A few more pics from a very busy few recent weeks between Golden Plover, Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine, more seabird surveys, etc. Mixed season for a lot breeding birds. The very cold and wet May seemed to have a bad affect on many species.Peregrines had a very strange season. In general they had their poorest year in recent years. However we had three successful pairs in West Galway. Despite the fact that there are several traditional sites in West Galway I only came across the first successful pair two seasons ago with just the same pair being successful again last year. The pairs in the quarries in East Galway had a particularly poor year. The handful of pairs that managed to raise chicks only had ones and twos. Taken all together the productivity rate was well below what it should be for a self-sustaining population. Here's hoping for a better season in 2016.
On the Kestrel front they didn't seem to fair as badly but we just didn't have the time to visit the same number of nests that we normally would.
I found three Merlin pairs this summer each producing four chicks each. One brood were only days away from fledging so were far to big to attempt to ring.
|Sandwich Tern (one of two) head found in a Peregrine nest, the only known successful coastal breeding pair this year in the entire county that we know of.|
|On the bog counting Golden Plover.|
|Roundstone Bog fording spot.|
|Had Merlin breeding on one of these islands this year, can you guess which one?|
|Kestrel nest site right beside a busy road.|
|Irene abseiling down for a clutch of five Kestrel chicks.|
|North Mayo coastline with the Stags of Broadhaven offshore. Heather cliffs here have breeding Twite, an increasing rare species in Ireland.|
|Portacloy, Co. Mayo.|
|Porturlin, Co. Mayo.|