Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Forvie sandwich tern success spawns new grounds

Group members Ann and Walter Burns had a wee trip up north on the 7th June, 2017, including a visit to St. John’s Pool in Caithness.. http://www.stjohnspool-birds.co.uk/
Whilst there they managed to photograph 3 colour-ringed Sandwich Terns nesting on a purpose built island.

All 3 had been colour-ringed at the Ythan/Sands of Forvie.

Ringed as a juvenile on the Ythan on 16/8/10.
Had a Mediterranean holiday in Italy in late summer 2013.
Seen in the colony on Coquet Island, Northumberland in June 2014.
Seen at Lossiemouth in April 2016 before turning up at St John’s Pool 3 days later.

White EBT (Walter Burns)
Ringed as a chick at Forvie on 24/6/11.
Seen at Coquet Island, Northumberland on 30/5/14.
Seen at St John’s Pool in July 2016.
Yellow ECC (Walter Burns)

Light green/red
Ringed as a chick at Forvie in 2008.

Lime/red (Walter Burns)

The Sandwich tern colony at Forvie has enjoyed considerable success in recent years thanks to the efforts of the SNH full time and weekend staff who are kept busy with the public and maintain a protective electric fence around the colony to keep out ground predators. This year a whopping 950 pairs have settled down to breed.

Ringing has been carried out for more than 50 years at the colony. This allows us to monitor survival, recruitment, fidelity and the causes of any fluctuations within the colony. In this instance it also lets us know that with the colony thriving this is allowing the population to increase and expand, helping to establish new colonies such as the one at St. John’s Pool as identified by the colour-ringed birds from Forvie.