Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sat. 6th March....a period of hiatus?

A very pleasant,warm day with virtually no wind. Odd hardy Curlew and Lapwing are still atop the nearby grass moor, but the vast majority of others are feeding, along with Oystercatcher and Starling flocks on much lower ground.

Both local Chough and Golden Eagles were evident within territories, as was a single Grey Wagtail. Compared even to yesterday, around 250 + Grey lag Geese were in the very southern Rinns, mostly in a couple of large flocks. The sea was very quiet with no Fulmar or auks in evidence,and few birds around the coast. Whilst a lot of our snow has gone Northern Ireland could just be glimpsed to the SW with some of its highest hills still clothed in white.

At this point it would have been easy to conclude that we were within one of those quiet,stable periods where there appears to be little turnover amongst our bird populations. Such may have been the case , but I was then pleasantly surprised mid-afternoon when a flock of 25-30 Meadow Pipits appeared near home. After an absence within the worst of the winter weather, and only the odd bird since, this signalled a real arrival of spring! They came up the glen, perched on overhead wires for a while and then swept down to feed. Soon the imperative to move on further gripped them yet again and, with a few quiet calls, they all arose and headed off north. An encouraging reinforcement that things are happening and are poised to move up a gear shortly!!!

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