With the news that our BlackGuillemots had been busy laying eggs over the weekend, we knew the Terns couldn't be far behind! So since Saturday we've carried out daily checks for any new eggs.
Our search for Roseate eggs is quite targeted - they nest under cover so are usually either in a nestbox or under a shrub. Common Terns on the other hand will nest just about anywhere there's a bit of soil or sand, so our search for their first egg has been a mix of optimism that we might find the first egg anywhere, and paranoia that we might just as easily miss it!
|Of course, there were other signs that we might start seeing Common Tern eggs soon......|
(Picture taken under NPWS license)
So we checked everywhere this afternoon - no new Guillemot eggs, no eggs in any Roseate nestboxes, and no sign of any Common Tern eggs either. But then this evening the Terns left the island for a while, so we took the chance to have a bit of a look around knowing that we wouldn't be causing any disturbance. And then, on a small ledge amongst some grass and twigs, we found our first Common Tern egg of the season!
|First Common Tern egg of 2014 on Rockabill - found this evening. (Picture taken under NPWS license)|
I must say it's quite morale-boosting to find your first eggs of the season - whether it was the first Black Guillemot egg on Friday, or this evenings first Common Tern egg. Common Terns tend to lay a day or two earlier than the Roseate Terns, so hopefully we'll have some news on that front before the end of the week!
- Brian and Donnacha