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Killymarley. December 2011. Missing birds. (1 Viewer)

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 bred on my patch. I saw or heard none 2011. Very sad really when one considers the local pied wagtails toughed the harsh conditions out. Obviously they are hardier birds and learn quickly when times are tough in that they can visit a feeding station in a garden to find much needed nourishment, something greys seem reluctant to do.
The other notable absentee in 2011 were a pair of moorhens which always raised a brood in a ditch bordering one of the local bogs. They were no doubt frozen out or starved.
The local tree sparrows failed to breed, not surprising really as only one bird showed in the spring and summer. I hope this is not the end for one of my favourite birds on my patch. A real downer considering they had increased slightly in 2010.
Overall 2011 saw most regular breeding species
thrive despite it being largely cool and wet. There was a notable decline in local song thrushes, but blackcaps and sedge warblers did rather well possibly helped by the summer like April.
I wonder how 2012 will fair birdwise locally?
 

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