News archive

January 2016

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Adult and child birdwatching


More than half a million people from across the UK are set to take part by counting the birds in their gardens over the weekend of 30-31 January, 2016. They'll also make a record of the other wildlife they see throughout the year, providing a vital snapshot of UK nature. Download a FREE pack or simply register your details to save time on the weekend and get £5 off your next purchase in the RSPB shop. Use the link below.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Little Terns need help

Hi All
Have you ever wondered how you could use your volunteering day, well here is a perfect opportunity and help the region meet one of its priorities under the nature scorecard. Pagham Harbour is renowned for its breeding shorebird population in particular the rare Little Tern. These dainty small terns require open shingle to nest on which attracts them to the harbour each spring. Last year Little Tern, Common Tern, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and Black Headed Gull all nest on Tern Island.

Each year at Pagham we venture out in to Tern Island, in the centre of the harbour (at low tide I may add) to carry out a vegetation clearance project (weeding) to ensure that there is plenty of open shingle for the returning Little Terns in April. It is an ideal opportunity to view the reserve from a different aspect, which few have the opportunity to do.

If you are interested and want more information or wish to join us then please contact me (details below)

To join us meet at Church Norton Car Park, which is at the end of Rectory Lane off the B2145 just before reaching Selsey at

11.30 on 3rd Feb 2016 or

13.00 on 4th Feb 2016

Please ensure that you have wet weather gear, warm clothes as it can be chilly out on the island, and wellingtons are essential to cross to the island. If you have work gloves and a garden fork that would be useful to bring but not essential.

Thanks you, your help will be appreciated by all the birds that use the Island this summer

If you know someone who would be interested in this project and will not see this email then please pass on the information.
Ivan M Lang
Warden, Pagham and Medmerry

RSPB Pagham Harbour lnr The Visitor Centre, Selsey Road, Sidlesham, West Sussex. PO20 7NE
Tel 01243 641508
Mobile 07703 885318

Thursday, 21 January 2016

DEFRA creates Marine Conservation Zones

DEFRA creates Marine Conservation Zones

DEFRA has announced the creation of 23 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) and a proposed seven Special Protection Areas (SPAs) around the British coast.
The creation of these zones is an important step in protecting British coasts and seas. However, the job is not yet complete, and more needs to be done to protect seabirds.

This important step towards establishing a functioning network of marine protection for our seas brings the total number of MCZs to 50. The new MCZs will cover areas across England and Wales from as far north as the Farne Islands, Northumberland, down to Land's End, Cornwall. Totalling 4,155 square miles of rich marine habitats, these new protected areas bring the entire protected area around our coasts to 7,886 square miles.

The RSPB's Martin Harper said: "To save nature, we need the most important places on both land and at sea to be protected and well managed. This new announcement is an important step towards this goal.

"However, it is disappointing to see that some of the UK's sites for seabirds haven't been used in the designation process. We hope that the third round of marine protected designations due in 2018 will offer the chance to finally designate sites that provide protection for our seabirds."
Britain is home to an internationally important 8 million nesting seabirds of 26 species. Yet they are facing significant declines, and around 600,000 individuals were lost between 2000 and 2008.
Despite threats such as marine pollution and the impacts of climate change, at-risk species such as Puffin have not been included in the current designations. Previously, it was thought too difficult to identify important sites for highly mobile species such as seabirds, but new data collected by the RSPB and other organisations are making this possible. Through groundbreaking scientific research, the RSPB is now able to track the birds away from their breeding sites.

"Human activities have caused environmental declines along our coasts and across our seas. Marine protected areas offer a tool to help monitor and manage threats, allowing species to recover and giving them room to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Today's announcement is a positive step in this direction but more is still needed to protect our globally important seabird colonies."
The RSPB has also welcomed a proposal for the designation of seven new or extended SPAs for seabirds under the European Birds Directive. These sites will provide much-needed and long overdue protection for a range of seabirds, from the wintering grounds of internationally important populations of divers, ducks and grebes to the foraging areas relied upon by breeding tern colonies, but details of these are not yet available. Despite the global importance of British waters for seabirds and 34 years after the European Birds Directive substantially strengthened protection for birds in the country, the network of SPAs remains substantially incomplete.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Giles Knight surveying choughs, N. Antrim


Our aim is to understand the importance of the network of high tide roost sites and inland feeding areas within the Solent for the conservation of the overwintering bird populations, and how best to maintain and enhance these sites. This includes Pagham, medmerry and Chichester Harbour.

This project is not for profit and encompasses two unique but interlinked projects 1) The Solent Bird Movement Study which is looking at the bird movements and usage of sites around the Solent. 2) The Solent Coastal Network Study which is looking at how these sites play a role within the network and their importance to it. All data collected will further develop our understanding of bird movements and help us identify which sites are important for feeding and roosting in the region. Colour ring sightings will further aid our efforts to understand how birds move within the Solent, where possible please submit these.

All data will be made freely available to all, this project is not for profit and aims to help inform and guide environmental decisions affecting protected bird species along our southern coastlines and inland...

By submitting your records of wintering birds around the Solent region you are playing a pivotal role in helping us understand the importance of each site, which will contribute to Solent wide decisions relating to coastal flood and erosion management.

CONTACT US - If you are not already a volunteer but would like to get involved in this exciting and vital project, please email and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

If you've already signed up, please register with the site, and share your sightings with us via this website or the new app SolentBirds for iPhone and Android mobiles and tablets!

Download the app
While our focus is on the Solent this App can be used across the UK and the data you collect is freely available to download from this site!

Have a smartphone? Why not use our app when you're out and about! The Solent Birds app allows records to be submitted on site or input offline and verified and uploaded later, when convenient. GPS integration is included as well as a species guide to aid identification. Perfect for beginners and experts alike, and saves time! This app can be used nationwide in the UK! Join us in recording sightings of protected species and help guide future environmental management!

Available free from the iTunes App Store and Android Market
Available on the AppStore and from Google Play

see also the website

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

View along hillside woodland trail at the RSPB Vane Farm nature reserve

Barnes Coach Trip


Book early for our 2016 coach trip to the WWT London Wetland Centre at Barnes.

It will be a great outing, with lots to see even if you've been before. The site has matured and there are new developments so the range of birds it attracts is always changing. They have a range of habitats including ponds and reedbeds with lakeside walks; there are resident otters, sand martin bank, a very comfortable three story hide from which you can see much of the reserve, wildlife gardens and a 'rain garden', plus excellent café and gift shop. (For more info

The coach will leave West Meads car park, Aldwick, nr Bognor Regis PO21 5SB at 7.30am sharp (entrance in Queen's Fields West, free parking all day). There will also be a pickup in Chichester from the lay-by in Oaklands Way at 8.00am traffic permitting. (Just outside Northgate car park, at the opposite end to the Chichester Festival Theatre, near the public toilets). The coach can't stop there for long, so please be on time.

We will have a short comfort stop en route; the coach also has on-board 'facilities'.

We will leave the London Wetland Centre at 3.30pm, returning via Chichester Oaklands Way at approx. 6.00/6.30, then West Meads car park approx. 6.30/7.00.

Cost will be £25 per head inclusive of travel and entrance fee. Members of WWT have free entry (but take your membership card, or you will be asked to pay full price at the door) so only pay £18 for coach travel.

To book please complete the form below and hand to me at one of our evening meetings or post
WITH CHEQUE payable to RSPB Chichester Local Group to

Sue Phillips, 44 Church Road, East Wittering, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 8PS


Please book me.................places at £25 per person (coach travel and entrance fee)


WWT member(s) ................. places at £18 per person



Email (if confirmation of booking required) ................................................

I / we will be joining the coach at West Meads / Chichester (please delete)

(PLEASE NOTE; It may not be possible to make refunds for late withdrawals)