Saturday, 20 April 2013

RSPB Bangor Group Outing

It had been decided that we would meet in Portadown so I took the train from Bangor and on the way saw Blackbird, Collared Dove, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Starling, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw, Rook, Hooded Crow, Herring, Black headed and Lesser Black backed Gull, Redshank, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Teal, Mallard, Tufted duck, and Buzzard.

I was met at the station and all 8 of us set out to visit Oxford Island at Lough Neagh, County Antrim, to see if we could see the Black necked Grebe at the Waterside hide.  Of course, I had seen it last Monday along with a couple of others but the rest were not in luck today, as it never showed.  Perhaps it has moved on.  However we had good views of Pochard, Gadwell, Goldeneye, Great crested Grebes displaying and a Little Grebe.  A Heron and Cormorant flew over head and 2 Sandwich tern were sitting on a floating blue barrel.  We were very pleased that so many Swallows and House Martins had now arrived to breed.  As we walked back to the cars, we were delighted to hear all the birds singing.  Certainly a lot more than last Monday, in particular the Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff.  At coffee time, one the members had a birthday and her husband as a surprise had brought a lovely chocolate cake for her however we could not get the candles lite as it was a bit windy, but the cake was delicious.
Willow Warbler
Of course there were other small birds like Blue, Coal, Great, Long tailed Tit, Wren, Robin, Pied Wagtail, and Jay.
Jay
I was the only one who was fortunate to see a beautiful male Wheatear.  This photo is not very good however it was the best I could get at the distance the bird was from me.

Wheatear - male
We looked in at the Balancing Lakes where we saw an Arctic Tern.  We stopped for lunch at Clare Glen where the Cusher River flows though.  During lunch a Buzzard sat on a post for about 10 minutes although just to far away for any of us to get a decent photo so here is one of the group.
Members of the RSPB Bangor Group
We quickly walked along the tow path  at Lough Stark where we saw Tree Sparrows, Kestrel and once again hear and saw many of the migrants that have returned to breed here.


Then it was time for the train journey home and I saw Shelduck, Blackcap, Greylag Goose and our much loved House Sparrow.  Today I saw 50 bird species and overall it was a great day enjoyed by every one of us.

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