<![CDATA[ROSEATE TERN LIFE PROJECT - News]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 04:17:49 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[The Plight of the Sandeel!]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 15:22:07 GMThttp://roseatetern.org/news/the-importance-of-sandeelsToday's guest blog is by Lizzy Green and the Sandeel literature review she has been working on:

"I’m a Species and Habitats Officer on the Roseate Tern Life Project in the Nature Recovery Unit and have been working with the RSPB since January 2017.

The main objective of my role is to improve our understanding of tern diets around the British Isles by gathering and synthesising information from the peer-reviewed and grey literature. This involves collating information on what terns are eating, how this varies spatially, temporally and between species, and how this variation in diet affects tern breeding success. I am also analysing the impacts of diet on tern productivity using a long-term data set of Arctic tern chick provisioning from two sites on Anglesey. However, another crucial aspect of my role is gathering ecological information about key prey species for terns, such as the lesser sandeel (Ammodytes marinus).
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Roseate tern with a sandeel (by Brian Burke)
The lesser sandeel is one of the most important prey species for seabirds around the UK, providing a high-lipid food source that, due to its long, thin body shape, is easy for chicks to swallow. However, the availability of sandeels fluctuates between years and can have severe impacts on seabird breeding success, particularly for populations with little or no access to alternative prey. Further, adult sandeels demonstrate limited dispersal ability and high habitat specificity, rendering this species vulnerable to local depletion and climate-driven reductions in their zooplankton prey.

In this literature review I collate information on the ecology, status, and distribution of the lesser sandeel, consider the drivers of inter-annual variation in populations, summarise evidence demonstrating the importance of the species for seabirds and discuss the current and potential impacts of climate change, fisheries and other factors on sandeel populations."
Green, E.2017. A literature review of the lesser (Raitt's) sandeel Ammodytes marinues in European waters.pdf
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<![CDATA[Bird's Eye View of a Chenier]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 10:49:03 GMThttp://roseatetern.org/news/birds-eye-view-of-a-chenierDrone Footage of the newly created nesting bund on a chenier in Lymington, gives us an amazing bird's eye view!

It's a good sign that the hand-made and painted common tern decoys are visible from the sky as it means the prospecting terns will also be able to see them and will hopefully consider this place a suitable safe haven to nest!

We'll keep you posted!
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<![CDATA[Terning the Tide in the Solent?]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 14:02:28 GMThttp://roseatetern.org/news/terning-the-tide-in-the-solent Today's guest blog is from Matt Brown, Roseate Tern LIFE Project Officer and the preparations being made for the terns in the Solent.

The south coast of England, and in particular, the Solent, offers a diverse range of habitats that have historically supported large tern colonies. The roseate tern is a cited species on the Solent and Southampton Water SPA designation. The citation states two pairs, at the time representing 3.1% of the GB breeding population (5-year peak mean, 1993-1997). One or two pairs nested each year between 2002-2006 in the Western Solent and last year an individual was seen on footage from a trail camera deployed on Lymington saltmarsh.

The Western Solent is particularly susceptible to nesting habitat loss through the processes of wave action and sea-level rise. Human disturbance and predation have also been identified as contributing factors in the reduction of tern colonies in the SPA.

With all this considered, the Roseate Tern Project team has been busy delivering concrete conservation actions in the Western Solent and three habitat creation projects have been completed as part of an effort to improve the breeding status of tern species in Lymington-Keyhaven area - the success of more widespread tern species is a prerequisite to recolonisation by the rarer roseate tern.
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The shallow draft barge, tonnes of shingle and the deck crane all ready to start the chenier recharge
In late March, a local marine contractor facilitated shingle recharge on a small section of saltmarsh close to Lymington river mouth. A shallow draft barge and deck crane was used to lift 88 tonnes of shingle on to the marsh and this material was then distributed by hand to form a nesting bund (see picture). This was done with the intention of increasing the profile of pre-existing chenier beaches, which is the primary nesting habitat for terns in the Western Solent.
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Thanks to everyone who helped move the shingle and make the nesting bund!
Sea-level rise has reduced the amount of available nesting space and cheniers are frequently flooded at high tide. It is hoped that the recharge will lower the risk of nest flooding as a large proportion of the bund lies above high water. We will be using a drone to capture high-resolution images of the bund. The RSPB’s Data Management Unit will then process these images in GIS and produce maps showing changes to the structure of the bund and any movement of shingle associated with wave action and tides.
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The building of the nesting platforms on the breakwater
Following the completion of the recharge contract, three nesting platforms were built of top of a breakwater in Lymington River. These platforms may favour tern site selection as they remain above high water and are not connected to the mainland, so the threat from mammalian predators (e.g. fox and mink) is small. Public access to the breakwaters is prohibited and the breakwater is located outside of the main river channel, so there is little threat from human disturbance.
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With the various substrates added for terns to try, the platforms are complete!
The nesting platforms are 3 x 2m in size and were constructed using hessian sandbags filled with concrete. Two of the nesting platforms contain pea shingle and the other contains pumice - it will be interesting to see which, if any of the substrates, is preferentially used for nesting. As with any newly-created habitat, decoys and chick shelters have been deployed to encourage prospecting terns to nest and provide protection from avian predators.
UPDATE: Fantastic news with two common terns observed briefly landing on the newly created platforms in the courtship stages of aerial displays and parading around with a good sized fish! Hopefully they will take a liking to the breakwater platforms and return to nest. We’ll keep you posted!
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Volunteers and staff assembled the rafts and added the nesting substrate
The final habitat creation project was completed last week with the help of Hampshire Countryside Service and volunteers from Natural England. Six tern rafts were deployed on Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve and Efford lake, which is a former gravel extraction pit. Two rafts were deployed on a saline lagoon close to Lymington seawall – this is a well-know fishing spot for little terns. The rafts were assembled on shore before being floated through a small gap in the reed bed. To prevent drifting, two anchors were attached to the rafts and sunk to the bottom of the lagoon. The rafts have been joined together, with pea shingle and pumice being used as nesting substrate. The remaining four rafts  were deployed on Efford Lake the following day.
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Final checks after the rafts are joined together at the water's edge
Although there was some initial interest from a common tern on one raft, this individual has since left and a black-headed gull has taken its place. Deployment time is an important consideration for any site using tern rafts as there are many other seabirds, like gulls, prospecting for suitable nesting sites. Terns return later from their overwintering grounds and sometimes loose out other species that go down on nests earlier in the season. For these reasons, many site managers wait until other non-target species have laid their first clutch before deploying the tern rafts.
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Moving the rafts out to the middle of the lake before deploying the two anchors which will prevent drifting.
The project team will be monitoring tern colonies throughout the breeding season to determine what effect the newly-created habitat has on the breeding status of terns in the Western Solent. We will also be undertaking a provisioning study to gather baseline data on food supply and trialling the use of an aerolaser, which has potential to be used as a method for deterring the settlement and subsequent nesting of large gull species.


Photo credits: Matt Brown
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<![CDATA[Puffins, Piano, Berets & Beer!]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 16:52:24 GMThttp://roseatetern.org/news/puffins-piano-berets-beer On the 1st of May, the Fat Mermaid restaurant, in Amble was transformed into a French piano bar to help support the local island of Coquet and it's precious inhabitants!

The lovely puffin and tern bunting decorating the windows were made by Amble First School Pupils.
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Live musique français avec piano and trumpet
The ambiance was great, with live French music performed by music teacher Isabelle Morrison and William Stephenson on the trumpet.

Thanks goes to St Mark’s URC Church who loaned its piano.
Throughout the evening, everyone had the chance to try out the unique 360' Coquet Island virtual reality experience which can transport you directly to the island and become part of its' puffin colony, some 12,500 pairs!

A variety of snacks was included in the price of the ticket (£12) and the specially brewed Roseate Tern IPA and Puffin Best Bitter, designed by 'From the Notebook' was on sale at cost price. A donation from every bottle sold goes to the RSPB.

In addition all profits from the Fat Mermaid were donated to Coquet.
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The Eiffel Tower even made an appearance!
It was a fantastic turn out with a full-house raising just over £500 from the tickets and £47 from the pins!              

As a result of this spectacular evening, this fundraiser will support the hardworking efforts of the RSPB (staff and volunteers) to safeguard the sole UK colony of roseate terns and the now globally endangered puffins.

A huge thank you to everyone who made this event such a success!                 
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The Coquet Team got properly in character and dressed as waiters! Nice berets!
All Photo credits: Paul Morrison
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<![CDATA[‘Cae Breuddwydion’ Cemlyn]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:07:21 GMThttp://roseatetern.org/news/cae-breuddwydion-cemlynMae’n bur debyg eich bod chi wedi gweld y ffilm ac yn gyfarwydd â’r thema canolog, sef ‘o adeiladu ar eu cyfer, maen nhw’n siŵr o ddod’. Un o amcanion craidd Prosiect LIFE y Fôr-wennol Wridog yw i’w bartneriaid ymgymryd â gwell rheolaeth a darparu’r amodau sydd eu hangen ar gyfer ail-ehangu’r Fôr-wennol Wridog yn y DU a Gweriniaeth Iwerddon. I’r safleoedd sy’n cymryd rhan yn y Prosiect lle mae’r Môr-wenoliaid Gwridog yn dal i ymweld ac yn magu, mae cynyddu eu niferoedd a’u cadernid yn cyflwyno llawer o heriau. I’r safleoedd sydd wedi’u gadael yn ddiweddar gan Fôr-wenoliaid Gwridog yn magu, a lle mae’n beth prin gweld yr adar yma hyd yn oed, mae brys cynyddol am reolaeth bositif, creu cynefinoedd a meddwl o’r newydd am y sefyllfa. Yng Ngwarchodfa Cemlyn, mae Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Gogledd Cymru’n adeiladu ar draddodiad maith o reolaeth weithredol ac yn darparu cyfleoedd newydd i fôr-wenoliaid ffynnu, ac i’r fôr-wennol wridog ddychwelyd i ‘dir mawr’ Cymru.
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Cemlyn Bay (by North Wales Wildlife Trust)
Wedi’i leoli oddi ar arfordir gogleddol Ynys Môn a glannau dwyreiniol Môr Iwerddon, mae Cemlyn yn leoliad sy’n cael ei drysori am ei olygfeydd nodedig, ei fywyd gwyllt trawiadol a’i hygyrchedd hwylus. Y mynediad hwylus yma a’i boblogrwydd gyda phob math o ymwelwyr sy’n gwneud Cemlyn yn unigryw ymhlith yr holl safleoedd sy’n cael eu rheoli fel rhan o Brosiect LIFE y Fôr-wennol Wridog. Mae Gwarchodfa Cemlyn wedi’i hamgylchynu gan ffermydd prysur a thir amaethyddol ac mae’n cynnwys môr-lyn mawr, wedi’i wahanu oddi wrth y môr gan esgair drawiadol o ro mân wedi’i chreu’n naturiol. I’r dwyrain, safle gorsaf niwclear Wylfa sydd amlycaf yn yr olygfa – sef ffocws ar hyn o bryd i gynigion am ail orsaf bŵer niwclear. Nid yw hygyrchedd hwylus Gwarchodfa Cemlyn, ei môr-lyn, yr ynysoedd a’r môr-wenoliaid yn nythu wedi’i gyfyngu i ymwelwyr dynol. Mae’r caeau, y tiroedd gwlyb a’r prysgwydd sy’n amgylchynu’r Warchodfa’n darparu mosaig cyfoethog o gynefinoedd ar gyfer llawer o rywogaethau o fywyd gwyllt, gan gynnwys mamaliaid ysglyfaethus sy’n croesi dyfroedd bas y môr-lyn i gyrraedd y poblogaethau o fôr-wenoliaid ar yr ynysoedd isel. Mae sawl rhywogaeth o adar ysglyfaethus i’w gweld yn rheolaidd yn yr ardal hefyd, ac mae gwylanod mwy’n ymwelwyr dyddiol.        
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Cemlyn Bay tern islands (by North Wales Wildlife Trust
Mae Stad Cemlyn a’r ffermydd yn eiddo i’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol ond, mae’r môr-lyn a’r esgair o ro mân yng ngofal Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Gogledd Cymru, sy’n rheoli’r Warchodfa ac yn darparu gwasanaeth warden haf i helpu lleihau’r tarfu ac yn monitro a rheoli’r safle’n ymarferol, yn ogystal â gweithio gyda’r cyhoedd sy’n ymweld a’r safle. Mae gweithio gyda’r gymuned a chefnogi gwasanaeth warden mewn safle mor hygyrch a phoblogaidd yn hanfodol er mwyn gwarchod buddiannau treftadaeth naturiol Cemlyn.

Er bod yr esgair o ro mân yn ei ffurf bresennol yn ifanc o ran geomorffoleg, yn cael ei hysgwyd mewn stormydd, cafodd y môr-lyn y tu ôl i’r esgair ei greu yn yr ugeinfed ganrif. Mae gan Cemlyn le arbennig yn hanes cadwraeth, o gofio mai dyma un o’r llefydd cyntaf i elwa o reolaeth ragweithiol er lles ei hadar. Mae hanes y safle fel hafan i fyd natur yn clymu â stori Capten Vivian Hewitt, a ddaeth i ogledd Ynys Môn yn y 1930au, gan setlo ym Mryn Aber, sydd bellach yn dŷ mawr amlwg ym mhen gorllewinol Gwarchodfa Cemlyn. Yn ecsentrig cyfoethog, oherwydd ei hoffter o adar, aeth Capten Hewitt ati i adeiladu argae a chored yng Nghemlyn, i gymryd lle’r gors halen lanwol, gyda môr-lyn mawr a pharhaol yn loches i adar gwyllt. Mae ei waddol a’r gwaith o greu corff sefydlog o ddŵr gydag ynysoedd bychain yn darparu safleoedd nythu i fôr-wenoliaid Cemlyn, a thraddodiad cadarnhaol o reolaeth y mae Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Gogledd Cymru’n parhau ag o heddiw.       
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Sandwich tern family by Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)
Tan droad y mileniwm, roedd y Môr-wenoliaid Gwridog yn magu yng Nghemlyn ac o amgylch arfordir Ynys Môn. Fodd bynnag, yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf, ac er bod y Môr-wenoliaid Gwridog wedi’u cofnodi yng Ngwarchodfa Cemlyn, nid ydynt wedi aros yn hir yma. I boblogaethau’r Fôr-wennol Gyffredin a Môr-wennol y Gogledd yng Nghemlyn, nid oedd 2016 yn flwyddyn fagu lwyddiannus iawn. Er hynny, parhaodd eu cymdogion mwy, y Môr-wenoliaid Pigddu, i ffynnu. Mae llwyddiant y boblogaeth o Fôr-wenoliaid Pigddu yng Nghemlyn yn nodedig ac mae’n tua 20% o boblogaeth y DU ar hyn o bryd, a 3% o boblogaeth y byd.

Mae’n sicr bod sawl rheswm dros anallu Môr-wenoliaid Cyffredin Cemlyn, a’r Môr-wenoliaid Pigddu, i fagu cywion – gan gynnwys ysglyfaethwyr ac, o bosib, cystadleuaeth am ofod nythu ar ynysoedd môr-lyn Cemlyn. Mae cystadleuaeth am ofod ar y ddwy ynys yn peri pryder mawr oherwydd y bygythiadau wrth i lefel y môr godi a hefyd y cynnydd yn nwyster y stormydd sy’n digwydd yma wrth i effeithiau newid hinsawdd ddod i’r amlwg. Mae ymchwydd y stormydd a thonnau mawr y môr wedi dod dros yr esgair o ro mân yng Nghemlyn yn amlach yn ddiweddar.
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Common tern in flight by Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)
Mae cynnal a chadw ynysoedd môr-lyn Cemlyn a chreu ‘gofod’ i fôr-wenoliaid yn magu wedi cyflwyno nifer o heriau eraill, ac un o’r rhain yw’r ‘tensiwn’ rhwng ‘dynodiadau’ cadwraeth natur Ewropeaidd sy’n gorgyffwrdd. Mae esgair a môr-lyn Cemlyn wedi’u dynodi fel Ardal Cadwraeth Arbennig (ACA) ac mae’r môr-lyn ei hun yn nodwedd flaenoriaeth, yn darparu cynefin ar gyfer nifer o rywogaethau prin, gan gynnwys y Conopeum seurati bryosoaidd, cocos môr-lyn Cerastoderma glaucum, a malwen fwd môr-lyn Ventrosia ventrosa.

Nid yw dim ond codi neu ehangu ynysoedd y môr-lyn er lles y môr-wenoliaid a’r adar magu eraill yn opsiwn syml o ystyried y potensial am effeithiau niweidiol ar nodweddion o ddiddordeb yr ACA. Fodd bynnag, mae Cemlyn a’r moroedd a’r arfordiroedd cyfagos ar Ynys Môn yn rhan hefyd o Ardal Gwarchodaeth Arbennig bosib Môr-wenoliaid Ynys Môn ac mae’n rhaid i YNGC, fel rheolwr y Safle, gynnal a diogelu cartref môr-wenoliaid Cemlyn hefyd.
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Placing the rafts out (by North Wales Wildlife Trust)
  Er gwaetha’r tensiynau rheoli hyn, a gyda help Prosiect LIFE y Fôr-wennol Wridog, mae Ymddiriedolaeth Natur Gogledd Cymru wedi penderfynu parhau â thraddodiad Cemlyn o reolaeth ragweithiol a pharhau â’r gweithredu positif i wella cadernid môr-wenoliaid Cemlyn drwy ddarparu ‘rafftiau’ ar y môr-lyn. Mae’r rafftiau hyn yn efelychu cynefin nythu’r môr-wenoliaid ar yr esgair ac yn hafan ddiogel i gywion a rhieni fel ei gilydd – gan eu gwarchod rhag ysglyfaethwyr, aflonyddwch a lefelau’r dŵr yn newid. Mae’r rafftiau wedi’u hadeiladu o blastig wedi’i ailgylchu gyda haen o ro mân ar y top ac yn ddigon ysgafn i’w symud yn hawdd. Mae offer cynnal fertigol a thraws aelodau’n atal y gro mân rhag symud o gwmpas pan mae’n stormus ar y môr-lyn ac, i atal ysglyfaethwyr, mae ymylon uchel o bolycarbonad clir wedi cael eu hychwanegu. I osgoi defnydd gan wylanod Cemlyn ac adar ‘cynnar’ eraill nad oes cymaint o groeso iddynt, ni fydd staff YNGC yn angori’r rafftiau yn y môr-lyn nes ei bod yn amser i Fôr-wenoliaid y Gogledd a’r Môr-wenoliaid Cyffredin ddychwelyd. Bydd y defnydd o’r rafftiau’n cael ei fonitro drwy gydol 2017 gyda help y tîm o wirfoddolwyr sy’n cefnogi’r wardeniaid.     
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Adding the substrate to the tern rafts (by North Wales Wildlife Trust)
Prif bwrpas y rafftiau yw helpu i greu cynefinoedd newydd a diogel i Fôr-wenoliaid y Gogledd a’r Môr-wenoliaid Cyffredin.  Er hynny, drwy helpu’r rhywogaethau hyn, ac yn enwedig y Fôr-Wennol Gyffredin, gobaith YNGC yw creu’r amodau sydd eu hangen ar gyfer dychweliad y Fôr-wennol Wridog, sydd â pherthynas yn aml (ac yn agos iawn yn achlysurol!) â’r Fôr-wennol Gyffredin.

‘O adeiladu ar eu cyfer, efallai y byddan nhw’n dod’.

Alison Brown, Swyddog Cymunedol y Môr-wennol gwridog
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Roseate tern (by Brian Burke)
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