Feather report: Terns pair up after returning from Africa


Common terns are back in Britain after spending the winter in West Africa. They are flying about over the beaches where they will nest, but they are also very often seen inland these days. This is because on many reservoirs and flooded gravel pits. conservationists have built rafts for them to nest on, and they have readily adopted these as their summer homes.

You can see them fishing on rivers near by. They fly steadily, looking down, over the water, then with a deft twist they plunge in, and with luck come up shaking off the water with a fish in their beak.

ILLUSTRATION BY PETER BROWN

Terns have been called “sea swallows”, not only because they have noticeable forked tails like swallows, but also because of the grace…



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