As the spring draws to a close and the summer starts, the weather did it best to oblige with some warm and sunny weather at the end of May. The breeding season is in full flow and as this goes out there are lots of young birds running around the reserves. Out at Medmerry the Avocets are hatching with lots of young starting to find their way around the pools. Out on the spit a pair of Ringed Plover looks out for their young. The grasslands around the reserves also have the next generation underway with a brood of Lapwing and Redshank out on Ferry Field. Slipe field is looking it's best providing a rich nectar source for invertebrates at this time of year and the seeds will provide winter sustenance for Buntings and finches.

Slipe field


But the most obvious of all is seen with a visit to Church Norton and from there you will notice that Tern Island is a buzz with life. After all the hard work over the winter, the birds truly do appreciate it and if you get the habitat right then the wildlife will come. Surveys over the last few weeks have discovered nearly 300 Black Headed Gull nests (a five fold increase on last year and a massive record for the reserve), 67 Sandwich Tern nests (a new record), 13 Common Tern and 17 Little Tern nests as of the end of May. The colony is a testament to all those hours of hard work by our volunteers.

Sandwich Tern (above) and Black Headed Gull Chick (below)

The busy Colony

There is plenty of other action around the reserve with Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Swallow all preparing to breed. And on the unusually species front included a brief visit by a Kentish Plover.

Swallow (above) and Skylark (below)

Meadow Pipit