Friday, 24 July 2020

Still waiting for waders

Another visit to WOW on July 16th saw much of the same birds with no tern chicks as yet. It is still a bit wet but not flooded and evaporation is kicking in. The following selection gives a flavour of a July reserve and a July garden with finches and tits still raiding the sunflower hearts. No additions to the lists except a Mediterranean gull at Whitehead which was a first for Co Antrim.

July 16th

Arctic tern

Curlew

Godwit & curlew

Moorhen

Common sandpiper

Chaffinch

Goldfinch

Bullfinch

Nice pair of tits

A further visit to WOW this week (July 23rd) and a couple of pictures showing that the water situation is slightly better and  common terns are posing on posts. The tern situation is worrying as this time last year we had fledged chicks and this year we have not seen any at all and the terns appear to still be sitting on eggs. If we do the math we should have had fledged chicks around the week of July 19th providing they laid eggs around the end of May. That plus a lot fewer terns/nests than last year is ringing alarm bells. There are so many variables outside our control especially on the wintering grounds and at sea it is hard to work out what has happened, but clearly something has upset the balance somewhere. On the up side I added gannet, chiffchaff and little egret but am still missing a lot of waders which I should have added in the spring.There was a common sandpiper around as well as swallows and sand martins No more WOW for a couple of weeks as we are off to Bolton on a long overdue visit to the family. Hopefully a bit of birding will be squeezed in.

July 23rd

Common tern

2020
140: Common sandpiper

Bangor West
68: Manx shearwater

Belfast WOW
82: Chiffchaff
83: Gannet
84: Little egret

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