2019
  • 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