One of Europe's rarest seabirds has set up home at the east edge of the beach at Curracloe.
The little terns, which are most commonly found in Eastern Europe, have created a nesting area covering over one hectare in size at the popular beach.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Dept. of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have erected a number of signs requesting that visitors to Curralcoe beach avoid this particular area so the birds have a chance to hatch their eggs and rear the chicks without disturbance.
As the eggs and chicks are so well camouflaged they can be easily walked on. Furthermore, if the birds are disturbed or flushed from the nest it exposes the eggs and or chicks to predation from gulls and crows
In the past little terns have made their nests on the offshore sand banks and it is thought that they may have been over washed by waves at these locations and decided, given the reduced numbers of people on the beach because of the Covid-19 restrictions on movement, the new area where they have now established nests is more attractive and suitable to their requirements.