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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Breeding success for little terns
A little tern chick and egg
Wardens say the Gronant little terns are rare but "resilient"
The only known colony of little terns in Wales has enjoyed a successful breeding season, despite this summer's bad weather.

Wardens at Gronant Dunes, Denbighshire, said 99 young had hatched this year.

Countryside warden Jim Kilpatrick said high winds, combined with cold, wet conditions, had been more of a concern than predators this season.

He added: "It's been very successful, especially considering all our major problems this year were weather-based."

Mr Kilpatrick, employed by Denbighshire Council, said he and his staff had been helped by more than 40 volunteers.

In previous seasons, foxes and birds of prey have been the main concern, but this year the weather has posed a greater threat.

Mr Kilpatrick said: "Our volunteers have done a great job, working hard in all kinds of horrible weather.

"We have chick shelters to protect the birds in high winds, but they were filling with sand. Some birds were lost that way.

"Where they choose to nest is really in the thick of the weather. High winds have been the biggest problem, as well as it being cold. But they are resilient birds.

"This is the last colony in the whole of Wales, and it's gradually increasing. But I hear things have been really bad because of the conditions at other sites in the UK."

A population census in 2000 found only 130 little tern colonies in the whole of the UK and Ireland.




SEE ALSO
Nesting success for Little Terns
13 Sep 06 |  Isle of Man
Protective fence for tern colony
12 May 05 |  Norfolk
Vanishing terns baffles experts
29 May 03 |  Norfolk
Vandals wreck little tern colony
06 Jun 02 |  England

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