Norfolk reserves see 'record-breaking' number of seabirds

  • In Science
  • 2022-09-02 14:49:12Z
  • By BBC

A "record-breaking" number of seabirds have nested along the coast in a successful summer breeding season.

Winterton National Nature Reserve, in Norfolk, recorded up to 700 little tern chicks across the season.

Visitors and volunteers have been thanked for protecting nesting birds across the county.

RSPB conservation officer Ian Robinson said although it is a "tough job offering round the clock protection", this year they have been rewarded.

He added: "The spectacular sight of a thousand adult and young little terns on a Norfolk beach is something to behold."

In what the RPSB say has been the best breeding season since 1978, areas across Norfolk have seen an increase in little terns birds.

Areas in north Norfolk, including Holkham and Blakeney Point, have had pairs of seabirds nesting on the reserves.

The Winterton National Nature Reserve colony accounts for up to 20% of the little terns breeding in the UK and reported 300 pairs of birds nesting on the site.

Oystercatcher at Blakeney in Norfolk
Oystercatcher at Blakeney in Norfolk  

On beaches between Snettisham and Heacham, the RSPB's Plovers in Peril project has given protection to ringed plover and oystercatcher birds which has seen the amount of ringed plovers more than double.

Alongside protection projects beaches have put up fences and signs to remind visitors of nesting sites and increased the presence of wardens and volunteers.

Hannah Thacker, Natural England Norfolk and Suffolk area manager said: "We are hugely supportive of the way so many land managers have come together, supported by volunteers and the public, to help protect our rare beach nesting birds for future generations."

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