Friday, 26 July 2013

The Omega Egg

Most years we find that the breeding progress of the colony is staggered & generally forms two distinct groups, one lot which breed in the traditional first week from mid-late May & another which begin sometime in the first week of June. This was true again this year but we also had a run of late nests into the first week of July, most likely re-lays from the small number of losses incurred at the egg stage (due to abandonment, Oystercatcher predation etc.).

The 6 pairs or so of terns which nested latest finally made it around to hatching over the past couple of days. Amazing to think that these day old chicks had no problem weathering the heavy rain, thunder & lighting on Wednesday night!

As such we are down to our last nest with one egg waiting to hatch. On checking it this morning, the egg showed some early signs of life poking out from within (faint lines starting to appear on the shell) so with a bit of luck we'll have our last chick out & about by early next week at the latest. With that we should expect our latest chicks to fledge sometime around the end of the third week in August.

So as of this afternoon we have 42 active pairs with 47 fledglings, 27 chicks & 1 egg left to hatch.

Nest K50...Paddy Last! © Niall Keogh

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