Friday 28th April comments: After last years success of the new tern terrace up at the Beacon, we have extended the terrace to create more ideal habitat for the breeding terns. This area at the Beacon is basically a waste land of nettles and rubble, so with the creation of these terraces we are creating an area hopefully favoured by the tern species.
With help from various sources, SNH students, volunteers and IoM Bird Obs young birders, we have moved sand and rocks and built tern boxes. These boxes are designed for breeding Roseate Terns (ever hopeful) but all tern chicks will use these for shelter and cover. Over the last week we have been doing the final preparations and putting out the boxes awaiting the first arrival of the terns in a couple of weeks. The birds are winging their way back from West Africa and Antarctica, so we want to give them a warm welcome back and a good home to return to.
Last year saw twenty one pairs of Sandwich Terns nest on the terraces, this was the first time Sandwich Tern have bred here for eight years, with only two pairs breeding down at the Priory in 2008. Along with these, an extra 79 pairs of Arctic Terns and six pairs of Common Terns nested (compared with 2015). So following on from this success we are hopefully this year will bring the same if not more.
It’s a very simple thing to do but the rewards can be outstanding and we hope it’ll give our seabirds a much needed boost.