Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Moorhen at last! Visit 14

I thought it would never happen, but nearly 5 months into the patch birding year, I finally saw a Moorhen (108) on Rathlin on Saturday 25 May! Migration seems to be on the wane for some species but a few waifs and strays are still turning up.  A missed opportunity this week was failing to connect with a female Hen Harrier that has been reported from several spots around the patch since mid-week.


Decent numbers of common warblers were spread across the usual locations and a Spotted Flycatcher was in Church Valley snapping away at insects from a fence post.  As I was leaving this area a Woodpigeon (109) sped across the sky and circled the valley a number of times before heading off west (I only saw my first of this species on the island last autumn).  
Plenty of finches have taken a liking to the fields behind Church Bay, which are currently full of wildflowers.  In amongst these were at least 4 Common Redpolls.  As to where these birds are heading is anyone’s guess, but there seem to be a few around the Western Isles in Scotland and other migration watch points in NW Ireland at the moment.  In other finch news, a breeding plumaged Twite was observed singing and visiting a probable nest location.
I reported last week that the Black-headed Gull colony had failed, so I was pleased to discover a new colony today that held around 25 nesting pairs.  Several other species were also seen with hatchlings or fledged young including Song Thrush, Lapwing, Starling, House Sparrow, Stonechat, Mallard, Coot and Greylag.  Only 2 Sand Martins were seen around Ushet Lough and appear to have changed their minds about breeding in the cliff face nearby.
Patch day totals: 27 Sedge Warbler, 25 Willow Warbler, 9 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 15 Goldfinch, 30 Linnet, 20 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Common Redpoll, 1 Twite, 1 Moorhen, 1 Woodpigeon, 2 White Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 1 Dunlin, 1 Chough, 35+ Swallow, 9 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin
Score now 109 species, 135 points or 106.3%

No comments:

Post a Comment