Peregrine's Birding Facts The Heaviest ever domestic Turkey weighed 39kg as much as a 12 year old child!!!
Wow I have now been doing this for exactly a year and for somebody with not great will power and many half finished diaries over the years I am extremely chuffed!!! Maybe its because of the subject. BIRDS, BIRDS and more BIRDS. I find it very rewarding especially when you get a message saying that so and so really enjoyed reading it or somebody saying I really liked that photo.
I get between twenty and sixty hits a day with twenty percent being previous visitors so its a start. Sometimes I think what am I going to write about but generally something comes along or I go out and take a nice photo. Infact I think this blog has encouraged me greatly to go out and take photos of birds. Some of my better ones are HERE and here are some I have taken in the last week or so.
The highlights of my year are first of all volunteering for the RSPB at the Belfast Harbour Reservewhich I do every other Sunday and in so doing have met many birders.
One of whom is the warden Anthony McGeehan somebody who has encyclopeadic knowledge of the bird world.He also has a great sense of humour. I have learnt an enormous amount from him and we are both into bird photography. He has also done wonders with the reserve over the last ten years if there was somebody who deserves an MBE for services to the Natural World it is he. I think the powers that be in the RSPB should recognise this and put him forward for the award.
Other highlights are taking really good photos or just watching bird behaviour in excellent light. The evening that I saw the two cranes and the osprey on Lough Beg near Toomebridge, or sitting in the Castle Island Hide and having an Osprey diving twenty feet in front of the hide. Magic. Seeing a Yellowhammer in the hedge in front of my house after many hours trying to see them. The Peregrines and the four young below Scrabo, Newtownards. Seeing Northern Irelands first Montagues Harrier fly twenty feet in front of the hide.Sitting in a garden in Donegal ten minutes before I head back to Co.Down and seeing a female Redstart for the first time. Meeting Ian Wallace. The Whinchat out at Killard. The Red Throated Diver just a few yards offshore in full summer plumage off Portrush. Holding a Dunnock in the hand at my recent bird ringing weekend. Taking Pickle the dog out to Killard and having her run round while I bird.
There also have been some lows as well. The days that it is so grey that you wouldnt dream of taking the camera out of the house. Finding the cat had killed the Grey Wagtail that had spent five months attacking the car.(Cat now rehomed and not in the sky!!) The Ringed Plover nest trampled on by unsuspecting walkers. Going to the hide in Belfast in torrential rain and barely being able to see out the window. Dipping on various birds such as the Long Billed Dowitcher in Co louth and the Forsters Tern in Belfast by a minute. Watching a magpie kill a lapwing. The litter out at Killard. Lack of management of water levels and environment at the Quoile's Castle Island Hide. ( I intend to write about this in further depth in a future post.)
I must also thank Derek Charles for pointing me in the right birding direction every now and again and I must also thank YOUthe reader for reading my observations. Thank you