It was inevitable that the great run of rarities during the early part of the year would dry up, nevertheless 14 species have been added around the patch since my last update. This has included three more species of duck, but little in the way of surprises or high scorers. The first Swallows had made it back by 12 April, House Martins returned by 22 April and the first Swifts of the year were seen on 3 May. Once again Sand Martins failed to make an appearance on the patch, not that this was surprising considering I’ve never seen one in Larne!
The best find of the past couple of months was the second Kumlien’s Gull in as many weeks to put in a brief appearance at the Inver River. A rather nice 1st winter bird was found loafing around there at low tide on 13 April. This put me in the unusual position of trying to turn what was a fairly classic Kumlien’s into an Iceland Gull, having dipped on the latter species earlier in the year.
|1st winter Kumlien's Gull, Inver River|
I’m not sure if it’s always the case, or it’s thanks to my increased efforts this year, but I have been amazed at the number of ducks that have put in an appearance at Glynn Station thus far. A pair of Gadwall were found on 16 April and were joined for a few weeks by two moulting males. In between times the male Pintail appeared again, then went missing for a month only to reappear last week! This made me wonder whether they might actually be breeding in the private lagoon at Glynn. Next up on the duck front were a pair of Scaup found bobbing around distantly off the station on 26 April. A check of my records showed these were only my second ever on patch, following a female at the same location in February 2010. My most recent addition to the year list, was also a second patch record in the form of 5 Pochard at Glynn Station on the unusual date of 23 June! That’s 11 species of duck seen this year from Glynn Station!
|Gadwall, Scaup and Pochard all put in an appearance at Glynn Station|
Following several failed attempts to see one of the Spotted Flycatchers that usually appear on patch around mid-May, a pair were finally seen on 22nd when they were observed collecting nest material along Glynn River. I was beginning to think my prediction that Reed Buntings were likely to be encountered at Glynn Lagoon was going to fall flat on its face until a nice male was heard singing in the small reed bed there on 26 April.
|Summer Sanderling and Dunlin, Sandy Bay|