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Old Thursday 5th April 2007, 08:28   #776
Peter Phillips
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Originally Posted by ardnasx1
Peter, I've scanned the os map showing Cortial lake and emailed it to you in case it helps. Haven't been there myself either but looks interesting.
Thanks for that Sandra. Will pay it a visit early in the summer.

Peter
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Old Thursday 5th April 2007, 11:25   #777
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At Beaulieu yesterday (wt Steve and Chris, which was educational) counted 11 grey heron nests, at least two with chicks. Also at least six little egrets, several in full breeding plumage, one pair copulating. Also five or six sand martins, and later a swallow near Clogher. No sign of black guillemots at clogher but now at least 13 pairs at Giles quay. Dowitcher showing nicely yesterday - starting to come into pummer plumage...
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Old Thursday 5th April 2007, 15:18   #778
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Originally Posted by breffni
At Beaulieu yesterday (wt Steve and Chris, which was educational) counted 11 grey heron nests, at least two with chicks. Also at least six little egrets, several in full breeding plumage, one pair copulating. Also five or six sand martins, and later a swallow near Clogher. No sign of black guillemots at clogher but now at least 13 pairs at Giles quay. Dowitcher showing nicely yesterday - starting to come into pummer plumage...
Were the little egrets calling? It's a strange gurgling squawk, quite different from the heron call, and certainly not in keeping with their elegant appearance!
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Old Thursday 5th April 2007, 18:34   #779
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Visited Beaulieu briefly for my first time on Wednesday, very nice place. Went fishing for a few hours last night on the Monaghan/Cullyhanna side of Muckno. There are 2 small Islands nearby which seem to have nesting Herons on them. Also saw 2 pairs of Great Crested Grebes displaying to each other. Couldn't have picked a nicer evening for it !

On cortial lake, apparently it was going to be turned into a Trout fishery a few years ago but planning was turned down. Not before the fisheries board surveyed the lake and removed all the Pike from it and moved them to Drumcah lake. Apparently there was a Pike of over 30Lb's found.
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Old Friday 6th April 2007, 19:30   #780
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At last, saw my first swallow over Beaulieu this evening.
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Old Friday 6th April 2007, 20:48   #781
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We are off to Wexford tomorrow for a week. Will combine birding with normal family activities I hope. Watch this space.................
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Old Saturday 7th April 2007, 09:26   #782
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Have a good trip! The boys are also off to spain for a week of hardcore birding on monday...

A few more records: 420 brent, 500 greylag, 22 whitefronted and 55 pink foot at lurgangreen on thursday; 4 little egrets at bellurgan, one showing red loral spot; pair of sandwich terns at carlingford yesterday, along with a whimbril (probably the overwintering bird); light buzzard working the fields around balaggan point. No sign of peregrines at slievenaglogh. Several hours of tramping around the mast produced no signs of red grouse (but snipe everywhere). No sign of woodcock at mulahattin (early?) but possible female long eared owl calling, and a willow warbler nearby...
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Old Sunday 8th April 2007, 08:44   #783
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First swallows of the year on Drumboy Loch yesterday. Also a pair of Great crested Grebes.
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Old Sunday 8th April 2007, 10:33   #784
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Paul Kelly found a temmincks stint at dundalk docks yesterday - bird was with the dowitcher, which is still showing, mainly winter plumage apparently. It was seen and photographed briefly then disappeared at high tide - might show again today on the rising tide. Also several ruff - one (male) showing extensive white on the collar.

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Old Monday 9th April 2007, 10:36   #785
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Eamonn L. saw an osprey overflying the castletown river yesterday at around 6:30 - searched for it around bellurgan subsequently but i had no luck...

Otherwise counted 9 ruff along the river yesterday, its a colourful sight at the minute with the godwits and golden plover coming into summer plumage...off salterstown had a flock of 12 red throated divers and a few white wagtails at hermitage.

At clogher there were 15 black guillemots in - one still in winter plumage. Last years breeding count was 6 pairs, son at least one more pair. They seem to be ignoring the artificial cavities so far and hanging around their usual spot on the east side of the main pier.
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Old Wednesday 11th April 2007, 01:39   #786
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Hi All,
Just found this forum and its great to see so many people enjoying birds. I hope to get out and about more watching birds so hopefully I will get to meet some or all of you over time. Judging by some of the birds ye have spotted I would have trouble finding them in a guide nevermind in the field!!
I also have a question about some strange Jackdaw behaviour I saw on my roof on Saturday. A pair of jackdaws, which are breeding in neighbours chimney, had a dead Chaffinch and one of them was plucking the chaffinch. They flew to the chimney pots and I could see feathers flying into the air for about 5 mins. Later one of them went into the chimney and the second waited on the TV aerial. Presumably the jackdaws didnt kill the c'finch and also that they wouldnt be able to tear its flesh to eat it so was the c'finch already dead, just used as a one stop feather shop to line its nest? Any ideas? Has anyone seen this before?
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Old Wednesday 11th April 2007, 18:39   #787
breffni
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Originally Posted by Steve29
I also have a question about some strange Jackdaw behaviour I saw on my roof on Saturday. A pair of jackdaws, which are breeding in neighbours chimney, had a dead Chaffinch and one of them was plucking the chaffinch. They flew to the chimney pots and I could see feathers flying into the air for about 5 mins. Later one of them went into the chimney and the second waited on the TV aerial. Presumably the jackdaws didnt kill the c'finch and also that they wouldnt be able to tear its flesh to eat it so was the c'finch already dead, just used as a one stop feather shop to line its nest? Any ideas? Has anyone seen this before?
Hi Steve,
There have been some great rarities lately but it would be wrong to think that that is the whole point - there is as much, if not more, interest in observing the behavior of common birds, especially in response ot the seasons etc...

Anyway the inside "cup" of jackdaw nests are lined with fur or feathers so the birds were probably depluming the chaffinch - mind you, in my opinion, given the opportunity jackdaws would be quite capable of killing and eating a chaffinch - i once saw a pair of jackdaws raiding a thrushes nest...

Finally had a few swallows around carlingford lough today - about 10 days later than last year.

All the best

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Old Friday 13th April 2007, 20:26   #788
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About 40 sand martins and at least 6 white wags at templetown beach today - sand martins established a pioneer nesting site on part of the sand cliff that fell away...+ a dozen or so swallows with the easterly wind - haven't seen a wheatear yet.
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Old Saturday 14th April 2007, 18:36   #789
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Originally Posted by breffni
About 40 sand martins and at least 6 white wags at templetown beach today - sand martins established a pioneer nesting site on part of the sand cliff that fell away...+ a dozen or so swallows with the easterly wind - haven't seen a wheatear yet.
Great news on the Sand Martins must have a look at that tomorrow. Plenty more Swallows about now had large flock today feeding over Loch Ross when I was fishing.
I have a Mistle Thrush nesting in the fork of my neighbours tree, there are no leaves on the tree yet and I can see the young when i comes to feed, it doesn't seem to mind being so conspicuous.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2007, 10:42   #790
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Back from Wexford. We were so lucky to have fabulous weather for our holiday. 2 Wheatears were showing well at the local beach. A Wren was nesting at the bottom of our garden and small numbers of mostly Red Throated Divers were visable in the sea. We enjoyed watching the Sandwich Terns pass up the coast, we counted 16 in a 15 minute period one evening. Hundreds of Brent Geese flew northwards one evening, a wonderful sight. As the week went on, the number of Swallows noticeably increased. Visited Tacumshin twice, also Lady's Island and the North Slobs. Tacumshin and Lady's Island well worth the visit, Sandra will fill in the details on them.
Hi to Steve, County Louth is certainly good for birding all right. Rarities are exciting but as you will see from my photos, I just enjoy watching any birds that I'm lucky enough to get a good view of.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2007, 13:22   #791
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Sounds idyllic - in the meantime up here, Spring has finally arrived- yesterday checked out clogher head, flushed a partridge like bird (strong rufus on tail), fulmar at sea, otherwise quiet. Siskin at Norman-type church at Hermitage, also willow warbler, chiffchaff and blackcap singing. Oscar had a manx shearwater,fulmar, whimbrils and warblers at salterstown. In dundalk docks waders thinning out bigtime, everything coming into summer moult (ruff, godwits, plovers) haven't seen the dowitcher in a couple of days (a common sandpiper was seen on friday per EL). Fully fledged juv grey heron also at the docks - amazingly early...must have been laid mid January at the latest, at least a month early!
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Old Monday 16th April 2007, 16:42   #792
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Tacumshin and Lady's Island well worth the visit, Sandra will fill in the details on them. .
The highlight at Tacumshin was a glaucous gull, it was there both times we visited. Really is an excellent place for all sorts of birds. It was very hazy while we were there and I'm sure there was plenty more we couldn't see. Lady's Island was excellent too and we didn't have a lot of time to spend there but the highlight there would have been the garganey spotted by Tommy, along with gadwall, shovelers, and a mallard with a string of 15 ducklings. Our visit to the north slobs was disappointing as there were no geese there so still haven't managed to see the snow geese.

Yesterday had a couple of white wagtails at Hermitage. Lots of red throated divers around.

Today there were 2 little terns at Baltray along with 6 sandwich terns. About 30 ringed plovers rose off the shingle when I was there and I could still see a lot sitting on nests.
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Old Monday 16th April 2007, 18:28   #793
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the garganey spotted by Tommy, along with gadwall, shovelers, and a mallard with a string of 15 ducklings.
Well done for the garganey - i went to the lagan to seen gregory the garganey - a well known character in those parts - but he was away the day i went...

Today there must have been 30 white wags from shelling to greenore - still haven't seen a wheatear! The sandmartins are great though...
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Old Monday 16th April 2007, 22:09   #794
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The sandmartins are great though...
Thats a lovely shot of the Sandmartin Breffni.
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2007, 15:36   #795
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Cortial Lake

I had a couple of spare hours today and went to Cortial Lake. Looks very interesting. Like a small Pollardstown Fen. I could not locate the open water I think its at the southern end. I had two Willow Warblers and 2-3 Grasshopper Warbler. Given its still early there are probably more Groppers to come. Some areas of dense reed out in the middle might be suitable for Reed Warbler. Some Mallard and a cormorant so there must be open water somewhere.

There is parking. Left turn at Hackballs Cross. Through Crossroads. There are two right turns,minor roads, immediately after the second there is a lane on the left just after house, turn down this and park in area with telegraph poles and stuff about 100 yards. Plenty of room for half a dozen cars. Walk down the track around the corner to the fields and follow around the fen. There is an area of fen you have to cross this is were one of the Groppers was, in the bramble. You can walk through most of the fen at the moment its quite dry. Lots of frogs and some illegal dumping.

I have a few pictures of the site but am having trouble uploading them.

Peter

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Old Wednesday 18th April 2007, 09:51   #796
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You can walk through most of the fen at the moment its quite dry. Lots of frogs and some illegal dumping.
Might be good for dragonflies/butterflies later on...

Finally had four greenland wheatears and at least 30 white wagtails along the shore at balaggan/whitestown/templetown yesterday...
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Old Wednesday 18th April 2007, 18:06   #797
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Dundalk Bay

I was out in Dundalk Bay today at high tide at Lurgangreen and later at the docks. At Lurgangreen had 380 Brent, 50-54 Pink-footed Geese and one Greylag. Tons of meadow pipits and skylarks in the Geese fields behind the bank. A couple of Willow Warblers refused to co-operate for the camara but got a distant shot of some of the Pink feet. At the docks I found the Long billed Dowitcher asleep on the opposite bank-towards the bridge. It is starting to show some summer plumage. One ruff also.

I still have seed eaters coming to the garden in Ardee,about fourty today including 6 Tree Sparrow and 8 Yellowhammer
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Old Thursday 19th April 2007, 12:58   #798
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Clogher Head

I went to Clogher Head today. " 2 Willow Warblers and 6 Sandwich Terns were the only migrants. 18 Black Guillemots at south end were the holes used to be. One of the builders told me that the birds were using to new holes "like good oh" and that "they were feeding young ones". I expressed my doubts. I spoke to the Harbourmaster Larry Bourke, he said he would keep an eye out to see if the birds were using them. He has not seen any birds using the new holes to date.

A single White Wagtail at Hermitage.
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Old Thursday 19th April 2007, 16:08   #799
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I went to Clogherhead yesterday and there were at least 12 black guillemots there. 18 today was an excellent number Peter. Yesterday again they were mostly hanging around the back of the pier up on those concrete block things, but one pair were on the concrete blocks almost under where the new holes are at the end of the new pier, they were the most hopeful looking. Maybe if they start to use the a new hole some of the others would follow suit, it will be a shame if they don't when there are such good numbers around.
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Old Thursday 19th April 2007, 18:18   #800
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18 is a good number - at giles quay all new holes appear to be now occupied - so thats 32 birds up from 22 last year. At Greenore only 3 birds are hinging around the eacon where they used to nest (the beacon has been removed but we should have wooden nesting boxes in their place) - all in all must have been a good winter for the black guillemots...
Noted about 20 whimbril along the coast from carlingford to templetown beach today and a few greenland wheatears.
Peregrine is back and long-eared owl at usual location (probably moved 4 trees away from where it was last year judging by pellets) - no sign of grasshopper warbler yet...

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