As reported back in August, many of our tern colonies were hit hard this summer by a combination of poor weather and predation. The colony of Roseate Terns breeding on Rockabill, off Skerries in North Dublin has been going from strength to strength however. This is due to a combination of determined wardening along with the provision of hundreds of specially constructed nestboxes, the result of which being an all time high of 1,200 breeding pairs of this threatened seabird species in 2012.
Lots of birdwatchers contact us to ask if they can visit Rockabill to see the tern colony for themselves. It's off limits to visitors however, but thanks to the team from RTÉ's Nationwide we are at least able to bring you the next best thing: this Friday's programme will include a special feature about the tern colony. Nationwide presenter Ann Cassin came over to Rockabill in July to see the chicks take their first flight, and the programme will also showcase the great work of BirdWatch Ireland and NPWS staff and volunteers, with contributions from our Fingal Branch and Balbriggan Community College students who make many of the tern nextboxes for us.
Tune in to Nationwide on RTÉ One at 7:00pm this Friday, 28th September as we bring you all the sights and sounds (if sadly not the smells!) of this incredible seabird colony.
Roseate Terns on Rockabill, August 2012 © Niall Keogh