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 picked up along the shingle.

Swallow Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)

Keep an eye on passage birds travelling along the coast for great and arctic skuas. Terns will be returning to our colony to breed on Tern Island including sandwich tern, common tern and of course our star species the little tern.

Little tern and sandeel - Ivan Lang

The field behind Church Norton Hide and the churchyard beyond are good places to pick up common redstart and pied flycatchers. If you’re lucky you may even find ring ouzel here as well.

Common-redstart---Ben-Andrew-(rspb-images.com)

Pied-flycatcher-Ben-Andrew-(rspb-images.com)

Ringed plover, little ringed plover and sandpipers can be spotted along pool edges and avocets will be getting ready to breed on the Stilt Pools at Medmerry.

Common-sandpiper-Andy-Hay-(rspb-images.com)

Of course, warblers can be found across both reserves and include willow warbler, chiffchaff, garden warbler and blackcap, sedge and reed warbler, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat and there is even the chance of grasshopper and wood warbler passing through.

Willow-warbler-John-Bridges-(rspb-images.com)

Blackcap-Paul-Chesterfield-(rspb-images.com)

Reed-warbler-John-Bridges-(rspb-images.com)

Whitethroat-John-Bridges-(rspb-images.com)

Garganey, our only summer migrant duck will be arriving now and it is worth keeping an eye on the sky too for osprey.

Osprey - Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)

As our beautiful reserves burst into life triggered by springs warmer weather, it is a wonderful time to be out on our reserves listening to and watching nature.

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