Sunday 3 April 2016

A Change in the Birds

The change in the birds has finally arrived with five new additions to the year list at Portstewart Strand this morning.  A Chiffchaff was the first to appear, with a second unidentified Phylloscopus Warbler, probably another Chiff.  The other new birds included two Sandwich Tern, one Wheatear, one Iceland Gull and a Greenshank.  Lesser Redpoll and Black-tailed Godwit numbers have also risen, including a new colour ringed Bla-wit.


The ringing was a little slow and again the feeders were very important, accounting for all eleven finches. 

Ringing Totals - PSS 02/04/2016                                     
                                      New       Retraps          
Blackbird                        1      
Chaffinch                        1       
Chiffchaff                       1
Dunnock                                          1
Goldcrest                        1               2             
Goldfinch                        6
Lesser Redpoll                2              1                                                                 
Linnet                              1                                                           
Robin                               1    

Total                                13              4        
As mentioned before, there were five additions to the year list for the patch on Saturday morning, with the total now at 86 species. 
Rock Pipit
On Sunday morning I headed up the coast in the hopes of catching some Rock Pipits and Wheatears.  I started off using three double/triple shelf nets and a single spring trap in a small bay, where lots of decomposing kelp gathers.  The nets didn't stay up long as the rain began and the wind seemed to be coming from all directions, manipulated by the rugged coastline. I did manage to catch one Rock Pipit before this.  The two Wheatears present weren't having any of it and departed after the first pass.  After the nets came down, I continued with the spring trap, baited with meal worms, for a little longer and caught a further two Rock Pipits.  There were c45 birds knocking around different parts of the bay, so it may be worth another visit.   
Other birds around included 29 Eider, a pair of breeding Ravens in a driftwood nest, Kittiwakes and Fulmars on the cliffs, two Sand Martin, one singing Chiffchaff and a few Gannets off shore. 

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