Saturday, 22 April 2017

Slow migration and holidays

Hadn't realised its been over a month but two weeks were spent in Bolton and then at home with family so birding outings were limited. Then gout  and sinusitis  struck me down so as I am not getting out and about as much as I would like. Wakening at 0500 to a dawn chorus is nice but not if your nose is streaming and a headache is kicking in. As a result my intention to visit both sites early took a back seat.

Before jetting off to Bolton I picked up a sandwich tern, swallow and greylag at WOW plus a garden bullfinch and two  garden chiffchaff. First time I have seen chiffchaff in the garden for quite a few years, so long I cannot remember. I also clocked a raven on a day out to Rowallane.

Bolton gave two outings to Elton Reservoir and Pennington Flash for a range of spring migrants - sand martin, willow warbler, white wagtail and singing chiffchaff. I also nailed cetti's warbler and nuthatch. Really pleased wih the nuthatch as I got it by song - call I didn't know, started scanning and there was a nuthatch calling and moving in the tree above my head. Re-inforces the value of knowing your common birdsong and then saying, "Hang on a minute, I don't know that one!"


Elton reservoir

Elton again

Tourists in Wigan!!
Back home things took a tern for the better with a sandwich tern off  Bangor and the first common tern of the year at WOW. That turned a dull grey, low tide lagoon into something a bit more exciting. Despite that I still managed 35 species last Thursday including a mallard with 8 ducklings, 3 tufted duck, nesting mute swans, 2 med gulls and 8 brent at Kinnegar. Nice to get brent and common tern on the same day - outgoing and incoming migrants!! The feeders are tailing off, still getting a range of species but much smaller numbers.

WOW has had good migrants passing through but you need to be there at the right time, they do not hang around as they are geared up to get north and breed. Autumn is better as they are in a less of a hurry and hang around more. Wednesday had common sandpiper, whimbrel and wheatear so I staggered in for my shift on Thursday  despite not feeling 100%, needless to say the birds had moved on. Re-inforces the old birding refrain,  "You should have been here 10 minutes/ yesterday/ an hour/last week........" - delete where applicable.

Hopefully as the anti-biotics and steroids do their job I will feel more like a dawn chorus at WOW to see what I can add to the list. One more Thursday at WOW then Majorca for a week and believe you me the cripplers are streaming through - red-rumped swallow or bee-eater anyone?


Bangor West
56: Bullfinch
57: Chiffchaff
58: Sandwich tern
  
Belfast WOW
72: Sandwich tern
73: Swallow
74: Greylag goose
75: Common tern
 
2017
121: Sand martin
122: Sandwich tern
123: Raven
124: Swallow
125: Willow warbler
126: Nuthatch
127: White wagtail
128: Cetti's warbler
129: Common tern

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