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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Birds in Langstone Harbour: the old Oyster Beds & Kench Reserves. 17.01.22

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

I visited Langstone Harbour/Hayling Island on a beautiful, sunny and cold day; and saw a large range of overwintering birds; along with some of the islands resident birds. I had first visited Langstone harbour last October, see Langstone Harbour & Hayling Island: Brent Geese 23.10.21. I took the train to Havant and caught the bus (30) to the top of the Island . This time after visiting the old Oyster Beds, I took the bus (30 ) to West Town and walked around Sinah Common, after which I visited the Kench Local Nature Reserve and then walked along the south coast of the island to Sandy Point (by then, 16.30, it was too dark to walk around the edge of the Sandy Point reserve; it is closed to visitors). I took the bus (30) back to Havant station Bus details: 30 Bus Route & Timetable: Havant - Hayling Island | Stagecoach (

Birds seen:

Oyster Beds: Brent Geese, Greenshank, Redshanks, Curlew, Oystercatchers, Grey Plovers, Golden Plovers, Little Grebes, Red-Breasted Mergansers; Mallards, Little Egrets, Black-Headed Gulls, Starlings, Great Crested Grebes, Carrion Crows, Dunlin

Kench: Grey Heron, Brent Geese, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Shelducks, Little Egrets, Black-Headed Gulls; Herring Gulls, Carrion Crows, Dunlin, Rock Pipit, Stonechats

Sinah: Magpies, Pied Wagtails, Woodpigeon, Long-tailed Tit, Dunnock

Brent Geese, in the bay at the top of Hayling Island, just to west of the road onto the Island.

Brent Goose eating weed

The remains of the bridge of the former Hayling Billy railway line, see: History (

Little Egret, on the way to the Oyster Beds

Conservation grazing by Highland Cattle on Creek Common

The old Oyster Beds (West Hayling) Nature Reserve

See Langstone Harbour Nature Reserve, Hampshire - The RSPB for details of the old Oyster Beds reserve

The management of the RSPB Langstone Harbour reserve focuses on providing the best possible home for its host of breeding seabirds, wintering wildfowl and waders. Principle recent projects have been the EU Interreg funded Little Tern habitat restoration (2012-2015) and the EU Life funded Little Tern project (2015-2018). The successfully completed aims of these were to first partially restore and then maintain the tern nesting habitat within the harbour.

During 2017, an experimental (and extremely successful) Tern Nesting raft was placed at the West Hayling Oysterbeds with funding from EU Life and the Hampshire Ornithological Society. The regular conservation work on the reserve includes preparing the habitat pre breeding season each spring, intensive breeding colony monitoring, maintaining the offshore islands free of disturbance, adding to scientific studies and public engagement.

(January is the wrong time of the years to see Terns; they'll be back in the spring)

A Greenshank on the inland pool

Oystercatchers and Grey Plovers at the top of the most northern spit of the Oster Beds



Brent Geese



Red-Breasted Mergansers

Brent Geese


Red-Breasted Mergansers


Oystercatcher and Red-Breasted Mergansers


Golden Plovers


Red-Breasted Mergansers

Little Egret


Little Grebe

Brent Goose and Carrion Crow

Red-Breasted Mergansers

Little Egret

Brent Geese


Oystercatchers and Little Egret

Juvenile Great Crested Grebe


Little Grebe

Rock Pipit

West side of Langstone Harbour: Brent Geese and Portsea (the island of Portsmouth)

North side of Langstone Harbour - Farlington Marshes and Portsdown Hill,

Walking around Sinah Common

Long-Tailed Tit


One of the Solent Forts from Sinah Common. See: List of Palmerston Forts at Portsmouth - Wikipedia

The derelict Fraser Range, Eastney (Portsea) opposite (west) Hayling Island see: The Derelict Miscellany :: Fraser Range; location for the 1972 Dr Who serial The Sea Devils: Fraser Gunnery Range - The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures (

Brent Geese flying over the Fraser Range and Portsea

The entrance to Langstone Harbour


Fraser Range and the entrance to Langstone Harbour

Pied Wagtail

Dunnock, in the shrubs around the carpark of the Ferry Boat Inn

Starling on the roof of the Ferry Boat Inn

Grey Heron, by the walkway to the Hayling-Portsea Ferry jetty

Starlings in the areal on the roof of the Ferry Boat Inn

Ferry Boat Inn

The Kench Nature Reserve (south west Hayling Island)


Brent Geese

Looking north to the top of the Langstone Harbour from the Kench

Herring Gull and Redshank

A rotting boat in the Kench

Second World War defences

Little Egret


Oystercatcher and Carrion Crows

Shelducks and a Redshank





Herring Gull


Pied Wagtail

Sunset at East Stoke/Sandy Point

Sunset over the Isle of Wight

The Woof Fullmoon

Portsmouth from East Stoke

West Wittering (on the other side of Chichester Harbour (the Manhood Peninsular, West Sussex) from Sandy Point.

Bembride (Isle of White, from East Stoke (Hayling Island)



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