Wednesday, 21 October 2015

70 up - birds not years

Having managed nothing in September I find myself mid way through October with three patch ticks and I have reached the 70 species I thought I would be able to make. Ringed plover was expected and over 40 at the Long Hole did the job. As yet there are no dunlin with them. Whooper swan flying in to Strangford over the house was a long shot but five did just that the other morning. Fortunately I was looking in the right direction at the right time. A female pheasant bursting out from under my feet as I walked along the coastal path was the least expected of the three. I did the same walk today and was fortunate to see a peregrine flying west over the coastal path. I also saw a wide range of coastal species, meadow pipit and linnet. The eider are back in force and there are black guillemot off shore.

While at the Long Hole looking for roosting waders- oystercatcher, redshank, ringed plover, turnstone and 5 purple sandpiper - I also saw four black guillemot flying in to their nesting holes along the road, behavior I have not noticed before. They sat looking out for some time and this one was unfazed my me taking a photograph on the phone.

Winter plumaged black guillemot
The garden continues to attract a few common species but is generally quiet. I still have hopes of siskin and redpoll in the garden and hopefully a diver off the coast, anything else will be a bonus. It is too late for patch shearwater and to date no brent have been seen and mute swan, coot and moorhen remain a dream.

Patch list:
68  Pheasant
69  Ringed plover
70  Whooper swan

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