Wednesday 24 April 2024

Pre-surgery catch-up

The surgery has been coming, as limited mobility kicks in and I had to bite the bullet and go for it. We are talking a double hip replacement. Hopefully I will be back in action before all the spring migrants have passed through so it is just right to do a quick update of where we are now. 

We will start at WOW which has been slow to drag itself out of winter. All seven winter ducks are still around, although teal and wigeon numbers are in single figures. Water levels are as high as I have ever seen them so waders are limited to black-tailed godwits with small numbers of anything else. Spring migrants are not hanging around in their rush to get north. Mediterranean gull numbers are well down from the 5 pairs of 2023, to one or two calling individuals. We suspect last years bird flu has had an impact. A pair of gadwall have been showing very well in front of the observation room and there have been up to 400 black-tailed godwits round the reserve so we are always checking for rings. I managed a walk to hide 2 by arriving early one day and had wren and blackcap in song. I also saw a common sandpiper and a swallow - both firsts for 2024 as well as WOW.


Colouring up nicely

The lonely Med gull

Common sandpiper

The garden  is still pulling in finches including linnets. I was playing with the Merlin App and it registered linnet. I thought "Well that's a mistake", and one landed on the feeder thirty seconds later. The feeder is still being emptied every 3/4 days, so birds are still feeding.




House sparrow


The coastal path also added a few ticks one afternoon. I drove down, parked up, walked to a bench and set the scope up with the aim of waiting for a sandwich tern which I normally see in mid March. The sandwich tern duly flew past but I also added guillemot, razorbill, gannet and lesser black-backed gull as well. 

Next stop Dublin and there may well be a spell of radio silence. I should be able to put up a few photographs of the feeders even if I don't get anywhere else for a while. 

128: Wheatear
129: Razorbill
130: Sandwich tern
131: Common Sandpiper
132: Swallow

50: Razorbill
51: Gannet
52: Guillemot
53: Sandwich tern
54: Lesser black-backed gull

63: Mediterranean gull
64: Wren
65: Blackcap
66: Common sandpiper
67: Swallow

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