Saturday, 2 June 2012

Tern news

From yesterday the traditional Isle of May welcome is fully established, one of the islands most popular birds, the terns are back on their colony by the harbour. Since coming back a couple of weeks ago the terns true to their nature have been a bit flaky with numbers fluctuating but now their are firmly settled in some numbers in the harbour, the chapel and up at the Beacon. And it is the harbour colony that take exception to people walking through their colony.
A visitor's first view of a tern when they arrive.
They are the most fantastic fliers.

Their nests are just scraps in the ground often right next to the paths.
They nest right next to and sometimes on the path up from the jetty so everyone arriving has to walk through the colony and so we ask people and especially photographers to keep moving so as not to keep the birds off their nests.
A squadron of terns overhead.

We always suggest a quick walk through the colony alongside someone taller than you. But if you are tall then just a hat or hand held up usually keeps them at bay. Photographers are often targeted more as they are prone to linger. 
But for how long ? But if recent years are anything to go by then the gulls might get the terns before any chicks fledge.
And it isn't just the visitors that set them off, this female eider walked through the colony and got dive bombed for her trouble.

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