Portmore Lough RSPB reserve hosted a barbecue for volunteers and a guided tour. The highlight was the breeding common terns – 102 nests this year. We also saw little grebe, great crested grebe, tree sparrows and over 100 mute swans as well as coot, tufted, mallard and gadwall. The wildflower meadow was at its best and there were good numbers of butterflies, mainly green-veined white. It was nice to see another reserve and to catch up on the work there.
|Wild flower meadow|
Visited Rowallane for a walk and picked up breeding swallows, two nests and five young.
Belfast WOW is still fairly quiet as the main wader passage hasn't kicked in yet. Thursday saw common sandpiper, ruff and sanderling as well as 600+ black-tailed godwits, some still in breeding plumage having newly arrived from Iceland. The entire reseve lifted twice, once when a buzzard came in and then when a raven paid a visit. Lesser black-backed gulls also cause a stir if they do not fly high and straight over. There were still sand martins and swifts, plus over 220 black-headed gulls and 250+ common terns including a good number of chicks. Only the gulls and terns came over to be photographed, everything else stayed on the far side. I need to get a nice moorhen or coot shot, but those who come close move about too quickly for the digiscope set up. The two below had the decency to pose for a while.
199: Black-necked grebe