A Dread of Terns

Common tern and chick
© Richard Blackburn

After several weeks of closely scanning the tern raft, we can finally confirm a number of sightings of tern chicks this week. While they can be a little tricky to see, if you drop by the centre you’ll often see them running over to meet feeding adults and they’re very visible if a ‘dread’ occurs — when the adults are disturbed, whether by a predator or other movement, and all fly up at once.

Our highest count so far stands at 12, and we’re hopeful we’ll see more over the coming week.

Sandwich Terns feeding
Sandwich Tern © Nick Townell

Overall we’re confident that the terns nesting on the raft are all Common terns, though we also have a number of Arctic and Sandwich terns in the area, with over 600 Sandwich terns counted at Tayock this very morning!

Kingfisher
© David Murray

The Kingfisher continues to be a regular visitor, pausing in front of the sand martin wall almost every day! This makes for some terrific views, and has given us some great opportunities for photos.

Juvenile Osprey, Manasquan New Jersey
© Peter Massas

By this time many of the year’s juvenile Ospreys have fledged, too. We often see a larger number from the centre, as they learn to fish and the adults prepare for migration. We’ve already seen two fishing in the Basin today!

Wild about the Basin summer

In other news, there’s still time to join this week’s Wild about the Basin. This week you’ll be having a go at pond dipping just in front of the centre, and discovering great diving beetles, water boatmen, and hopefully maybe even dragonfly larvae!  Bookings are only £4 per child, and can be arranged by calling us on 01674 676 336.

Ben — Visitor Centre Volunteer

Preface

After several weeks of closely scanning the tern raft, we can finally confirm a number of sightings of tern chicks this week. While they can be a little tricky to see, …

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