Large numbers of redshank gather on the island to roost at high tide with smaller numbers of dunlin, oystercatcher, knot, dunlin and black-tailed godwit among others. Still a few sandwich and common terns flying about over the lagoon and plenty of warblers still present in the scrub areas.
Norman,why do you think the nos of Terns are greatly reduced this year.?.So many people have asked me this question.Is it because this site is not properly monitored by the RSPB?.Many people do think that this is the reason.Too noisy,and no proper protection.
Hodbarrow is not the money spinner as is Leighton Moss,this seems to be the opinion of both locals and visitors.
In answer to your question on why the tern numbers are greatly reduced this year - I don't know!!!
In recent years, little tern numbers decreased in line with an increase of nesting large gulls. However, large gulls were in much smaller numbers this year yet we saw lower numbers af Sandwich and Common terns. This years decrease in a number of species could be down to to the presence of a ground predator (fox or mink perhaps) but we found no evidence of this. On the positive side, the population of little terns breeding in Cumbria has continued to rise with 65+ pairs this year and while we would love to see them return to Hodbarrow we are happy the population is being maintained.
Looking back over many years, terns have regularly changed nest sites between Hodbarrow and Foulney Island and I'm sure our day will come again.
The RSPB is as committed to Hodbarrow as much now as we have always been but funds do have an affect on how much we can do on the site. A lot of our work is dependant on government grants and with the upcoming spending review things may well get worse before they get better. Every one can help here by signing our "Letter to the Future", details can be found elsewhere on the RSPB website.