Friday, 10 May 2013

RSPB Bangor Group - Final Day

Hooray!  The sun came out today.  What a difference that makes to birding.  We arranged to meet after breakfast to see if we could find the Treecreeper in the grounds.  I went earlier for a walk in the hotel wood and found  some wonderful Wood Garlic ( Allium ursinum).  Below are 2 photos of this plant, the second one a close up.  There is still a lot of rain on them as apparently it had rained all night!

Wood Garlic

Close up of Wood Garlic

When I came back to the car park to meet the other, I saw a male Robin feeding a female however I was not quick enough to get the shot!  We all walked into a different part of the woods and I was meet with these beautiful blue, pink and white Bluebells below.

The wonderful colours of the Copper Beech lite up as the sun touched their leaves.

Copper Beech
We went to the tree when the Treecreeper was seen by Carol last night but alas, it did not appear, however we saw 4 Goldcrest.  A Chiffchaff was singing and at last I spotted it quite a distance away and although we all heard a Great tit, no one could spot it.

We set off heading North and arrived at Beltray when we saw a Little Egret fishing, a Coot, and 30 Pale-bellied Brent flew in to feed on grass.

Little Egret
I was astounded when I saw a Hooded Crow mobbing a Barn Owl and that was differently my 'bird of the day'.  We then made our way to the mouth of Boyne and had to climb over 2 styles and over sand dunes to arrive at the sea but is was really worth while.  There were at least 500 Dunlin and probably nearly as many Ringed Plover with 1 Turnstone and a few Sanderling among them.  I took at lot of photos and below I will show you a few.

There were also 4 Grey Plover and 2 red Knot in breeding plumage.  This photo is not wonderful but the Grey Plover is in it on the left.

Grey Plover (left) with Dunlin and Ringed Plover in foreground
Ringed Plover
There were also Little Tern (2 left back and 1 at the front) fishing and a number of them landed among the small waders along with a Common Tern at (right back).

On the way back to the car I saw a male and female Reed Bunting and several Skylark took to the air, hovering and singing wonderfully before tumbling to the grass again.
Reed Bunting- female
Then after lunch and before heading home we stopped at Clogherhead and saw a Kestral, Rosette Tern and Kittewake.  I photographed this Cormorant on the rocks whhile the others walked over the head land and saw a Swift.

 While waiting for the others to return, I sat in the car sorting out my photos and making a cup of coffee.  That's when I discovered I had left my suitcase back at the hotel!  Oh Dear!!!  When they arrive back I told them the bad news and I have to say Michael, whose car we were in was very gracious and said we would go back for it.  I was very relieved.

So to sum up these 3 days away, Jimmy started by forgetting his glasses and I ended it by forgetting my suitcase, however despite all that and the terrible weather conditions, we all had a great time and were pleased with all the birds we saw.  The total came to 85 different bird species plus 2 heard.


  1. Another fine list of birds for the day; and a Hooded Crow!
    I really enjoy visits to the coast, to see the birds there. I think it's living inland, that makes me appreciate the waders and coastal birds so much.
    If only my ID skills were better lol

  2. Looks like you had a good trip, after the false start!, with your birding group Margaret. What better way to go birdwatching than with a group of like minded people, shame about the 'iffy' weather!

    You captured some great images along the way and came away with an excellent final tally for the trip. Great stuff...[;o)

  3. Hi Keith and Trevor
    Many thanks your comments. I am very fortunate living by the sea yet only a few miles from the country. That is the beauty of living in Northern Ireland. Great trip.