Saturday, 7 May 2016

Welcome back!

It’s the start of a new season here at Kilcoole! The Wardens are back, the fences are going up and most importantly, the Little Terns are here in full force! They arrived early this year, with over 100 birds fishing just offshore and roosting overnight for the past few days. This may be because they’ve had favourable winds helping them on their way back from West Africa, where they’ve been spending the winter in the sunshine.

As always, the section of the beach used by the Terns to nest will be fenced off until the end of July, and the Wardens will be spending their summer protecting the colony. It is important to do this because these birds nest on the ground with no shelter so are very susceptible from disturbance by people and their dogs, as well as predation and bad weather. They are our rarest Tern and their numbers have been declining steadily for decades.

But with a little help, we can make sure that Ireland continues to be visited by these lovely little birds. Little Terns have been nesting at Kilcoole since 1879, and it is one of our most important colonies. Last year was a record high, with 155 pairs nesting here! Hopefully they can do the same again this year…

Feel free to come and visit us down here. The Wardens will be happy to show you what the Little Terns are up to and answer any questions you may have. We are on the beach between Kilcoole and Newcastle. Just follow the signs along the path, and please do keep out of the fenced area. Little Tern eggs and chicks are very well camouflaged and it is very easy to stand on them by mistake.

If anyone is interested in volunteering this year, come by and speak to one of the Wardens or email us at Any help you can give will be much appreciated.

See you on the beach!

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