A South Easterly storm coupled with a hide tide lashed across the seaward section of the colony today, wrecking the foreshore fence, washing away 3 nests with eggs & taking 2 chicks for sure. More than likely more chicks have been lost but it will take a few days of censusing to determine the extent of the damage. Saying that we still have 28 pairs on nests with 65 eggs & potentially up to 36 pairs with 64 chicks although that remains to be confirmed!
A couple of positive points:
1. Plenty of half-grown (up to 2 week old) chicks seen high up, in the middle of the colony today. Birds of this age are usually found right down at the edge of the foreshore so it was encouraging to see that they had the good sense to run away from danger. They're also beginning to wing-stretch too (first fledglings expected by next weekend!!!).
2. Quite a few smaller chicks (<7 days old) were seen wandering along the foreshore after the storm abated which is a relief!
Anyways, the Wicklow Branch outing to the colony tomorrow is CANCELLED and will be moved to Sunday 19th June where they will join the Carlow Branch on their outing which will go ahead as normal, meeting at Kilcoole train station car park at 10:00am.
Apologies to anyone who can't make it on Sunday but sure come down any other day when you're free for a visit!
I'll hopefully get an update on the go with all the latest details on Monday/Tuesday.
|This chick was seen sheltering inside a Roseate Tern nest box (which we put out for the craic to see if Little Terns would nest in it - which they didnt!) © Jason McGuirk|