It's been a while since our last blog. The 2020 season had it's major struggles, as did everyone across the land due to the pandemic. It was a tough time for Little Terns alike with only 31 fledglings from 89 pairs. This belies the monumental efforts of Denbighshire County Council to warden the site without volunteers however. They did a great job in difficult circumstances and without their hard work there would have undoubtedly been no fledglings otherwise.
Moving on to this season, things are gathering pace. On Tuesday 20th, the first Little Terns were seen back at Gronant whilst fencing was being erected. By the end of the first week a total of 8 pens had been installed with staff from DCC, Keep Wales Tidy and volunteers from the NWLTG all being involved. This is a herculean effort and is crucial for giving the terns a fighting chance. DCC have hired three new wardens for this season and their names are Alex, Alex and Ollie. We're going to need to find a better way to differentiate between two of them!
The other news is the group held our AGM on Weds 21st April. It had been postponed from late last season due to the pandemic. It was our first AGM on zoom and was attended by 16 people. To make it more fun we received varied talks from Jim Kilpatrick at DCC on the progress towards this season, Chantal Macleod-Nolan from the RSPB on past and future projects for Little Terns in England and finally Professor David Norman who gave a summary of all the recoveries of Little Terns from the UK and particularly the role ringing at Gronant has played in this.
We are needing volunteers to help this season as we are expecting a busy summer on the beach. There is lots to do at the site to help ensure a successful breeding season. Fence maintenance, predator control, minimising disturbance and chatting to visitors to name but a few. This will all be done with covid protocols in force to keep ourselves safe and the public safe.
One extra target for the 2021 season is to find the Little Terns tagged with geolocators in 2019, retrieve the devices and download the data. To this end, cameras will be placed on nests. Volunteers will then be needed to view the images to identify the colour rings on the birds, so that the tagged birds can be trapped and the geolocators recovered.
If you can help please e-mail us at email@example.com and we will update you accordingly.
Now we really know the Little Tern season is nearly upon us! Little Tern Warden posts online - 9th March is the closing date. Please share with anyone you think may be interested in working with a great team at one of the biggest colonies in the UK.
It was a busy week for those that helped put up the fencing and we are pleased to say it has all gone up in time. A big thanks to everyone who helped, it literally couldn't be done without your support. This really was a joint effort between Denbighshire Countryside Services, the North Wales Little Tern Group, the RSPB, Bangor University students and more. With this marvelous effort, more pens were put up than ever, covering as much suitable habitat as possible. We really have given the terns the best chance.
Whilst most of the major work has been done there is a little fine-tuning still underway to make the pens and structures shipshape for the season ahead, so if you would like to help out come down to the site from 10am onwards on Weds (8th) or Thurs (9th) this week.
Little Terns have been regularly seen with up to 40 present over high tide. They are not always around at the moment as there are no nests but given some time they can still be seen over the sea or around the shoreline.
In case you missed it, here's the link to the episode that includes showing the NWLTG at work back in 2018 with Derek the Weatherman - Click here