Thanks to Nottinghamshire Birdwatchers, we have a new home for nature at Langford, and it’s already received approval from some common terns who have taken up residence.

We have a new “tern raft” floating on the water, funded by Nottinghamshire Birdwatchers, and we already have three pairs of common terns using it to raise their families.

  common terns on the raft, photo Stuart Carlton

It is covered in gravel so that the terns can make their nest scrapes, and the raft is surrounded by clear Perspex to keep out predators. Common tern chicks are very easily predated by passing peregrine falcons, grass snakes, mink and other swimming mammals, and this cunning construction should help to keep the chicks safer.

The raft was launched in May this year and we deliberately waited until the black-headed gulls had started to nest on our stony islands before launching the raft. Black headed gulls would love our new raft but by waiting until they had started nesting, the raft was left for the exclusive use of common terns, who nest slightly later.

The noisy black-headed gulls are perfectly happy where they are, and there are now lots of fluffy brown gull chicks shuffling around the islands near the Beach Hut.

The plan is working well as the new tern families seem to be enjoying their new exclusive home.

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