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County Monaghan

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Old Saturday 4th February 2012, 10:58   #51
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Took a trip around the Ballybay Wetlands recently. It was very cold with a mixture of wintery showers and bright spells.
Good numbers of birds about: Mute Swan, Lapwing c. 20, Mallard, Wigeon, Rook, Grey Crow, Teal, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Snow Goose (2), Snipe, Grey Heron, Blackbird, Whooper Swans c.14 (group of 9 in a grass field just as you would drive into Ballybay itself), Mistle thrush, Great crested Grebe, Starling, Robin, Coal-tit, Blue tit,Curlew (8), Sparrowhawk, Black-headed gulls, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Great-tit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, House sparrow, Jackdaw.

Also spotted a distant Red Fox hunting the hedges around the wetlands centre.
Not the best day for a walk around but yet some good views of birds and new species for this years list.
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 14:11   #52
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A visit to Slieve Beigh this morning produced a pleasant surprise. An adult Red Grouse with six chicks in tow were ambling about the edge of a road. Unconcerned by my presence they allowed me to get close before lurking off slowly into the cover of heather and bog cotton. In over 40 years of birding I have never witnessed a family party of these normally elusive and hard to find gamebirds. I originally went here to see hen harriers but there was no sign of them. There appears to be considerable disturbance to their habitat by increased turf cutting. Cuckoos were about though and I heard a bubbling female.

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Old Wednesday 8th August 2012, 20:22   #53
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A surprise sighting in my local area this afternoon. A juvenile hen harrier passed over fields near my house before disappearing behind some trees. This is only the 4th record on my patch of this magnificent bird of prey. The previous three were all in the spring of 2007. May well have been a wandering bird from the Slieve Beagh area.

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Old Tuesday 4th September 2012, 10:14   #54
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Had a nice juvenile spotted flycatcher in the garden this morning. Quite late for here. Also a single swift over Monaghan town centre this morning.

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Old Sunday 4th November 2012, 11:13   #55
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A solitary brambling flew over my local patch early this morning. Only the 3rd record for my area. Brightened up a miserable morning.

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Old Sunday 9th December 2012, 13:52   #56
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7 waxwings flew over my garden at lunchtime. A new record for my area. Very pleasing.

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Old Sunday 3rd February 2013, 11:11   #57
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This morning while out walking the dog, I saw a kingfisher at the stream at the bottom of my road, on my patch in the townland of Coolmain. It landed briefly on a rusty old iron gate straddling the stream before darting off. This was a first for my patch.

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Old Friday 8th February 2013, 13:25   #58
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1 waxwing consuming cotoneaster berries on the edge of the lorry depot at the end of my road at lunch time. Shall keep an eye out to see if it lingers any longer. Only the 2nd record for my patch.

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Old Monday 6th May 2013, 20:16   #59
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While walking my patch with the dog this morning, I saw a male yellowhammer fly low over some farm buildings. This is a new and unusual sighting for this neck of the woods as yellowhammers, as far as I know, no longer breed in Co Monaghan although there have been sightings on the Monaghan / Louth border. What made it all the more strange is there are no ploughed or arable fields in the local area. Maybe just a single bird venturing around.

Also grasshopper warbler reeling away in one of the local bogs.

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Old Monday 6th May 2013, 22:43   #60
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Hi Si, I've seen good numbers of yellowhammers around the mid Louth area so hopefully they are starting to spread out.

Regards Gerard.
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2013, 19:59   #61
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Thanks Gerard.

I've seen plenty in Louth, especially in Dundalk Bay area and around Ardee where I often see them feeding at the side of the main road leading from Ardee to the motorway. They are extinct as a breeding species in Monaghan. Very few arable farms in the county. It remains a complete mystery as to why this bird I saw was so far north in the county. That's one of the beauties of our interest I suppose, stumbling across the unexpected.

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Old Tuesday 28th May 2013, 20:26   #62
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Thanks Gerard.

I've seen plenty in Louth, especially in Dundalk Bay area and around Ardee where I often see them feeding at the side of the main road leading from Ardee to the motorway. They are extinct as a breeding species in Monaghan. Very few arable farms in the county. It remains a complete mystery as to why this bird I saw was so far north in the county. That's one of the beauties of our interest I suppose, stumbling across the unexpected.

Si.
There is still some arable areas in the very south of the county. I had a couple of pairs of yellowhammers in breeding habitat during an atlas survey a couple of years ago, along the road to the Riverbank Inn off the main Duiblin/Derry road. And a couple of pairs of Lapwing also.

This evening on a quick visit to Concra Wood beside Lough Muckno I had a single Grasshopper Warbler and a male Crossbill. Good numbers of Redpoll and Siskin also.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2013, 16:06   #63
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Evidence of Great Spotted Woodpecker activity in Rossmore Park just outside Monaghan town. I found four different bore holes on the trunks of dead lodge pole trees within the forest park. These have been made sometime this year. As a regular walker here with my dog, I shall keep an eye and ear open for any woodpeckers. There is good habitat in the park for a small population of them.

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Old Sunday 10th November 2013, 17:24   #64
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Male Great Spotted Woodpecker in Rossmore Park today. Seen by two local birders. Be interesting to see if any have settled here. Will eagerly await late winter/early spring for any drumming birds.

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Old Sunday 15th December 2013, 08:27   #65
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Little Egret

A Little Egret was reported at Carrickmacross on friday. I dont think its a county first. Have they been seen at the Ballybay Wetland Centre?

http://www.irishbirding.com/birds/we...tle_Egret.html
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2013, 15:47   #66
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A Little Egret was reported at Carrickmacross on friday. I dont think its a county first. Have they been seen at the Ballybay Wetland Centre?

http://www.irishbirding.com/birds/we...tle_Egret.html
Not a county first Peter. Had one on the local bog behind McElvaney's lorry yard at Killymarley in 2008 and there were reports of one outside Monaghan town a couple of years earlier. Not sure if they have been seen at Ballybay, although a great white egret was there about 4 or 5 years ago.

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Old Tuesday 21st January 2014, 19:00   #67
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Great spotted woodpecker high in a treetop near the nature walk in Rossmore Park this afternoon plus 10 crossbills. Made for a pleasant visit there on a dull damp afternoon.

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Old Sunday 6th April 2014, 10:31   #68
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A garden first today. 2 Tree Sparrows seen feeding with House Sparrows on seed thrown on the lawn. A pair or two breed or have bred in the next townland of Coolmain, but rarely visit Killymarley.

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Old Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 11:16   #69
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Took a trip upto Slieve beagh yesterday. The weather started off misty with a cool breeze but the day turned out to be a nice sunny one.

Arriving at the ring road that includes the penal cross i was greeted by singing skylarks and meadow pipits. Further on I was checking the heather for red grouse when a male popped up and flew within 10 metres giving great views.
I then went to a small valley where a reeling grasshopper warbler gave brief views after a wait of 40 minutes. In the distance could be heard two cuckoos. also on show was a male hen harrier, mistle thrushes,stonechats,siskins,lesser redpolls,willow warblers by the bucket load and chiffchaffs.
Further on at a stream heading towards Knocktallon were a pair of dippers who were showing the signs of feeding young.
I popped into rosmore park on the way home to try and catch some crossbill but to no avail. Plenty of woodland species including jays and goldcrests.

An excellent day out in Monaghan overall.

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Old Saturday 7th June 2014, 18:06   #70
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2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in Rossmore Park this afternoon, one drumming which could have been territorial. Could they be a pair? I was not able to ascertain the sex of both birds. A local birding colleague saw one bird emerge from a tree hole last week, so there could be a breeding pair. I saw no activity at the said holes this afternoon. But to have 2 woodpeckers here though is promising.

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Old Sunday 8th June 2014, 11:27   #71
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Bingo! Breeding of Great Spotted Woodpecker confirmed at Rossmore Park. Female seen with juvenile this morning. Another bird drumming within the forest park. This could be a breeding first for Co. Monaghan!

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Old Monday 9th June 2014, 10:14   #72
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Bingo! Breeding of Great Spotted Woodpecker confirmed at Rossmore Park. Female seen with juvenile this morning. Another bird drumming within the forest park. This could be a breeding first for Co. Monaghan!

Si.
Congrats great find!
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Old Monday 9th June 2014, 10:31   #73
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Not a county first Peter. Had one on the local bog behind McElvaney's lorry yard at Killymarley in 2008 and there were reports of one outside Monaghan town a couple of years earlier. Not sure if they have been seen at Ballybay, although a great white egret was there about 4 or 5 years ago.

Si.
I had one at Monalty lake during the oral hearing for the Quinn power plant at Toomes, which I think was winter 08/09...
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Old Friday 24th October 2014, 14:24   #74
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A brambling flew over my house this morning. Headed towards a lane lined with beech trees nearby, but I was unable to pick up on it again. A very infrequent bird on my local area/patch.

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Old Saturday 18th April 2015, 20:40   #75
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Another great spotted woodpecker site in Co. Monaghan. Derrygorry Forest Park on the border with Co.Tyrone. 1 bird heard drumming early this morning.
Cuckoo back on Slieve Beagh with a male bird heard near the Penal Cross.

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