Sunday, 17 May 2015

A new season. A new hope.

The 2015 Kilcoole Little Tern Conservation Scheme season began May 11th with the arrival of the wardens and fenceposts. Just 30 Little Terns were waiting to greet us, but this number has slowly risen over the past week thanks to a strong southerly wind carrying Terns with it from Africa.

2014’s wardens, Andrew and Darren are continuing in their ornithological ways. Andrew has left the Little Terns to care for their Roseate cousins on Rockabil (terncoat!). You can keep up with his decent into madness on the Rockablog Darren has journeyed overseas to the sunny islands of Indonesia to study the island biogeography of Sunbirds, White-eyes, Flowerpeckers and probably some more, for his PhD in TCD. We wish them both the very best in their endeavours! 

Night warden Cole Macey will be with us for his 8th season in Kilcoole and will hopefully bring the luck of last season back with him. The new day wardening team for 2015 are Susan Doyle and Paddy Manley - see more about us on "meet the team". East Coast Nature Reserve warden Jerry Wray will once again act as reserve warden, providing much needed cover and help putting the colony set up in place. Dr. Steve Newton of BirdWatch Ireland manages the Kilcoole project, as part of his hectic seabird schedule!

As per usual, the colony fence is put up once Little Terns show up in Kilcoole. We made great progress, getting both the fence and the bird hide up in just a matter of days thanks to the help of Chris, Declan and Cillian. Hopefully, Little Terns will take up residence in their shingle estate in the next week or so. 

Tern Wardens - Jerry, Paddy, Susan and co. © Chris Dobson
Last years first nest was discovered on May 25th because bad weather delayed the Terns. Heavy rain and wind last week may cause the same situation this year. However, we have already marked two Ringed Plover and one Oystercatcher nest within the colony!

Susan and Paddy

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