Thursday, 9 May 2013

RSPB Bangor Group - Day 2 in Ireland

Well for those who have read yesterday's blog, you will know the weather was not too good.  Today it was terrible with torrents of rain, very cold and felt like winter!!!

We left at 9.00am and headed south of Drogheda and this photo above might  give you an idea of  our weather conditions today!  We stopped at Boyne Special Protection Area and saw a  Raven, some Merganser and 600 Dunlin.  We moved on to Morningtown where we sheltered behind a building.

Six of the Bangor RSPB Group.
It turned out to be quite a good spot as we watched 20-30 Little Tern, saw a Skylark and watched a flock of Brent Geese fly over head.   When we were having this photo taken we spied a lone Ringed Plover.

Not far away at Laytown we saw a Common Guillemot and Collared Dove.  When we reached Outer Skerries, the rain stopped for a little while while we were able to have coffee and during this time we were very pleased to see 2 Black - throated Divers and 2 Red - throated Divers, 1 Razorbill, several Gannet, 1 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, and we heard a Dunnock.
As some where taking a 'comfort' stop, Carol and myself watched 5 Turnstone on the rocks and one of them in particular was showing some summer plumage. Also on different rocks were a number of Shags and Cormorants.

                                                            Shags and Cormorants

                                                Cormorant in breeding plumage


Also we saw a Common Tern land on a rock, see below.

 At the Skerries we were very excited to see about 26 Roseate Terns, some Common and Arctic Terns, a few Great Crested Grebe, and a Moorhen.  This video below is mainly of the the Roseate Terns and I know it is not good quality but in the windy condition and quite a distance from me, I was fortunate to get any video at all!

We stopped for lunch and afterwards while walking back to the car, passed a field where they was a
 Gull following a Mistle Thrush round the field.  Wherever the Mistle Thrush went, the Gull followed.  It was hilarious to watch.  It was like 'Little and Large'.   As we passed a little lake, I found a Mute Swan sitting on her nest with the male close by.

                                                                        Mute Swan

We went to Swords Estuary and I was thrilled because I saw my very first Merlin.  This bird has alluded me for many years and even when I was on a trip to Iceland when they told me they were two a penny, I didn't see any there either, nor did any of the group!!  So for me, this was the ' bird of the day'.   The last stop we made was at Bull Island where we saw 2 Egrets and 3 Arctic Terns.

When we returned to the hotel most of us either went for a swim or had a doze however Carol decided to look round the grounds of the Hotel and she was fortunate to see a Treecreeper.

There were many other bird species that we saw yesterday as well as today and the total today was 55 plus 4 heard but only 23 new species today and 3 heard, bringing the total for the 2 days to 73 plus 3 heard.  Now we are hoping for a better weather tomorrow.


  1. Oh my, that does look wet and miserable; but the birds certainly made up for the poor weather.
    Well done with the Merlin sighting.

  2. Doesn't look any better this morning. Ah well! That is how birding goes sometime however as they say here, 'The craic was good'.