Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Winter Birding - sort of!

After several days of eating, drinking and sitting on the sofa it took quite an effort to drag ourselves out this morning but seeing as the Ballinclamper Bluethroat was still present, both myself and Polina decided to head over to Co. Waterford to take a look.
Word from Twitter was that the bird had been seen in the morning but had remained elusive. However when we arrived at 12:45 the bird was on show below the car park much to the delight of the 10 or so birders that were watching it.
We both had nice views of the bird as it moved up the beach, but having already gotten decent shots of it 5 weeks ago I didn't take any shots this time and instead just watched it through my bins for about 10 minutes before it did a typical disappearing trick into the tussocky grass.
Once it was gone from view I moved further up the beach to see if any of the Black Redstarts were still present but all I could find were a few Pied Wagtails and Rock Pipits.
While Polina tried for further shots of the Bluethroat I headed for the beach on eastern side of the carpark. There were plenty of birds here feeding happily on the weed, everything from Wrens, Choughs, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Robins and a single 1st winter male Black Redstart. This bird was quite obliging and allowed a few decent shots as it fed amongst the rocks and seaweed.

1st winter male Black Redstart

Black Redstart Youtube Clip

Its been almost 7 years since I first saw a wintering Black Red in Ireland (in 2005 at Dun Laoghaire's East Pier) and I've seen many since in Ireland and in towns and cities across Europe but they are a bird I still really enjoy seeing everytime.
The Choughs which are always present at Ballinclamper posed briefly for some shots although I always struggle to expose them properly. I've added a movie clip also although you might want to turn the sound down on your pc as the wind noise is pretty strong. I'm sure there's some way of editing that out but I'm a bit of a novice with the HD movie function on the 5D.

Chough, Ballinclamper, Co. Waterford, 27th December 2011

Youtube clip of Chough

After a couple of minutes with the local Choughs we though it was time for lunch and so we headed back to the car. Warmed up by some coffee and a sandwich we decided to give the Bluethroat another go. About 400 meters up the beach it was giving nice views, not great light but still possible to get some shots. It's hard to belief that this bird is still present into late December, more than 5 weeks after it was first found by Micheal Cowming. It has given a lot of enjoyment to many birders this year and its been a nice bird to show to interested passersby. I suppose the mild winter, abundance of food and suitable shelter have meant its survived well so far. Hopefully it'll continue to do so into 2012.

5 weeks and still there - Bluethroat, Ballinclamper, Co. Waterford, 27th December 2011
With the light fading quickly and the cold setting in we headed back to the car and set off for home. All in all a really enjoyable days birding, a Yellow-legged Gull was also present at Ballinclamper with a Black-necked Grebe, a Slavonian Grebe, 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 2 Velvet Scoters present at nearby Dungarvan. Well done to the Waterford birders for continuously digging out the birds here. Its always a pleasure to come over to the Dungarvan area for a bit of birding!

No comments:

Post a Comment