Sunday, 2 July 2017

Living life on the Fledge

Over the past couple of days, the waves rolled in upon the shingle at Kilcoole and the wardens were temporarily banished to the hide by the bad weather. The fencing around the southern colony was knocked by some unforgiving tides, but this has been repaired and is now back to being a secure barrier against predators. The first round of chicks have mostly entered their tweens, and are speeding around the beach, doing their utmost to evade ring-clad wardens. However, the older chicks are growing up fast, and a few fledglings have been spotted!!
Our fancy shmancy new scales, modelled by a Little Tern chick from the southern colony. Photo taken under NPWS licence (I. Sullivan).

Many birds are still incubating eggs and nests continue to be discovered. More and more puffed-up parents can be witnessed with their wings enveloping chicks and protecting them from the elements. Two very successful ringing sessions were carried out over the past week. A grand total of 190 chicks have been blinged so far. We look forward to their return in seasons to come.
An adult bird seen through the scope, incubating chicks. Photo taken under NPWS licence. (I.Sullivan).

On Thursday 22nd June
, Andrew Butler, Andrew McManus and myself were delighted to welcome Ms. Webb’s sixth class from St. Patrick’s primary school, Greystones. You guys were brilliant! Some excellent questions were asked and great enthusiasm was shown by you all, despite the fact that the walk from Greystones was a strenuous 7km. Nevertheless, Bear Grylls like stamina and good banter fuelled a fun-filled afternoon. As part of the interactive visit, the class were shown a nest on shingle made up of unviable eggs, to illustrate how effective their camouflage is on the beach. We also discussed the breeding behaviour, feeding ecology and migration of the Little Terns. A special thanks must be given to sixth class at St. Patrick’s for naming one of the Little Tern chicks “Réaltóg". We’re optimistic it’ll have a future as bright as it’s name.
The Kilcoole team would like to remind visitors to the beach to please avoid the Breaches outlet, as there may be chicks and fledglings around the area. We greatly appreciate your consideration for the Little Terns and their wandering.
- Irene and The Kilcoole Team

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