Coquet Island’s rare breeding roseate terns and their puffin friends have become stars with their own live camera feed, which is being streamed on the internet.
Public access is prohibited on RSPB Coquet Island, near to Amble, to prevent unnecessary disturbance to its special breeding seabird colony, especially the UK’s rarest seabird – the roseate tern. The island is manned 24/7 by wardens who protect the seabird colony and study its fortunes.
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 can get unfettered access to the views and sounds of the colony through a wireless link to the roseate tern terraces.
The live feed started on Saturday and will run for around three months.
This is the first live camera stream of roseate terns ever. Viewers will also be able to witness puffins regularly hanging out on the terrace, interacting with each other and generally causing mischief.
The camera was placed on the roseate tern terrace right in the heart of the colony before the birds returned from their wintering grounds in Africa.
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.”
The live Coquet Island feed can be viewed at www.rspb.org.uk/co quetlive
To get the latest updates from RSPB Coquet Island on Twitter, follow @RSPB_N_England
Towards the end of last year, puffins were named as being are among four UK bird species now at risk of global extinction, according to a new international assessment.
The feed started ahead of Amble Puffin Festival. See P22 and 23 for more information.