Sunday, January 15, 2012

2 SE owls, 2 Peregrines, 2 Merlins and a dead Skylark

HB, SC and me sen - The Point, Bull Island, Dublin, Sat 14 Jan 2012

Spent all day on Bull Island yesterday.

First was the January iwebs count (very low numbers of everything, not a single Little Egret) then I joined Helen and Sinéad who needed to see what roosted where at high tide.

If I write a quick list of our sightings -  you'll get the gist of the kind of afternoon we had:
  • 1 Merlin close up sitting, preening itself as we arrived and still preening itself as we walked away.
  • A Skylark lifted and was chased by a Merlin. Skylark flew a curve and escaped, another Merlin joined in the chase, so now we're watching 2 Merlins chasing the Skylark. Poor Skylark snatched midair by 1st Merlin only for the 2nd Merlin to try and pull the Skylark's body from the other Merlin's claws - all happening mid flight.
  • 'Short eared Owl!!' shout was called as one flew low over our heads, followed by 'There's Another'! Whilst swapping from binoculars to scope I lost sight of the SE Owls by focusing on a Peregrine Falcon which had gotten involved in the chaos.
  • 2 Peregrine Falcons sitting on the grass, each eating their own separate catches.

Didn't have my camera, so no shots, no bird photos, just happy memories.
until I think about the Skylark - so sorry.

Thanks to Helen and Sinéad and John and Ger for a great day.

Howth Head from the Point, Bull Island, Dublin - yes in January! (taken on ipod)