Sunday, 21 April 2013

South Dublin Coast - Update

Unfortunately sickness and travel put paid to Patching through most of March and the beginning of April. Thankfully all that is now over, so here is a breakdown of the species that have been added to the list since the Curlew at the end of February:

-A quick seawatch during a strong easterly gale on the 10th of March added Red-breasted Merganser (65), with one male seen flying north. A scarce species in the Patch area.

-Two Fieldfare (66) were heard during a large passage of Redwings on the 12th of April. Redwings were heard calling about once every one to two seconds (roughly 3000 birds/hour) and considering that Redwings generally migrate in small flocks, the actual number of birds passing overhead is probably many times that. It would have been very interesting to see a radar scan of the night sky! Conditions were perfect with a light southerly breeze and moderately heavy drizzle.

-One Chiffchaff (67) sang in the garden on the 14th of April, with a single Swallow (68) seen flying north the next day.

-A Willow Warbler (69) sang beside the Shanganagh River on the 18th of April, with a group of three Sand Martins (70) flying over shortly afterwards.

-A short trip to Coliemore Harbour this afternoon (21/4) added four new species. A few Sandwich Terns (71) dove for fish in Dalkey Sound, later being joined by a Manx Shearwater (72) which at times was only a few metres from shore. Another 50 or so Manx Shearwaters were present beyond the Muglins and in Dublin Bay. A quick scan of Dalkey Island produced a good count of 13 Wheatears (73), with another 8 on Lamb Island. The rocks below Sorrento Point held a nice bonus in the form a Common Sandpiper (74). The species is regular in late summer, but this is my first spring record at the site. Finally, the long wait for a DART in Dalkey Station was eased somewhat when a House Martin (75) flew over.

Manx Shearwater in Dalkey Sound

Non-birdy highlights include the first butterfly of the year at Sorrento Point today (probably Peacock), while a Fox was a rather surprising sight from the DART near the Magic Cove. Moths have also (finally) begun to appear in the garden, with six species recorded at the trap so far.

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)

This all leaves me on 75 (bird) species, 88 points and 75.75%.

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