Monday, 11 July 2016

Quiet homecoming

After three weeks plus in France I returned home to  a much changed patch. No birdsong, everything keeping out of sight, rampant greenery and very few additions to the patch lists. Nevertheless in the words of Edith Piaf " Non, je ne regrette rien". The passion,  fervour and sheer excitement of the Euros more than made up for a scarcity of birds.

Stade de Lyon
 The trip was not entirely wasted birdwise as I racked up manx shearwater from the ferry, and in various locations en route South I picked up white wagtail, redstart, black redstart, and black kite. Highlight was a stopover in Gap and a day off driving. We took a bus up to a chateau, had a picnic lunch, a walk around the  chateau,  and then walked back down into Gap. This gave good views of a pair of red-backed shrike and eight griffon vultures. Try sorting your bird of the day from those two.

Walk near Gap

View over Gap from the Chateau

 Belfast WOW was a haven of peace and tranquility with breeding common and arctic terns, Mediteranean gulls, black-headed gulls, mute swan, coot, moorhen, mallard, shelduck, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch and lesser black backs. The autumn wader passage has started, sorry,  I know we are still awaiting summer. There were 3 common sandpiper, 60 bar-tailed godwit and 35 knot this week.

Med gull with chick

Med gull

Black-tailed godwit
We are off to Bolton on Wednesday so hopefuly a bird or two there to boost the year list - I am still missing willow tit!!

WOW patch list:    
80 Sand martin
West Bangor patch list:
64 Gannet

2016 list 
168 Manx shearwater
169 White wagtail
170 Black kite
171 Redstart
172 Black redstart
173 Griffon vulture
174 Red-backed shrike


  1. Sounds like you had a great three weeks away I know you were off again on Wednesday, oh that's today. It all seems to be happening at the RSP B Center. My family are coming from Malawi tomorrow I would be staying to the end of the month.

  2. I'm very jealous of the Euros trip. Glad you had a great time and your country did you proud! Add to that the bonus of some great birds and it sounds like a perfect holiday. Willow Tit should be straight forward for you at Pennington Flash. I saw a few breeding pairs earlier in the Spring. 10 minutes in the Bunting hide and you'll have that tick.