Saturday, 6 December 2014

Moving On...

I guess (reluctantly, as I'm one of those who benefit from the birds being on my doorstep at Strangford Lough) that the change from here to there has now happened.
First evidence is from a text, yesterday, from Kerry Mackie that he, Alex Portig, Hugh Thurgate and Seamus Magouran, have completed their last regular specific brent count for the season at the North end of the Lough, and only found 3,000 geese, the normal over-wintering complement. Well done, those guys, for their efforts in these regular autumn counts!
I have also been getting swamped (but PLEASE keep them coming!!) particularly with records from, County Dublin, which is a major over-wintering site, and where many of the birds have been ringed. Here, the birds have historically first been regularly recorded coming out on land at the Baldoyle Bay site of the public park opposite the Texaco station at Portmarnock, and this seems to have happened again this winter.
Swedish observer, Christer Persson, who spends most of the winter months in Dublin, and is a VERY significant contributor to the database, is back "on the case", has let me know birds are already coming out on to the parks there, and has sent me the photograph below of the geese already coming out on grass, in this case at Ardscoile Ris.

This was also the experience of Pat Watson and myself, on a run down the East coast from Carlingford Lough on 02 December, when we found [600] at Lugangreen, Dundalk Bay, Co. Louth, alternating between the Bay and winter cereal fields to the rear of the Iveco repair centre.
Christer Persson and Pat Watson have also been recording high numbers of our recently ringed RB Canadian birds at Rogerstown Estuary, a feature which mirrors the last catch in Canada in the same area in 2007.This helps confirm previous research, that groups of birds tend to use the same cross-flyway (wintering, staging and breeding) sites.

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