25 Jan 2007

A stunning day and a new bird for my Garden List ( Lesser Redpoll) and a nice surprise out at Killard.

Peregrine's Birding Facts: The Hoopoe lines its nest with animal excrement, I wonder whether this is how it got its name!

100. Knot
101. Whooper Swan
102. Lesser Redpoll
103. Skylark
104. Barn Owl
105. Whimbrel
106. Merlin

After work I stopped off at Castle Espie WWT centre with the idea of seeing a Little Egret but was unsucessful however I did see a large flock of Knot off one of the hides which was nice. They fly very close to each other almost as one. After Castle Espie I went to Island Hill which is right at the top of Strangford Lough to see if I could see the Egrets or even a Peregrine yet again lucked out but I did see about fifteen Whooper swans feeding on one of the fields.

On arriving home I walked into the house and immediately noticed a different bird on the nyjer feeder; my first impression at a distance was probably a siskin as I have yet to see them this year. But on closer examination it had a red patch on top of its head and slightly pink breast feathers. It was a Redpoll This was new to me at Myra Road so I was really pleased. It has subsequently visited regularly ever since.

It was such a stunning day cold , very clear blue skies that I decided to take the dog out to Killard. When I got there, there was a flock of Tree Sparrows in the hedgerows which was great as they are becoming quite scarce .

As I was walking round from the beach back towards the car I saw an Otter cavorting in the sea. I quickly took some long distance photos and decided to try and get closer to it. The main problem was that the most accesible piece of the seafront was directly in line with the sun and where I had last seen it. I waited for half an hour lying on my belly but no luck. I was very pleased to see it nevertheless as I havent seen one out there for a couple of years. I found two dead otters after a bad storm last year and it had been on my mind as to whether I would see them out there again. My disappointment at not seeing it again was tempered by the fact that a Great Northern Diver appeared about fifty yards out. Some days when you are birding it all seems to come together.

As I neared the car a male Stonechat was flying close by and I got some nice pictures of it on a lichen covered rock.

I am definately getting behind in writing up this blog. When I do not have time I quite often just write the title and then come back to it. Today its the 30th and I am catching up with last week. I have been extremely tired of late not helped by the fact that I took my youngest son Charlie to Dublin on friday evening to go and see a band called Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. It has probably one of the best Bass Guitar players in the World "Victor Wooten"
and as my son is mad keen on the bass and quite an accomplished player for a fourteen year old we had to go and see them.So I got up at 2.35am went to work finished work picked up Charlie drove two and a half hours to Dublin watched concert left Dublin at 11.45pm got to bed at 2.00am and got up again half an hour later to go to work. Which is the reason I have been unable to get settled down to blog without falling asleep!

Yesterday I was driving a couple of hundred yards from the house when I noticed alot of finches or so I thought on the telephone wires. I looked through my binoculars to find that there were fourty four Yellowhammer. Last year I spent ages looking for them with very little success and now they are on my doorstep in large numbers.

This morning at about three am I was driving to work and saw my first Barn Owl in Northern Ireland which gave me a nice start to the day. I am now heading back out to Killard.

Am back now and added a Merlin and a Whimbrel to the years list excellent!

1 comment:

david said...

Well, the hoopoe's name actually comes from its call. : )

I really like the Stonechat picture.