Friday, 19 June 2020

Deja vu

I am trying to get back into the routine of visiting WOW on a Thursday morning even though I can only visit the two open hides and wander round Kinnegar. Unfortunately since I was last there two weeks ago the water has disappeared and we are looking at a rerun of 2018 when the reserve was dry from late July until October. This year it has dried up in mid June and the tern islands are high and dry. I have managed to add swallow, swift and house martin to the WOW patch but the chances of migrant waders in autumn are not looking good without significant rain. Here are a few pictures (windows still not cleaned) plus two orchids from Kinnegar.

June 4th

June 18th


Black-headed gulls, chicks and terns

Curlew and black-tailed godwits


Pyramidal orchid

Common spotted orchid?

The garden continues to keep us entertained as we have families of blue, coal and great tits visiting the feeders and the goldfinches have suddenly decided that niger seed is  the must have delicacy - the feeder is being re-filled daily. My birding buddy David with the good camera visited recently for a socially distanced lunch so the first five photos are his.

Coal tit


Coal tit



House sparrow

Long-tailed tit family

Blue tit

Herring gull


I suppose the herring gull and the rook need an explanation. I have been ground baiting with past their sell by date rich tea biscuits to try and get a nice magpie shot. Three gulls suddenly appeared and all hell broke loose. They are massive brutes in a suburban garden and they didn't hang around. The rook appeared later and was much more wary. I did get the magpie and also the local jackdaws. I'll try jaffa cakes tomorrow to see what turns up. Local walks have added manx shearwater, fulmar and arctic tern to the list. Tollymore Forest gave good views of dipper, grey wagtail and jay. The dipper is a phone photo. What sort of idiot goes for a walk without a camera?? Anyway there was an adult and a juvenile on the Shimna.


Shimna river also a bit on the dry side

I have also been woodland walking and looking/listening for woodpeckers. Unfortunately they were drumming while we were locked in. Now they are rearing young and not making a lot of noise so I will just keep trying. You only need to be lucky once.

131: House martin
132: Sand martin
133: Arctic tern
134: Manx shearwater
135: Fulmar

Bangor West
66: House martin

Belfast WOW
74: Swift
75: House martin
76: Swallow

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