Thursday, 11 January 2018

Up and walking

Managed to spend January 1st looking to kick start the list, firstly in the garden up to lunch time and then along the NDCP, so everthing was a 2018 and West Bangor tick. It was a breezy cold start to the year with heavy showers but 32 species were duly listed despite the conditions.

Colder and windier than it looks
 The garden produced herring gull, blackbird, collared dove, wood pigeon, dunnock, hooded crow, jackdaw, great, blue and coal tit, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch, house sparrow, robin, blackcap, starling and magpie. The coastal path started off with stonechat and grey wagtail which was a good start especially as the stonechat was a patch first. These were followed by rook, black-headed gull, common gull, shag, eider, carrion crow. oystercatcher, redshank, dunlin, ringed plover, black guillemot and turnstone.

January 2nd and another walk added lapwing, cormorant and purple sandpiper along the coast and moorhen in the Marina plus a sparrowhawk in the garden and a mistle thrush at the Rathmore shops. 

January 4th and the first day at WOW was one of the windiest and wettest to date. The wind was in the NW and blowing straight at the observation room windows so it was actually difficult to see out as the view was blurred by sheets of rain.

Looks better than it was, note high water levels!!
 Between there and Kinnegar I logged 37 species for WOW and 14 of these were added to the 2018 list bringing it to 52. There were grey heron, brent, greylag, shelduck, wigeon, gadwall, teal, mallard, shoveler, tufted, sparrowhawk, moorhen, oystercatcher, lapwing, dunlin, barwit, blackwit, curlew, redshank, turnstone, b-hd, common & herring gull, woodpigeon, robin, blackbird, stonechat, mistle thrush, coal, blue & great tits, magpie, hooded crow, starling, chaffinch, goldfinch and redpoll. Tomorrow's trip round the Lough is off due to circumstances beyond our control so birding will be very much ad hoc over the next week or so. This gave another chance to watch the garden and add bullfinch, linnet and long-tailed tit to the lists.

January 8th and a nice cold walk along the Lagan towpath from Lambeg to Shaw's Bridge did not produce the hoped for kingfisher but did add buzzard, little grebe, mute swan, wren, jay and song thrush to the 2018 list.

January 10th was very foggy but it cleared for an hour and I was able to walk the Seacliff Road end of the patch to Ballyholme and back.

50+ brent

Can't see Carrick.

  This added great black-backed gull*, great-crested grebe*, pied wagtail*, brent goose, guillemot* and grey heron to the patch list and four of these (*) to the 2018 list. An afternoon trip to Groomsport added black-throated diver and little egret to the 2018 total. 

Finally before I post, a second day at WOW/Kinnegar produced 43 species and upped the patch list and the 2018 list. WOW added meadow pipit*, pied wagtail, buzzard, mute swan, coot*, peregrine*, dunnock, eider, grest-crested grebe, goldeneye*, cormorant, red-breasted merganser* guillemot, black guillemot and ringed plover. 2018 birds are starred. Highlights were a plump of moorhen - over 80 of them, stonechat,  and 2 peregrine.

A plump of morhens

A spring of teal

A wigeon

Distant buzzard


72: Red-breasted merganser

Bangor West  

46: Guillemot

Belfast WOW

52: Black guillemot

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