Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Little Terns spotted at Kilcoole... and Dublin City!

The first Little Tern sighting of the year at Kilcoole (and Ireland) came on the 10th April when BirdWatch Ireland's own Dick Coombes saw one day roosting in the lagoon adjacent to the colony site. It was not seen thereafter and was assumed to have continued on North. This was a particularly early record but was soon followed up by a couple of other reports from sites in Co. Galway.

The next batch of Little Terns appeared in Co. Wexford with 7 at Rosslare Backstrand on 12th April. Over 20 birds were present there again yesterday plus another 4 at Tacumshin Lake.

With that, I took myself off down to the colony site at Kilcoole this morning and sure enough two adult Little Terns were present feeding actively offshore with a group of their larger relatives, Sandwich Terns. Great to see the bouncing flight style & hear the distinctive call again!

We'll expect more terns to start arriving from the end of April on wards with laying due to commence in about the third week of May.

In the meantime, I'd like to take the time to highlight a great project being run at the moment by DAVE which "aims to use art and social media to raise awareness of some of the endangered species in Ireland by placing free art in urban spaces." Essentially, a piece of art depicting a threatened Irish species is placed somewhere in a town or city (Dublin, Galway etc.) and a picture of it is posted online with some basic directions/hints as to where it is. If you find the piece then you get to keep it! (as long as you then share a pic of it's new home)

Just over a week ago, a pic was posted by DAVE of a Little Tern painting which was up for grabs in Smithfield, Dublin. As it happens, myself & fellow tern warden Andrew Power were in Dublin at the time so we legged it as fast as we could to Smithfield only to find the painting gone! But all was not lost. While en route, we sent out a few sneaky texts to friends in Dublin who we knew were nearby! Sure enough the painting was found by one of them just before we got there and they have kindly donated it to the Kilcoole Little Tern Conservation Project. The painting will find its place down at the colony site later this summer!

Pic posted online by DAVE with the info "A Little Tern in Meetinghouse Lane, Dublin city."...

Wardens arrive to find it gone!...
But thanks to our good friend Brian we now have it!

Be sure to follow DAVE on Facebook and Twitter for more updates on wildlife art which will be presented around the country.

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