As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

RSPB launches its #LittleTernAppeal for the Chesil Beach colony

15th February

By Martin Lea 
AN URGENT fundraising appeal has been launched to protect chicks on Chesil Beach.
The famous shingle bank is home to a rare colony of little terns – one of the most threatened seabirds in the UK.
The appeal to support the Little Tern Recovery Project has been triggered due to a shortfall in grant funding.
The project, which has been running for ten years, is a partnership between RSPB, the Crown Estate, Chesil Beach & the Fleet Nature Reserve, Portland Court Leet, Natural England, and Dorset Wildlife Trust. The Chesil Beach colony is the only one in the south west.
Each year from April-August the project protects Chesil Beach’s little tern colony from predators and disturbance, to give the chicks the best chance of survival.
The project costs £17,500 to run every year which is normally funded by grants – but this year only £4,000 has been secured. This is due to increasing demand for grants.
Funding helps the installation of a 'predator fence' around the colony as well as 24-hour warden patrols protect the birds from disturbance, a project officer and equipment for volunteers.
Kevin Rylands, RSPB Conservation Officer, said: “Every April these tiny birds beat tremendous odds by travelling thousands of miles from West Africa to a small strip of Chesil Beach to raise their family. With any luck, each adult pair will hatch two of the fluffiest and cutest chicks you’re likely to see."
He added: "They have disappeared from our coastline at an alarming rate and need our help. Rising sea levels, food shortages, predators, extreme weather conditions, and disturbance to their ground nesting from people, are all factors in their decline. It’s vital that we continue to protect them and give this summer’s chicks the best chance of survival."

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