Many Happy Re-Terns

Well it was my birthday last week, I am now in my second quarter century, hence the very bad bird pun for a title (I can’t even remember which family member to blame it on…).  So I escaped the island for a week and “re-terned” to Sussex for a week of R&R intermingled with long motorway journeys.  One of the special things for me was being able to see home in its summery state.  I rarely see it now, just spending my down time in winters there when it is altogether more grey and muddy and missing my favourite component- Terns!

with a glint in its eye

The chattery calls of terns and their low flights to and from the sea on their fishing trips mean they add a lot of character to the beaches.  The two main species of tern are the Common Tern in the photo above and the Sandwich Tern below.  They both nest on small islands on inland lagoons and fish in the shallow water just off of the beaches.

This year the weather has hit the terns hard and few of the chicks are surviving, the reduced numbers are still hit by predation from gulls so only a handful are making it to fledgling status.  But like many seabirds they are long lived so will hopefully return next year to have a more successful season!

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