Tern Gardens

The neighbourhood watch has this community as Cumber Green but colloquially the estate made up by Tern Gardens, Swan Gardens, Grebe Close and Mallard Close, is known as ‘Birdland’.

Not surprisingly either, given that all four of these mid-seventies addresses take their names from a feathered water bird of one shape or size.

Like a gull, but with a more slender body, with proportionally longer and more pointed wings, and a forked tail, this sea swallow has around fifty varieties, most of which belong to the genus ‘sterna’.

Around six types of tern are reckoned to be indigenous to the British coastline; the Common Tern, the relatively scarce, and large, Sandwich Tern, the Arctic Tern, the Roseate Tern, the Little Tern and the Black Tern.

Interestingly enough, the term ‘tern’ also has other associations – with the number three. Objects arranged in threes or a double three when thrown with dice are said to be terns, as is a group of three stanzas in poetry.