Sunday, 5 April 2020

Lockdown edition part 1

How many parts of this are we going to have? This week we have managed to walk the coastal path four times in eight days and it has been different every time tidewise and weather wise making it an interesting walk. We had a warm sunny day, a cloudy still day with a millpond sea and two cold windy days with a choppy sea. I managed to add two patch ticks in the form of curlew and jay. WOW is off limits and I think like most other birders I will be well short of any target I try for. The Patchwork Challenge website is closed as well till the lockdown finishes. The coastal path however is still accessible for our daily exercise as it is a short walk from the house,  and with luck I can reach the 70 or so I aim for every year. One walk gave the unusual site of an eider in the Marina along with a more expected black guillemot.  I finally heard a long-eared owl, well off patch mind you, but nice to hear it on a calm still evening. I also heard a chiffchaff in the local country park - within walking distance - so that cheered me up.

Eider chilling in the marina

Black guillemot
Recently I combined my daily exercise with a dawn chorus so I set off at 6.10 and walked along the coastal path and back. Well worth it as I got 31 species including the first sandwich tern of the year, sparrowhawk, brent geese, turnstones and a host of singing birds. There were wrens everywhere closely followed by dunnocks, blackbirds, robins and chaffinches. The highlight songster was a singing linnet. 

I have seen better sunrises

From the deserted golf course
121: Long-eared owl
122: Chiffchaff
123: Sandwich tern

Bangor West
55: Curlew
56: Jay
57: Sandwich tern

Belfast WOW
67: Red-throated diver (Stalled since March 19th)

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