Monday, 17 September 2018


Seeing as WOW is still dry and not producing a lot of birds, Kinnegar is worth a visit as you swing in and out of the Harbour Estate. There is a small stream flowing in to the sea at this point. It drains the marshy area betwen Holywood Exchange and the A2. This is the area bisected by the railway line  between Holywood and Sydenham. It usually has coot, moorhen, mute swan, tufted, mallard, moorhen, grey heron etc.. I am sure there are interesting birds in the reeds but access is either impossible, illegal, dangerous or possibly all three!!

Still a bit on the dry side
There is a causeway at the landward end of Kinnegar Pool accessed by a rough path close to the Clare House Overflow Car Park. Cross the causeway and you are into an area of reed and scrub which is good for passerines and spring migrants.

Causeway looking upstream towards B&Q

Causeway looking towards the lough
Where the river reaches the sea you can look upstream to the causeway or out to the Lough. At low tide the mud is covered with waders and gulls. At high tide they can roost on the shingle or on the lagoon. The lough itself needs checked for sea duck, divers, auks and grebes particularly in winter. The scrubby woodland around the lagoon can produce lots of small birds and apparently holds reed warblers - I have failed to see or hear them . The lagoon is good in summer for hunting/roosting terns and is a favourite hunting ground for swallows and martins. House martins and swallows collect mud here for their nests.

From the road looking towards the causeway

From the road to the beach
River mouth looking to Belfast at low tide
River mouth looking to the Irish Sea at low tide
Lapwing in the lagoon
High tide from the road

Roosting waders in the lagoon at high tide
The exposed mud at low tide gives scope views of a variety of birds - oystercatcher, redshank, knot, dunlin, turnstone, ringed plover, bar-tailed and black-tailed godwits, curlew, shelduck, brent goose, and up to five types of gulls. The lagoon holds mallard and teal with occasional shelduck, gadwall and tufted duck. Like any body of water it can throw up unexpected visitors. Roseate tern, little ringed plover and yellow wagtail have been seen. Lists have not been updated as there is nothing to update. NDCP has reached the expected 70 and WOW is on 93, hopefully some wintering ducks and auks will push it up. Until we get serious rain at WOW I am not expecting any exotic waders to boost the list. At the minute we are looking forward to returning winter wildfowl but are worried that they will go elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. yes no water at all in the WOW centre yesterday so my bird group fortunately had gone to Kinnegar where all the birds were. we also saw a Wheatear adn when we called into the centre to have out coffee apart from Moorhen, a flock of lapwings, we also saw a wheatear.