Improving habitats for local and seasonal birds
Surrey Choices’ Growth Team are regular volunteers at Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve, and were led by Mark, a volunteer co-ordinator, to help the team improve habitats for local and seasonal migratory birds.
Common Terns spend the winter in southern Africa, returning to the UK in the summer to breed, on shingle banks, spits and islands, and artificial nesting sites on nature reserves such as the rafts at Tice’s Meadow, near Farnham.
The rafts that the Growth Team helped to construct consist of two five-metre floating platforms, upon which an artificial beach is made using bags of pebbles and sand. On top of the sand are several shelters for the nesting birds and also some very impressive hand carved Common Tern models, to attract passing birds who may see these imitation birds and fly down to investigate. If they like the look of the beach and the shelters, they may choose to stay and make Tice’s Meadow their home, to lay their eggs and raise their young before heading off in the winter to new feeding grounds.
The Growth Team had a great time, braving the freezing cold water on a stormy wet spring day, doing what they do best – rising to a challenge and getting the job done.
The whole day was filmed by Farnham-based wildlife cameraman Josh Guyan, who is following the Tice’s Meadow volunteers for a year and making a documentary about their work. The film will hopefully be entered into wildlife film festivals and shown in local cinemas later in the year.
For more information about Tices Meadow, visit their Facebook page to see news bulletins highlighting the progress of the Tern rafts and other interesting sightings around the reserve, and also information about accessing the site and joining in with volunteer projects.
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