Working to protect one of Europe's most important Tern colonies, on Ireland's east coast.
Friday, 23 June 2017
Veni, Vidi, Census
Common nest goes from 3 eggs to 3 chicks.
Dr. Chris Redfern, Miley and Shane with Percy the Short-Lived.
we were delighted to host Paul Morrison and Dr. Chris Redfern from the UK as
part of knowledge sharing within the EU LIFE Project. Paul oversees the conservation of a number of seabird species
on the massively important Coquet Island. Coquet is the second largest Roseate tern colony in Europe. The island also supports over 12,800 puffins and many Eider
ducks, Common and Arctic Terns. Following the success of the GLS monitors used
on Black Guillemots here last season, a number of roseate terns were caught and
fitted with their own monitors. Chris and Paul’s expertise were vital in
fitting these loggers safely. These devices will track the birds migrations
using incident sunlight to detect latitude and longitude. Hopefully we will have
both these gentlemen back to recapture the study birds next year!
Roseate with GLS tag which will record its migration path.
recently completed our nest census which involves counting every tern nest on
the island whether Common, Arctic or Roseate. The official numbers are 2085 Common
nests, 1597 Roseate nests and 44 Arctic nests. A large proportion of these have
hatched in the last week so the island is crawling with chicks. We have high hopes this year to fledge more Arctic chicks than previous years. We have therefore started patrolling the colony early in the morning to deter predators from taking eggs or chicks in the more exposed areas of the colony. Arctics nest here in very low numbers so don't have the mob mentality of their Common cousins. This means they are pushed to the edge of the colony and more exposed to predation.