3 Sep 2006

I am trying to see this Lesser Yellowlegs that has been around for a couple of weeks.

No new birds for list.

I was woken by a text message saying the Lesser Yellowlegs was still at Dundrum Bay south. So grabbed my low calorie breakfast of 1 banana and headed out. (I have now lost 26 pounds in the last month and had to tighten belt by two notches so diet is working well! I only have another 24 pounds to go which I think will take a bit longer).Click on Image for larger version.

I arrived in Dundrum about 20 mins from the house and started to scan the seashore only to look up about five minutes later to see 6 birders (Gerard McGeehan, Shirley, Norma P-P and Carol UOH and two other guys whose names I have forgotten)on the other side of the road looking at something. Locked car and dashed across very busy road to the other side. It wasnt the Lesser Yellowlegs (Photo courtesy of Derek Charles who had texted me earlier) it was a lovely juvenile Spotted Redshank. It was fishing with its head completely under the water. It then flew over to main bay. I watched it for a little longer before I had to head off to Belfast as I was on duty again at the RSPB hide. Again I dipped on the Lesser Yellowlegs

When I got there there was virtually no birds on the reserve. A few blacktailed Godwit, A single Knot, a few Redshank, Shelduck, Teal, Mallard and a Widgeon and two Dunlin. Unfortunately I couldnt find the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper that had been spotted over the last few days. and photographed by Derek.

The excitement for the afternoon was a Peregrine catching a Godwit and a Buzzard caught a rabbit, which it proceeded to devour. There were four magpies very warily trying to get titbits with one of the birds grabbing at the buzzards tail. It didnt seem that bothered by them. This hide dishes out all sorts of excitement.

I really like volunteering at the hide you meet all sorts of people. The last couple of weeks I have had a guy called Damien in the hide and he is obviously fascinated by raptors. He goes and sees them in Sicily and soon going to Falsterbo in Sweden, which is reknown for being a migration hotspot. There was also a boy of about 11-12 years old who came in who was definately a birder of the future. He was really excited when I showed him the Knot as he hadnt seen one before.He then proceeded to tell me about his trip to California in the summer and the different birds he had seen. I asked him if he had seen any Hummingbirds as it was the one bird I remember seeing in LA twenty years ago. He then said he had seen Rufous and Anna,s which surprised me. He then asked me if I wanted to see his sticklebacks which slightly concerned me as I didnt want to leave the hide. So he rushed off and brought them back in and told me that they were two different species the Three Spined Stickleback and the Nine spined Stickleback.He was showing them to everybody in the hide. Not once did his parents come into the hide from their car! I subsequently found out that he is known at the other RSPB Reserve at Portmore Lough and nicknamed "The Professor" !!! He even found a Cattle Egret near Lough Neagh recently.

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