The Daily Telegraph

Little terns hatch in large numbers


Large numbers of nesting little terns have been spotted this summer along the Norfolk coast, one of the birds’ UK stronghold­s.

Winterton National Nature Reserve recorded some 700 chicks during what the RSPB says has been the best breeding season since 1978. Bumper numbers of the rare birds also nested at Holkham and Blakeney Point.

Visitors and volunteers have been praised for protecting nests from egg collectors, predators and dogs and asking tourists to stick to footpaths to avoid trampling eggs and chicks.

Ian Robinson, a RSPB conservati­on officer, said it was a “tough job offering round-the-clock protection” but helpers had been rewarded. “The spectacula­r sight of a thousand adult and young little terns on a Norfolk beach is something to behold,” he said.

The news has buoyed the county after bird flu decimated a sandwich tern colony at Scolt Head Island.

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