Monday, 20 May 2013

Walk from Ballymacormick Point to Groomsport PLUS Starling update!

Finally a day without rain although still quite cool.  My bird class walked along Ballyholme beach and immediately heard and saw the Sandwich Terns diving for food along with several Black headed Gulls on the edge of the water.  We had hoped that we would find Warblers as last year at this time, this place was coming down with them. However, the only one we heard on the whole walk was the Sedge Warbler so I was a little disappointed and  wondered if it had to do with the late cold spring.  There were a lot of Linnets that often sang from the top of gorse bushes.

Along the way, we saw a Heron catching a fish, Common and Great Black backed Gulls with Cormorants and 1 Shag on rocks, Greenfinch and Chaffinch, a good number of Swallows flying about,  
a lot of Wrens singing and only coming to the top of bushes occasionally, several Meadow Pipit, and lovely Reed Buntings.

Reed Bunting - male
Although the gorse was in full bloom and looking magnificent, there were not as many wide flowers out as I expected.  This Thrift was a lovely colour against the grey rocks.  Below is a close up.

In the Bay there were 2 Eider ducklings with the female and 2 male Eider near by.  This is the first I have seen this year.

As we approached Groomsport Village, we saw 2 Hooked Crows, one was much blacker than the other and the other one decided to have a bath in the small stream which flowed into the sea.

Hooked Crow

After  coffee and scones we decided to walk home by the road and we saw Goldfinch and 3 pheasants.  As I walked over a vacant plot towards the car, I photographed a Dandelion flower head and seed head.

Dandelion flower
Dandelion Seed Head
Just before the car park, I noticed a large Horse Chestnut tree and photographed a flower head as well as a close up of one part of it.  I am learning to look more closely at plants to see them in greater detail.

I forgot to show you the Starling chicks that are now 14 days old.  You can just see all 6 beaks.
I think it won't be  long until they fledge.  Ruth, whose letter box they are in, is finding it difficult to get them all in the one photo as they are growing so fast.
Thank you for visiting my blog.   Until next time, have a great day.


  1. Thanks for the Starling update. I love these birds; the 'hooligans' of the bird world. :-)
    Nice video of the Hooded Crows. Still envious.

  2. Hooded Crows were especially for you!!

  3. A very successful walk you had Margaret with lots of birds seen.

    It's amazing how intricate and beautiful plants are when we take the time to have a closer look. Love the Dandelion images

    Good to see the Starlings are doing so well..[;o)

  4. Hi Trevor
    Thanks for your comments. I have to do the walk again tomorrow afternoon as I am taking the Nature group so it will be interesting if I see anything different. Hope I have something to post! Margaret

  5. Great series, Margaret!

    Love the nest full of babies and the Dandelion Seed Head pics. :)

  6. I really like that image of the Linnet and the Starlings are looking healthy too. I've noted the same thing about warblers and also think the cold weather has played it's part they've only really just started to turn up around here.

  7. Many thanks Daniel, I don't think we will have the babies much longer. We will all be suffering from 'empty nest syndrome'! Margaret

  8. Hi Douglas
    I do hope you are correct about the Warblers. I hope they don't leave it too late to breed. Surely our weather will warm up soon.

  9. i just love seeing the reed bunting on international blogs. :)

  10. Hi Margaret; loved your post. My favourites the dandelion seed head and also the last, baby birds in the letter-box

  11. HI Tex
    Thanks. I will remember that and try and get a better photo of one. Margaret

  12. Hi Carol
    Many thanks. I hope my friend Ruth can get another photo of the Starlings before they fledge. It is wonderful to see them develop at close quarters. Margaret

  13. Lovely to see how those adorable Starling chicks are growing!
    I wish my letter-box could be that nicely inhabited!
    Great photos of the passerine birds, and the crow is one we don't have around where I live.
    Well done Margaret