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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 08:02 GMT
Island bird breeding for cameras
Tern with sand eel (picture; Ben Stammers NWWT)
The terns feed on sand eels and small fish at Cemlyn nature reserve
The trials and tribulations of one of Britain's largest colonies of terns have been captured for a BBC wildlife programme tonight.

The 1,300 pairs of terns - or sea swallows - at Cemlyn nature reserve were filmed over a breeding season for The Nature of Britain programme.

The birds travel thousands of miles from Africa to Anglesey because of the good fish stocks in the sea there.

The programme can be seen on BBC2 at 1800 GMT on Sunday 11 November.

Cemlyn is run by North Wales Wildlife Trust (NWWT) and is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The area is ideal for breeding terns because of the availability of sand eels and small fish, according to John Rowe from NWWT.

"This is the only colony in Wales and it is to do with fish stocks in the surrounding sea," he said.

Terns at Cemlyn
What I like most about them is all the troubles they have to deal with
John Rowe, NWWT

The reserve is situated on the north coast of Anglesey, three miles from Cemaes on land owned by the National Trust but leased to the NWWT since 1971.

It includes a large lagoon, separated from the sea by a naturally created shingle ridge known as Esgair Gemlyn.

The birds attract tourists to the area with 3,000 visitors recorded last year.

Breeding season

Over the birds breeding season - after their flight back to Anglesey from Senegal in Africa - the cameras followed the ups and downs in the colony.

"We have mostly sandwich terns, but also common terns and arctic terns breeding here," added Mr Rowe.

"What I like most about them is all the troubles they have to deal with.

"They fly so far, breed in such big numbers close together, they deal with a lot."

Viewing the birds close up on the ground is usually quite difficult as they like to keep their distance, so the TV cameras will provide and opportunity to see them close up, he added.

The Nature of Britain is on at 2100 GMT on BBC One on Wednesday and at 1800 on 11 November on BBC Two



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Hear about the terns' behaviour and other wildlife at Cemlyn



SEE ALSO
Terns reach record numbers
13 Jun 04 |  North West Wales

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