Sunday, 1 June 2014

June Bank Holiday Weekend Update

It's hard to keep track of what day it is when you're one of two people living on a small island, but we're assured by our contacts on the mainland that it is in fact a Bank Holiday - hopefully yours has been as nice as ours has been (so far anyway). Our weekend got off to a sunny start on Friday and got even better with the sight of the Skerries Seatours boat (check them out on Facebook) heading our way with some essentials (and a few non-essentials  too)!

Some of the 'essentials' the Skerries Seatours guys were nice enough to drop out to us!

Anyway - back to the important stuff!

So over the last week the birds have mostly just been laying eggs - lots and lots and lots of eggs! We've been doing a morning and evening check of our nine study areas and the amount of eggs appearing every day still amazes us!

There's a huge amount of variation between eggs in terms of size, pattern and colouration - even between eggs in the same clutch! These are two Common Tern eggs. (Picture taken under NPWS license)

This Common Tern didn't mind laying an egg just feet away from the hide I was in. (Picture taken under NPWS license.)

To give you an example of how crazy things are getting, there's a dirt track down to two of our study areas that's roughly 10m long - this morning there were 31 eggs along it! And not just at the sides but in the middle of the path too! So our egg-checks are like an obstacle course where we're trying to avoid standing on any eggs, while also dodging the aerial attacks of our feathered friends!

Common Tern - imagine loads of these guys making a lot of noise as they take turns in swooping down at you and pecking your head - All part of being a parent for them! (Picture taken under NPWS license)

We've had no new birds to add to our list, but we did have a new species in the form of a lot of Moon Jellyfish (thanks Chloe K.!) at the north end of the island on Saturday.

For the coming week we're expecting more and more eggs, and we should be taking the short trip over to the Bill to see if there are Terns nesting over there -  so expect an update on that in the middle of next week!

- Brian and Donnacha

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