The National Trust cares for some of our most cherished places, landscapes and wildlife habitats on the Northumberland Coast including Lindisfarne Castle, The Farne Islands, the two inland sites of Ros Castle and St Cuthbert's Cave, and over 12 miles of stunning coast over a forty mile stretch. These include St Aidan's dunes at Seahouses, Beadnell lime kilns, Craster to Low Newton (including Dunstanburgh Castle and Embleton Bay), Buston Links at Alnmouth and Druridge Bay.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Life as a ranger at the Long Nanny Tern Site
It is nearly the end of season and time has flown by at The Long
Nanny Tern Site. As we get ready to pack up the site, Ptolemy one of the assistant rangers reflects on life at the site.
"The role has been a fantastic opportunity and has had some
lows but plenty of highs. Every day is different, with speaking to the wide
range of people who visit the viewing platform to see the terns, monitoring
disturbances, feeding surveys and site management. The best bit has been
watching the terns progress throughout the season. Many Arctic tern (Sterna
paradisaea) chicks are now fledging and fingers are crossed for the little
terns (Sternula albifrons) that fledglings ready to head to West Africa
are seen on site.
The job has certainly kept us on our feet. Kestrel and weasels
have been on site which has meant lots of running and chasing to ensure the
safety of the little terns. Many days have been spent sprinting around through
marram and on sand. Unfortunately, there have been casualties as expected, but
to see chicks nearing fledging helps keep the rangers smiling.
Monitoring on the Little Terns has been great fun. We carry out
feeding surveys when possible, recording the type of fish being brought in by
adults and the size. It seems that this year is a good year for sandeels and
watching the chicks being fed is rewarding. With a big interest in ornithology,
it is a pleasure to watch them and see some of the behaviour of the species.
However trying to understand either the little or Arctic terns leaves many a
To be in a location which is at least a 20 minute walk away from
any shop and living on site has made it interesting, but we have all enjoyed
the tent life. Waking up on a morning to hear and see the terns is a sight to
behold. Putting up fencing, placing tern shelters and other jobs around the
site have all been worth it to see the site functioning to protect the little
terns, Arctic terns and ringed plovers.
It has been a fantastic season and even though living in a tent
for three months sounds horrible for many, it has been a joy and hopefully the
rest of the spell on site continues in the same vein."