Record number of breeding shorebirds seen at Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve

This year has seen breeding shorebirds thrive at the Local Nature Reserve in Pagham Harbour.

A number of Tern species, Black-headed and Mediterranean gulls all saw increases in nesting pairs and fledged chicks compared to last year.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), who manage the site on behalf of West Sussex County Council, has also reported new notable moth species for the reserve, which has included the rare Evergestis Limbata, and a Marbled Beauty – only around 30 have ever been recorded in the UK.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Pagham Harbour is a beautiful location, full of wonderful wildlife and set on an undeveloped stretch of the West Sussex coast.

“It is great to see that all the hard work the RSPB has put in to managing the site has reaped such spectacular rewards for the birds and insects that choose to live and breed there, and also for our environment as a whole.”

The reserve also has a rich historical heritage and hides a number of visual hints to its fascinating past, including medieval forts and the Selsey Tram embankment.

Stephen Webster, RSPB Site Manager for Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Reserves, said: “The breeding bird successes at Pagham Harbour are a fantastic testament to the hard work and dedication by RSPB staff and volunteers.

“Year on year we are seeing individual species setting new reserve records, such as the numbers of breeding pairs of Sandwich Tern or the number of chicks raised by the Little Terns. Add to that the new species that keep appearing, whether they are bird species, moths or dragonflies it just goes to show what an internationally important area Pagham Harbour is.”

The RSPB is also developing a new reserve Management Plan which will be out for consultation in October. The five-year plan sets out how the Reserve will be managed to protect and enhance this unique site, as well as how the team plans to work with the local community and visitors.

To find out more about the reserve, visit the Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve page on the RSPB website.


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