Colt, Rockabill, Shenick, St. Patrick's Islands

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A Black Guillemot on Rockabill

The Skerries Islands Colt, Shenick and St. Patrick's Islands are small lowlying uninhabited islands situated between 0.5 km and 1.5 km off the north Dublin coast. There are the remains of an early christian church on St. Patrick's Island and of a Martello Tower on Shenick Island which is owned by Birdwatch Ireland.

Rockabill is one of the most important tern colonies in Europe. Rockabill consists of two small, low-lying, granitic islets situated c. 7 km off the Co. Dublin coast. The islands are normally separated by a narrow channel but connected at low spring tides. The smaller island, known as the Bill, is very exposed and is sparsely vegetated. A lighthouse is situated on the main island.
From the NPWS website - see the website links.
Colt Island - Inis Coilt
Rockabill - Cloch Dábhiolla (two bill rock)
St. Patrick's Island - Inis Pádraig
Shenick's Island - Oileán Sionnaigh (Fox Island)

None found yet.

NPWS re Rockabill NPWS re Colt, Shenick and St. Patrick's Islands
Wikipedia - Rockabill
Skeries Historical Society
Shenick Island
Martello Towers
Rockabill Light
St. Patrick's Island

Skerries SeaTours
Visitors to Rockabill are strictly controlled

Rockabill - Breeding Birds

The islands host large numbers, breeding seabirds, in particular, arctic, roseate and common terns.
Bird Rockabill
Roseate Tern 611 pairs
Arctic Tern 89 pairs
Common Tern 610 pairs
Kittiwake 111 pairs
Black Guillemot 55 pairs
Source NPWS website. The figures indicate the scale of the poplulation.

St. Patrick's and Shenick - Breeding Birds

The Cormorant population was only established in the early 1990s and when taken together with the colonies on nearby Lambay and Ireland's Eye comprises about 35% of the total Irish population. Large gulls breed on Colt Island but there has been no census in recent years.
Bird St. Patrick's Shenick
Fulmar 10 pairs 25 pairs
Lesser Black-backed Gull 150 pairs
Great Black-backed Gull 1 pair 25 pairs
Cormorant 558 pairs
Shag 100 pairs
Herring Gull 150 pairs 120 pairs
Source NPWS website. The figures indicate the scale of the poplulation.

Overwintering Birds

In winter, the islands regularly support a range of species. The following counts are the average annual peaks over the five winters 1995/96 to 1990/00.
Bird Number
Cormorant 391
Brent Goose 242
Wigeon 205
Mallard 205
Oystercatcher 463
Ringed Plover 66
Golden Plover 240
Grey Plover (15
Lapwing 238
Purple Sandpiper 46
Dunlin 42
Snipe 27
Curlew 327
Turnstone 242
Blackheaded Gull 110
Herring Gull 560
Great Black-backed Gull 250
Short-eared Owl 'Several'
Source NPWS website. The figures indicate the scale of the poplulation.