Monday, 16 June 2014

First Tern Chicks of the Summer!

 It's been over three weeks since we found the first Common Tern egg on the island (see here) and we were expecting our first chicks at the end of this week - Common Terns hatch after around 22 days, but the Terns were a bit unsettled a few weeks back so we thought that might slow things down - apparently not!

We knew what clutch we found first, and that it was being incubated and hadn't been abandoned or predated or anything like that - and on our way down to check on an area near the Bill we were suprised and delighted to see our first small fluffy chick! And on our way back around half an hour later we were even more surprised to see our second chick! The second chick was a lot less fluffy having just hatched, but will look different tomorrow.

The first Common Tern clutch laid on Rockabill this year. (Picture taken under NPWS license) 
The first Common Tern chicks to hatch on Rockabill in 2014. The chick in the foreground is only a few hours old and hence less 'fluffy' than it's sibling - though that will change by tomorrow. (Picture taken under NPWS license)

Despite being the younger of the two, the closer chick was a lot more active than the one at the back which just seemed to want to rest! (Picture taken under NPWS license)

Rockabill's first Common Tern chicks of 2014. (Picture taken under NPWS license)

So they are our first Common Tern chicks of the year - the first of a few thousand!! We'll keep you updated on their progress and development, as well as any more chicks we find over the next few days.

- Brian & Donnacha

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