Coquet Roseates become on-screen stars


Coquet Island's breeding Roseate Terns and Puffins are set to become stars as the RSPB launches a live camera feed, which will be streamed on the internet from Saturday 21 May.

Public access to Coquet is prohibited to prevent unnecessary disturbance to its precious breeding seabird colony — especially the Roseate Terns, which are the UK's rarest breeding seabird. The island is manned 24/7 by wardens who protect the seabird colony and study its progress.

Now, thanks to support from the LIFE Programme of the European Union and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund, the general public have unfettered access to the views and sounds of the colony through a wireless link to the tern terraces. This is the first live camera stream ever to focus on Roseate Terns.

Wesley Davies, resident warden on RSPB Coquet Island, said: "We wanted to be able to share these amazing birds with the public, but what we didn't realise is that the cameras give better views than we get on the island — with the advantage of not getting pecked.

"It's amazing watching the secret lives of puffins and Roseate Terns — they get up to more than we ever thought."

Last summer 111 pairs of Roseate Terns nested on Coquet Island, representing a significant milestone and reward for the intensive conservation measures that have been implemented since 2000. In 2014, 93 pairs nested and a Spanish-ringed adult was controlled on the island (full details here).

The live Coquet Island feed can be viewed at www.rspb.org.uk/coquetlive. Get the latest updates from RSPB Coquet Island on Twitter: @RSPB_N_England