Chesil Beach little terns' 'most successful year'

image copyrightMorgan Vaughan RSPB
image captionThe fish-eating birds are watched round the clock at Chesil Beach by RSPB-led warden patrols

Breeding seabirds at a Dorset beach have had their "most successful year since records began", the RSPB has said.

Chesil Beach had a colony of 33 pairs of little terns this year, with 60 chicks making it to fledging.

The colony is watched round the clock by volunteers who have improved breeding conditions for the birds.

According to the RSPB it is the only colony of little terns in the south west of England.

The charity said the rise in numbers was down to work carried out by its warden-led team which monitors the birds.

An electric fence has been erected at the beach to minimise predation and human disturbance.

The scheme to protect the birds began in 2009.

The project is supported by Chesil and Fleet Nature Reserve, the Crown Estate, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Natural England, EU PANACHE Interreg Project and the Portland Court Leet.

There are about 1,900 pairs of little terns in Britain.

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