Little Tern Update July 2016

What a difference a month makes.  In spite of the miserable weather we have experienced this summer it has not been that bad for our little terns.  There seems to have been plenty of food for them to take just off shore from the colony and the wind and rain has not hampered their foraging ability.

So although late starting our birds eventually settled down to some serious breeding resulting in a peak of 82 pairs on 20th June. Eggs are now mostly hatched and the area is covered in baby terns. Some of the chicks from the early laying have survived and are about to fledge whilst eggs are still being laid.  Because of the changes in topography on the beach it has been near impossible to closely monitor exact number and only the occasional visits into the colony for ringing has shown the state of play.

The large numbers of adults on the colony, which have been able to spend reduced time away foraging, has meant that the kestrel has been unable to get into the habit of taking chicks.  So with fingers crossed the outcomes so far are looking good but we are still a long way from the birds being safe.  As the chicks become more mobile and start venturing out of the fenced area they are exposed to significant dangers from the harm resulting from people and especially dogs in the area between the fence and the sea. Unfortunately the late season will mean that a lot of chicks will be at that mobile stage as we go into the school holiday season and human disturbance increases……..