Coastal Birds

Coastal Birds

Chichester Harbour is nationally and internationally important as a site for coastal birds.  Tens of thousands of wading birds and waterfowl migrate here for the winter, and threatened species of seabirds and waders breed here in the summer.

The bird populations of Chichester Harbour are under significant pressure.  Disturbance from people and dogs impacts a bird’s ability to survive the winter or nest in the summer.  Rising sea levels are decreasing available areas of high tide resting and nesting sites.  There is significant competition for the existing sites within the harbour and nests of some species will often be flooded by spring high tides before their eggs have hatched.

What are we doing?

Our focus areas for protecting and restoring Chichester Harbour’s coastal bird populations fall into two categories – reducing the disturbance, and creating habitat.

Reduce disturbance:

We work closely with Bird Aware Solent to encourage people to understand the impact they can have on coastal birds and how they can reduce and minimise disturbance. 

How can you help?

Habitat Creation:

Working with the RSPB and other partners, we are expanding and enhancing breeding and high tide roosting sites for birds within the harbour.  We aim to provide habitat resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Return of the Tern

Initiated in 2021, the Return of the Tern was a habitat creation project to provide nesting sites for Common Terns and Little Terns. It involved the deployment of nesting rafts, and increasing the height of an island in Chichester Harbour.