Sea Birds Return To Breed On Samson



Common terns have been found nesting on Samson for the first time in five years.

And managers of the Seabird Recovery Project are asking visitors to the island not to disturb them.

Bird expert Vickie Heaney undertakes regular surveys on the uninhabited islands. She says nine or ten pairs of terns are laying eggs on North Hill, with a couple more pairs out on Green Island.

Vickie says they normally breed in May and it’s quite late in the season for the birds to be nesting, although any sign of activity is very good news.

But she says they’re vulnerable to disturbance.

The project is placing a sign in the area to let people know that the birds are around.

Vickie says they have a high, staccato call to warn people away from their nests. If you hear them, you shouldn’t stay too long in the area because you’ll keep the birds away from their nests.

Vickie’s pleased the majority of the terns are trying to nest at North Hill, rather than previous locations at Green Island and Stony Island. They’re vulnerable to high tides there and nests have often been lost in the past.