Monday, 30 March 2015

The Oysterbeds at Langstone Harbour

We woke up this morning and everything looked so different. The gale had blown through and the skies were clear, so we sat outside and watched the sun come up while a thrush sang its heart out in a bush next to us. Lovely start to a morning!

We were out and about early to make the most of the sun and decided to go to the Oysterbeds at Langstone Harbour. Man made beds were originally dug to farm oysters, then when they were later abandoned, the wildlife moved in. They provide a rare salt water lagoon habitat that's home to thousands of black-headed gulls, brent geese, lots of different waders, saltwater invertebrates and many unusual plants. It's also home to one of the UK's largest colonies of little turns between May and July.  The islands in the harbor are almost all managed by the RSPB and are off limits, but you can walk all around the edge of the harbor the oysterbeds and get a really good look at the birds.

There were lots of brent geese and Bug Mad Girl discovered that if you jump up and down with excitement they all fly away! Fancy that!


We rounded the corner and a couple of islands were completely covered in black-headed gulls, making a terrible racket. I suspect they make that noise all the time, but they seemed to turn the volume up a notch as we got closer.
One of the islands, with Portsmouth and the Spinnaker tower in the distance

There were just a few black-headed gulls there!
The number of gulls was a little overwhelming (and noisy), but we managed to see a few other things, including a curlew, several redshanks, 2 egrets, 2 oystercatchers and some dinky little turnstones.
One of the egrets
A pair of oystercatchers


Several turnstones were on the edge of the water, but they are so well
camouflaged that you only see them when they move
Then back at the car, a kestrel was hovering overhead. What a great morning!


  1. Did you learn the gulls from me? lol You are correct by the way. The song thrush photo is lovely.

  2. I knew you'd know what they were... I looked on one of the info boards at the reserve! The thrush was lovely - sang in a tree next to us all morning and then was back again early evening. Hoping he might be around all week.