Friday, 26 January 2018

The days start to stretch...........

First a few belated pictures from Round the Lough taken by my pal David. As you know he is a better photographer than I am and has a better camera, enjoy!!

Pied wagtail, stonechat & meadow pipit feeding on seaweed thrown up onto the road
Redshank and 3 greenshanks feeding in a field at high tide!!
Linnets in stubble (if you can see them)

Knot over the lough
Knot banked over

Late roosting egret at Castle Espie
Anyway on we go to last week and it is still light by 5.00 and the RSPB garden birdwatch is kicking in. I help round the local schools with the Big Schools Birdwatch and was at Bangor Central this year. No glaucous gull this year ( )  but lots of crows and gulls coming to fat balls and bread. At one stage we had black-headed gull, herring gull, wood pigeon, magpie, hooded crow, carrion crow, rook and jackdaw down at the same time. A good opportunity to educate the children about black birds as opposed to blackbirds, which can be confusing to Primary 3. Also confusing is the black-headed gull which doesn't have a black head - why not is the question? I refused to go down the line of enquiry that the head isn't actually black in summer but chocolate brown, we keep that for summer visits to WOW. The highlights were a goldcrest which gave amazing views to one P4 class as it acrobatically worked its way round an alder tree in the eco garden no more than 6 feet above their heads, and 4 long-tailed tits which entertained a P 6 class as they moved through a line of bushes. The attached photos show the odd bird and no pupils - not allowed!!

Compare black-headed gull.......

..... with herring gull

Note ice cream cone bill on rook
Attract grey squirrel with bird seed!!
WOW on Thursday of this week delivered 46 species and seven more for the patch  - knot, great black-backed gull, greenfinch, linnet, wren, goldcrest and siskin. The latter two were 2018 ticks and the goldcrest was a first for the site in around 20 years of visiting!! We had a one legged godwit amongst the millet eaters and good closeups of quite a few birds.

Jake the godwit


Dozy wigeon


Can you spot 5 species here?
 Anyway off on my travels again to Bolton, South Yorkshire and Northumberland where we hope to do a dawn to dusk round the Cresswell/Chevington/Hauxley area as per last year. Next post God willing will be mid February when it will almost be spring.

85: Goldcrest
86: Siskin: 
Bangor West
48: Redwing

Belfast WOW
54: Knot
55: Great black-backed gull
56: Greenfinch
57: Linnet
58: Goldcrest
59: Wren
60: Siskin

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