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Killymarley. December 2011. Missing birds.

Posted Wednesday 4th January 2012 at 16:11 by Monahawk
A couple of months back I mentioned how I missed the local snipes here. Well apart from that one sighting in October of 3 birds flying over my house, I have not seen any here since. I carefully watched a hunter in a local bog the other day to see if he would flush any up, he flushed up absolutely nothing. Apart from the lack of breeding snipe, it crossed my mind that two other species have vanished as a result of last years Arctic winter.
Up until last winter at least two pairs of grey wagtails...
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Killymarley. November 2011. 'Got to have one of them'

Posted Wednesday 30th November 2011 at 20:03 by Monahawk
November. Dull, dull and dull is how I can describe November this year. Just like November should be. Dark, mild and very wet. And what about the birds? Well more redwings and fieldfares have filtered in locally, siskins are showing in good numbers, whooper swans occasionally lumber across the sky, a spectacular peregrine winged low over the garden on the 23rd and a crossbill flew over the house on the 30th. Most of the time nothing too exciting to write home about.
So what do I really want...
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Killymarley. October 2011.Snipelessness

Posted Monday 31st October 2011 at 14:48 by Monahawk
When a bird disappears from your local patch you soon notice it especially if it is a species that is not exactly common and has an air of charisma about it. That is how it is with snipe here.
Until 2009 a pair or two regularly bred on the local patches of bog. I used to look forward to the 'drumming' in spring and early summer. I could watch them performing their unique air display from the comfort of my house which overlooks a valley where the bogs are located. But in the last two years...
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Killymarley. September 2011. Nightmare Journey.

Posted Friday 30th September 2011 at 13:59 by Monahawk
On the 19th of this month,I was gazing out of my front window into the grey, murky, drizzly early morning when my eyes espied a flock of midge like creatures dancing far off high in the sky. This flock rapidly neared the house and it soon transformed they were swallows. Lots of them in fact. One of the biggest I have seen, especially around these parts. They were part of a massive, swirling gathering of migrating swallows, some probably local, others from other parts of Ireland, all making that...
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Killymarley. August 2011. Farewell Swifts.

Posted Tuesday 30th August 2011 at 13:42 by Monahawk
I sometimes ask myself which of the local summer birds do I miss most when they leave for their wintering grounds. I suppose I could say all of them, but if there has to be one to be singled out, it would be the swift. Why? They are the complete summer bird, arriving here in early summer and departing in late summer. No early spring arrivals or autumn stragglers, just pure summer. Their stay is sadly too brief. I build up excitement in anticipation of their arrival in late April or early May. I...
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