This week saw a real high point in our season - our first fledglings in the colony at Eccles. They are, in fact, the first fledglings in the whole of Norfolk as they come from the determined early nesters that laid their first eggs in the stormy weather at the beginning of June. Their nests were not washed away in the high tide surges that decimated other little tern colonies on the north coast of Norfolk. Last weekend we had witnessed the oldest chicks vigorously flapping their wings, building up their muscles and taking a few tentative leaps into the air. By Wednesday, at 21 days old exactly, they had left their home within our electric fence and had joined their parents and other adults on the foreshore. As with other ground-nesting birds, little tern fledglings leave the relative danger of the colony as soon as they are able to. The following day our warden at Winterton, Rhiannon, calls me to say that she has two fledglings on the beach and further south, at Kessingland in Suffolk, our warden there, Emily, also tells me that she has five fledglings on the beach. They are with their parents who continue to feed them but are also beginning to learn to fish for themselves. It is a great moment for all of us - the months of hard work have finally produced the first birds of the next generation of little terns. Sadness also, as they have already left our colony and are slowly making their way southward and onward to Africa in August. There will be many more to follow as our latest count of chicks on Friday reached 220 with a further 21 birds still incubating eggs. At Winterton we have 3 chicks so far with a further 7 birds incubating eggs. Photo credit: Mick Davis.