Sunday, September 8, 2013

A long week

 Golden plover, Rogerstown
With a lot of American waders turning up in the last week I tried a few sites this week with little success. Kilcoole had almost 200 dunlin, 70 ringed plover but little else, a few whimbrel passing south were the only sign of migration. I tried Swords the following day but the tide was high and 4 ruff roosting with the redshank were the best, a distant swift was just too far away to do anything with. Moved swiftly to Rogerstown where there were good numbers of dunlin but I couldn't dig anything out, 2 golden plovers stayed around long enough for a few sketches. I did flush a wader which showed no wing bars and a dark rump but the views were very brief as it flew over the mounds surrounding the flooded field. A flighty buff b was in the same spot this morning, damn! 

 Imm male reedling
I was in north Wexford yesterday, a great start with a red kite circling low over the road near Wicklow town, a green sand in off the sea and a few migs around the carpark. But by 9am the wind picked up and there was nothing doing.

 Greenland wheatears
There were 2 whinchats with over 30 wheatears along the dunes during the day, some of the wheatears gave great close views. Made a nice subject for some sketching.
By 5pm we were back in the car and ready to leave, when a buzzing sounding wagtail passed south just over head had us running towards the reedbed again. After finding one of the whinchats again, we were about to give up when the wagtail flew over calling a 2nd time. It landed in a field before flying back over our heads giving great close views, banking infront showing huge white wingbars and all the features you'd expect on a 1st winter citrine wagtail! It landed out of view in the marsh, only flying out as a large flock of hirrundines passed over head. I heard it call a few times but couldn't pick it up. We moved north again and while trying to re-locate it I had great views of a few reedlings sheltering low down in a channel. A probable spotted redshank was heard calling late in the evening but I couldn't get onto it.
 Spent this morning hoping to find a two-barred crossbill at a traditional crossbill site, atleast a dozen commons' were feeding in trees around the carpark at Cruagh wood but nothing amongst them.
I found quite a bit of woodpecker damage near the carpark, with around 20 pairs in Ireland confined to braodleaved woodland, it was interesting to find this in a coniferous forest. I'll be back to keep an eye on the crossbills, hopefully I'll get to pin down a woodpecker or two during the winter.

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