Tuesday 16 July 2013

Inis Meáin July Birds

I took a spin out to Inis Meáin on Saturday 13th July mainly to check to see how the breeding terns are doing out there this year. The island is usually home to good numbers of Arctic and Little Terns which all breed on the beach on the North side of the island. I was disappointed to say the least to find no Little Terns breeding and only single figures of Arctics breeding. This has become a regular fate of nesting terns here in Galway in recent years with many of the large tern colonies having disappeared and while these colonies can be ephemeral in nature with terns regularly moving to different islands we haven't come across any major colonies on any of the Connemara islands in recent years. Hard to know what exactly the problem is but I would tend to think lack of food may be one of the significant factors.
I was also out there to look for the rare Great Yellow Bumblebee which now appear to be only found out on the Aran Islands having apparently completely disappeared from mainland Galway, more on that later.

Only Little Tern of the day with Arctic Tern.

First-summer Arctic Tern, I've previously noticed near double figure numbers of this age class at this colony which is a little odd.

First-summer Arctic Tern.

One Arctic Tern still trying his luck.

Arctic Tern

Pair of Arctic Terns.

Arctic Terns

Sandwich Tern also seemingly still in the mood, a few acquiring winter plumage already though.

Adult Common Gull mid way through primary moult.

Pair of Common Gulls giving a Lesser Black backed Gull the good news.

Eurasian Oystercatchers

First-summer and adult summer Eurasian Oystercatcher.

Adult summer Eurasian Oystercatcher

Manx Shearwaters

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