Monday, 25 February 2013

South Dublin Coast - Weeks 5, 6 and 7

As I didn't get a chance to post an update in the last few weeks here is a quick summary of what has been happening in the patch.

Week 5: Didn't get a chance to visit the Patch and so nothing new added.

Week 6: Started Saturday (16/2) morning on Killiney Hill looking for Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker, both of which had been reported at the end of January. Despite searching the woodland for about two hours, the only bird of note was a Treecreeper (60). Also, one of the re-introduced Red Squirrels gave good views looking for food in the canopy. With a dense layer of sea-fog drifting in from the Irish Sea and blanketing the Hill, there was no chance of repeating the trick of Mute Swan tick.

Sea Fog on Killiney Hill
I followed this with a one hour seawatch from Coliemore, which produced about 160 auks passing offshore, as well as a few Gannets and Red-throated Divers. Next up was Bullock Harbour, which was full of the usual gulls. Managed to get a few ring-reads including the third winter Herring Gull (GC 96244) below.

Ringed Herring Gull
Just as I was leaving, I had last scan through the roosting Herring and GBB Gulls, when a wader popped up its head - a Greenshank (61)! A completely unexpected patch tick - lacking any kind of mudflat the Patch was always going to struggle for waders so this is a nice bonus. Nothing much else to report this week other than the three Brambling still in the garden.

Week 7: Had another thorough look on Killiney Hill on Saturday morning, but still no joy finding either the Jay or GS Woodpecker. The only thing of note was watching a Common Gull chasing a Med Gull to about 150 metres altitude in an unsuccessful attempt to pirate some food.
Sunday started off great with a group of four Skylarks (62) flying west over the garden - only the third garden record. A quick visit to Shanganagh brought another Patch Tick in the form of 16 roosting Ringed Plovers (63). Also present were a few Oystercatchers and Turnstones, as well as about ten Red-throated Divers offshore. A female Brambling was a nice find near Shankill Dart Station.

Greenfinch at Shanganagh
So, those four new species bring the Patch List to 63 species, 74 points and 63.64%.

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