Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Rail Safety

All BirdWatch Ireland and National Parks & Wildlife Service staff involved with the Kilcoole Little Tern Conservation Project met on site today with representatives from Iarnród Éireann and were briefed on rail safety for this seasons work. As we operate directly alongside an active railway line it is imperative that we are fully trained on how to work safely in the area. Many thanks to Iarnród Éireann for taking us through the procedures.

Otherwise it was a miserable, wet & windy day but there was plenty of activity in the area. About 20 Little Terns were seen in flight at one stage together over the K-colony, whilst sightings on the marsh included 75 Dunlin, 20 Turnstones, 20 Ringed Plover, 7 Whimbrel, c.80 Herring Gulls, c.35 Great Black-backed Gulls, a Light-bellied Brent Goose, 5 Teal, a Wigeon, a Shoveler, 2 Stock Doves & a Kestrel.

Of particular interest was a 2nd calendar-year (i.e. 1st-summer) Little Gull which was seen flying around The Breaches. Little Gulls are often found sheltering on the marsh or estuary at Kilcoole during inclement weather. They can be recorded throughout the season but sightings of immature birds such as this are most frequent in May.

This 2nd calendar-year Little Gull was photographed in The Breaches back in May 2010 © Niall Keogh

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