Count Down

Life! Our first Arctic Tern chicks hatching

Life! Our first Arctic Tern chicks hatching

Early start. The team walk through the Tern colony counting nesting pairs

Early start. The team walk through the Tern colony counting nesting pairs

Rare; a nest containing four eggs is very unusual

Rare; a nest containing four eggs is very unusual

Not all tern chicks...a few Oystercatcher chicks discovered as well

Not all tern chicks…a few Oystercatcher chicks discovered as well

Sunday 14th June comments: Today was an important day in the Isle of May calendar. Three weeks after the first laying date of an Arctic Tern we enter the colony to count the number of nests across the colony. This date (three weeks after laying) is regarded as the peak number of Terns which will nest and it is repeated across all Tern colonies in the UK.

Today was our day having had the first egg laid on 23rd May. In ‘police search’ fashion, the team walked through the colonies (walking carefully!) to count every nest. It was great to see so many nests on the Island as we hope to improve habitat to encourage even more birds to nest in future years.

During the count we discovered several Tern chicks had hatched whilst finding several broods of Oystercatcher chicks…all in a day’s work. We’ll now sit down and crunch some numbers to reveal exactly what our population is doing. Fingers crossed it’s on the up.

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