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Delight as next generation of rare birds arrives at Kessingland

PUBLISHED: 09:12 02 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:12 02 July 2014

Little Tern colony nesting at Kessingland Beach.
First Little Tern chicks have hatched.

Picture: James Bass

Little Tern colony nesting at Kessingland Beach. First Little Tern chicks have hatched. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2014

Suffolk’s largest colony of little terns has celebrated the arrival of the next generation of rare birds.

The colony, at Kessingland, near Lowestoft, has seen its first chicks hatched during the breeding season.

Guarded by a protective electric fence, the colony and its seven chicks are monitored by the RSPB with the support of Natural England.

As well as the six chicks, 33 nests and nearly 50 little terns have been spotted at the colony, which is the largest of its kind in Suffolk.

The sight of the seven chicks comes as a relief for the RSPB teams who patrol the site as last year more than 100 breeding pairs of terns failed to successfully fledge any young at the site.

Jesse Timberlake, RSPB little tern warden for Suffolk said: “After last year we have increased the number of wardens monitoring the colony and so far the signs are looking good.

“This is a crucial time for them, so we are working hard to ensure these birds have a fighting chance.”

The little terns have flown up 11,000 miles from South Africa to breed at the colony. In Britain there are only 1,900 breeding pairs each year.

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