Friday, 6 March 2015

Tern Raft Update

The other two Tern rafts we had built were launched today at Hicks Lodge, a former coal mining site now owned by the Forestry Commission in the NW of Leicestershire,  on quite a large lake where Terns have previously bred, although only one pair were successful in fledging at least one chick last year. There is an island in the middle of the lake which has just been cleared by the Forestry Commission rangers and LROS (Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society) volunteers, with a membrane having been put down to suppress the vegetation and then totally graveled over. Along with the two Tern rafts, we now have our fingers crossed that this will be the start of a new Tern colony at Hicks Lodge. Below are a few images on our the operation of the day. 
 With the raft in the water, the lads put on about 2" [50mm] of gravel for the Terns to nest on
 All the gravel on. Scott, one of the forestry rangers, brings the rib in ready to tow the raft out into position
 Andy Smith and Pete Williams taking the raft out, to anchor it into position
 Anchoring into its final position..... Andy and Pete risking life and limb.............................not!!
 This is one of the anchors we use to secure the raft into position. Two anchors are used on opposite corners.
The rafts in their final positions, just waiting for the return of the Common Terns. I will keep you up to date with their progress, and hopefully be able to post some images of the Terns nesting on them.
As always thanks for stopping by.