For the very first time, a few weeks ago, licenced ringers put special “flags” on over one hundred Sandwich tern chicks. By 15 July, the oldest were already leaving their nesting sites: one was soon spotted at Rhos Point, Colwyn Bay and, the following day, five more were seen at Formby in Lancashire.
Ringing the changes
This year’s wardens – Mark, Ruth and Matilda – estimate that over 1,000 pairs of Sandwich terns have bred. It is difficult to be very accurate when estimating how many chicks have fledged but careful observations indicate a figure in the region of 800; with predation not appearing to have been a significant issue. Cemlyn remains the only Sandwich tern colony in Wales, and one of the most important in the UK.