136. Carrion Crow
137. Arctic Tern
On April 21st I wrote in my blog here that I was really happy that our resident housemartin had returned from Africa. Well within the week a House Sparrow had taken over the nest. Infact every evening I reckoned that the Sparrow and Housemartins were sharing the nest but then it became obvious that the Housemartins had been usurped, much to my annoyance. I was saddened that they had come all this way to be evicted. Subsequently I have seen housemartins around but not as much.I thought that they must have moved to the farm that is adjacent to our house. Well I was mowing the lawn yesterday at the back of the house and I observed a Housemartin fly up into the eaves above an outdoor light and there was a new nest. It made my day. It is amazing with birding how little things like that absolutely make your day.
The weather today has been wet and miserable and as I was going to Belfast I thought I well I will pop into the hide on Belfast Harbour Estate. There wasnt alot to see today compounded by the fact that when I tried to photograph some Arctic Terns ( The first I had seen this year) I remembered I had left the battery in the charger at home. Doh! Anthony McGeehan did a very good job of explaining the differences between the Common and Arctic Terns to David (Todays Volunteer at the hide) and myself. There is no doubt in my mind that to watch birds with a very experienced birder can only improve ones own bird recognition, especially as in Anthony's case the knowledge is passed on so expertly. (This blog will soon be called The Anthony McGeehan Fan Club Blog!!)
Sometimes on Bird Forum there are really interesting threads and today I found a link to this bird identification quiz on a Bavarian website , which is in many languages including english. I am hooked. Try it if you know your European birds.