Survey of wintering land birds on North Bull Island, Dublin Bay
Abstract: 6th Irish Ornithological Research Conference 2013, pages 9-10.
Irish Birds 9: 648.
A survey of all land bird species wintering on North Bull Island was carried out between November and February 2011/2012 and 2012/2013, and may be repeated in 2013/2014. The objectives are (i) to establish the range of land bird species that occur in winter and (ii), to produce distribution maps for the most common species. The survey area covered 330 hectares and includes salt-marshes and areas liable to flooding by tidal waters. To date 35 fieldwork days have been completed. Of the 32 species recorded in winter 16 are known to nest on the island. Initial results indicate that some species e.g. wrens Troglodytes troglodytes and reed buntings Emberiza schoeniclus have notably different summering and wintering ranges on the island. Other species that are rare breeders on the island (e.g. robins Erithacus rubecula) are considerably more common and widespread in winter which suggests immigration by populations from the mainland or further afield. When winter fieldwork has been completed the bird data and maps will be compared with recently generated data on the breeding birds. A number of species have been selected for future monitoring in winter.