Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Tern Talk

School’s out, but we’ve still got plenty of work to do. As the seasons pass, we see huge differences in the composition of the birdlife in Dublin Bay. And new arrivals mean different survey types to adequately determine how they are all doing. Tern time is always a very busy time for us… which may explain the lack of blog posts recently! 

Many of the waders and wildfowl are now long gone, with only a fraction of their winter numbers remaining. Last February, we had a total of 38,854 waterbirds in Dublin Bay during a low tide survey. The corresponding number in June was just 3,566. But that doesn’t mean that Dublin Bay is not important for waterbirds in the summer -far from it, in fact, but that’s for another post!

But it’s tern time for us now, and it will be until around about the time that the kids go back to school and the terns go back to Africa (and beyond). So, right now, we’re flat out doing nest censuses, ringing and colour-ringing chicks and assessing foraging locations within Dublin Bay. And before too long, we’ll be assessing the numbers of post-breeding terns roosting on Sandymount Stand in late August and early September. At which point, the waders will be flying in and the wildfowl won’t be too far behind them. So, it’s always worth taking the time to enjoy the breeding season before it passes...

Common Terns  Niall Tierney
Arctic Tern nest at the foot of a mooring bollard Niall Tierney
Arctic Tern nest Niall Tierney
Arctic Tern nest Niall Tierney
Arctic Tern nest Niall Tierney
Erythristic Arctic Tern eggs Niall Tierney
Common Tern nest Niall Tierney
Common Tern nest Niall Tierney 
Newly hatched Common Tern Niall Tierney

Common Tern chick Niall Tierney
Common Tern chicks Niall Tierney

All photos taken under NPWS licence. 

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