A Good Tern – Langstone Island Hopping

Baker Island, one of the largest nesting seabird colonies in the harbour

Baker Island, one of the largest nesting seabird colonies in the harbour

Yesterday afternoon we were treated to a boat ride in Langstone harbour from the RSPB. It wasn’t just for pleasure though, we had work to do. We offered to help get an area of Baker island into great condition for the nests of the returning Little terns. After landing on the northern shores of the island we set to removing vegetation from the fine sandy substrate on top of the shingle ridge.

Tools at the ready. Removing the vegetation from the shingle ridge

Tools at the ready. Removing the vegetation from the shingle ridge

Terns, like many ground nesting birds, don’t really construct a stereotypical nest. They make a small depression in the ground in which to lay their eggs. Little terns are just that – little. Measuring just 21-25cm in length so they cant go moving large shingle around and prefer to nest in what can only be described as course sand. Unfortunately this very quickly becomes vegetated and unsuitable for shingle nesting birds. Hopefully our hard work will go on to help this declining species.

Farlington Volunteers & Wez (Langston RSPB Site Manager)

Farlington Volunteers & Wez (Langston RSPB Site Manager)

Other sightings around the reserve – House and Sand Martins (over the Easter weekend), Wheatear (On quick passage not spending much time on the reserve), Osprey and Red kite (high over reserve).

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