162. Barnacle Goose
I was up in Donegal visiting my parents for our pre-christmas visit. So I was determined to see a Ring Necked Duck that had been seen on Loch Fern which is only half a mile from their house. The Lough itself is about a mile long and half a mile wide and only 9-10feet deep. The River Lennon runs into and out of it. In the past it has been very good for salmon, I even hooked one when fishing for trout as a teenager. I lost it after about ten minutes and have never hooked one since. Most years it has something of interest on it. The only drawback is that it isnt very easy to access. Well it was very grey and quite a strong wind and I couldnt even see one duck on the lough.
However when I was mentioning to Anthony McGeehan that I was heading upto Donegal he suggested I have a look at the New Lake in Dunfanaghy. Good Advice it proved to be. Dunfanaghy is seventeen miles from my parents and even though it was grey when I left by the time I was in Dunfanaghy it was a beautiful morning clear sky and bright morning sunshine. I parked alongside lake and was scanning the water for ducks; Mallard, Teal and Tufted and alot of Mute Swans. Then I noticed off to my right in a field alongside the lake a circular gathering of geese.
Barnacle Geese.Another tick for the year list. I had wondered earlier in the year whether I would see any or whether I might have to go over to Scotland to Caerlaverockto see them. I also spotted anothe duck which I suspect is a Tufted but could be a Scaup.
Am now back at home in Co. Down and instead of heading to church with in-laws I went out to Killard with the dog. It has to be the most miserable grey day for a Christmas day, so much so that I didnt even bother taking the camera. I saw a lovely Yellowhammer which would be the third this year and a first for me out at Killard. The Grey Plover wasnt at its usual spot and then as we were walking almost back to the car I saw three of them on a beach along with a Bar Tailed Godwit, a Curlew and some Oystercatchers but I think it was the Yellowhammer that made my day.
After the walk we opened our presents and surprise surprise I received some birding related presents. Firstly from my youngest son Charlie a cartoon picture he had drawn of me birdwatching which I was very chuffed with.I also received a very unexpected present from Jonny, the manager of the cafe I work out of. It is called 1000 facts on BIRDS I have been reading it ever since. I think in future I will post a new fact everytime I publish. I also received The Life of Birds 3DVD set by David Attenborough which I will have to find some time to watch. So all in all a pretty good Christmas.