Thursday, 29 October 2015

Catch-up, With A Few Random Updates and Thoughts...

Records of ringed birds are now starting to flow in from away from Strangford Lough.
Bob Proctor, who has been closely reporting on the long-term presence of 36WW at the Lossie Estuary on the Moray coast in NE Scotland, which is at the divide between the "our" East Canadian High Arctic flyway population and those from the East Atlantic flyway, reports the arrival of yet another of our marked birds, on 25 October.
Records by numerous observers indicate that at long last birds are starting to filter down into the Dublin area, although as yet in small numbers, with recent records from Dublin Bay, Malahide, Rogerstown and Baldoyle.
Significant numbers of brent (200+) have been present in Dundrum Bay, Co. Down since the start of the month, and many of the ringed birds there, which mostly have not been recorded staging through Strangford Lough, are accompanied by good-sized broods.
Sandy Alcorn reports a couple of ringed birds from Ballyness Bay, near Falcarragh in Co. Donegal on 16 October. Birds from here are particularly of interest, as it is located at the NW corner of Ireland, which could be expected to be used by birds either migrating in directly from Iceland, or birds moving round from places like Lough Foyle.
Much further afield, Ray Bennett, a hunter in Labrador, NL, Eastern Canada, reported shooting Z4LY, a bird we ringed as a juvenile on Strangford Lough last autumn, on 17 October, 2014. This bird is, from memory, one of only three or four of our birds which have been recorded apparently trying to move down the eastern seaboard of North America, rather than taking the normal route over Greenland. One of the latter birds actually ended up down the St. Lawrence River in USA!! Whilst of course one regrets the passing of such birds, the fact that hunters actually report such records to us is extremely valuable, so many thanks, Ray.
In Sligo, Martin Enright has continued to record marked birds from Sligo Bay, where peak numbers seem to be around the 260 mark.
Tonight comes the news, from Henry Cook, of the first ringed bird to be read in Wales this winter, at Conwy Bay. BDWW, ringed at Greyabbey, Strangford Lough in autumn 2005, has been recorded almost annually from this general area in Wales, so great to see it back there again!
Also today, Alain Livory and Roselyne Coulomb have reported that they recorded their first hrota at Regnéville, in Normandy, France, the numerically most important site nearest the currently proven southern limits of our flyway , on 19 October. They report still only about 20 present today, but including at least 11 juveniles!

Finally, on a subject nearer home, Patricia Watson has taken this photograph of a flood protection wall currently being built adjacent to the main road at the southern lagoon at North Bull, Dublin City, which a lot of you will know as part of one of the most important sites for brent geese  in Ireland. The wall on the right is what exists at present, the wall on the left is what is rapidly being built. It is understood that this section of road has never been subject to flooding in the past, and political representatives support the view that the consultation process with locals has been limited.
Not only is the wall going to soon obscure, from those driving into Dublin, one of the most iconic views of Dublin, other brent goose observers, including Miryam Harris, are reporting that it is causing disturbance to those geese already arrived in Dublin. Anyone wishing to see more can enter "stop the sea wall dollymount" into your search engine, where there are a number of videos, showing what is happening on the ground. It is understood that there is now an on-line website for people to sign an objection, for which details are not yet available.


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