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County Louth (formerly Dundalk Bay) local patch.

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Old Tuesday 6th September 2005, 10:09   #26
breffni
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Recent sightings around Dundalk Bay include a ring billed gull at lurgangreen, curlew sandpipers and ruff at Dundalk Harbour, an argentatus herring gull at balaggan point (which is about three miles south of Greenore on the tip of the Cooley peninsula). Otherwise wader arrivels continue with large numbers of dunlin, knot and godwit, a few golden plovers, sanderling, a few wigeon, teal - vast numbers of mallard...this morning was a huge flock of gulls, gannets, cormorant, some shag and a mixed flock of guillemot and razorbill, many juv. numbering at least 200 off Cooley point (that is 300 yards to the east of temletown beach, again near the tip of the cooley peninsula)...

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Old Monday 12th September 2005, 10:48   #27
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Just took a quick walk down by Templetoen beach to the left of the carpark. Plenty of Wheateat there, must be gathering for their return migration. Also some remaining common terns just off the point. A great site I'll make a return visit some weekend and have a better look.
Has anyone else noticed the strange brown scum thats on the water about 100 metres to the left of the car park ? Is this raw sewage going into the sea ?
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Old Monday 12th September 2005, 14:30   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth2005
Has anyone else noticed the strange brown scum thats on the water about 100 metres to the left of the car park ? Is this raw sewage going into the sea ?
The beach is blue flag - the scum is rotting seaweed combined with agricultural runoff from the sandbanks making a delightful mess. There were/are a few white wagtails around if you look closely - they seem mainly dispersing juvenile birds (look for clean flanks and ash grey unifrom mantle continuing down to rump). There was also at least one greenland wheatear among the nominate birds (noticably larger and more colourful with rufous extending all the way down breast). Out to sea there were many juv razorbills and guillemots + a staggering number of cormorants (i counted over 500 at the point yesterday) not to mentin seabass fishermen (at least six!)
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Old Monday 12th September 2005, 14:46   #29
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I noticed a very pale wagtail there an took notes but havn't looked up any guides yet, that must have been what it was. It's a lovely spot, I was there just before high tide yeaterday. I'd say it's a lovely spot on a crisp dry Winters day.
I did notice a lot of cormorants alright, didnt see any Razorbill though.

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Old Wednesday 21st September 2005, 23:00   #30
Gerry o Neill
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A report of a Snowy owl on the marsh between Soldiers Point and Blackrock north turned out to be an albino Hooded crow.Gerry o neill.
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Old Thursday 22nd September 2005, 08:19   #31
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I'd bet the poor crow didn't know what the fuss was !!
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Old Tuesday 27th September 2005, 18:50   #32
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a little stint at dundalk harbour today with two curlew sandpipers (they have been on view most days the last week or so), ruff (7 birds) also peregrine showed twice, also arrival of pb brent in the bay since the weekend at least...(look out for coloured bands!)

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Old Wednesday 28th September 2005, 09:29   #33
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Great stuff, will try and get a run down this afternoon to see if I can spot my forst goose of the winter !

Also following http://www.wwt.org.uk/supergoose/latestlocation.asp BBC Supergoose
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Old Friday 30th September 2005, 22:48   #34
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this evening on the way out for a pint, swung by whitestown and balagggan, first came caross a buzzard stalking a hare, somewhat improbably...after landing a few feet away it sprung at the hare, wings out, the hare just hopped a few feet away and watched again...eventually aother buzzard arrived and seemed to chase off the first one. Later on the shore saw a small flock of meadow pipit, one of which very striking (not the one shown), maybe something, maybe nothing, flew off before i could see properly...anyway further on a snow bunting picking along the roadside near balaggan point before the light went...
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Old Saturday 1st October 2005, 10:42   #35
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Nice photos, What kind of camera do you use ?
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Old Sunday 2nd October 2005, 11:18   #36
breffni
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coolpix 4500 wt televid 77 - shots that turn out well always seem like flukes...
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 12:14   #37
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More and more wintering birds arriving all the time: greylag geese, a few pintail, big numbers of wigeon and teal, also snipe,ruff, eider, rb mergansers, great northern, red neck divers, scoter, plenty of confusing gulls...and a flock of several hundred redwing passed through the other day. Also seen a merlin and short eared owl in the hermitage/salterstown area, as well as a beached porpose...very little in the way of passerine vagants so far.
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 12:57   #38
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further to...the recent bad weather is bringing in huge numbers of gulls and auks - attached a 2W common gull and black headed bull. The black guillemots are as far in as dundalk harbour, the pictured birds are on giles quay in full winter plum...(note one sports a bto ring, couldn't read it though)
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 13:22   #39
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Whats the best time to go down to Balaggan Point for bird watching. High tide ?
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 14:55   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth2005
Whats the best time to go down to Balaggan Point for bird watching. High tide ?
Rising tide for waders - same as carlingford bay (park on the hard shoulder and wait). For passerines its best following an easterly blast (look along the edge of the road and in the shrubs, trees and hedgerows inland). For gulls its best in a rough sea with big breakers pounding the seaweed. For auks, divers and sawbills its best on an incoming tide when its stormy out at sea - they seem to follow the tide in.
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 15:04   #41
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Cheers for that. Went down to Clogher head last Saturday, parked at the beach as you said and walked up the hill. Its a lovely walk. Not much in the way of strange birds though.
Plenty of Finches on the move around there Linnet mostly I think. Some Brent Geese at the pier in Annagassan along with plenty of Turnstone.
I'll take a spin out to Balaggan on Sunday hopefully.
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 10:02   #42
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october update

Wintering waders and wildfowl numbers steadily building. Recent arrivals include whooper swans (seemed healthy enough), greylag geese with pink footed and white fronted seen, and a dark bellied brent (lurgangreen/seabank) + a barnacle goose. Also recently reported a gull-billed tern, common tern, arctic skuas, 3 twite and a cooperative merlin (all at "hermitage" - the south boundry of the patch), good numbers of red throat and great northern divers offshore. Passerines scarce with passing wheatear, a few chiffchaff, and an apparent minor influx of goldcreast...also a beached porpoise off lurgangreen - a few crappy shots attached...
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http://www.spiritstore.ie/birds/spir..._ecosystem.php
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Old Tuesday 1st November 2005, 11:22   #43
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Took the dog for a walk down past Balaggan on Monday. Plenty of Waders about alright. Also say 3 Brent geese and some Wheatear. Found ( My dog did ) 2 dead Auks there also.
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Old Saturday 26th November 2005, 10:49   #44
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northerly gales...

...have brought in a big arrival of redwing and fieldfare around the fields in Cooley, snipe along the shore, huge numbers of wigeon. Also seen recently were twite (hermitage), short eared owl (lurgangreen), redpoll (ballymac bay and elsewhere), waxwing (three near carlingford), late whimbrel (balaggan/carlingford)...
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Old Monday 19th December 2005, 09:39   #45
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Hi, great to see a local thread running. I heard that there are some waxwings in Dundalk, did anybody hear where abouts they were or if they are still around. I've never seen one and decided to try and spot one this winter.

I thought I'd mention too in case you haven't tried it before, the road along the Boyne estuary, running from Drogheda to Baltray, is excellent for birdwatching. I've seen up to 5 little egrets there (although they are a bit elusive at the moment) and there tends to be good numbers of your other usuals. It's not great for parking but is certainly worth checking out if you haven't been there before.
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Old Wednesday 28th December 2005, 20:26   #46
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Hi Ardnasx1,

Haven't heard about any Waxwings in the area though I have been busy with work lately. I might take a look down at that location for the Egrets though as I'm spending a lot of time working in Drogheda at the minute.
Anyway nice to see another local birder on the thread !
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Old Saturday 31st December 2005, 10:20   #47
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Welcome indeed - the more people watching dundalk bay the better - on the last iweb count in December, with limited hours of daylight and not a great tidal situation, i tried to see how many species i could get in a single day (6 hours) - the result is below - a total of 77 species. I believe that it should be fairly easy to hit 100 species on a good day September/October. For 2005, in terms of raritities, the best were probably the white-rumped and pectoral sandpipers, the little auk, the gull-billed tern and the ring necked duck, black redstart - there are probably others...(past rarities have included American Bittern, Little Bittern, Night Heron, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, King Eider, Gyr Falcon, Baird's Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Dowitcher sp., Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson's Phalarope, Laughing Gull, Franklin's Gull, Forster's Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Pallid Swift, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Radde's Warbler, Hobby, Black-throat Diver etc etc)


Bar-tailed Godwit
Black Guillemot
Blackbird
Black-headed Gull
Black-tailed Godwit
Blue Tit
Buzzard
Coal Tit
Collared Dove
Common Gull
Common Scoter
Coot
Cormorant
Curlew
Curlew sandpiper
Dipper
Dunlin
Dunnock
Firecrest
Golden Plover
Goldeneye
Goldfinch
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Crested Grebe
Great Northern Diver
Great Tit
Greenfinch
Greenshank
Grey Heron
Grey Plover
Guillemot
Herring Gull
Hooded Crow
House Sparrow
Jackdaw
Kestrel
Kingfisher
Knot
Lapwing
Less Black-backed Gull
Light-bellied Brent Goose
Linnet
Little Egret
Little Grebe
Magpie
Mallard
Meadow Pipit
Merlin
Mistle thrush
Moorhen
Mute Swan
Oystercatcher
Pied Wagtail
Pintail
Red-breasted Merganser
Redshank
Red-throated Diver
Reed Bunting
Ringed Plover
Rock Pipit
Rook
Sanderling
Scaup
Shag
Shag
Shelduck
Shoveler
Song thrush
Starling
Stonechat
Teal
Tree sparrow
Turnstone
Whooper Swan
Wigeon
Wood pigeon
Wren

Last edited by breffni : Sunday 1st January 2006 at 09:07.
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Old Tuesday 3rd January 2006, 13:55   #48
ardnasx1
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Wow, that's some selection of birds to spot in the one day.

The little egret was along the Boyne at lunchtime today. It was there about 3 days ago also, they used to be there all the time but now it could be only once a week when I'd see one. I managed to see 3 jays in Dunany at the weekend. I rarely ever see them, are they normally widespread or is it just that I never see them ?
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Old Wednesday 4th January 2006, 13:41   #49
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Thumbs up Freddie

Hi to all you local birders! I've just picked up on this thread. I will endeavour to
add any local news/sightings etc. as they come along. Wasn't out much over Christmas due to family reasons but hope to make up for it in the New Year.
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Old Thursday 5th January 2006, 09:28   #50
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Hi Freddie,

Attached photos of the previously noted snowy owl (in fact a leucistic crow, maybe an albino - the legs and bill were pinkinh in the field though i couldnt make out the eye colour). Seen at the end of the marsh road so still hanging around marsh south (between blackrock and dundalk). Looks a bit like a rook from some angles...
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