Tuesday 16 June 2015

Portstewart Strand 15/06/2015

I usually find June to be a quiet month for ringing but with nice birds still popping up around the UK & Ireland, I dragged myself out of bed at 05.15.  It was a warm and cloudy day for the most, with the thermometer hitting 18°C by midday.  The winds were light southerlies, rising to c12mph by the afternoon when the sun came out. 


The scrub is now alive with the sound of young birds with Robins and Dunnocks in particular.  Other notable birds were the first Redshank (2) and Curlew (3) for a month or more; which may have been failed breeders on the way south, c20 Swifts feeding low over 'Grangemore' across the river and c170 Black-headed Gulls, which is way up on the recent dozen birds or so.  A new pair of Sedge Warblers have taken up residence close to the gorse nets which should hopefully breed.


The ringing is yet to pick up with only 12 new birds and 7 retraps but 5 new birds of the year is good to see.  I packed up west ride around 10 am and took an attempt at the small Sand Martin colony.  Watching the birds I reckon there are 7-8 active nests, 6-7 in a cluster and a single nest further over on the bank.  The two smaller banks further to the west that were utilised last year are empty this year.  I set a 9m 2 shelf net in front of the main cluster and caught 3 birds but the conditions at that stage were very bright and a little breezy.  The hope is to record interactions between the local colonies and perhaps pick a few of the birds in roost catches.
The Starling and Sand Martin are new ringed species for the site!       

Sand Martin

Ringing Totals 15/06/2015
                                        New         Retrap         
Blackcap                                             1
Bullfinch                                              2   
Dunnock                           3                 2                        
Linnet                               1
Meadow Pipit                   1
Robin                                1
Sand Martin                      3 
Song Thrush                                        1
Starling                             1
Willow Warbler                 2                 1                                    

Total                                12                 7 

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