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13 May 2012

First Kestrel chicks of the Year!

The busiest time of year in terms of Kestrel monitoring is just around the corner, and we'll have our work cut out locating and visiting nests throughout Duhallow in the coming weeks. This morning John Lusby was checking nest sites in Connemara, where himself and NPWS Rangers Aonghus O'Donaill and Dermot Breen have spent a lot of time searching for nests and learning about the local population. The clip below shows John visiting a tree nest in Connemara. Aonghus O'Donaill pinned down this territory last summer and together John and himself ringed three well developed and fiesty young on the 24th April - the earliest brood of the year. It seems the pair is following the same pattern again this year, with five chicks from six eggs already hatched. Normally John would use specialised tree cimbing and safety equipment to access nests, but as tree nests go this one's a doddle, and can be safely climbed without ropes.

Kestrel chicks, 11th May 2012 (Video: John Lusby, under licence, NPWS).

Six eggs is a great clutch for Kestrels, hopefully we will have similar findings when we visit the nests in Duhallow soon. We'll upload some footage of the first Duhallow born chicks as soon as they hatch.