Saturday, 9 September 2017

Patches grind to a halt

Not a lot to report. I have had three walks in the evening to try and add manx shearwater to the list and have failed each time. WOW has turned up some nice birds but not on a Thursday morning. Water levels remain high and waders are hard to attract. The best on Thursday was over 200 house martin in and around the reserve, a sparrowhawk thermalling and two swift - late birds indeed as I have never seen swift in Northern Ireland in September. There was also a 100+ finch flock in the distance - too far away to be sure of what was in it. The total for the morning was 27 which was 3 more than I got in Italy and San Marino over 6 days!! The beauty of expecting no birds at all in Italy was the excitement of seeing even one. By the end of the holiday I had added 5 birds to the 2017 list including a Bolton tawny owl and a life first in great white egret on Terciello. I also spotted Italian sparrow in Venice, a black kite over the A14 and gull billed tern in Venice lagoon. San Marino came up with two totally unexpected jays. Venice was awash with yellow-legged gulls and Cesenatico managed a redstart in the park and a black-necked grebe swimming around the water feature which runs through the town!! Little egrets were quite common in Venice lagoon and in the park at Cesenatico but they are not the exciting bird they were 30 years ago seeing as I have seen one in the Rathmore Estate in Bangor!! Any additions to lists will now involve a lot of graft and a slice of luck even though there are three months to go - the joys of patch birding.

BNG with the phone, wasn't expecting a megatick en route to dinner.

Cesenatico yellow legged gull

Young gull looking for pizza.
 Interesting pic of the young yellow-legged gull is that it has pink legs, maybe I need to look more carefully at first and second year lesser black backs and herring gulls, or maybe life is too short and I will wait for an adult!

201: Tawny owl
202: Italian sparrow
203: Gull billed tern 
204: Great white egret
205: Black kite
Bangor West
66: Raven 

Belfast WOW
93: Greenshank

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