Lough Neagh Tern/Black-headed Gull Live Stream Project

Lough Neagh Partnership has installed a Livestream camera on the old Torpedo Platform at Antrim Bay in Lough Neagh. This will enable closer monitoring of two Amber listed species -the Black-Headed Gull and Common Tern which nest on the platform every year. This livestream means that everyone can follow the birds and everything that happens throughout the breeding season. The Torpedo Platform is one of several breeding sites around the lough all of which are surveyed and monitored on a regular basis by the Lough Neagh Partnership Team.

In addition to the installation of Livestream. Lough Neagh Partnership installed a replacement barrier around the perimeter of the Platform to help reduce chick mortality and improve productivity at the site. The partnership has also funded Antrim Boat club to purchase three new marker buoys which will allow them to set a new racecourse and reduce disturbance during the breeding season. Boat users are requested to stay at least 100m from the site during the breeding season (15 March – 31 July).

Common Tern (Sterna Hirundo

UK Conservation Status: Amber

Common Terns have a black cap, long red-orange bill with a black tip. A summer migrant- the first Common Terns arrive from West Africa in April. They create a thin scrape in sand, gravel or short vegetation into which they lay 2-3 eggs. Common Terns often nest among other species like Black-headed Gulls, because of the aerial protection they provide from predators. They depart our shores for West Africa in late August/early September.

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

UK Conservation Status: Amber

The Black Headed Gull is a resident species and can be seen all year round. Inaccurately named, it has a chocolate brown coloured head during the summer months and a white head with a dark ear mark in winter. Adults have a thin red bill and red legs. Their nests are built on the ground and are comprised of dry grass and other vegetation. An average of 2-3 eggs are laid and the young birds fledge around 34 days old.

Lough Neagh Partnership is grateful for funding under the DAERA EF Challenge Fund and from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership both of which enabled this project to happen. The partnership is also grateful to Pontoons Ireland and Carnyx Live Stream both of whom helped us with the delivery of this project.