20th June 2013 Langstone Harbour and Oysterbed update from Chris Cockburn

Hello folks

Things are still looking good at the Oysterbeds

The first of the black-headed gull fledglings are now making short and weak flights over the Oysterbeds’ lagoon. The fledging date is very similar to that in 2012, despite the cold weather this spring. There is still a multitude of black-headed gull chicks on the islands – estimating the numbers of successfully fledged gulls will probably prove be a bit of a challenge.

Mediterranean gull chicks are often showing well close to peg ‘Q’ on the curved (easternmost) island.

If some of the common terns really have been  sitting on eggs since the last bank holiday, the first eggs should be hatching within the next few days. Hopefully, any tern chicks will not be targeted by the Mediterranean gulls that have been visiting the site to feed on eggs and small black-headed gull chicks.

Next week’s big spring tides have the potential to flood out the oystercatcher nest on the western end of the linear (westernmost) island.

Although some little terns have been regularly seen, even fishing in the lagoon, it seems most unlikely that they will nest on the newly imported shingle this year. However, little terns are using the shingle recharge on South Binness Island.

There are reports of Bee Orchids on the Billy Trail (south of the Hayling Halt car park)and insect s are becoming more numerous (at least one Painted Lady butterfly was seen on 19 June)

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