Defence against terns


We are so pleased to have a good strong tern colony again on the island this summer. They are the most fantastic birds and to have 300 pairs nesting around the new visitor centre (with another 100 up at the Beacon) makes it one of the best places to get up close to terns in Scotland. I think that it is great that people can have such a close and real experience with nature.

P1110499But it does mean that everyone who lands has to walk through the tern colony to get onto the island and the terns are being very vigorous in defending their nests with a bit of pooing and pecking. And this is just starting to get even fiercer as we now have the first tern chicks hatched.


So for those visiting in the next 6 weeks there are simple precautions to make this an eaier experience.

– wear a hat,

– put up a hood,

– hold something above your head (no waving as if you make contact with the bird then you can easily damage them),

or best of all walk close to someone taller than you.

The thought of walking through a tern colony certainly sharpens peoples minds and here are some of the improvisations we have seen in the last few weeks.

P1110357 P1110491 P1110492 P1110898 P1110901 P1110902 P1110903P1110353

I do think that the cycle helmets were taking things a bit far. The terns aren’t that bad.  And unfortunately I didn’t get the photo of the father with a young child in a back pack.


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