Seeing a dramatic increase in the number of pairs after the major renovation of the Tern Island in the winter of 2021/2022 from 25 nests and 20 fledged in Summer 2021 to 100 nests and 120 chicks fledged in 2022, we were hopeful that they would have another successful year of nesting in 2023.
It looked promising with 100 pairs nesting on the island, but sadly it is believed they were hit by the high-pathogen Avian Influenza that was prevalent throughout the country. Almost all chicks were lost, including many adults. Thankfully not all hope was lost, as 10 pairs (possibly re-lays from surviving pairs) fledged 20 chicks. We can only hope that next year will bring more success for breeding within the colony.
The same situation occurred in the Black-headed Gull population on the island, with 30 pairs believed to have succumbed to avian influenza and losing all chicks. Only one pair managed to successfully rear and fledged two chicks.