Carrick Mountain

Carrick Mountain, Co. Wicklow by Alan Lauder 

(comparative score from 2012: 52 spp/55pts, personal target 60 species)

The first of my two patches is Carrick Mountain. Living in Glenealy, at the foot of Carrick Mountain, the patch covers my garden, the route to the base of the mountain and the whole of the south facing flank of the mountain. Lying a few miles inland, covered in forestry and surrounded by some non-descript farmland, it is definitely not a patch to get excited about. Looking at my BirdTrack list from last year the species total got to a whole 52, yes 52! And once I’d constructed my comparative list the points bonuses managed to take that to a total of 55 points...don’t all rush over at once now!

I have seen a few extras previously that I didn’t see last year but in total my species list for the patch doesn’t make 60 so the challenge will be to eek out every last possibility on the morning dog walk, my twice weekly runs in the forest or maybe on the odd crepuscular visit to try to find a LEO or a Woodcock. It is not special, but it is mine, all mine...I’ve never seen anyone else with a pair of bins on the site, ever...I doubt I ever will!

In reality, I expect if I look a bit harder, and especially with some vis migging from my garden or the summit, I might make 60 and that is a fair target, anything above that will be a bonus! Best birds on the patch are regular Red Kites and Great Spotted Woodpeckers (both from the garden) occasional Peregrine over and Crossbills in the forest. I once had a ringtail Hen Harrier fly through while I was on the summit, my guess is that it won’t happen again! The views from the summit are stunning, right down to the sea and though I’ve never tried it, I reckon Gannet might just be scope-able from that stretching things too far? Declan Murphy’s Annamoe patch is the nearest comparable patch so I’ll be keeping a close watch on how mine fairs against his.

Patch map

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