One afternoon the weather was too rough to conduct the transects so we anchored next to an island in Siyul area and went ashore. The islands were used by a variety of seabirds as a nesting site including lesser crested terns, ospreys and white eyed gulls. During this visit to the island I observed some interesting behaviour. The terns had all built their sort of nests, more like holes in the sand, in a colony and were working together to protect the nests from predation. At one point a gull tried to attack one of the nests (gulls predate on the chicks and eggs of other birds), but all of the terns flew up from their nests together to form a barrier to fight off the gull. The gull was swooping around trying to penetrate this barrier and, thanks to a picture accidentally captured by Madda, I found out later that it ultimately succeeded.
It was very interesting to observe the group working together to protect the eggs and young from predation, and was a highlight of the trip for me.
Victoria Warwick-Evans (HEPCA intern)