Beacon Lagoons – The 2017 breeding season update

By 25 June a minimum of 45 pairs of Little Terns were breeding and the first chick had hatched.  A few more pairs still looked as though they may yet breed.

Unfortunately the very poor weather on 28-30 June spoilt a promising start to the Little Terns’ breeding season.

Strong winds and high tides resulted in part of the colony being inundated with the loss of about 10 nests and 2 chicks.  The electric fence had to be switched off for removing debris washed in by the sea and for other maintenance but, due to the efficient work of the tern wardens, everything was working again by 30 June.

It is estimated that on the 30th there were 30-35 active nests and at least 5 small chicks.

By the end of June a pair of Oystercatchers, which nested on the beach, had hatched 3 chicks and a pair of Ringed Plovers was seen with a chick inside the electric fence.

A pair of Avocets has recently hatched 4 chicks on the tern raft and there may be another pair still incubating.  The pair of Black-headed Gulls remains and there may be a pair of Common Terns.

During the weekend of 8-9th July an estimated 35-40 Little Tern chicks were present in the colony with 20-25 eggs still to hatch.  27 chicks, most of which were 1-3 days old, were fitted with rings.

Three Ringed Plover nests were also found and four chicks belonging to two different broods were also seen.

To 9th July there was little evidence of any trouble from potential predators.

The protection afforded to the Beacon Lagoons Little Tern colony through wardening and electric fencing has recently been shown to be of great value as two major colonies of Little Terns elsewhere, in County Durham and Suffolk, have suffered substantial losses due to egg thieves and vandalism.

One thought on “Beacon Lagoons – The 2017 breeding season update

  1. This Society has been involved in this little tern breeding colony for 25 years though much less so in the last ten years as the work has been enthusiastically taken up by friends in the Spurn Bird Observatory, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and others. We thank them for carrying on this important project on land that we bought for this purpose.

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