Wednesday, 8 May 2013

RSPB Bangor Group goes to Southern Ireland

Today, 8 members of the RSPB Bangor group started our journey down to Southern Ireland for a 3 day bird watching trip.  We were using 2 cars and we were to meet the other car at about 8.45am.  I was ready but when Jimmy arrived, he was very flustered as he said he had left his glasses behind, so we had to go over to the next town and guess what?  They were in his pocket all the time.  So when we meet the others we were an hour late which meant all the tides were not as good either.

Some of the RSPB Bangor Group
We headed for Slieve Gullion however the weather was dreadful, very misty, even foggy and we went through a flood at one point, so birding at Slieve Gullion was out.  We headed on to Giles Pier and the weather improved and we saw Blackbird, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Black head and Great Black backed Gulls, Eider, Swallow, Mergansers, Linnet, Sandwich Tern, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Black Guillemot and Stonechat.  We decided as the rain had stopped momentarily, we would have our picnic overlooking the beach.  We watched a Hooded Crow playing with a small plastic container and a Jackdaw and Rook tried to join in without success!

On our way to March Road Dundalk Bay, we saw Starling, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, and Magpie.
At the Bay we saw good views of Whimbrel, Shelduck and Little Egret and were very excited to see c1000 Oystercatchers. 

We then found Teamann Bird Sanctuary were we saw Mute Swan, my first Sand Martins this year, Mallard and 2 more Egrets.  Over all today we saw 15 Little Egrets.
We travelled on to Shore Road, Dundalk where we saw a Blue Tit, Robin and heard a Skylark.  Then stopped at Blackrock and saw only a House Sparrow and House Martin. There was also a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.  

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
Further on at Annagassan we were fortunate to see Curlew, Lesser Black backed, Common and Herring Gulls, Redshank, a pair of beautiful Pintail ducks, a Peregrine, Chaffinch, Meadow Pipit, Heron and Grey Wagtail.  There were also 300 Dunlin in breeding plumage which was a wonderful sight even the weather still was not great. 
Dunlin in breeding plumage
At out last stop we were thrilled to see Northern Diver although they were quite a distance away and my first Whitethroat of the year.  By this stage we felt it was time to go to our hotel which was the Boyne Valley Hotel and on the way our last bird of the day was a Pheasant.  50 bird species were seen today with 1 heard.


  1. Sounds like a good trip in good company.
    Looks a bit chilly in that first picture.

  2. You are so right. More like freezing but it did warm up and the company is good so that makes up for the cold!