Monday, 29 May 2017

First Milestone Reached

Hello again

I promised an update on numbers earlier this afternoon.

We have just marked our 100th Little Tern nest in the main colony of which between 80 and 85 are being incubated. The losses are mostly attributable to Hooded Crows and maybe Turnstones or Starlings; one or two have been abandoned.

In the south colony 13 Little Tern nests have been located of which 11 are presently active.

Nesting in among the terns are at least 3 pairs of Ringed Plover and 3 pairs of Oystercatcher.

Finally, all the local Mute Swan pairs have hatched broods and we have seen families of 2, 4 and 7 cygnets.


2017 - Up and Running

Hello readers

The new breeding season at Kilcoole is well underway and this is a brief update to introduce you to the new team running the project.

Our day wardens are  Chris Johnson and Irene Sullivan backed up by Andrew Butler and Niamh FitzGerald.

The night shift is covered by Cole Macey and Angus Lee.

Additionally, also on site is Andrew McManus (Zoology, Trinity College Dublin) who will be undertaking some research on Little Terns for his undergraduate dissertation.

Hovering in the background are Steve Newton at BirdWatch Ireland HQ and Conservation Ranger Jason Monaghan from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

All these folk will introduce themselves on these pages in the coming weeks and we will also highlight the input of several key volunteers.

We have had a very busy start to the year with our first Little Tern eggs discovered on the very early date of Sunday 14th May.

We now have two sub-colonies, the traditional one north of the Breaches and a secondary one south of the Breaches. Both are now protected by the usual "string" (buffer area) and electric fences to protect Little Tern nests and eggs.

A full tally of nests and interesting observations will be posted soon.


One of the first Little Tern nests of the season. Can you see the egg? Photo taken by Niamh FitzGerald (under NPWS licence)