18 July 2011

One good tern deserves another... and another...

Tony Murray writes and provides photo:

The plight of the Roseate Tern has been well documented over the last few years. The National Parks Wildlife Service (NPWS) has been involved in wardening the largest ternery in Ireland at Lady’s Island Lake, Co. Wexford for many years now. Since my move from Co. Mayo to Co. Wexford in 2004, this site has fallen under my responsibility as the Wildlife Ranger for South Wexford.

The annual tern wardening project generally involves management of the site, predator control and monitoring. The deployment of nestboxes, ringing and ring reading has also been done at other Irish, UK and French Roseate Tern colonies.

The task has got bigger and bigger over the last few years as our numbers of gulls and terns have increased. Mediterranean Gulls are up to 10 pairs and it has also been good news for all our tern species. Roseates have climbed from 66 in 2004 to over 150 pairs this year. Through ring reading, it is great to show the growth is due to 'home grown' individuals, but however some have relocated here from Dublin.

Our Sandwich Tern numbers continue to grow as well, with 1100 to 1300 pairs between 2004 and 2006. We are now currently just shy of the two thousand mark! Ring reading has again shown plenty of 'home grown' birds breeding but a couple from Inner Farne, Farne Islands, Northumberland and Strangford, County Down have been recorded recently.

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