Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fifth Carlingford Birding Weekend - 28 - 30th May 2010

For the Fifth Carlingford Birding Weekend we decided to try something a bit different, focusing on the birds of the mountains rather than the shore. In the summer months the Irish shores are largely bereft of birds who spend our summer breeding further north in Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Scandinavia and further east. However we have several breeding species in the mountains that are of interest and these were our targets. The weekend started Friday evening with an illustrated talk by Eric Dempsey of Mooney Goes Wild at the Four Seasons Hotel. Then we were up at 7am on Saturday morning to look for grasshopper warbler and cuckoo but were beaten back to the coast by unseasonable driving rain, and so spent the morning observing the black guillemots, dunlin, sanderling and others at giles quay, then other seabirds at balaggan point (shearwaters, gannets, terns). That night we returned to the Cooley mountains for woodcock and grasshopper warbler which duly performed. On the Sunday morning we went up to the mast on Annaverna and carefully made out way down where we found breeding wheatears and a jay, as well as all the other usual mountain birds (buzzard, kestrel, ravens etc).

Waiting for the roding woodcock to show in the Cooley mountains - they did show at 10:13pm, and the grasshopper warbler chimed in just after they left.
Over 60 species were seen over the weekend included the following:

  1. Sand Martin

  2. Whitethroat

  3. Swallow

  4. Blackbird

  5. Song Thrush

  6. Dunnock

  7. House martin

  8. Shelduck

  9. Ringed Plover

  10. Little Egret

  11. Oystercatcher

  12. Redshank

  13. Curlew

  14. Wren

  15. Chiffchaff (Singing)

  16. Woodpigeon

  17. Feral Pigeon

  18. Black Guillemot

  19. Rock Pipit

  20. Sanderling

  21. Dunlin

  22. Hooded Crow

  23. Gannet

  24. Common Gull

  25. Sandwich Tern

  26. Cormorant

  27. Manx Shearwater

  28. Meadow Pipit

  29. Fulmar

  30. Greenfinch

  31. House Sparrow

  32. Mallard

  33. Great Black Backed Gull

  34. Herring Gull

  35. Black-headed Gull

  36. Swift

  37. Blue tit

  38. Goldfinch

  39. Jackdaw

  40. Rook

  41. Magpie

  42. Robin

  43. Starling

  44. Bullfinch

  45. Pheasant

  46. Great Tit

  47. Kestrel

  48. Chaffinch

  49. Long-tail tit (Calling)

  50. Woodcock

  51. Grasshopper Warbler

  52. Linnet

  53. Willow warbler

  54. Skylark

  55. Wheatear

  56. Raven

  57. Grey Herron

  58. Jay

  59. Pied Wagtail

  60. Buzzard