Wednesday, 22 July 2020

July 2020

A quick update on whats happening with my Dublin bird projects.  

Adult Mute Swans

So far 165 adults have been re-sighted.  This is well down on normal years when I try and re-sight 200+.  (Last year it was 220).  However, there is still 2 months of this season left and I usually observe some missing ones in late September.  The late start due to lockdown is the main reason for this. 

This RAS project (Re-trapping Adults for survival) is now, after 7 years, feeding into the survival data of Mute Swans.  It is the only Irish projects that is providing this data.  Even though the scientific name for the project contains the word "re-trapping", I don't need to re-trap, the rings are just read.

Mute Swan Nesting Project.

Coming to an end for 2020.  I have started doing the data entry for all the nests.  Still looking for Cygnets numbers from all sites as I close Mute Swan nest records at 12 weeks after hatching - when cygnets can fly.   

Reports with date and locations are really valuable.  Examples from today

22/07/2020 Sean Walsh Park - Big lake - still 3 cygnets
22/07/2020 Naas Ponds CBXT CBPD - still 3 cygnets
22/07/2020 Naas Ponds CABV - Still 4 cygnets

Lesser Black-backed Gulls (LBBGU)

Surprised to see Scottish LBBGU nesting on Dalkey.  Only a 4th year so first year nesting.  Still colour ringing Juveniles and any adults we can.  
176:F From Scotland but breeding on Dalkey island in 2020.  Note plumage is 4th CY

Great Black-backed Gulls

I have a RAS also running on this species and again number of observations of Adults is down on previous years, mainly due to lockdown and Irelands Eye being closed for almost all of the nesting season.  Still hoping to have enough adults re-sighted to allow this season count.  The Juveniles ringed over the past few years have not helped by being mainly observed outside the project boundries, eg Northern Ireland Arklow, Cornwall, Spain etc.

1RJ From Irelands Eye but breeding on Dalkey island in 2020

572:D Walking away with its rings.

Herring Gulls

Projects take many years to set up.  We have been actively ringing Herring Gulls since 2017 and hopefully will have enough adults to start an accurate survival project in 2021.  So far we have been concentrating on juvenile survival stats between Urban nesters and Island nesters with surprising results.

I will update on other projects later.  Projects just don't happen.  A large number of observers report their observations which feed into the projects, so a big thank you to all those who assist with observations.