Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Quite a lot to catch up on. First the Round the Lough on Saturday which started at dawn at Islandhill and finished there at dusk. We got 72 species and really did not miss out anything we expected to find. The record is 76 and the total species seen over 30+ years of doing this is 110.Bird of the day has to be grey plover which we worked hard for and finally got at 1615 in fading light at Islandhill.

Secondly a walk along the coast yesterday added four new birds, mistle thrush, wren (x3) and bullfinch were all seen at Strickland's Glen and grey heron along the coast. Bird watching in this area usually throws up 5 easy ticks in coot, moorhen, mallard, mute swan and heron. It was only recently that I realised that these would not be easy to get on the patch, although I have heron as a garden bird, it appeared early one morning looking for fish in the pond. The remaining four may prove challenging although I have seen mallard and moorhen in Strickland's Glen but not for some time. Time will tell if they turn up. If I can work Ward Park into the patch I will knock off a couple of them.

Finally extended garden watching today added  what can only be described as patch gold in the form of a splendid male brambling. I also had a male blackcap to go with my female.

The brambling proved elusive and was only there for a sort time. The blackcap is more regular but instead of feeding on the fat feeders as they usually do, this one favoured the grass under the sunflower feeder and the feeder itself. It was holding its corner even with greenfinches and linnets.

Blackcap, greenfinch & chaffinch
All in all a very satisfactory few days, now I need to find redpoll and siskin either in the Glen or the garden.

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