Ranger’s Notebook – Tern Islands

Joanna Lawrence, The Fleet Pond Ranger, writes:

Earlier this year, Fleet Pond Society and Hart’s Countryside Service together purchased two tern islands. These artificial islands, made from 100% recycled plastic, provide the terns who visit the Pond with somewhere to nest.

Common terns (pictured above, picture credit here) are summer visitors to Britain and the rest of Europe, spending winters in the tropical regions of West Africa. They arrive here in April to breed, and feed on fish and crustaceans.

The islands at the Pond are filled with gravel which the terns create small depressions in, line with soft material, and lay their eggs. The clear plastic walls around the island prevent any predators getting to the chicks.

The good news is that these islands have already been used this summer by a few pairs of terns, despite only being put out on the Pond in June. This is very encouraging news means that next year we expect even more of these birds to be using the islands to rear their chicks.

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