Tern forests

The welcoming party giving the Isle of May welcome. Hats on.

The stars of the show

The terns have been fishing for tiddlers in Kirkhaven over the last few days.

Not much of a nest but a beautiful egg.

After the puffins the terns are probbably the most popular bird on the island. People start asking how they are doing from early May and can be dissappointed if they don’t get an Isle of may welcome from them. Well they are definately back and welcoming everyone at the moment. But as usual they are more vulneralbe than they look. They are easily disturbed by the public wanting to get that extra photograph so we make sure that people keep moving when close to the colony. But they are also very vulnerable to gull predation  so last year we trailled using garden canes as an defecne again aerial attack from the gulls. And it seemed to wqork as we had more fleddged tern chciks last year that the previous 4 years. So over the winter we went out and bought a whole bunch more canes and have started pushing them in. You can’t put them in too early otherwise the terns just move their nest site so we wait until they have laid eggs and then go in and as quickly as possible push in the 6ft canes about 2m apart. So if you are visiting and wonder why the terns are nesting in the middle of a weird looking forest, it is an Isle of May version of barage balloons – fingers cross they work again!

Caning the Beacon colony.

Putting up the canes at the Beacon.
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