This is the final part to our nesting birds blog. To read parts one and two please use the links below:

https://community.rspb.org.uk/placestovisit/paghamharbour/b/weblog/posts/nesting-birds---not-always-where-you-expect-part1

https://community.rspb.org.uk/placestovisit/paghamharbour/b/weblog/posts/nesting-birds---not-always-where-you-expect-pt-2

How can you help us give these birds the best chances of survival?

We hope this blog has highlighted the variety of areas birds can be nesting and that they are usually well hidden. Many UK bird species are in trouble, often due to habitat loss. We all need to do our bit to ensure the habitat they do have is as undisturbed as possible. This makes it vitally important that you stick to designated paths and Rights of Way while you are out enjoying nature. No matter how good that view or photograph would be, please do not endanger these birds by venturing into potential nesting habitat, for example riverbanks, saltmarsh, reed beds and field margins. If you are walking on the beach, please stick to areas below the high tide line, away from where shorebirds will be nesting. If you spot a nest, please give it a wide berth to allow the parents to continue their natural behaviours undisturbed. The destruction or removal of active nests is illegal, so if you see this happening please call the police immediately on 999. 

Advice for dog walkers:

Please always keep your dogs under close control or on a lead if they do not have good recall. Like yourselves, please do not let your dog leave the paths or rights of way. If you are walking your dog on the beach, please keep them on a lead near areas with fencing and/or signage for nesting birds and stay below the high tide line. It is within a dog’s nature to eat eggs and chicks if they find a nest, therefore a great deal of damage can be done if they are allowed access to nesting areas. Many eggs and chicks are well camouflaged so by the time you notice they are there it could be too late - this is why keeping your dogs close to you is so important.

If you wish to let your dog stretch their legs off-lead, there are plenty of areas where you can do so. We have two designated off-lead areas at Pagham Harbour which are pictured below. In these areas you are more than welcome to let your dogs have a good run around, unless there are signs saying otherwise due to grazing livestock. There are also two dog parks less than 5 miles from the Visitor Centre (‘Paw Paddock’ in Donnington and ‘Chichester Secure Dog Activity Park and Training Centre’ in North Mundham).

Thank you very much for helping us give nature a home and make sure to follow our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RSPBPaghamHarbour/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/RSPBPagham) for reserve updates.

Thank you to the RSPB, BTO, WWT, the Little Tern Project, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Cheshire and Wirral Bird Atlas and the Wildlife Trusts for providing the information used in this blog.

Anonymous