Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Birding in Glynn

Yet again a wonderful sunny day and so I set off via train to a little village called Glynn in County Antrim.  On the way I saw Mallard, Shelduck and Tufted duck, Black headed and Herring Gull, Oystercatcher, Hooded Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Coal Tit, Starling, Blackbird and Song Thrush.

When I arrived at Glynn, I set up my telescope on the train platform as it overlooks the sea.  The nearest birds where Greylag Geese and the first view I had of them was when I realised that one of them was a Pink-footed Goose.  Although they were quite a distance away, I attempted to get some photos.  Below may not be the best photo however I thought better than nothing and shows the difference between the Greylag and Pink-footed Goose.  Brent also flew in and started feeding at the edge of the water.

Greylag and Pink-footed Goose
The tide was quite far out and so most birds were seen through the scope.  There were numerous duck species - Teal, Goldeneye, Widgeon, Eider and Red-breasted Merganser.  The waders were Curlew, Godwit, Greenshank and Redshank.  Apart from the above mentioned Gulls there were also Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and Common Gulls.  Even through I had coffee to warm me up and the sun was out, the wind chill made it very cold so I decided to walk up to the bridge in the village.  This photo was taken from the bridge looking down the river and out to sea in the distant.

As I walked along the path by the river, I was keeping my eyes skinned for the Dipper.  Two Collared Doves were having a fight with feathers flying everywhere.  On the way, I saw Robin, Dunnock,Wren, and Blue Tit.  I had walked as far as I could up the river without seeing the Dipper, however on my way back down, I spotted him and although I took numerous photos, he was just too far away from my lens.  I have added a photo of him even through it isn't too good.
I found a seat in the sun and out of the wind and it now felt more like summer!!  I was just about to start my picnic when I was joined by a little boy on his bike called Bailey who will be 8 years old next month.  He wanted to know what I was doing with the telescope and I discovered he was interested in birds.   We had a great debate about the Wood Pigeon and this photo below is added especially for him.
Wood Pigeon
There were Rooks nearby collecting nesting material and I was able to tell him the difference between them and Jackdaws and he was thrilled to look at them through my binoculars.  We also found some Chaffinch which he saw using my bins.  Then we heard a Mistle Thrush at the top of a fir tree and we had to step quite a bit back to be able to see it clearly. He asked could be come up to the train platform to look at the birds with me, so we set off together.  The Geese were still there and he managed to see the Pink-footed Goose through the telescope.  While he was doing this, I spied a Sandwich Tern diving., then it landed beside 3 other Sandwich Terns.  We said our farewells as the train approached and I gave him one of my cards so he could look up my blog on his computer.
As the train passed Ballycarry, I saw 2 Little Egrets.  41 bird species seen today.

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