Thursday 1 June 2023

17 June 2023



Season now in full swing and really busy.  This is not my job but my hobby so mainly at weekends

Great Black-backed Gull chicks to be ringed

Herring Gull Chicks to be ringed

Lesser  Black-backed Gull chicks to be ringed.

And one of my favorite birds.  The European Shag.  

European Shag - Baby Dinosaurs

European Shag - Showing off new ring.

1st June 2023

Swan hatching has reached its peak.  Already in the survey area which is Dublin, North Wicklow and East Kildare there have been over 100 cygnets hatched.  I have more emails to go through (Can't keep up with replies, but I will catch up).

23 Nests hatched, but probably more.


Dublin Southside

Dublin Northside

Wednesday 24 May 2023

May 2023

 24 May 2023

What a busy month.  With Swans there are both hatchings and thankfully 100's of sightings of my project colour ringed individuals.  All to be added to database and entered into the BTO for my Adult Survival project.  I am way behind with all the correspondence but I do some catch each evening.  Apologies if you are left waiting for a report, I will get to them.  Likewise with hatchings, I have only 10 nests on my spread sheet that have hatched, so at least 6 more to verify and enter.

Tymon Park - Spawell or Wellington Road Pond

Herring Gull survival project is also in full swing.  We have had many hours of ringing and ring reading.  Unfortunately,  it looks like we will not get to Lambay this year, but 94 Herring Gulls recorded so far in Dublin  The aim was to get to about 200 individuals, more if possible.

For Great Black-backed Gulls, this year has been somewhat of a disaster.  As an apex predator, it looks like last winter bird flu has has a massive impact.  Shenick Island has gone from approx 50 nests last year to about 20 this year.  This sort of crash seem to be replicated at each colony I visit.

To date we have only recorded 50 of the target of 100 individuals.  They are just not around.  As with all species I do have many outstanding sightings to process, but there doesn't seem to be many new sightings on first review

Sunday 2 April 2023

April 2023

April 24th 2024

First cygnets hatched in Dublin.  Sean Walsh Park, Stadium Pond.  Only 2 visible according to my observer but more to follow, still in the nest.

April 2nd, 2023

This is my really bust time of year.  The Great Black-backed RAS and Herring Gull RAS kicked off on March 10th.  It has been shaping up for a disastrous season with numbers low and ring reads extremely low.  However, April 1st was a better day with 13 GB Rings read.  Hopefully, they are just late returning to Dublin this year and that Avian Flu hasn't decimated the population.

1PH, first sighting since March 2022.  This is quite typical.  They winter usually somewhere within 500KM some even winter in Spain.  


First one this year was a surprise.  At the Avocet Twitch in Broadmeadows, CDID photobombed a group photo at the twitch!  Photo from twitter @JohnC1809.  Really made me laugh. 399 more to find - minimum.

Sunday 12 February 2023

Migration Starting?

February 2023

I have started colour ringing Black-headed Gulls in my local parks.  On Saturday 11/02/2023 I recorded one at Bull Island.  What is unusual is that the Southside ones usually roost on Sandymount Strand. Daily travel is East-west. No record of going north south or south north before.  Movement usually starts late Feb.  Is this one on the move to its breeding ground already?

The movement distance is not significant.  I have ones from my Local Park from St Petersburg and Ukraine and everywhere in between.  The significance or oddness is the direction.  1,000's of Black-headed Gull ring reads and this is a first.

Monday 25 April 2022


I do many bird ringing projects, but time involved in these projects which is not my job, means I haven't been maintaining my blog.  At this time of year my following projects are most active.  I am still active on Twitter - @Graham Prole

Great Black-backed Gull - Adult survival RAS

50 Adults identified by colour rings, so far, in my survey area.  Many of my project GB are also being reported but outside my RAS boundaries.  These are used for my own statistics on survival. 27/05/2022

Mute Swans of Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow Adult survival RAS

159 Individual  Adults re-sighted.  Identified by Rings  27/05/2022.  Where are all my Swans?  I should be at well over 200 by this stage.  Last year I re-sighted 258.  Almost 100 missing.

House Sparrows - Adult Survival RAS

Urban, Island and Rehab Herring Gull Project

Mute Swan Nesting survey.  The focus of this page.  The number of nests fluctuates each year as does cygnet numbers and survival to 12 weeks.  Monitoring this is part of the adult survival data.  Understanding age profile v success rate and other factors is really important in monitoring this species.



Broadmeadows, Swords

CCJT & CBKZ (Missing Colour ring) have 2 cygnets _ Thanks Tom

Broadmeadows, Swords

CALP & CCVP with 4 cygnet - again thank you Tom


Russborough House Lake, Blessington, Co Wicklow

Six cygnets reported today!  Great news, thank you Mary.

Tandys Bridge, Naas, Co Kildare.

Nest is hatched but no sign of the family.  The un ringed pair and five cygnets spotted at Lock N3 further down Grand Canal.  Thanks Deaglan

Grangecastle Business Park.  

Hatching yesterday.  2 Cygnets hatched but she is still on Eggs

Knock Lake, North County Dublin.

2 Cygnets.  Rings on adults still not read.  Thank you Phil


Waterville Park, D15

Still on Nest

Blanchardtown IT, Corduff - D15

Confirmed they have lost all their cygnets. :( 


Waterstone Park, Liffey

CAPJ (M) and female with at least 1 on her back.  Count is 1, unless further updated.  Thank you Jan


Castleknock Golf Club

CBKK + CBKL with 2 cygnets


Ballymount Park

Hatched, CBIB with 3 cygnets

Rathcoole Park

Still turning her eggs.  Couldn't see the male today.

Grangecastle Business Park

Still on eggs

Corkagh Park, Fishing Lake

Interesting:  Nest empty.  Male patrolling.  Pen and Cygnets may have been on the Island out of view.


Island Bridge have hatched - Four Cygnets in the rowing clubs pictures

Phoenix Park, Peoples garden.  5 Cygnets - Thank you Niall


Lakeside Newbridge

2 Cygnets - final count.  (CATL) Thanks Deaglan

Naas Ponds

CBPD & CBXT  7 Cygnets Thanks again Deaglan

Citywest Business Campus.

Of the 7 hatched last week, there are 5 remaining.  CCSS has taken them down to the lower pond.  Cob CCAJ has remained at the lake they nested on at Lake Drive.

Waterville Park, Blanchardstown

CCLZ is still on eggs.  


Poppintree Park, Naas Harbour, Naas Ponds Hospital, Tandys Bridge are all still on eggs.  Very unusual for the Kildare nests not to be first to hatch.

17/05/2022 Ballycragh Firhouse

4 Cygnets yesterday but only 2 left today. :( 

17/05/2022 Turvey Ponds, Rogerstown

4 Cygnets recorded today.  Thanks Jan

15/05/2021 Tymon Park Spawell (Wellington Road}

CCFF & CCFH have 5 cygnets

12/05/2022 Tymon Park, Limekiln Top Lake

CABF & CABD have 7 cygnets today.  (Known as Diarmuid & Grainne)  Thanks Brian

11/05/2022 Tolka Valley Park

CCPN with 6 cygnets.  Thank you Caoimhe

08/05/2022 Fr Collins Park, Donaghmede, 

4 Cygnets and  1egg remaining.  Thank you Tom

07/05/2022 Sean Walsh Park - Big Lake

Now only 4 Cygnets 

07/05/2022 Park West, Liffey Filters.

Two cygnets hatched apparently yesterday.  2 unhatched eggs left.  

07/05/2022 Blanchardstown IT, Corduff, Blanchardstown, D15

One hatched last night and was off with Cob and all fluffy.  3 Hatched between 10 & 11am.  One egg still to go.

07/05/2022 Waterville Park, Blanchardstown.

Still no sign of hatching.  They failed to hatch any last year, so keeping fingers crossed.

06/05/2022 Lakeside, Newbridge, Co Kildare

2 Cygnets but female still on eggs.  CATL.  Might be 2 nests.  Thanks Deaglan.

04/05/2022 Tymon Park, Dublin 24

I got a message to say 7 cygnets in Tymon Park.  Tymon Park, Limekiln big lake. CACJ & CACI (Known as Bonnie and Clyde)

03/05/2022 Bushy Park, Terenure, Dublin 6

5 Cygnets - Thanks Gregory

29/04/2022 Sean Walsh Park Big lake.

CBLK pen with 5 Cygnets.  DHE -Thank you

25/04/2022 - UCD Reilly Lake

Un-ringed pair - 3 Cygnets 

06/05/2022 Still 3 cygnets

24/04/2022 - Sean Walsh Park, Dublin 24, Stadium Lake

Cob Yellow CCHJ & Pen CBKS - 7 Cygnets

Monday 31 May 2021

2021 Mute Swan nests in my study area.



It is gradually coming to the end of the Swan hatching season.  Below is yet another update.  

Mute Swan nesting in 2021 seems to be an odd year.  Lots of nests but low production.  

Rathcoole Cygnets hatched as did Goldenbridge / Davitt Road among others.  However, War Memorial Gardens appear to have hatched and lost all 7 in the first 3 days.  Lots of Swans and nests is not always a sign of a healthy Swan population.  The age profile is a key factor.  Presently we have a lot of young inexperienced swan parents.  A more accurate reflection will be the 12 week old Survey.  

Rathcoole Park Cygnets

Chart updated 06/06/2021.  

Wednesday 3 March 2021

March 2021

 March 2nd 

So the movement of Black Headed Gulls has started.  I am not allowed to go to the coast to read rings at the roost but I can read them as they stop for a few days rest on their journey.

JHP9 was actually present on 28/02/2021 but the ring is so badly damaged I couldn't read the last digit

From Oslo and Winters in Galway.  This Black-headed Gull is on migration.

The usual suspects were also present.  X2VC who winters at this point on the Grand Canal in Dublin and the other Norwegian Black Headed Gull.  JLR4