Entries fly in for bird island naming competition


More than 200 entries have flown in for a competition to name an island especially constructed for overwintering birds as part of the North Portsea Coastal Scheme.

The closing date for online entries is 12 August 2023.

Bird enthusiasts have suggested naming the island after local species including the Whimbrel, Little Tern, Curlew, Egrit and Dunlin, as well as overwintering Brent Geese.

The ubiquitous Birdy McBirdface Island has flown in along with other fun suggestions: Squawkopolis, The Isle of Flight, Tweety Pie Isle; and Slappy Slappy Honk Honk Island, which the entrant says refers to the noise migrating Brent Geese make!

Keen historians submitted ideas such as Cockleshell Island, Dickens’ Island and Gisors Island (after French Merchant Jean de Gisors who founded Portsmouth around 1180).

The local area is a popular choice with Great Salterns Island, Gatcombe Haven, Salterns Rest and Baffins Island on the list, in addition to Birdie Island due to its location opposite the Great Salterns Golf Course on Eastern Road.

The curved shape of the island has prompted calls for names such as Crescent Rock, Banana Reef, Smile Island and Macaroni Island.

Project manager for the North Portsea Coastal Scheme, Caroline Timlett said:

“We’re really pleased that so many people have submitted names and comments in support of bird island, which is a really important environmental initiative to ensure the birds can roost undisturbed but still be seen from a distance.

“Many of the names and comments show entrants have an in-depth local knowledge, as well as several showing a great sense of humour!”

A judging panel will choose the winning name. Entries are open to all Portsmouth residents (under 16s with their parents’ permission) until 12 August 2023. Visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/environmental-health/safety/coastal-defence-management/

Construction for the sea defence work at Langstone Harbour is limited to the period between April and September due to the presence of overwintering birds in the harbour.