Sunday, 2 April 2017

April 2017 - Mute Swan Cygnets April 24th

April 29th 

A busy day checking Mute Swan nests, but still only 3 nests hatched,  which is normal for the end of April.

However, a visit to Howth, produced a surprising ring sighting.  In 2013, I colour ringed 4 Great Black Backed Gull Pullus.  I had not seen any of them since today.  Great Black Backed Gull, 3EK made a very brief and very welcome appearance.

Larus Marinus, Great Black Backed Gull at Howth Harbour.

April 24th

First Cygnets were Sean Walsh Park in Tallaght, where all 8 eggs have hatched.

April 22nd

This month has been Swans Swans and More Swans.  Reports of nests and our yellow coloured ringed Mute Swans are most welcome.  mute.swan.ring@gmail.com 
However, while out and about I am always on the look out for birds from other projects.  Today at Broadmeadows there were lots of Common Sandpipers including this Coloured Ringed individual.

/OM/ /RR/ Common Sandpiper at Broadmeadows
At Balbriggan where I was looking for an apparent resident pair of Swans, I had no luck with the Swans but I did record this Great Black backed Gull.

Ringed in 2013 on Irelands Eye, I haven'r recorded it since 2014!  All other sightings have been at Howth Harbour.

INTERESTING RECOVERY

The Cormorant that I read the metal ring of last month has come back at ringed 06/06/2002 on Lambay Island off the north Dublin coast. 32Km from ringing site.  Once again it was ringed by Oscar Merne.

April 2nd

A RAS (Retrapping Adults for Survival) is a methodology, where annual adult survival rates can be calculated.  As we use coloured rings we don't have to re trap any swan, we can just read the rings.  From April 1st to September 31st, I (with the assistance of a team of ring readers) try and record every Swan in the survey area.  Saturday was day one, and although I saw a lot of swans most were in long grass on the island at Broadmeadows.

Mute Swans at Broadmeadows
Using my new Nikon P900 meant that I got rings read, a few more that just using my old 500mm lens, but the battery like all new electronics doesn't last and today I went out and bought a 2nd battery!


I also visited Howth as I was quite near.  I was now using my old camera - Lucky I had a back up! Only 7 rings read.  I think all the adults are either on Nests or holding territory.
Light Bellied Brent on the Islands at Broadmeadows.
 I went back to Broadmeadows and read some more Swans.  They were slightly more obliging .  I also read some Brent.  This one HXRB hadn't been recorded in Dublin this year.  Ringed in 2007, it's life history is relatively short compared to most Brent
Mute Swans on the Grand Canal
An afternoon trip to the Grand Canal and another 10 read.  I also got reports from Bray and Newbridge, so 61 Swans recorded by day 2.  Hopefully another 200 to follow!

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