Thursday, 18 February 2021

Half term report - must do better!!

Not out and about as much due to lockdown and staying home. Apart from exercise, which has to be local, we have not really been anywhere. I managed a brief trip to WOW and added nine species I had missed earlier in the year. Really it is stuff I would have mopped up in early January if I had been going regularly. I also cleared up lapwing, curlew and rock pipit from the local patch as well as a Mediterranean gull in the Marina with a load of black-headed gulls. The real bonus was a kingfisher at the Long Hole which has been over-wintering and been around since November. I only heard about it in mid January and managed to see it twice before deciding a photograph would be nice. Unfortunately my arriving with the gear coincided with the very cold easterly wind and below zero temperatures and the kingfisher vanished and has not been seen for about ten days. Either it succumbed to the cold or it moved on. It had been successfully fishing on a rising and falling tide and roosting in the Marina. It became quite a local celebrity and featured on the local facebook page as it had a couple of favourite perches which allowed good photographs without spooking it. Here is a link to the Long hole Facebook page and a lot of good shots of a very approachable bird - a female nicknamed Queenie! Best looked for about an hour and a half each side of low tide when it can see the bottom and therefore the fish.

Long Hole on a rising tide

High tide at Long Hole
I added fieldfare, trecreeper and raven while out exercising but otherwise it has been garden birding with the RSPB garden birdwatch and the on-going Birdwatch Ireland winter garden survey which has two weeks to run until the end of February. The east wind put the numbers down, as the garden is not well sheltered from an east wind. Having run out of mince pies I was putting down out-of-date gluten free chocolate digestives which proved very popular with herring gulls, jackdaws, magpies and hooded crows. I still have three blackcaps  and a varying number of other birds, even the siskin has stayed around. I have counted 12 blackbirds at one time but there are almost certainly more as they are always on the move and in under all the bushes

Blackbird central

Where's the biscuits?

Jackdaws, woodpigeons & magpies looking for biscuits

Long hole rock pipit

Interesting couple on the feeder



82: Mediterranean gull 
83: Fieldfare 
84: Raven 
85: Treeecreeper

49: Curlew
50:Rock pipit
51: Mediterranean gull
52: Kingfisher
53: Lapwing 

 31: Grey heron
32: Shoveler
33: Goldeneye
34: Lapwing
35: Common gull
36: Great black-backed gull
37: Woodpigeon
38: Blackbird
39: Blue tit

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