Sunday, 21 April 2013

Beginnings of spring at Ballyquintin

I've been away for a couple of weeks and visited Ballyquintin this weekend (20/21 April) for the first time since the end of March. I was expecting to find the place heaving with migrants - wrong! It started well enough on Saturday morning at Templecowey. Straight out of the car, I heard a willow warbler, then saw a couple of chiffchaffs in the trees. A swallow zipped around, and I heard a pheasant calling (eventually finding it by one of the hedges). I moved onto the headland itself, but sea-watching conditions were poor (bright, glaring light, wind blowing somewhat offshore). A few Sandwich terns went past, but little else. I had seen several wheatears along the coast road driving down to Ballyquintin, but didn't spot one on my patch itself (though I didn't walk down to the shore, as I should have done). A whimbrel poked around in one of the fields. A good number of golden plover hiding in a ploughed field held promise, but proved to be a pure flock.

I tried again today, a bit harder. The few migrants had disappeared from Templecowey, but four buzzards soared, in some kind of compensation. Still only a few swallows around, and still poor sea-watching, though I tried harder than the day before. A walk around the headland produced a fine male wheatear, dozens of meadow pipits, singing skylarks, hundreds (it seemed) of linnets and a flock of 20 whimbrel, but still no movement of arriving terns, not even Manx shearwater were visible. There is always next weekend!

91 species, 115 points

No comments:

Post a Comment