Weeding for Terns

Hello blog fans! Sorry its been such a while since I have put finger to key on these pages. February is a hectic month to say the least. All our winter vegetation clearance & tree works need to be completed by the end of February so as a result we are all busy out on the reserves getting our practical work done, with little time for blogging or in fact much else.

But now we are into March we can afford to breath a little sigh of relief and look forward to spring and all the good stuff associated with longer warmer days.

Bakers Island, Langstone Harbour

South Binness, Langstone Harbour – looking out east towards the gull colony

Today we headed out in to Langstone Harbour with Wez, the Site Manager for the RSPB’s Langstone harbour islands. The aim of the day was to make space for Little terns and their nests.  Little terns are notorious for being fussy at where they nest; they need little disturbance, so an island is ideal but they also like to nest in finely graded shingle. Our job today was to do the yearly weeding from this fine substrate to make space for these stunning little birds.

Busy weeding in the tern stronghold

Busy weeding in the tern stronghold. Electric fencing is used to protect the ground nesters from predators.

Along the way out to the island we saw several Red-breasted merganser, a pair of Gadwall, a Greater black-backed gull and Cormorant. The islands are not only home to Little terns but also Sandwich terns, Black-headed gulls, Oystercatcher and Mediterranean gulls. There was still no sign of Sandwich terns but the Black-headed and med gulls had already started to take up residence on the islands. We also managed to get a quick glimpse of a Slavonian grebe. I fired off a burst of photos and this below is the best of the lot unfortunately – taking photos on the high seas with long lenses in poor light is not ideal!     

Slavonian grebe - Turns out taking photos with long lenses on boats is tricky..!

Slavonian grebe

Med Gull

Med Gull

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

Count the Med Gulls - The main colony on South Binness

Count the Med Gulls – The main colony on South Binness

Great black-backed gull

Great black-backed gull

To capture us in the thick of weeding I thought Id try another time-lapse. I had visions of catching the clouds moving and the tide going in and out but the end result wasn’t quite as polished but you get the idea of what we got up to and the area we cleared.  Here it is; best to click the little cog in the bottom right hand corner and select 1080p HD.

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One thought on “Weeding for Terns

  1. Very impressed with the speed at which volunteers are now about to carry out work! You must get plenty more done these days 😉

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