A novel opportunity has arisen for supporters of Little Terns to be part of a ground-breaking study to track the bird's migration down to Africa and back. The technology has recently become miniaturised enough to apply trackers to the legs of the terns. The trackers now weigh less than a gram!
We are raising funds to support the purchase of more tracking devices and thereby increase the amount that is learnt about where the birds go when not in the UK through a sponsorship programme. This project is in association with the Merseyside Ringing Group (who will take the lead in attaching the devices), Denbighshire Countryside Services and the Seabird Group.
A bit of background for why we are doing this - The birds are only in the UK for 4 months of the year, where they are well protected. Outside of this time no one really knows what threats they face, so learning where they go is the first and most important step to finding more about the issues they face when away from the UK.
This will be the first time tracking of Little Terns has been conducted in Western Europe. For £100 you can sponsor a tag and get information back when it is found and also the right to name the bird in question. Should your bird not return you will be offered a full set of information from another bird. For £50 you can part sponsor a bird and receive the same information on your bird but only be able to part name the bird (it will have a double-barrelled name!).
For further information please download the file below and register your interest at the e-mail address provided in the file.
The pens have now fallen silent at Gronant for the first time since April. There is an eerie silence around the site but all the remaining 'ternlets' have now fledged. There are still small numbers to be seen down on the beach at high tide but most have moved away. Indeed 74 were seen off Hilbre Island today; a classic area they move to post-breeding to continue growing and feeding up in preparation for their mammoth migration. It's hard to believe that at only a month old, many of the youngsters will be starting their journey to the African wintering grounds. Best of luck to them!
The tern group and wardens have been busy taking down the equipment on site this week, before high tides hit at the weekend. Most of it is now down but there is an event outstanding to take kit off site on Friday 10th. Any help gratefully received, and in return there will be a picnic. Please bring something towards it if you can. In the coming few weeks the wardens will write the season report which will reveal how many chicks made it to fledglings this year, so I won't spoil the surprise here! All members of the group will be entitled to receive the report if they wish, just ask at the group's email address - firstname.lastname@example.org.