Tuesday 23rd June comments: New life. The Isle of May is in full swing and following the news that we have Kittiwake chicks, is the fact we have Arctic tern chicks. The birds arrived back in Isle of May waters in late April and we’re settled in mid-May but as everyone knows, we (like everyone else) were not around to witness it! However when we did eventually return on 8th June we were greeted by the sight (and pecks) of nesting adult Arctic Terns.
Soon after arrival we checked on the status and on 17th June the first chicks were hatching (incubation on average is 21 days). We’ve still got plenty incubating eggs (it’s always a protracted season) but it’s good to have the first youngsters. Over the next 7-10 days we expect many more to hatch and the parents will be full of busy foraging in nearby waters to find vital food for the young (which means they may not peck our heads as much as the parents will be out looking for food).
We’ll continue monitoring this important population and will follow the lives of these chicks at an early age until they are ready to fledge off the island. We hope the next 4-6 weeks are good, with plenty of fine weather and lots of food coming in so we call the 2020 season a success for these magnificent birds.