Forward 50 years to the mid-90's in Lancashire, and a colony having existed on the Lune Estuary on Colloway Marsh supporting c.40 pairs in 1954, and rose to up to 250 pairs from 1978-83, but by the 1990's the colony had become extinct, in the main by human disturbance.
Into the 21st century, and as a species no better than a scarce passage migrant, not least in Morecambe Bay, all the gloom following the demise of the Colloway Marsh colony, has been lifted by an excellent and successful fifth successive year on Conder Pool as the only pair of breeding Common Tern in our recording area in North Lancashire.
In 2015, a pair arrived on 22 May, and went one better that year, to fledge three young on 3 July. All five of this family were last seen on 28 July on the Lune Estuary.
In 2016, a pair arrived on Conder Pool on 6 May, to breed and to hatch three birds, but only two went on to fledge and were last seen here on 12 July.
In 2017, adult birds arrived two days later than the previous year on 8 May, three eggs were eventually seen in the scrape on 2 June inside a pontoon now in place on the pool, on 11 June three chicks were seen, by 5 July all three had successfully fledged and were last seen on Conder Pool on 14 July.
In 2018. A pair of Common Tern were back on Conder Pool, this time one day earlier than the previous year on 7 May. Through the hostilities and the demise of three young Oystercatcher raised in the same confined space of the pontoon, they raised three young to fledging, two on 3 July, the runt two days later, all three were still in the area when IP reported them to me on Friday 13 July.
A second pair of Common Tern which had arrived for the first time on Conder Pool before the original pair had hatched chicks, appear to be having a second breeding attempt, seemingly having abandoned the first, as at Friday 13 July, a bird has been sitting again for up to 16 days.
I'm grateful to Brian Rafferty for the 'Preston Dock' Common Tern images, and to Martin Jump for his header image of the Little Tern which he saw making a brief appearance, also at Preston Dock on Sunday 8 July.
The Bowland Harriers.
There are three active Hen Harrier nests in Bowland this year holding a grand total of 13 chicks, the first breeding in three years since 2015.