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New Survey of Clare Island Volume 9: Birds

New Survey of Clare Island Volume 9: Birds

Edited by:

Thomas C. Kelly

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The ninth volume in the New Survey of Clare Island series focuses on the birds of Clare Island.

The book invites readers to explore Clare Island's avifauna, including the seabirds, land birds and waterbirds, and to investigate the curious absence of breeding rooks from the island. This volume features a systematic list comprised of records of bird sightings that stretch from 1887 to 2018. The result of almost 20 years of fieldwork, it is an invaluable source for future monitoring of birds on Clare Island and beyond.

The first Clare Island Survey of 1909?11 was the most ambitious natural history project ever undertaken in Ireland and the first major biological survey of a specific area carried out in the world. The 'Birds' paper included in that survey was written by Richard J. Ussher and was based on fieldwork conducted on the island between 1909 and 1911. Ussher's 'Aves' paper, however, also summarised details of the avifauna of a wider area in the west of Ireland - mainly the Counties of Galway and Mayo - a theme that was revisited several times by the late Major Robert F. Ruttledge. The current 'Birds' volume focuses exclusively on Clare Island and applies modern methods of census.

The New Survey of Clare Island is a unique multidisciplinary project, the overall aim being to assess the environmental changes that have taken place over the last hundred years on Clare Island. Together with Robert Lloyd Praeger's first Clare Island Survey, the New Survey provides an invaluable body of research informing future conservation of natural and built heritage of Ireland and Europe.


'an excellent read and a "must buy" for anyone interested in natural history in lreland, evolutionary biology, and ornithology', Ricky Whelan, BirdWatch Ireland, Spring 2021.

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