Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Dalkey Tern - We have Roseates breeding!

To the north of Dalkey Island lie two small islands, one with some vegetation one just bare rock. These are Lamb Island and Maidens’ Rock and are home to three species of tern; Common, Arctic and Roseate.

We have some mixed news since our last update, having had such large numbers of nests and chicks on Lamb Island; it went very quiet around the July Bank Holiday Weekend. By Tuesday 5th July there were only 16 Adults and about 4 chicks on Lamb Island, many of the first chicks should have been old enough to fledge at that stage but many nests/eggs were predated. The main culprits are rats, Hooded Crows and possible large gulls. Although the numbers were down on Lamb they are up on Maidens’ with 7 new clutches with 10 eggs and 1 chick and 160 adults on 14th July. 2 Roseate Terns were seen at the public event on Tuesday 5th, hopefully the start of many visitors from Rockabill. On 14th July, when hopes of breeding Rosies had faded a pair of Roseates had laid an egg in Box 5 on Maidens’ Rock. Maybe not great prospects of a successful fledging for that egg/chick but they are here and will hopefully come earlier next year with a few companions.
This is still a record year in terms of total terns present during the breeding season.

Roseate Tern egg on Maiden's Rock, 14th July.
  Photograph and egg handling carried out under NPWS licenses.

Ringing
On 21st & 27th June & 6th & 14th July myself and a few ringers, Steve Newton, Niall Tierney & Ricky Whelan got out to put leg rings on 54 chicks (6 Common) with 15 big enough to get a colour ring too. Hopefully we will be able to see these guys if/when they return in 2-3 years.
Ringing in progress on Lamb Island with Niall Tierney, RIcky Whelan and Steve Newton.
Ringing and photo carried out under NPWS licenses.
Public Events
The Tuesday evening and weekend events are going great, even when bad weather is forecast we got rainbows. 

Tuesday evening Rainbow Watch over Dalkey Island!

The BWI South Dublin branch has joined the Tuesday evening events (it’s been their event for years now) for July. I set up from 5pm then they all join from 6:30-8pm. It’s great having so many sets of eyes with local knowledge there to check every bird and inform the public.

Tuesday evening Tern Watch event with South Dublin BWI branch.

Weekend guided nature walks on Dalkey Island.

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