News archive

June 2016

Thursday, 16 June 2016

School children pond dipping

RSPB Pagham Harbour & Medmerry Summer Events

Events for July:

Saturday 02 July, Bee-mused! An insight into the life of the honeybee and a year in the life of the beekeeper. Learn what goes on inside the hive, what equipment beekeepers need and how you can help in your own garden.
10.30am (duration 2 hours)
Booking essential, £8 per person / £6 members

Saturday 09 July, Butterfly Workshop. Prepare yourself for Big Butterfly Count 2016. This workshop looks at ecology and how to identify different species and sexes before spending time on the reserve putting these skills into practice.
10.00am (duration 6 hours)
Booking essential £12 per person / £9 members

Sunday 10 July, Someone to Guide You. Unsure of what that bird is? Our friendly guides will be at the Church Norton Hide, Pagham Harbour to help you spot and identify the wildlife that you see.
11am - 2pm Drop-in Free

Sunday 17 July, Archaeology of Medmerry Beach. Since its conception, the archaeological survey of Medmerry beach has turned up some amazing finds from the Bronze, Iron and Middle Ages, 18th and 19th centuries and the Second World War. Join Peter Murphy of Chichester & District Archaeology Society and discover what the tides have uncovered on this walk in the past.
1.30pm (duration 3 hours / 5 miles) meet at Earnley car park PO20 7JL at 1.20pm.
Booking essential £12 per person / £9 members

Sunday 31 July, Discover Medmerry Guided Walk. Join our guides for a summers walk round the west side of Medmerry as the skylarks fill the sky with song overhead, warblers compete from the reed beds and dragonflies patrol the pools.
10am (duration 3 hours), meet at Earnley car park PO20 7JL at 9.50am.
Booking essential £7 per person / £4 members

For more information and events in August and September use the link below

Monday, 13 June 2016

Record-breaking bird migration revealed in new research

Record-breaking bird migration revealed in new research

A study carried out by scientists at Newcastle University for BBC's Springwatch has mapped for the first time the incredible annual migration of Arctic Terns from the Farne Islands on the Northumberland coast.

Weighing just 100g the Arctic Tern has the longest migration of any bird, travelling all the way to Antarctica for the winter and back to the Farnes, which are owned and managed by the National Trust, to breed in the Spring.

Last year 29 birds were fitted with geolocators by local researchers from Newcastle University watched by Springwatch presenter Nick Baker and National Trust rangers. The first of the Terns arrived back in the Farnes this spring.

Longest flight ever recorded

One bird was found to have made a 96,000km round trip between Northumberland and its winter home in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

This is the longest flight ever recorded for a migratory bird. The previous record was held by an Arctic Tern from the Netherlands, which had made a 91,000km round trip to its wintering grounds and back.

The researchers, Dr Richard Bevan and Dr Chris Redfern of Newcastle University have spoken about the ground-breaking study on Springwatch.

"It's really quite humbling to see these tiny birds return when you consider the huge distances they've had to travel and how they've battled to survive," says Dr Richard Bevan of Newcastle University's School of Biology.

"So far we've managed to catch 16 of our tagged birds from last year and we've seen at least another four birds with our geolocators attached.

"We have been able to track our record breaking Arctic tern as it flew down the coast of West Africa, crossed into the Indian Ocean and eventually arrived in Antarctica.

"Further analysis of the data from these trackers will allow us to get a better understanding of how the Arctic Terns organise their migration and how global climate change may affect their routes."

It's humbling to see these tiny birds return when you consider the huge distances they've travelled
Dr Richard Bevan, Newcastle University

Mapping the route
More than two thousand pairs of Arctic Terns breed on the Farne Islands. Sitting two miles off the coast of Northumberland, the islands are home to 87,000 pairs of seabird, including Puffin, Eider Duck and Shag. The National Trust has cared for the Farne Islands since 1925.

Lana Blakely, National Trust Ranger on the Farne Islands, said: "Thousands of visitors flock to the Farnes every year to enjoy the remarkable wildlife. What our visitors don't always see is the scientific work that our rangers have been doing behind the scenes for over four decades to monitor wildlife on the islands."

Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams said: "Arctic Terns are delicate birds that have been bewitching Springwatch viewers for many years. We are delighted to be a part of this innovative research by Newcastle University with the National Trust."

It will take some time to analyse all the data properly, but analysis of the data from the Arctic Tern covered by the Springwatch programme found that it had flown an estimated 96,000km (almost 60,000 miles) from its breeding grounds on the Farne Islands to its winter quarters in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

The bird started its migration on 25/7/2015 reaching the tip of South Africa by 25/8/2015

It then moved into the Indian Ocean where it spent nearly all of October (7/10/2015-31/10/2015; 1st staging area - 35.4 S, 71.9 E)

After this it moved to its second staging area (60.6 S, 70.1 E) on the coast of Antarctica (3/11/2015 - 15/11/2015)

It then slowly makes its way along the edge of the Antarctic continent until eventually ending up in the Weddell Sea (3/2/2016) where it stays until 23/3/2016 (3rd staging area - 69.6 S, 25.3 W)

Finally, it moves up to the tip of South Africa (4/4/2016) and makes its way along the west coast of Africa and arrives in the Farne Islands' area 4/5/2015

This represents the longest distance ever recorded for any migratory bird.

The Farne Island tern travelled down the west coast of Africa before crossing over to the South Indian Ocean and finally arriving in Antarctica - four months after setting off from Northumberland.

Over its lifetime the record-breaking tern could be flying as far as 3 million km between the Farne Islands and Antarctica, the equivalent of nearly four trips to the moon and back.

"For a bird that weighs less than an iPhone, that's an amazing feat," says Dr Chris Redfern, one of the lead researchers.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Volunteering at Pagham

Volunteers are required to help out at Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve.
Details on the file.

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