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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Hayling Island Oyster Beds & Langstone Mill Pond. Common Terns and Little Egrets 07.06.22

I went to the Oyster Beds Hayling Island/Langstone Harbour on 07.06.22 to see the nesting terns for which the site is well known, see: Langstone Harbour Nature Reserve, Hampshire - The RSPB

There were not as many Common Terns as I expected but there were many Black-Headed Gulls, many with chicks. I also saw some Black-Tailed Godwits that had not gone to Iceland, and some Oystercatcher with chicks.

I birder that I met at the Oyster Beds said that there were Cattle Egret the day before at the Langstone Mill Pond; when I got there there were no Cattle Egret but lots of juvenile Little Egrets in the heronry beside the Mill Pond

The tide was very low when I arrived; this is the lagoon at the top of Hayling Island, below the Langstone Bridge

Boat skeleton

As I walked down to the Oyster Beds I saw this excellent poster from Bird Aware Solent, who do a great job raising awareness of the impact of humans on birds in the Solent and Langstone Harbour area. See: Home - Bird Aware Solent

The first birds I saw were this Oystercatcher parent and chick in the inland pool on the way to the Oyster Beds

Shelduck in the same pool

Oystercatcher parent(s) and chick

A Shelduck in the Oyster Beds

An Oystercatcher in the Oyster Beds

Black Headed Gulls with chicks

The Tern rafts are put out by the RSPB after the Black-Headed Gulls have arrived (as they return to nest before the Terns) but a few Black-Headed Gulls still muscle in on the Tern rafts! Common Terns

Black Headed Gulls

No Tern Chicks yet! I need to return in a few weeks.

Black-Headed Gulls n the Tern rafts

A Song Thrush

Teasel and Dyer's Weld

Juvenile Starling

Black-Tailed Godwits some in breeding plumage on the inland pool; should be in Iceland now!

I then walked across the Langstone Bridge to the Langstone Mill Pond. Next to the Mill Pond is a Heronry with lots of nesting Little Egrets. Because the Heronry is on the other side of the Mill Pond, and the pond is surrounded by tall reeds, it was extremely difficult to see the heronry.

There were lots of boisterous juvenile Little Egrets

According to Going Birding Langstone Mill Pond | Hampshire | there are 15 Herons in 5 nests; ca. 31 pairs of Little Egrets with juvenile, and the day before my visit 4 pairs of Cattle Egret with chicks (I couldn't see them)

On the Mill Pond I saw some Tufted Ducks

and an oddly coloured female Mallard with one duckling

Langstone Mill



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