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A message from Chichester Harbour Conservancy

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Published 15:58 on 12 May 2024

We have a number of seabirds and waders nesting on Stakes Island, the shingle ridge between Cobnor Point and Pilsey Island. This includes at least three pairs of Little Terns, which represent the only breeding Little Terns in Chichester Harbour. They are breeding approximately 300-350m SW of Cobnor point here:

Last week about 30 sailing boats pulled in very close to that spot, and several of them landed on the edge of the island, just south of the terns. This could easily have resulted in the abandonment of the nests. It is vital that our breeding birds are afforded space at this critical time of year, we request that throughout May/June/July that all stay at least 50m away from Stakes and Pilsey Islands.

Little Terns, apart from being a rare breeding bird in the UK, are a schedule 1 species which means they are especially protected:

It is illegal for any person to intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird included in Schedule 1 while it is building a nest or is in, on or near a nest containing eggs or young; or disturb dependent young of such a bird.

There is also a Webcam set up of the Tern Rafts with live footage that some people might like to see. Please could this also go on the website.

Tern TV - LIVE action from the Chichester Harbour Tern Rafts - Chichester Harbour Conservancy


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