Little Tern end of 2016 season update

The final little terns left the site over the last weekend in July, some might say chased away by the hordes of people and dogs swamping the area.  Sadly in the end we only managed to count a total of 58 fledged birds but we may have missed some early fledgers. The number of fledged birds seems low compared to the number of chicks counted in the colony only a couple of weeks earlier on a ringing visit. Stoat was seen on the site quite late in the season and is has to be assumed that a number of chicks were predated at that time.

Counting is becoming increasingly difficult at Crimdon.  The increase in beach height and the spread of vegetation is making it impossible to see sitting birds from any of the previous vantage points which also complicates matters in relation to monitoring predation and guiding ringing visits. The increase in disturbance is moving birds around within the colony and disturbing groups of birds outside the fence when counting is being attempted.

In spite of all the problems we think that we had a peak of 82 pairs of birds nesting and from them at least 58 chicks fledged and left the site. Not a bad result given the early problems with wind and cold weather but equally not a great return given the numbers nesting.