Sunday, 31 August 2014

Weekend Birding

My birding is now becoming slightly more restricted as I now head back to school, this year for the junior cert. This doesn't stop me getting out on the weekend though and so thats what I am doing.
    Yesterday (Saturday) I headed to Nimmo's pier in the morning to see what gulls and waders were around. All was quiet on the slipway with surprisingly low numbers of gulls to be found. I walked down the pier a bit and had a scan through a small flock of gulls on the playing pitches, I quickly picked up on a preening mediterranean gull but that soon flew off with the rest when a dog came barreling through. I walked on but didn't see anything until the base of mutton island causeway where I came across a tame wheatear. I took a few good photos of this bird before moving on. When I reached Grataan Memorial Park I was greeted by the overwhelming smell of rotting fish, I walked around to the beach and was greeted by a mass of gulls, all calling and scavenging on fish remains. This was where they all were!
    The birds were feeding on mackerel and sprat that had been trapped on the beach by banks of seaweed with the receding tide, the smell was overwhelming but I took some time to scan through them with the binoculars. The super flock had easily over 600 birds at a conservative estimate. These were mainly compo
sed of Greater and lesser black-backed, herring, common, and black-headed gulls but I did spot a nice juvenile moulting to 1st winter Mediterranean Gull. When I walked along the beach after the gulls had been raised by another dog I found several full mackerel and 1000's of fish skeletons.
    Later on in the day I visited a small local wood to see what was around. I was pleasantly surprised by the huge amount of common woodland species here, I had great views of Treecreeper and saw a few family parties of long-tailed tits and Goldcrests. I tried to get a good photo of the Treecreeper but in bad light the pictures didn't turn out great. Thanks for reading!

Wheatear, this image looks much better before jpeg compression view the original on flickr, here

This was only a snapshot of the beach. As you can see, lots of gulls

A nice med gull

Gruesome photo alert... Gull Food, this mackerel hadn't been found by the gulls yet

Winter plumaged Guillemot

Spot the treecreeper...
A male Emerald Damselfly, this is a new species for me that I saw recently near my patch

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