Monday, 14 January 2013

Industrial Strength Birding

Definitely a lot colder today and Redwing numbers were well up, though  strangely most were passing north.
With it supposed to get colder hopefully there will be some movement as things have slowed down. Checked a large flock of c 150 Chaffinches that were leapfrogging around an oilseed rape field but couldn't
dig out a suspected Brambling from last week. Last Friday I tried the Golf Course again at dusk for anything
that might be calling, luckily it's still closed or I could  be getting a name for myself as some sort of weird golf
voyeur, again I didn't hear any Water Rails but there was one interesting little interlude before I got there.

                                                       Hopefully not this week

Ringed Plover is on the patch list from two previous sightings, the first in June around ten years ago involved a single displaying bird high over the farm for five minutes. I figured it was a strange one off as Ringed Plover is a scarce bird in Cork Harbour in Winter and a  rare breeder in Summer. Then four or five years ago while
taking the kids for a cycle around the industrial estate 11 Ringed Plovers flew low off or over the largest building in the estate. Were Ringed Plovers breeding on the roof of a warehouse?. I had a good look at 
the roof after that but never saw a wader. Certainly the habitat looked right, the roof is almost flat and completely covered in stones presumably as some kind of strengthening/insulating cover. Gulls used previously roost on it in large numbers when the nearby abattoir was open, so much so that two plastic
Peregrines were put on the roof to try keep the gulls off.

                                                           Plastic doesn't count

Anyway while on my way to listen for Water Rails I set up the scope to have a general scan of the area. While panning right I scoped the roof and was most surprised to see some white blobs on the gravel. I moved a lot closer and confirmed Ringed Plovers roosting three stories up, 32 of them in total, probably the biggest flock I have ever seen around Cork Harbour, should I be counting it for IWeBS ? . Probably because there were 4 Dunlin with them also only the second patch record. Species 43 and 44 and 46 points.

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