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1:27PM

SX12203

I have spent a few hours in the Denny hide watching the common terns and there has been very little fish coming in to the incubating females. So when a bird left the island and started its begging call I was ready to photograph the transfer of this large sandeel from the male to the female. The female was ringed...

 ... and on looking closely at the pictures it was possible to read the ring number SX12203 - the bird was ringed on 30th June 2002 at Pett Level. At 10 years old this is close to the typical lifespan of 12 years, but a long way from the oldest recorded of 33 years (BTO).

Anyway this emphasises that these long lived birds do not need to raise chicks every year to be successful and so this very poor year is not a big threat to the population.

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