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Killymarley.December 2009. Festive Chill.

Posted Friday 1st January 2010 at 21:45 by Monahawk
December was a month of two halves weather wise. The first half mild and damp,the second half cold and freezing with snow,heavy frost, fog and freezing rain in fact anything that winter could throw at us. Over the festive period,daytime temperatures often failed to get over freezing point.
The cold snap meant more birds visiting the bird feeders with large flocks of Chaffinches and House Sparrows being the most dominant species. Great, Blue and Coal Tit numbers increased too.The cold snap may have brought its bonuses,but there were negatives too. The local Goldcrests were decimated just as they were in the cold snap of January and February.
Birding highlights locally for the month were an impressive Merlin which passed over the house on the 1st. This was the fifth record here of this snappy little falcon.
2 Common Gulls flew over the house on the 6th. A Peregrine swooped low over a local field on the 17th causing panic amongst a flock of Woodpigeons.
The cold snap which began in earnest on the 20th, produced 4 Whooper Swans and small flocks of wandering Lapwings. These delightful plovers have decreased steadily over the years. Flocks of over 20 birds are rare. The 24th produced 2 unseasonal Skylarks, normally seen here in small numbers on early spring and autumn passage. Christmas day saw Snipes buzzing about the area. One bird passed very low over the garden. More Snipe were seen on the 27th and 28th.
On the 31st a pleasing flock of 34 Greylag Geese flew over before dusk, an atmospheric end to the birding year here in Killymarley. My last bird of the year and of the decade was a Robin still feeding around the edge of the house well into dusk.
In all 72 species were recorded in this area in 2009.
Happy New Year.
Total Comments 2

Comments

Old
hi there, i was speaking to a lady today from caledon, she was telling me there are white fronted geese around where she lives, you head into caledon take the road for auchnacloy then next right i think. its on a disapproved road that goes no where there a meadow owned by some lord who has it set a side for nature.
Posted Saturday 2nd January 2010 at 18:09 by sidick sidick is offline
Old
Monahawk's Avatar
Hi Sidick.
There is indeed a small flock of Greenland White Fronts at Caledon although I've not seen them there myself. A birding friend of mine moniters these birds regularly each winter. Sadly their numbers are dwindling. Must get out to see them.
Posted Sunday 3rd January 2010 at 10:30 by Monahawk Monahawk is offline
 
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