'Amazeballs' birding yesterday!!
A Wicklow branch outing to Sally Gap, Coronation plantation and some pine woods along Military road was made to order.
I was happy out to start with, we were going to spend the morning around moorland/ bogland looking for upland birds, there was a scorchio sun in a pure blue sky (23º), the roads around the Sally gap were empty and because I arrived a little early I had the babbling river Liffey to myself before the mob arrived.
|Coronation plantation, Wicklow. Great spot to have to yourself, saw 2 grey wagtails along this stretch of the River Liffey, no Dippers though. May 26th 2012|
|The Wickla Mob|
The day's list of what I saw, Saturday 26th May, 2012, 9am - 2.30pm
(maybe more species I didn't see, eg I think someone saw a Whitethroat)
Cuckoo (a calling and displaying cuckoo no less)
Red grouse x 2, flushed by accident within 5 mins of walking from the Military rd carpark near Sally Gap
Whinchats, Niall counted 4 at Coronation plantation - my first time seeing one
Crossbills - seen where Tolka Branch saw them at their outing last week (bilberry woods)
Grey wagtails x 2, at boulders Coronation plantation
Spotted flycatchers - Coronation plantation and Bilberry woods
No Newts - anywhere
Chaffinches (galore) - everywhere
Goldcrests - Bilberry woods
No Dippers - at the boulders Coronation plantation
Meadow pipits - everywhere
Skylarks - everywhere
Red Squirrel - running along the ground Coronation plantation
Siskins - flying over Coronation plantation
Swallows - everywhere
Sika deer - side of Gravale
Later on my own
Stonechat (male chick) along the side of R759 going back home
Kestrel - Sallygap
Spotted flycatcher nest - Bilberry woods
Cuckoo again, possibly 2 of them at Coronation plantation
20 Crossbills - Bilberry woods
Wheatear - Military rd towards Laragh
Grouse calling (great sound) in a completely different area of Sally gap, going towards Laragh
I'm afraid my photos from yesterday aren't up to much, weird blurring on most of them, didn't manage one of the Whinchat or Cuckoo or Red Grouse, and all the ones of the Crossbills are far away and blurry.
Mind you after such a good weekend of sunshine - who really cares.
|Female crossbill, Bilberry woods, Military rd, Wicklow. May 26th 2012|
|Female Crossbill, Bilberry woods, Military rd, Wicklow|
|Spotted flycatcher feeding a wasp to a juvenile|
|Meadow pipit, Military rd, Wicklow|
|Skylark, Military rd, Wicklow|
|Wheatear, Military rd, Wicklow|
|Irish Hare, Military rd, Wicklow. It was here where I heard the unmistakable call of a Red grouse (going up towards Luggula)|
|I stopped to take a photo of the River Liffey glistening along the R759|
|And heard an unusual tsk, tsk, tsk from the gorse below|
|Hopeful looking plumage|
|We seek him here, we seek him there.. Stonechat- a few years ago in dangerous decline, which always makes it great to see one, especially a juvenile|
Thanks loads to Niall Keogh for organising the day and for answering all our questions, thanks to the other birders who spotted and named birds I otherwise wouldn't have seen.
My own highlight was the Cuckoo.
You're in the middle of nowhere, sitting next to a glistening, babbling River Liffey, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is pure fresh, it's quiet and you can see around you for miles and miles; then you hear a real life cuckoo.
Not the sound of next door's cuckoo clock through the walls, not a playback sound from an app - an actual real life cuckoo - calling, a few hundred metres away.