Be on your guard - terns have landed!

The terns have landed.
The terns have landed.

Visitors to the Isle of May should be on their guard - for feisty terns protecting their chicks.

The noisy Arctic and Common Terns have been building up in numbers recently and the first eggs are expected to be laid in the next few weeks.

And as Scottish Natural Heritage assistant reserve manager Bex Outram explained: “That means only one thing - the start of the dive bombing. Whether it be a marauding gull, a passing Eider or an unsuspecting visitor, the adult terns attack anything that is too close to their nest.”

“They will stop at nothing to protect the eggs and chicks so if you are visiting from the end of May onwards, be sure to bring a hat.”

The reserve team prepares special ‘tern platforms’ to provide good nesting habitat, although some terns in the past have also used the visitor centre’s ‘green’ roof.

“Most people would complain at having so many noisy, smelly birds breeding on their roofs but on the May, we love it,” said Bex.