Monday, 8 June 2015

Sunny Side Up in Kilcoole

The Terns are doing a fierce job making nests and laying eggs. This week has been a brilliant one for new nest discoveries! Tonight, we have a tally of 75 active Tern nests and 189 eggs on the beach, which we are, of course, delighted about. The expected arrival date for the first little ternlet is coming ever closer – I hope to meet my first chick of the 2015 season within two weeks.

A Little Tern carefully checks how her eggs are doing © Chris Dobson (taken under NPWS licence)
Our remaining Ringed Plovers are very close to hatching. Several nests have slowly cracking eggs. Likewise, our first Oystercatcher eggs are cracking (ever so slowly), keeping us in great suspense! I regularly come across three of the four Ringed Plover chicks that hatched this week as they have stayed in the vicinity of their nesting area in front of the hide. The parents spend all day long searching for them among the stones, whistling and darting back and forth towards the chick’s calls. They find one, only to loose the other two and set off again. They try to sit and brood another, just to hear the call of the third and jump straight back up to find it, while the first scarpers into the grass again!

The good weather and sunshine looks set to continue for the time being. Hopefully the high pressure will keep the tide at bay and prevent a repeat of last week’s wash out. If the sunshine stays in Kilcoole, we may have another great rise in nest numbers by next week.

Susan and Paddy

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