Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Birding To Derry/Londonderry By Train

Today I had to go to Derry to finalise arrangements for a nursing reunion that we are having in May so it was a fairly early start for me but the weather was sunny and not as cold as the previous days.  Derry is about 70 miles away and Northern Ireland Translink have just opened the new train line to it so I was looking forward to trying that.   Last year, Derry/Londonderry made history after successfully winning its bid to become the first ever UK City of Culture in 2013.     Also I wanted to see how many birds I was able to see on this journey.

For most of the time, the train was travelling very fast, not making it easy for me to identify all the birds but by the time I arrived in Belfast I had seen Magpie, Light-bellied Brent, Herring Gull, Blackbird, Tufted and Mallard ducks, Coot, Rook, Hooded Crow, and Wood Pigeon.  As we passed over the Lagan River, a Black Guillemot flew under the bridge and as we were high up on the bridge, I was able to see straight into a nest of a Jackdaw who was sitting on it.

Making my way through the country from Belfast to Derry, I saw Starling, Black-headed Gull, Chaffinch, Sparrow and Blue Tit as we slowed down at one of the stations, a group of Whooper Swans as well as pairs of Mute Swans and 3 Buzzards flew overhead.   As we passed the sea on the right, the tide was just right for seeing the wading birds such as Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Dunlin, Lapwing, as well as 7 Heron.  There were also Shelduck, Teal and Eider ducks.  Passing the very high cliffs on the left were numerous Fulmar flying around.

After I had finished my business and lunch I took this photo of the Guildhall that was built in 1890 and houses a large hall where many events of social and political nature have been held. it is being renovated inside and out at present however it will be open again to the publc by the time I have my reunion in May.

Guildhall -front

Guildhall - rear view

The photos below are of The Peace Bridge which was opened on 25 June 2011 and crosses the River Foyle, creating an important new link from the Waterside to the city side.

Peace Bridge
Travelling back by train, I saw 6 Little Egrets, Godwits, Lesser Black backed Gull and Collared Dove as we passed the sea again.  This is a photo taken from the train moving very fast!
Magnificent sandy beach and waves rolling in
I fell asleep and woke with a jolt at a station, not knowing where I was!  However two very kind gentlemen assured me I was only in Ballymoney.  Although neither were bird watchers, they seemed interested in knowing a bit more on the subject and having taken one of my cards, I am ever hopeful that an interest has been stirred in them to be more observant of bird life.  36 bird species seen today is not too bad considering it was from a very fast train!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Margaret,Haven't any idea about that photo. I thought at first it might be a windscreen, but I've no idea what the swirls are about!!!!