Friday, 12 April 2013

Raven mad

Just had a really enjoyable few days in Ireland with my eldest, Amy, visiting  Damian Clarke who's a ranger with the Wicklow Mountains National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Great to see NPWS flying the Welsh Kite Trust flag! Damian and I worked together on the Irish Red Kite re-introduction project so it was great to see so many Red Kites gracing the Wicklow skies whilst we were out there.

Damian and his colleague Ann Fitzpatrick have been colour-ringing Ravens for the past few years (amongst other things) and, as I used to do a few myself,  I thought it would be great to pop over and lend a hand for a while. 

Damian scaling a large Scots Pine

A four week old Raven chick

Brood of 5 with accompanying 'whitewash' - I'd forgotten just how prolific they are!

Although it was still a bit early in the season some broods were well advanced and we managed to colour-ring 24 chicks in two days as well as check a few Peregrines nests and collect clutch sizes into the bargain. 

On the way back to the ferry we dropped by a few birding spots and managed to read a few darvic rings - firstly on a Great Black-backed Gull in Wicklow town

and then on 4 Brent Geese on a Gaelic Football pitch in Dublin!

Many thanks to Damian, Ann, Mark and others for their great hospitality, good food, good beer and good craic! Hope to get back again soon.

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