News archive

September 2015

Monday, 28 September 2015

The Birdwatcher's Yearbook 2016 (36th edition)

The Birdwatcher's Yearbook 2016 (36th edition)

Since it was first published in 1981, The Birdwatcher's Yearbook has been a one stop shop for up-to-date and verified information for birdwatchers of every skill level and depth of interest.


Updated checklists of British birds, butterflies & dragonflies to log your sightings.
A list of birding events & your own birding diary pages.
Latest information on 370 UK nature reserves.
Tide tables for coastal birding hotspots.
Contact information on a county-by-county basis for: bird recorders, BTO reps & WeBS organisers, bird clubs, RSPB local groups & Wildlife Trusts.
Directory of wildlife lecturers/photographers & artists.
Special features and much more.

Cost: RRP is £19.50 but available at £17.00, including postage - available via the website or contact:

Neil Gartshore, Calluna Books, Moor Edge, 2 Bere Road, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 4DD
01929 552560

Calluna Books also specialize in second birding books - see the link below

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Flock of birds over flooded fields, Cliffe pools, Kent

Events at Pagham Harbour with RSPB

Roy Newnham Visitor Experience Officer writes:

See the autumn events listing that some of your members may be interested in. Should you need any further details please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We also have a few places left on our historical walk with County Archaeologist John Mills on Sunday 27th September.

Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Visitor Centre, Selsey Road, Sidlesham, West Sussex, PO20 7NE
Tel 01243 641508
Mobile 07703 885322

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Springtime in Guernsey - April 2016

Springtime in Guernsey - April 24th 2016 7 days, 6 nights by Air £780.00. No Single Person Supplement.
Would you be interested in joining us for a week of bird watching, walking, astronomy and relaxation in the beautiful natural Island of Guernsey. Departing Sunday 24th April - Saturday 30th April, 7 days 6 nights staying at the comfortable Saints Bay Hotel, Bed Breakfast and Evening Meal. Coach travel from Chichester to Southampton Airport, Executive coach to places of interest during our stay, optional day on Herm Island. April is a wonderful month for observing migrating birds through the Islands, summer visitors, winter visitors and passage migrants. The Hotel is situated opposite Moulin Huet Bay where Renoir painted, and Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables in St.Peter Port. The Cliff Paths outside the Hotel offer stunning walks along the South Coast and boast a wealth of wild flower meadows and an abundance of insect life. To register an interest in the first instance, please phone Denise Bowerman 01243 576981 or email ( Limited to 25 places.) Available to Members of CNHS and their friends/family.
Denise Bowerman

Friday, 18 September 2015

Red Letter day at Pagham

Red Letter day at Pagham

Graham Whiteheads report..

As I started this birding late in life I am still lucky enough to find the odd life was a red letter day in that I managed 3 ticks. The first two were at Sidlesham Ferry. I turned up mid morning to find what looked like the Paparazzi lined up along the Ferry railing. Surely Jordan wasn't sunbathing topless (she does live in the area)? Right at our feet I spotted the first tick in the form of a very obliging Pectoral Sandpiper that happily foraged along the shoreline ranging 10 to 15 metres up and down. The second tick was the Grey Phalarope that seemed to make a larger circuit of some 75 metres. It finally swam right in front of the scopes and cameras and at one point came within feet of the Sandpiper. It's not everyday you get to see these two birds side by side
Having been given a heads up while watching the Pectoral Sandpiper and the Grey Phalarope at Sidlesham ferry I headed for Church Norton in search of the Wryneck. Word of warning...beware the muddy carpark at the church...take a spare pair of shoes if you don't want red muddy carpets in your car. The Wryneck was located where I was told some distance down the beach to the west. It favoured a clump of gorse bushes past The Severals and in line with a pole with a lobsterpot like framework on top at the end of a groyne. I first found it for a brief few seconds before it disappeared and then had to wait for an hour and a half because a few birders encircled the bushes and quite honestly probably scared the **** out of it. Finally they realised and changed tactics and stood quietly to one side then along with a birding group from the New Forest around 20 of us had reasonable views where it foraged on the lower path between the gorse and a reed bed.

The Garganey at Medmerry were the last birds of the day for me. The best way to find them is park at the Easton Lane car park then walk up onto the berm and head anticlockwise in a westerly direction. When you reach the tall poplars on the left (about 150 metres from where you start on the berm) look to the right and they are in the small pond that is reed lined. Be patient because they do go in and out of the reeds.

More of Grahams pictures can be seen on the SOS site

Thursday, 17 September 2015


Our first indoor meeting of the autumn starts next Thursday - 24th - 7.30 pm at The Pallant Suite
The speaker is Neil Gartshore and he will be talking about birding in Japan.

The latest newsletter has now gone out by email and post if you haven't had one yet please email

Membership Renewals are also due now - please pay at the meeting or send - form in the newsletter

Look forward to seeing you next week

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Great tit at birdtable

RSPB says: talk to your neighbours about wildlife

The RSPB's summer Giving Nature a Home survey questioned over 1,800 people with gardens about their neighbours and wildlife - and found that most never talk to each other.

The poll revealed that 73 per cent of people in Britain with an outdoor space haven't spoken to their neighbour about how they can help wildlife in the past six months, despite 75 per cent agreeing that it is important to encourage wildlife in their garden.

Richard Bashford, RSPB's Giving Nature a Home Project Manager, said: "It's encouraging to hear that so many people agree that it is important to encourage wildlife to their garden. Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are among the worst affected.

"It seems we need to talk more and potentially helping the creatures that visit our gardens could be just the excuse we need. If you've got lots of wildlife in your garden why not spread the word about the benefits it brings - tell a friend, family member or neighbour. It could be the start of creating more nature-friendly gardens that could help reverse the declines of some of our struggling garden [species]."

Of those surveyed, three quarters (75 per cent) agreed that it was important to encourage wildlife in to their garden, 65 per cent believed their household encouraged wildlife into their garden, 39 per cent suggested their neighbour helped wildlife and just over a quarter (27 per cent) worked with their neighbour to help nature pass between their gardens.

The poll was carried out to get an insight into how people helped wildlife in their garden or outdoor space, and if they felt it was important to encourage other people where they lived to do the same.

To spread the word and inspire people across the country to connect with nature and build wildlife homes in their gardens and outdoor spaces, the RSPB's Giving Nature a Home TV advert began to be screened last tonight [11 September 2015], showing that no matter how big or small your outdoor space is, there is something we can all do to help wildlife.

Richard added: "Gardens provide a valuable lifeline for struggling species like Starlings, Common Toads, Hedgehogs and butterflies, so we want to inspire as many people as we can to help nature where they live. Although the overall problem is huge, the solution can start on a small scale with help from friends, family or neighbours, right on your doorstep."

Through the RSPB's Giving Nature a Home campaign people can help tackle the housing crisis facing Britain's threatened wildlife. The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside space, whether it is by pollen-rich plants to attract bees and butterflies, putting up a nest box for a House Sparrow, or creating a pond that will support a number of different species.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Tern for the Better

Tern for the Better

Nationally-important colonies of breeding terns in Langstone, Chichester and Pagham Harbours have had one of their most productive seasons in years - although it has not been without its twists and turns! Familiar to sailors, terns are the 'swallows of the sea', elegant white seabirds which winter in Africa. Shingle islands in the sheltered harbours of West Sussex and Hampshire are the summer home of three species - the Sandwich Tern, Common Tern and Little Tern. The Little Tern, the rarest of the three, appears to have fledged a total of at least 35 young from a total of around 70 pairs in the three harbours, with 17 chicks in Chichester Harbour, up to 16 at Pagham Harbour and four at Langstone Harbour. This compares with zero chicks fledging in most recent years. The RSPB has been working to restore the Little Tern's breeding fortunes after a staggering 86% decrease in breeding numbers in South East England since the mid 1980s. The Pagham Harbour total is the best since 1979 and that in Chichester Harbour since the mid 1970s. The Chichester Harbour success is thought to be due to birds relocating from Langstone Harbour, where 36 pairs attempted to nest but were battered by a storm on 1 June, when 50 mph winds, torrential rain and sea spray drove them off. Sandwich Terns have had an excellent season, with at least 93 nests and 70 fledged young in Langstone Harbour. Their three nesting sites in the Harbour were sheltered from the numerous storms this summer. This was an encouraging turnaround, given that the numbers appeared to be crashing in the first part of this decade, with just six pairs in 2013. Common Terns - which are not as Common as their name suggests! - produced at least 15 fledglings in Chichester Harbour, five in Pagham Harbour and two in Langstone Harbour. Sadly, 95 nesting attempts earlier in the year in Langstone Harbour all ended in failure, mainly due to predation by other birds. In order to breed successfully, terns need undisturbed beaches where they are safe from predators, such as foxes, and from human disturbance. They lay their camouflaged eggs among the stones, and many people might think the birds are just resting rather than on a nest. Suitable locations on the south coast are restricted to just a few nature reserves these days. Tern colonies also need plentiful small fish, such as sandeels, plus the weather is always a factor, with storms and tidal surges a major problem for a species nesting so close to the sea's edge. All of the colonies in the area are looked after by a small team of wardens and their volunteers from the RSPB and Chichester Harbour Conservancy, plus a summer people engagement officer at Pagham Harbour, dedicated to inspiring people about the terns. Wez Smith, the RSPB's Langstone and Chichester Harbour site manager, said, "Overall, it has been a very encouraging year, not only in terms of the number of young birds which have been raised, but also the public support and cooperation. "It's great to see the local community taking an interest in the area's breeding seabirds. We've been working with water users to give the nesting terns a little space at certain times of the year and I can't give them enough thanks for how they've responded. "This year there has been a noticeable decrease in people accidentally landing on the islands or getting too close; despite the stormy summer, this has had noticeable dividends for our breeding birds. "Once people understand how rare and vulnerable these birds are, they are very respectful - it is the only way our terns can survive.