Tuesday 30 August 2016

Last week of August

It has been a pretty quiet week with just a couple of ringing attempts at Portstewart Strand.  The spell of fine weather has delivered some new birds to the estuary with an arrival of c50/60 Common Terns with at least one Arctic Tern, a few Curlew Sandpiper plus others sightings of a Spotted Redshank and Ruff.  The best of the birds was picked up by John around 'East Ride' in the form of a Garden Warbler, which is a very nice bird for us on the north coast.  It was spotted again a few days later during a ringing session but not caught.  Other passerine migrants have been really thin on the ground with just a couple of Willow Warblers, one Blackcap and a Wheatear.

Willow Warbler

The ringing over the couple of sessions was very poor as a result of the lack of birds, with only a handful caught.  Ringing on similar dates last year produced up to 60 birds so the numbers continue to fall under par, indicating a poor breeding season.  Hopefully the northern migrants will be more plentiful from now to December!

Portstewart Strand Totals

Blackcap                 1
Blue Tit                   1
Dunnock                 2        1
Goldcrest                1        3
Goldfinch               7
Meadow Pipit         3        1
Robin                      2
Willow Warbler      3        1
Wren                       2

Totals                     22       6            

The Peregrine pair in Coleraine seem to have bred successfully this year following s few years of disturbance/persecution.  There have probably been two juveniles terrorising the birds of the estuary and have been providing a bit of entertainment - they have even been testing the large gulls.

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon

We received news of another one of our Storm Petrels being recovered in the Western Isles of Scotland.  The bird was retrapped in the Treshnish Isles on Lunga on the 26th June this year.  This is our sixth bird to the island group following 4 birds recovered on Lunga last year and another bird on Fladda.  Interestingly, two birds ringed at the same time as this bird were also recovered in the same place.  It was ringed on the 12th of July 2014 and recovered 715 days later at a distance of 146km.

Storm Petrel recovery on the Treshnish Isles

The Blackberries are ripening nicely at PSS so let's hope they can attract in some Sylvia warblers and a good run of thrushes.

Wheatear sat on the car avoiding the nets

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