Saturday, 4 August 2012

The terns have left the island - a great season




It has been a great season for the terns. The last ones have finally left the island though the bulk left a week or so ago. As with previous years they have struggled with gulls predating eggs and chicks but this year for the first year since 2008 have managed to fledge a number of chicks. Once the chicks have left the nest they hang around the edge of the colony for a few days in a group and each day we count this group to get a peak count for the season. This year we had a peak count of 36 chicks at the Beacon and 2 at Kirkhaven. Not many, especially compared with places like the Farne Isles  but a major success compared to abandoned colonies of the past few years.  Much of this is down to using the protective garden canes as a gull defence and many hours of hard work by volunteers Lucie and Paula .
However is is always sad when the terns finally do go as they have such character that their noise and frenzied activity fills the island. I'm looking forward to seeing them again next year already.

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