Spectacular seabird spectacle at Preston Marina

Common terns and chicks at Preston Marina
Common terns and chicks at Preston Marina
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Hundreds of seabirds are arriving at Preston Marina for the breeding season after making the epic journey from West Africa.

Over the next few months, the breakwaters around the marina will be teeming with common terns as they attempt to nest on the surrounding breakwaters.

The RSPB is giving visitors the opportunity to get to know the charismatic seabirds with a series of tern-watching events starting on Saturday, May 23. Staff and volunteers from the nature conservation organisation will be on hand with powerful telescopes, offering close-up views of the fast and agile birds.

Common terns have tried to nest on the breakwaters around the marina since 2009 but a lack of suitable nest materials hampered their success. Common terns have been in long-term decline.

In 2011, the Fylde Bird Club teamed up with Preston City Council and created artificial nests by placing recycled tyres and gravel on the breakwaters. In 2012, the RSPB joined the partnership. The number of terns breeding at the marina has gone from two pairs in 2009 to more than 140 in 2014.

The RSPB will be running events at Preston Marina on the following dates: Saturday, May 23; Saturday June 6; Sunday, June 21; Wednesday, July 8; Wednesday, July 22; Thursday, August 6; and Friday, August 21. The free events run from 10am to 4pm. Visitors are free to drop by at any time. The events will take place in the long car park on Mariners Way.