4 Jan 2007

Met a couple of Birders from Co.Cork today

Peregrine's Birding Fact The smallest hawk is the African Little Sparrowhawk, which is only 25cm long.

61. Scaup
62. Redwing
63. Great Black Backed Gull
64. Ruff
65. Green Winged Teal
66. Iceland Gull
67. Reed Bunting
68. Bar Tailed Godwit
69. Woodpigeon
70. Tufted Duck
71. Dunnock
72. Red Breasted Merganser
73. Pheasant
74. Long Tailed Tit
75. House Sparrow
76. Sparrowhawk
77. Wren
78. Barrows Goldeneye (Quoile River)
79. Lesser Scaup ( Clea Lakes Killyleagh)
80. Grey Plover
81. Tree Sparrow

I sometimes visit the Irish Bird Network on Surfbirds.Com and yesterday there was a post regarding the Barrow's Goldeneye and the Lesser Scaup which presently reside close to where I live. A Birder from Co. Cork called Sean Ronayne was interested in coming up to look at them. So I offered to meet him in Downpatrick and show him them with a bit of luck.

We met at midday and headed over to the Quoile. I first of all looked at the place that I have seen it regularly and there was a goldeneye but no Barrows. We then moved to a couple of other viewing points where it has been a regular visitor again to no avail. I then went with them to the Quoile Yacht Club again nothing apart from about thirty pintail flying in. Then we went to the Castle Island Hide yet again nothing. We decided to go back to the second viewing point near the Quoile Countryside centre still nothing. I spoke to one of the wardens and he hadnt seen it for two days. Now I was getting more worried. Its a long way to drive (360 miles) to miss out on a bird that is seen most days. I decided to have one last look at our original spot.Nothing! However Sean and his friend Paul were a minute behind me and caught a glimpse of a bird in an area we hadnt looked at and total relief it was the Barrows. Sean and Paul having just seen it for the first time.

We then headed over to the Clea lakes outside Killyleagh when we arrived there were a couple of birders already there. I knew one of them Dennis Weir. He had a friend up from Dublin. They had been trying to connect with the Ferruginous Duck at Craigavon and the Male Smew over at Portmore Lough, both of which I need to see. So now there were five of us trying to see the Lesser Scaup and after about fifteen minutes we were all but going to call it a day when Sean spotted it. Again relief!! They were then going to head off to Portmore Lough while I was going to head off to bed.

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