15 May 2013 Langstone harbour and Oysterbed Lagoon report by Chris Cockburn

Hello folks

It is beginning to look as if very few/no common or Sandwich terns will be nesting on the two islands in the Oysterbeds’ lagoon – black-headed and Mediterranean gulls seem to have bagged almost all of the suitable space, leaving very little if any room for the later arrivals (including the three pairs of oystercatchers that have been seen feeding, roosting & copulating but not making nesting attempts).

No black-headed gull chicks have yet been seen, but the first hatchlings will probably appear within the next few days although the main hatching will probably be towards the end of next week or later.

The recently imported and graded shingle (100 tonnes at the western end of the NW Bund) has encouragingly attracted some high-tide roosting  terns – today, there were eight little terns (plus two more on the weathered chalky material west of the import – an area that will be flooded by most of the higher spring tides, hence much sought after by little terns!).  There are now five likely potential nesting sites for little terns (Baker’s island, the recharge on South Binness Island, the North Spit, the western end of the NW Bund and the raft on the Deeps at FM.

It would be great if little terns used all of these sites – even if only a few pairs at some – that would enhance likelihood of at least some productivity!

At least one pair of common terns looked as if they were considering nesting on the shingle import.

Hopefully, there will soon be terns nesting there and a suitably experienced contractor will have erected a security fence  to deter people and animals from accessing the bund.

It was good to see Orange Tip, Green-veined White and Small White butterflies on the ‘Mound’, which also has a good flowering show of Bluebells, Celandines, Bugles etc (but Milk Thistles  seem to be in terminal decline).


Chris C

Note FM = Farlington Marshes


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