Beacon Lagoons – the 2017 breeding season so far – David Constantine

This season is already looking more promising for the Little Tern colony at Beacon Lagoons after last year’s very poor results.

Up to 77 Little Terns have been counted at the colony and at least 13 pairs are incubating eggs.

The Spurn Bird Observatory continues to manage the protection of the colony.  This year’s wardens are Dan Woollard and Mick Turton.

The protective electric fence was erected with the help of volunteers from RSPB Old Moor and the replacement of some strainer posts was carried out by Tony Cook Ltd.

In 2015 the four tern rafts were occupied by nesting Avocets but last year the rafts were left out of water and these birds had to be content with breeding on the new Kilnsea Wetlands.

This year the rafts were repositioned in the lagoon near the tern colony with the hope of attracting terns to use them.  They were occupied by Avocets the next day!

So far, 14 pairs of Avocets have nested on the rafts with eight pairs already producing between one and four chicks.

The Avocets have been joined by a pair of Black headed Gulls which moved to the raft from Kilnsea Wetlands where their first nest was predated.

While these birds will deter the terns from using the rafts, they are very vigilant and their presence near the tern colony will help to deter potential predators.

One pair of Oystercatchers is currently incubating eggs and there are two more pairs in the area along with several Ringed Plovers.

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