Clinging to the Edge - Pelagic Publishing

Clinging to the Edge

A Year in the Life of a Little Tern Colony

  • Thorough exploration of the ecology of the Little Tern, and the history of its conservation.
  • Unflinchingly presents the challenges of conserving and protecting a threatened seabird.
  • Follows a single colony throughout one season in intimate and previously unseen detail.

    • birds
    • Coming Soon
    • ecology
    • ornithology
    • seabirds
    • Spurn Point
    • tern


    A summer migrant to Europe from West Africa, the Little Tern is one of our most threatened and most captivating seabirds. This book is the story of one breeding season at the Beacon Ponds colony on the North Sea coast, near Spurn Point in East Yorkshire. In elegant and evocative prose it offers an intimate portrait of these endangered birds, covering everything from foraging and breeding to predators and conservation.

    The colony’s small size means that it can be monitored, protected and documented in an unusual level of detail. Close observation of the birds’ behaviour and an in-depth knowledge of the natural history of their environment raise important questions about how and why we seek to preserve and protect species for whose decline we are ourselves largely responsible. A tight focus on the spectacular natural, geographical and cultural headland that is Spurn Point also provides new insights into the ecology of Little Terns. Covering the progress of the colony month by month, through an eventful spring and summer, Clinging to the Edge brings these charismatic and endearing birds vividly to life.

    DOI: 10.53061/ERZX7937

    About the Author

    Richard Boon is chair of the Beacon Ponds Little Tern Project Management Committee. A retired academic who now volunteers for Spurn Observatory Trust, he also sits on its research committee. Richard has volunteered for the BTO and the RSPB, and has made occasional contributions to the birding press, most recently in British Birds.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 204 pages
    • Colour illustrations
    • BISAC SCI070040, SCI020000, NAT004000, NAT043000