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New Survey of Clare Island Volume 9: Birds

by  Thomas C. Kelly
€ 30.00

Book Details

Published by Royal Irish Academy

August 2020


Number of pages: 160

ISBN: 9781911479413


PDF icon Advance Information

The ninth volume in the New Survey of Clare Island series focuses on the birds of Clare Island and was released on 17 August as part of Heritage Week. 

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.

Related news:
13 August 2020: New book: New Survey of Clare Island, vol. 9: Birds
15 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Barnacle Goose
16 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Corncrake
17 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Eurasian Whimbrel
18 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Willow Warbler
19 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Sedge Warbler
20 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Dipper
21 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Rock Pipit
22 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Yellowhammer
23 August 2020: Birds of Clare Island: Reed Bunting

About the authors

Thomas C. Kelly

Thomas C. Kelly is a retired lecturer in Zoology at University College Cork. He holds a PhD on the ticks and viruses in seabird colonies around Ireland and has published papers on bird - aircraft interactions, Long Distance Dispersal (LDD) and mathematical models of memory in predator-prey systems, novel virus epidemics in seabird colonies, and population dynamics of the woodpigeon and lesser black-backed gull.