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A sizeable population of Black Guillemots nests in the quay walls around Dublin Port using old drainage pipes and other structures as a substitute for the natural cracks and crevices in cliffs. The distinctive features of these small black seabirds are bright red feet and white patches on the wings. They fly with fast wingbeats in and out of the Port low over the water. Their main prey, small fish, are abundant in Dublin Bay. In 2016 Dublin Port Company erected a series of wooden nest boxes for the birds to use while the redevelopment works are underway at Alexander Basin. The first of the boxes was occupied by a pair of Guillemots in 2017 in an area of the Port that they had not previously used. The success of these attractive birds will be closely monitored throughout the breeding season.
Text and photograph by Richard Nairn.
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