Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dublin Bay Birds

Regular followers will know that one of the main objectives of this blog is to highlight colour-ringing projects in Ireland and encourage members of the public to keep an eye out for (and report!) colour-ringed birds.

One such study is Dublin Bay Birds. A massive collaborative initiative between Birdwatch Ireland and Dublin Port, the project is concentrating on investigating how waterbirds utilise Dublin Bay and the surrounding area.

As part of the project, several species will be colour-ringed to enable the lovely folks at Birdwatch Ireland to build up a database of resightings and monitor movements of individual birds around the Dublin area and further afield. 

Back at the end of January, ably assisted by a couple of Scottish reprobates known only as "Team Awesome", the team managed to catch and ring a huge number of birds...1,722 to be exact!

As part of this catch, all oystercatchers, redshank and bar-tailed godwits processed were also fitted with colour-rings, which will enable individual birds to be identified in the field. 

Colour-ringed redshank
Photo by Niall Tierney

A small number of birds were also fitted with radio transmitters which will allow BirdWatch staff to track their movements using a VHF radio receiver

Helen & Niall from BirdWatch Ireland tracking in Dublin Bay

This is a fascinating project and I will be following it closely as it develops over the next few years. If you'd like to learn more about Dublin Bay Birds, you can visit their project blog by clicking here or the link on the right-hand side of this page.

Most importantly, keep an eye out for colour-ringed waders and report your sightings here.

Many thanks to Niall for letting me use the photos and good luck with the project!

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