Thursday, 2 March 2017

Northern Ireland Seabird Report 2016

Well, it has happened again....another unforeseen break from blogging! I've managed to get back earlier than last year and will post some updates soon.

In the meantime, I recently got my hands on a copy of the latest BTO Northern Ireland Seabird Report. The report contains some very useful articles, in particular I was very interested in a paper by Matthew Tickner and Shane Wolsey, "2016 is a Record Year for Larne Lough Islands".

The RSPB-managed Blue Circle Island in Larne Lough is one of our study colonies and I was delighted to read that BCI is now the largest individual Black-headed Gull colony in Ireland with 3,050 AON* in 2016. The total for Larne Lough as a whole was 3,201 AON.

One of our other study colonies, Lough Swilly, was also in the top 5 sites in Ireland (see below) and of course, the colony at WWT Castle Espie falls under Strangford Lough.

It is very interesting and useful for anyone with an interest in ecology and other papers include an overview of breeding seabirds in Northern Ireland in 2016; information on the new East Coast (NI) Marine SPA; establishing a Puffin colony on the Copelands; and updates on monitoring at Lower Lough Erne and Lough Neagh.

Well done to those involved in putting it together!

AON in 2016
Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland
5,798 (over 8 colonies)
Larne Lough, Antrim
Lady's Island, Wexford
Lough Swilly, Donegal
Strangford Lough, Down
Lower Lough Erne, Fermanagh

Cover of 2016 Northern Ireland Seabird Report featuring a fantastic Shag photo taken
by Ronald Surgenor.

*AON - Apparently Occupied Nests

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