Count Season

Count 3

Counting of ground nesting Terns…. (Sandwich Tern egg!)

Count 2

Like a Police search…searching hard for nests

A tern eggs

Counted! Arctic tern nest

Count 1

Whilst parents attack from above (with my hat in the bottom right corner)

Sunday 11th June comments: We are deep into the Count Season as we undertake our annual counts of the seabird populations on the Isle of May. Today the team went about counting all the ground nesting terns, watching every step whilst being attacked from above (the parents have a special ‘welcome’ for us).

The tern count is usually undertaken three weeks after the first egg is discovered and all nests are counted. In simple terms, one nest = one pair of nesting Terns, so we go through the Tern colonies side-by-side counting each nest to get a population count on the island.

With recent management improvements to increase Tern numbers (with the construction of specialist Tern terraces) we are hoping the result is a good one (further increase on last year) but we have plenty of numbers to crunch before we discover the result. Until then we’ll keep on counting….

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