Warning after rare seabirds arrive in Hartlepool from West Africa

Visitors to a Hartlepool beach are being urged to respect a colony of rare seabirds and avoid disturbing their nests.

Saturday, 7th May 2022, 2:42 pm

The little terns have again taken up residence on a stretch of beach near Seaton Carew bus station for the first time in 2019.

Weighing only 40-60g and about the size of starling, the birds lay their well-camouflaged eggs in shallow scrapes in the sand.

But this makes the nests very difficult to spot and leaves them vulnerable to disturbance and damage.

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A protective fence is placed around the tern nests.

A more substantial fence has been put up to try to protect their nests and wardens from the Durham Wildlife Trust are monitoring the site as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund SeaScapes Partnership.

Senior warden Mandy Bell said: “The little terns have come all the way from West Africa to actually nest on this beach. “hat a privilege.

“I do not know of another nesting site that is as close to the promenade, but this does make them vulnerable to disturbance.”