Following good work by Brad Robson and Fionnbar Cross, Golden Plover has bred at the Aghatirourke RSPB Reserve in Co. Fermanagh for the first time since 2004. It is part of the Cuilcagh Mountain ASSI/SAC/RAMSAR site. Work began in 2008 on improving the habitat for the Plovers. Three square plots were cut by hand annually on relatively flat areas of blanket bog, which are preferred by Golden Plover. A 2ha plot was cut at 392m above sea level and two 1ha plots at 366m.
The 1985-1987 Breeding Wader Survey of Northern Ireland identified 12 pairs on Cuilcagh Mountain of which 4 pairs were on the Aghatirourke section. The NI population was estimated at 30-40prs in 1993. The current estimate is that there are likely to be less than 15pairs.(This blog does not normally post details of the location of breeding birds but this information was authorised for publication)
|Male Golden Plover - Brad Robson|