Sunday, 3 November 2019

Winter looms

As you can no doubt tell from the lack of posting there has not been a lot happening. The clocks are back, the weather is decidedly wintry and the passage migrants have passed. Time in Bolton was largely bird free. Time in Croatia was delightful but also not very exciting birdwise. Mind you sitting in 23/24 degrees was a nice reward for house sparrows and collared dove - the default birds around Cavtat. The trip produced nice views of jays and two year ticks in yellow-legged gull and white wagtail, both of which were expected.

WOW has settled down into its winter colours of grey and white, the shelducks have returned and the coots have largely gone.The coastal path has eider in abundance and the black guillemots are in winter plumage. Every other gull is either herring or black-headed and the garden has not been producing huge numbers of visitors even though all the feeders are back up. Goldcrest was a nice exception and the bullfinch appeared again after an absence of about 8 weeks, other than that there is nothing startling. I have had a cat problem and so I am not getting wood pigeons, blackbirds ot collared doves on the grass. I had to cut back some wild areas where it was lurking and snaring unwary birds. One morning I watched it attack and snatch a magpie!! I couldn't believe how quick it was and how it took the magpie totally unawares. I am going to have to think carefully where the ground feeder goes. Enough of this rambling and enjoy a few photoes from WOW.

One ruff

Two ruff

The knot were over at the observation room side, normally they are on the far side so it was nice to get a close up. All we need now is for the curlew and bar-tails to be as obliging. I also took a trip to the wader high tide roost in Bangor. Saturday was excellent with nearly 300 birds (171 dunlin, 93 ringed plover, 11 turnstone, 4 purple sandpiper, 1 redshank, 3 oystercatchers, 2 black-headed gulls and a herring gull)  plus a calm sea and good light. I decided to go back on Sunday where there was an on-shore breeze, choppy waves, poorer light and less birds moving around more, c'est la vie!

Ringed plover, purple sand and dunlin
Ringed plover & turnstone

Dunlin, turnstone and one ringed plover
Ringed plover, dunlin and a beautifully camouflaged purple sandpiper.
154: Yellow-legged gull
155: White wagtail

Bangor West
65: Wheatear

Belfast WOW

98: Stonechat

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