Little Terns

© Chris Gomersall (, Ref: 1614076_00093_002) used with permission

On a sunny day at the end of June I had come to North Denes. It is at the other end of Great Yarmouth from the Pleasure Beach and about as far removed from the rides and the candy floss as anything could be! A large part of Jesus’ ministry was exercised around the Sea of Galilee and whenever I am beside the seaside I keep hearing echoes! On that particular day two sayings of Jesus held sway: “Come apart and rest a while!”; and “Consider the birds!”

I like consider and its’ Latin roots: con = together and sider = sit down! Better than walking by, or just sitting down , I had come to swim close to where the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds guard an important breeding colony of (rare) Little Terns!

In 2002 vandals trashed the site, now the R.S.P.B keep watch throughout the breeding season. The eggs and chicks are at constant risk from raiding hedgehogs, foxes. cats, gulls and birds of prey as well as human-beings!

Little Terns - swallows of the sea – are dainty birds with v shaped tails. As I floated on the tide, they were flying in with whitebait sized fishes in their beaks and the air was full of sound! They seemed not to notice me as they fished, hovering to spot their prey, then folding their wings to dive into the sea close by.

I remembered that I am one of the baptised, a bird hovering over Jesus at his baptism and Simon Peter sploshing fully clothed from boat to water as he raced towards the risen Lord. I wonder, was it fanciful to feel the presence of the same Lord as I swam towards the shore ?!

To visit the colony, park or take a bus along
Yarmouth’s North Drive to a point north of the boating lake, head towards the sea and then go north until you see the fences around the colony. Swimming is not compulsory!

More about Little Terns, the work of the RSPB and how you can get involved can be obtained from the RSPB via their website at or from

The Eastern Region office at :

Stalham House
65 Thorpe Road


Tel: 01603 660066


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