26 Aug 2006

Osprey again!

150. Tree Sparrow

I was on my way home from Belfast and stopped in the Quoile Hide at Collectors Bay this afternoon and there were hundreds of Mallard and little else. Then there seemed to be an uneasiness with the ducks and my first thought was there must be a Peregrine around but no there was a juvenile Osprey. I was well chuffed seeing my second osprey within a week and sixty miles apart, especially as I have not seen any in Ireland before last weekend.

This Osprey then dived at a fish twenty yards in front of the hide unsuccessfully, but what a sight. As it was rising some mallard and Teal flew off and out of the corner of my eye I saw a Peregrine stoop at one of the Teal missing it by millimetres. The Teal then landed a foot away from some rushes which it hastily made for. The peregrine then climbed higher and higher in the sky before yet again diving down at a pigeon which it also missed. This year I have watched probably ten attempts by a Peregrine to catch its prey and only twice have they been successful. Well needless to say after watching the Peregrine I lost sight of the Osprey also typically my camera is at menders so no photos.

Yesterday evening I was walking from my sitting room into Kitchen and glanced out of the window and there were four Spotted Flycatchers sitting on the garden wall flying off to catch insects and then flying back again. I assume they must have been this years juveniles. Another tick for the house list. They were then joined by a juvenile Robin and a Wren so a good evening it was. I wonder whether the Flycatchers had been nesting nearby. I hope so. I am now off to Killard with the dog as she hasnt been out alot recently due to being on heat. I bumped into a very old priest who walks out there quite regularly and he asked me the other day where she was and I told him. His response was " I am glad you are keeping her away from temptation"!!

Returned from walk with another tick for the year aTree Sparrow in a hedgerow which is on the whole very good for birds. There were Whitethroat, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Tree Sparrow. The Tree Sparrow is on the Red List that is to say it is

Globally threatened
Historical population decline in UK during 1800-1995
Rapid (> or =50%) decline in UK breeding population over last 25 years
Rapid (> or =50%) contraction of UK breeding range over last 25 years

So now I have reached 150 I need to get to 160 which was my target for the year. While I was on my walk I also saw for the first time in Northern Ireland a Clouded Yellow Butterfly


ciderduck said...

have seen peregrines about 3 or 4 times at the Quoile hide, but ospreys??! Very nearly cried when I heard it on flightline on sat afternoon, sat at home and no way to get out :(

Anonymous said...

Really enjoying reading your blog - brilliant stuff! - gerry,belfast.