Wardens “reintegrate” back into
described how they've had to get "reintegrate" back
into society after spending the entire summer on an
Irish island smaller than a football pitch.
Brian Burke and Donnacha Woods stayed on the
uninhabited Rockabill Island seven kilometres off
the north Dublin coast from May to August.
The BirdWatch Ireland castaways got a salary of €400
a week and free but very basic accommodation.
Rockabill wardens Brian left and
Brian from Co Roscommon
and Wicklow's Donnacha left the island last month
and returned to their mainland lives with some
"We allowed ourselves a week's rest to try and
reintegrate ourselves into society - meeting people,
seeing stuff like cars and crows for the first time
in months," said Brian.
They also relished "eating proper food, the luxury
of electricity, and the unfamiliar feeling of
walking around with little or no risk of being
attacked by common terns".
The two wildlife conservationists/zoologists are now
compiling their final report for the National Parks
and Wildlife Service.
Sunrise on Rockabill. Photo by Brian
Burke courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland.
After that, they will
be job-hunting and hope their unique work experience
on Rockabill will considerably boost their
Meanwhile, their final survey shows a new record
high for the numbers of the endangered roseate tern
breeding on the island.
They counted 1,250 breeding pairs of roseate tern
this season - an increase of about 50 pairs since
last year. Roseate terns only numbered 180 pairs
when the BirdWatch Ireland programme first began in