Saturday, 10 December 2011

Return to Clonea

News from Friday that the wonderful Clonea Bluethroat was still on show was enough to tempt me in that direction on Saturday morning. As usual I was a little bit late getting out and only arrived in the carpark at Ballinclamper around midday. However on arrival Dublin birder Brian Porter, who had been there since 8am, said the Bluethroat hadn't been seen despite extensive searches. Neither had the Buff-bellied Pipit for that matter.....bugger!!. I looked myself where I'd seen the bird 3 weeks earlier but there was no sign. I did however have a female type Black Redstart over there. As it happened though there were plenty of commoner birds feeding on the remaining weed, Robins, Blackbirds, a pair of Stonechats (great to see their numbers return following the hammering they took the previous 2 winters), Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Starlings and Wrens were all joining the Rock Pipits and Pied Wags on the rotting weed. Further out towards the shore there was a  small flock of Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, a couple of nice looking Bar-tailed Godwits and a Grey Plover. The sun came out, the temperature seemed to creep up a notch or two and it was just good to be out birding, Bluethroat or not.

Clonea Strand, Ballinclamper, Co. Waterford . 10th December 2011.
I ambled up the beach and picked up a second Black Redstart, this time a first winter male judging by the pale panel on the wing.

1st winter male Black Redstart - Ballinclamper, Co. Waterford 10th December 2011

1st winter male Black Redstart - Ballinclamper, Co. Waterford 10th December 2011. 1 of at least 5 birds there today!

As I watched him, 2 more first winter male type Black Redstarts appeared and at one stage I had 3 in a single binocular view and out of the corner of my eye, further up the beach, I could see a fourth. Along with the first bird I had on arrival that was 5 Black Redstarts. Michael Cowming said there were a further 2 about a kilometer up the beach. An impressive count indeed, they must have a had a good year or perhaps the mild winter so far has meant they've not felt the need to move further south.....I don't really know.
I watched the birds feeding on the weed for a while, chased away at times by the local Rock Pipits, a territorial Robin and a pair of Stonechats.
With the light fading I returned to the car, by now the sea was flat calm and I could make out a single Great Northern Diver and Great Crested Grebe about 500 meters off shore. I hadn't time on the way back to check for the Black-necked Grebe or Long-tailed Ducks reported at Dungarvan but tomorrow is another day.

No comments:

Post a Comment