Monday, 16 November 2015

A week of WOW

Patch birding has been very slow as November has seen shortening days and a lot of rain. Mild temperatures have hung on in there but there have been a few colder spells as winter kicks in. Having volunteered to help with schools week at WOW - or Belfast Harbour RSPB Reserve as we oldies know it - I am now definitely going to add a second patch to the 2016 challenge.

Late October saw a stonechat and 2 little egret turn up giving me my 100th species at the reserve. There is always a good selection of ducks and waders and during the schools week I logged 38 species. The highlights were over 100 greylag geese, 6 whooper swans, then a single bird, buzzard virtually daily, excellent views of snipe and a coal tit at the feeders. Most visitors and volunteers rarely see a snipe but the buzzard flushed 5 and they flew towards the observation room to land and one gave excellent views to everyone including one very fortunate P5 class who happened to be there at the right time.

Buzzard on the grass

Need I say more

Whooper at WOW

Whooper posing outside the window
The year list went up by two thanks to a Short-eared owl at Ballymacormick and a fly past by a Jack snipe while owl watching. I saw the owl twice, once sitting still for over an hour and then sitting on an islet and making a short flight. Always a delight to see this all too rare visitor.

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