I apologise for the lack of posting images from this site this year. I have been too busy on other committments for much photography. I hope this post will go some way to make ammends.

Getting back to the birds at the breeding colony. This year Sandwich Tern have joined the Common tern and Black-headed gulls on the islands.

Sandwich Tern

These birds normally nest on the RSPB islands only, well out in the harbour and out of sight from the shore-line. About a dozen pairs moved onto North island in the lagoon'

In previous years, the only place these could be seen was at Southmoor following the fish shoals as the tide came in. It is a real plaesure to see them over the lagoon at the Oysterbeds.

At their nest site on North island.

They are easily recognisable from the other Tern in that they have a 'mop like' black cap, black beak and black legs. They are also considerably larger.

Common Tern

We are about half-way through the breeding season and, as is usual, there are many chicks at various stages of developement.

Even at this age, the chick can be distinguished from those of the other sea birds by the black tip on the red beak. Their chest plumage is white and the the brown plumage is mottled black.

The following images are of a fledgling.

Following their first flight, they remain in the lagoon area to practise flying and landing....

It may seem that this fledgling has failed to land on the water properly but this type of landing will be very useful to it when fishing in adult life.

The parents of the fledglings keep a careful watch over their young and will not hesitate to drive away any bird that gets too close.

Black-headed Gulls

These started to nest about a month before the Tern and, as a result, there are large numbers of fledglings about.

A pair of pre-fledged chicks are begging for food from a passing Tern. The adult gull is less than pleased with the incursion over its air space.

I have more images to process and will update this thread later.

Hope you enjoy these.