The Little Tern has arrived back at Winterton-on-Sea in large numbers. The carefully protected breeding site on the sandy Norfolk beach is the temporary home for at least 300 breeding pairs, the most important site in the UK which Nationally receives 1,900 breeding pairs each year. The Little Tern travels 11,000 miles a year, flying in from their homes in West Africa each May until September, before travelling back to enjoy year round summer.
The excitement of the return of The Little Tern was eclipsed just a few weeks ago by the rare visit to the same beach by a European Bee Catcher. A native of Southern Europe, increasing global temperatures is leading to more common sightings in the UK, although its appearance is still very unusual.
The annual migration of The Little Tern adds to the importance to our ecology on this part of our coastline, with the Grey Seal making its regular appearance each November to give birth and then to mate with the much larger bulls. This is home to 50% of the World population of Grey Seal.
The ease with which these rare and important sightings of Nature can be viewed is just one more reason why visiting this part of Norfolk is so rewarding.