A life on the ocean wave

Well, not quite, but I have started volunteering with the RSPB. I’ve been going out in their boat with the site manager Wez Smith to check the seabirds that nest around Langstone Harbour (by Portsmouth). It was interesting to go out in the boat as I had no idea there were so many islands and so many birds nesting on them!

You can see what I mean when I say it's near Portsmouth!

You can see what I mean when I say it’s near Portsmouth!

When I say seabirds, I’m not talking about Puffins, Razorbills or Gannets etc… but it’s still quite a sight (and smell)! The birds we’re checking on are gulls and terns – Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls, and Sandwich, Common and Little Terns. There are also a few waders breeding including Oystercatchers and Redshanks.

Langstone Harbour's seabird colonies

Langstone Harbour’s seabird colonies

The main focus of the boat work is the Little Tern colony as they have suffered a lot due to habitat loss, among other reasons so through watching and protecting the colonies around the country, the hope is that numbers will start increasing again. Chicks have already started hatching, so fingers crossed they’ll survive! No chicks have fledged here since 2011, and then only one made it, so if all the chicks fledge it will be a massive increase and help the Little Terns survive in the Solent.

Newly hatched Little Tern chick

Newly hatched Little Tern chick

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