A partnership of conservation organisations is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to protect and monitor vulnerable birds nesting along the coast this summer. These include the endangered little terns, arctic terns and ringed plovers, which are collectively known as shorebirds.
Little terns spend their winter on the west coast of Africa and return to our coastline at the end of April. These rare birds lays eggs on the beach and are very susceptible to human disturbance, as well as predation and high tides, which can wash away their nests.
In Northumberland, little terns mainly nest on the National Trust Long Nanny site in Beadnell Bay and Natural England’s Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve (NNR), which stretches from Budle Bay in the south to Cheswick Black Rocks in the north.
The other shorebird species of concern is the ringed plover. This charismatic little wading bird also lays eggs on the beach. Numbers of breeding ringed plovers have dramatically declined and this year conservationists are asking volunteers to carry out a survey of the whole Northumberland coast to get a better idea of how many birds there are and which areas are important for them.
If you are interested in protecting and monitoring terns at the breeding colonies or surveying sections of the coast for ringed plovers please contact Becky at Coast Care on 07813 563047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full training will be provided for all volunteers and a training session will be held by Andrew Craggs (Natural England) and Iain Robson (Northumberland Coast AONB) in Seahouses on Monday 1st April at 2pm.