Saturday, 20 June 2015

Action at the Docks

It is that time of the year when common terns return to breed at the former Preston Docks.I always look forward to the arrival of the terns as there is always plenty of action to see and photograph.This year a lot of new boxes have been made to accomodate the growing tern colony.I think there are now around one hundred pairs of terns using the pontoons at the docks to rear their families.The project is a joint effort with Preston City Council,Fylde Bird Club and the RSPB.It is a scheme that is also being used elsewhere in the region at Conder Green,Yarrow Valley Country Park and Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve.

Despite the attraction of the former docks to other users e.g.boating,retail development and housing the tern colony is thriving.One fly in the ointment however this year has been the predation of the tern eggs by a resident coot.On a couple of my visits I have seen the coot taking and eating the eggs whenever the nests have been left unattended.The terns have attacked the coot but it has still managed to steal a number of eggs.The terns can be very aggressive and think nothing of seeing off the resident family of mute swans if they venture too near.

However despite these difficulties this last week has seen some of the eggs hatching and the parents have been kept busy bringing in food from the nearby River Ribble.Hopefully the coot will lose interest as more of the eggs hatch but then the parents will have to defend the chicks from attacks by marauding gulls which are always present nearby.It is fascinating to visit and observe and photograph all of the action and hopefully my images shown above will convey some of the excitement in seeing this busy tern colony.Thanks for looking in and enjoy, despite the weather, the weekend.More from the Preston terns in due course.


  1. Stunning images Brian, and really encouraging to see the colony thriving, when i was last up there it wasn't so big. Must try and get back soon.

  2. Yes I agree with Gary Brian,excellent set of pictures,conveys the story of the terns really well!
    Hope to catch up soon..

  3. Great action shots Brian,hope to get down there soon to capture a bit of the action.