Sunday, 3 May 2020

Lockdown edition part 4

Basically more of the same with fewer birds in and around the garden. It is reaching the stage where there is not a lot visiting the feeders as there is more food in the parks, fields and gardens. I think I only get a few adults topping up their own appetites with suet pellets, fat and sunflower hearts. I only have a couple of feeders up (sunflower hearts and fat balls). The garden list hasn't moved for two weeks despite searching the skies for swifts, swallows and martins. Here's the latin name for these birds. Six I knew (sad), two I had to look up. Interesting seeing the dunnock (prunella modularis) at the feeder. I think it is because it is cheap sunflower hearts from B&M which have lots of tiny bits in rather than whole seeds. My thinking is that some bits are so small the dunnock can eat them. I had to clean the feeders if they got wet, as the bits/dust clogged the feeder and I ended up winnowing the sunflower hearts before I re-filled the feeder. Note to self next year - buy decent hearts and try not to save money.

Pica pica
Erithacus rubecula
Fringilla coelebs
Sturnus vulgaris
Prunella modularis
Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Carduelis carduelis
The coastal path is essentially the same as it gives the same birds with a few minor variations on each walk. The birdsong remains stunning but I have missed song thrush and greenfinch from areas they used to sing from, although there were two song thrushes on the golf course this morning and a mistle thrush as well. We also got a good look at a fox before it saw us and dived into a bramble patch and disappeared.  Blackbirds, dunnocks, wrens, blackcaps, robins and chaffinches dominate the songsheet with occasional excerpts from blue, great and coal tits. The chiffchaff and blackcaps are singing in the glen. Sandwich terns are around but I am still waiting for common or arctic to turn up. With WOW closed I don't have the heads up from Chris as to when they have arrived. I have at last added swallow to the list as well as a male and female reed bunting along the coastal path. This morning saw a patch gold megatick for West Bangor when 7 shelducks flew west up the coast. I have never seen shelduck on the North Down patch  and they became bird number 91 on the patch list. They are common at WOW in winter but let's not dwell on past glories.

Next post we'll look at a few Ulster-Scots bird names for a bit of light relief. 

2020
125: Razorbill
126:Swallow

Bangor West
60: Razorbill
61: Swallow
62: Reedbunting
63: Shelduck

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

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