Saturday, 25 June 2016

What - Six...

      Latest Visit To Antrim Marina       
On Friday 25th June, I made my latest visit to Antrim Marina.  I had been hoping to make two visits each week, but I've been too busy doing other 'birdie' things.

In my aim to record all of the 'Resident' Black-headed Gulls at Antrim Marina, one gull turned up during my visit, which has left me with a slight dilemma -   2AAT .  I last recorded this gull on my final weekly, winter visit on the 27th March 2016.  Checking back on the random visits made to the Marina last summer,    2AAT  was not recorded from the 5th April 2015, until the first of my 2015/2016 winter visits on Sunday 2nd August.

Having not been sighted until now, does this mean   2AAT  has returned having completed it's nesting season somewhere else or has it been nesting nearby without being noted?  The answer to this will not be known now and perhaps observations during next year's breeding season, may shed some 'light' on the problem.

A second sighting of   2ALH , a gull which was originally ringed as a chick on the Copeland Islands in County Down in 2013, adds more fuel to the belief that it is breeding on the 'Torpedo Platform' close by.  It will be interesting to see whether this bird remains at the Marina for the forthcoming winter.

I also noted, that   2ABF , was collecting nest material on the small sandy beach.  Some gulls are clearly making renewed attempts at breeding, having lost their original eggs or chicks.  At Inch Island on Wednesday, I came across several BHG nests with eggs or newly hatched chicks, all probably the result of a second attempt to rear young. 

Black-headed Gull Sightings  -  Friday 24th June 2016
 2AAH   2AAF   2ABS   2AAV   2AAT   2BRA   2ABF   2ALH   2AAC 

Resident BHGs  -  Recorded During the 2016 Breeding Season
 2AAV   2AAP   2AAA   2ADD   2AAH   2ABK   2ABL   2BRA   2AAB 
(4/13) (2/13) (5/13) (7/13) (8/13) (6/13) (7/13) (4/13) (3/13)
(8/13) (6/13) (3/13) (6/13) (4/13) (2/13) (3/13) (1/13)
(Total Sightings / Total Visits)

First Summer Sighting of    2AAT   -  Antrim Marina  -  (24 Jun 2016)

Second Summer Sighting of    2ALH   -  Antrim Marina  -  (24 Jun 2016)

During my visit, 2 Mute Swans were present, one of which was ringed -   W34158 .  Around 30 Mallards were also present and with most legs viewed, neither of last week's 'metal-ringed' drakes were sighted.  I also briefly re-sighted the Common Gull   2AJP , which was first recorded here by Suzanne Belshaw on the 13th June 2016 (Ringing details below).


      Ringing Details       
Suzanne Belshaw emailed me with the ringing details of Common Gull   2AJP , which she spotted at Antrim Marina on the 13th June 2016.  Also a 'Ring Watcher', Suzanne knew this would be one from Shane Wolsey's Study on the Copeland Islands in County Down.

In his reply to Suzanne, Shane stated that   2AJP   was ringed as a chick on Big Copeland Island on the 29th June 2013.  This gull's only other previous sighting was on the 1st March 2014 at Dublin in the Republic of Ireland - 153km/95 miles to the south-west.  The distance from the Copelands to Antrim Marina is 45km/28 miles in a westerly direction.

Again, my thanks to Suzanne for the information.

Common Gull  -    2AJP   -  Antrim Marina  (24 Jun 2016)


      3rd Visit to Inch Island       
The third and final visit was made to Inch Island in County Donegal on Wednesday 22nd June.  The ringing party was made up with John Clarke and Ken Perry, who concentrated on Tern chicks and Adam McClure and myself, 'colour-ringing' Black-headed Gull youngsters.  Andrew Speer, the Head Wildfowl Ranger and boatman, along with his son Jack, helped to locate chicks.

Once again, our time on the island was limited, as many gulls, terns and ducks, still had nests with eggs.  Several pairs of Tufted Ducks, have now laid since our previous visit to the island.  Also, three of the Black-headed Gull chicks that we 'colour-ringed' last time out, were found dead - unfledged.  I never got round to ringing any Common Tern chicks, as we were too busy with BHGs.

I will post a summary of the three visits, once I obtain the results from Ken.  Our thanks to Andrew, for allowing us to ring at this very interesting little island.

Head Wildfowl Ranger and Boatman - Andrew Speer with young Sandwich Tern
Inch Island, County Donegal  -  (22 Jun 2016)

Young Sandwich Tern  -  Inch Island, County Donegal  (22 Jun 2016)


      Buzzard Chicks Ringed       
On Thursday 23rd June, Eimear Rooney, of the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG), along with Adam McClure, met up with me to ring Buzzard chicks at some of the tree nests that I have been following this summer.  Neither of them carry out any cliff work to ring chicks, so none of these sites were included.

Eimear has been studying Buzzards in Northern Ireland for several years, which includes the 'metal-ringing' of youngsters, along with the addition of coloured 'wing-tags' bearing a number or a letter and fitted onto chicks large enough to take them.  Eimear allowed me the privilage, to 'metal-ring' these birds as part of my training.

In all, 14 youngsters were processed during the day.  Time didn't allow for all nests to be visited.  A couple of other nests, could not be attempted, as the young were too big and 'branching out', or the trees were too risky for climbing.

One Buzzard nest turned out to be something special.  I had checked the site a couple of weeks back.  Although at the time, no young could be seen, it was obvious that there was at least one chick, going by the droppings on and below the nest, also by the prey debris present.

On our arrival, three large youngsters could clearly be seen standing on the nest.  I took out my camera and zoomed in.  I saw a fourth chick and possibly a fifth, which to the three of us, was probably unlikely.  You can imagine our surprise, when Adam reached the nest with the use of climbing irons, shouting out - there's six!!

Lowering these down in two sets of three, Eimear began the task of processing them, by which time three adults were now in the air, alarm calling.  This confirmed the presence of two females.  We'll never know, whether the females laid their eggs and incubated them side by side, or laid them as one clutch and took turns at incubation.

One chick, was slightly too small for a 'wing-tag' to be fitted, but the nest was easily the highlight of the day.  This is the second Buzzard nest to be recorded with six young in Northern Ireland, the first being at Mount Stewart in County Down last year.  Normally, Buzzards would fledge one to three, occasionally four chicks, but two six's in two years is quite something.

Three Buzzard Chicks Old Enough to Branch Out  -  (21 Jun 2016)

Adam McClure Did all the Climbing  -  (23 Jun 2016)

Eimear Hard at Work Processing Two Chicks  -  (23 Jun 2016)

Head Shot of Young Buzzard Chick  -  (23 Jun 2016)

Buzzard Chick With 'Wing-tag' Fitted  -  (23 Jun 2016)

The Surprise View Adam Got at the Nest  -  (23 Jun 2016)
(Photo Courtesy of Adam McClure)

The Six Chicks Ready to be Replaced into Their Nest  -  (23 Jun 2016)

Eimear (Looking Like a Proud Mum)  -  (23 Jun 2016)

My thanks to Eimear and Adam, for coming to ring these Buzzard youngsters.  If any of the chicks are found after fledging, I'll post these stories on the Blog.  My thanks also go to landowners for their permission to allow direct visits to the nests.  No names can be given, to safeguard the locations.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Red Kites...

      Further Visits At Antrim Marina       
A further two visits have been made to Antrim Marina, on my quest to identify all the resident Black-headed Gulls which will be nesting in the area.  On Monday, Suzanne Belshaw had a very productive visit, recording 10 of Adam's Study birds and the first 'Colour-ringed' Common Gull to be seen at the site.  During her visit, she noticed   2AAC  was limping,    2ABS  had a sore eye and   2ABK  was collecting nest material.

My visit to the Marina on Friday, was not so good.  I only had a limited amount of time available and recorded just three of Adam's gulls.  As I arrived, the 'Maid of Antrim' pleasure boat, was just coming in from the Lough.  It had been carrying a large party of school children, many of which remained until their transport arrived.

Although the gulls did fly in, they would not settle until after the children had departed.  Of the three gulls I did record, I noticed that   2ABL , had an injured leg and could not put any weight on it.  This injury must have occurred since Monday, as Suzanne made no mention of it, having re-sighted the gull during her visit.  It looks as if a few gulls are having a rough time of it, for whatever reason.

My thanks again to Suzanne for her input, especially as she lives in Lisburn and would have to drive nearly 20 miles to reach the Marina.

Re-sightings by Suzanne Belshaw  (Monday 13th June 2016)
 2AAC   2AAF   2AAV   2ABK   2ABF   2ABL   2ABS   2ADD   2ADJ   2ANS 

My Re-sightings  (Friday 17th June 2016)
 2ABL   2ADJ   2AAH 

Resident BHGs  -  Recorded During the 2016 Breeding Season
 2AAV   2AAP   2AAA   2ADD   2AAH   2ABK   2ABL   2BRA 
(3/12) (2/12) (5/12) (7/12) (7/12) (6/12) (7/12) (3/12)
(3/12) (8/12) (5/12) (3/12) (5/12) (3/12) (1/12) (2/12)
(Total Sightings / Total Visits)

Injured Black-headed Gull  -    2ABL   -  Antrim Marina  (17 Jun 2016)

Common Gull  -     2AJP  
During Suzanne Belshaw's visit to Antrim Marina on Monday 13th June to record the Black-headed Gulls present, she also spotted a pair of Common Gulls on the Long Jetty.  One of these was 'Darvic-ringed and Suzanne managed to obtain the code -   2AJP , as well as a couple of photos of the gull.

This is the first 'colour-ringed' Common Gull, to have been recorded at the Marina, since I began my visits back in September 2013.  We know this will be one from Shane Wolsey's study on the Copeland Islands in County Down and now await it's ringing details.

Common Gull  -    2AJP   -  Antrim Marina  (13 Jun 2016)
Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw

  2AJP  was also my first sighting, during my visit on Friday, along with it's mate.  I also spotted two male Mallards with 'metal-rings', but having taken a number of photos, I could only confirm one number - that of    5MN 1156 , ringed as a juvenile in June 2015, in County Monaghan.

Common Gull  -    2AJP   -  Antrim Marina  (17 Jun 2016)


      More from Inch Island       
In my last post, I reported on our second visit to Inch Island in County Donegal, to ring tern & gull chicks.  Being pushed for time, in order to keep disturbance to minimum, I completely forgot to take photos.

I emailed Marina Mulligan, whom I knew was taking photos and asked her if she could send me a couple of copies.  Marina has now sent me three pictures taken during our visit, for which I am very grateful to receive.  Thank you Marina.

The third and final visit to Inch, is planned for the forthcoming week.  Adam McClure and myself, will once again be concentrating on 'colour-ringing' Black-headed Gull chicks.  I am also keen to get a few snaps of the Common Tern eggs and chicks and perhaps to have the chance to ring a few of these youngsters as well.  Must mind to take a couple of  my 'memory pills' and not forget to take photos!!!

Myself, Gathering Black-headed Gull Chicks for Ringing  -  Inch Island  (08 Jun 2016)

Black-headed Gull Chick after Ringing  -  Inch Island  (08 Jun 2016)

Same Chick Heading for Cover to Hide  -  Inch Island  (08 Jun 2016)
Photos Courtesy of Marina Mulligan


      Ringing Red Kites in County Down       
Red Kites are Birds of Prey, that are now nesting again in Northern Ireland, following the release of chicks into the wild. These were obtained under licence, from nests on the British mainland and this summer 13 breeding pairs have been located so far.

On Saturday 18th June, I met up with Eimear Rooney (Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group) and Adam McClure (ex Red Kite Officer with the RSPB, who now runs the Northern Ireland Black-headed Gull Study), to have a chance to 'metal-ring' some of this year's chicks in County Down.

Having worked to the early hours of Saturday morning, Eimear and Adam had already ringed chicks at two sites by the time I met up with them.  Together, we went on to visit another three nest-sites and I had the pleasure of handling and ringing a couple of youngsters at two of these.  The Kites at the third site, had failed in their nesting attempt.

It was a real privilege to be given this opportunity and my thanks go to Eimear and Adam for inviting me along.  Older chicks are also 'wing-tagged', which are coloured and numbered, so these birds can be identified while in flight and is a means of keeping track of these individuals in the future.

Once again, I forgot to bring the camera, having left it in my car.  I had wanted to take photos of Eimear and Adam, scaling the trees to the nests.  Adam saved the day, by sending me a couple of photos taken from his phone.  It was great to add these exceptionally beautiful birds to my ringing totals.  I cant wait now for the Kites to reach and start breeding in County Antrim, where I can study them more closely. 

Red Kite Chick that I Ringed  -  County Down  (18 Jun 2016)
Photo Courtesy of Adam McClure

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Site One - Ringed...

      Antrim Marina - 10th June 2016       
On Friday, 10th June, I undertook my latest visit to Antrim Marina.  Arriving about 11am, I stayed until 2pm, despite a thunderstorm and the torrential rain that started to pour about 1.15.  During the deluge, I noticed a good number of Black-headed Gulls flying to nearby trees and appeared to be enjoying quite a feast.

I reckon they were feeding on caterpillars which had fallen onto the grass below, having been displaced by the force of the raindrops.  I've never seen this behaviour before, but it goes to show how some gulls know what to do in such conditions.  At the same time, they would also get some shelter from the elements.

I also observed a number of BHGs collecting nest material and then flying towards the 'Torpedo Platform'.  Perhaps, some gulls failed on their first attempt at breeding and are now having another go.  One of these gulls was   2AAA , though it really is quite late in the season to be trying again.

I re-sighted eight 'Darvic-ringed' BHGs during my visit and nothing new was added to overall table.  A couple of gulls that have been recorded during previous summers on random visits, have as yet to be sighted this summer.  Despite more of an effort to record the residents, the results so far, just about mirror what was already known.

Black-headed Gulls Recorded Today  (10th June 2016)
 2ADD   2AAH   2ABS   2ADJ   2AAA   2AAC   2ABF   2ABK 

Resident BHGs  -  Recorded During The Breeding Season
 2AAV   2AAP   2AAA   2ADD   2AAH   2ABK   2ABL   2BRA 
(2/10) (2/10) (5/10) (6/10) (6/10) (5/10) (5/10) (3/10)
(3/10) (6/10) (4/10) (2/10) (4/10) (2/10) (1/10) (1/10)
(Total Sightings / Total Visits)

Today, also saw the presence of the first Black-headed Gull chick of 2016, which has probably fledged from the nearby 'Torpedo Platform'.  The next closest Black-headed Gull breeding site, as far as I know, is at Portmore Lough, about 17 kilometres away.

Fledged Black-headed Gull Youngster  -  Antrim Marina  (10 Jun 2016)

The only other ringed bird recorded during my visit was a Mute Swan.  I thought it was   W34158 , which is blind in the right eye, but when I saw that this swan's eye was normal, I went and collected the camera.  On checking the photos, this bird was   Z91982 , which I last saw here on the 21st February 2016.

If this swan had been away to breed, then it was not successful, as there are no cygnets.  Come to think of it, no ducklings have been seen here either so far this summer.

Mute Swan  -    Z91982   -  Antrim Marina  (10 Jun 2016)


      Tesco Warehouse, Antrim Town       
On my way to Antrim Marina, I stopped by the Tesco Warehouse, to check up on the Mediterranean x Common Gull pairing.  Once again, there is no sign of them and the nest that they had built, is now completely wrecked.

Scoping around what I could see of the rooftops, most of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls, now have chicks running about.  I also noticed some of the Common Gulls also have chicks as well.  I am planning to ring young Common Gull at Torr Head and on Rathlin Island and going by the size of these youngsters, I shall have to make visits to the sites fairly soon.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls with young  -  Tesco Warehouse, Antrim  (10 Jun 2016)


      2nd Visit to Inch Island, County Donegal       
On Wednesday 8th June, a second visit was made to Inch Island in County Donegal, to ring terns and gulls.  The Tern ringing party were Ken Perry, along with Richard Donaghey, Steven Fyffe, Marina Mulligan and Wildfowl Rangers Andrew Speer, Martin Burke and young Jack.  The Gull ringing party were Adam McClure, myself and Ryan Lavery, who acted as scribe for us.

The Tern party 'metal-ringed' a further 154 Sandwich Tern chicks, to add to the 180 that were ringed last week.  They also 'metal-ringed' 10 Common Tern chicks, the first so far this season, as these are slightly later nesting birds.

We on the other hand, set about catching Black-headed Gull chicks.  70 youngsters were 'metal & colour-ringed' and four others that I ringed last week, also became the proud owners of a 'Darvic' each.  Despite the limited time that we all could spend on the island, as many birds are still on eggs, we all did pretty well.  A third and final visit is now planned for the 22nd June.

Although Inch Island is in the Republic of Ireland just over the border from Northern Ireland, Adam reckons this population of BHGs will be an important addition to his study, seeing as it is quite distant from his existing ringing sites.  Our thanks to Andrew and Martin for allowing us to participate with the ringing on the island.

I had meant to take some photos before leaving the island, but completely forgot, next time perhaps.  In the meantime, I've added some photos that I took from the causeway overlooking Inch Lake, showing the island and the birds on it.  As can be seen, I zoomed in from quite a distance. 


      A Visit to Glynn       
On the 9th June, I had intended to carry out checks on another couple of Peregrine nest-sites in the County Antrim hills.  After driving to these, I couldn't see a thing because of hill fog.  It was early in the afternoon and it looked very unlikely that it would clear.

Wondering what to do instead, I decided to drive to Glynn, a small village at the edge of Larne Lough and see if there were any ringed gulls or terns about.  On my way, I stopped to check on a small wood and struck lucky, finding another Buzzard nest.  This one was high up in a Sycamore tree at the edge of the wood and well concealed by the leaf cover.

Looking through the binoculars, I could not see any chicks, but droppings on the edge of the nest, indicated that it would have at least one youngster.  A further visit to this nest in a couple of weeks time, should give me a proper head count.

The timing of my arrival at Glynn, could not have been better.  The tide was starting to go out and gulls and terns were arriving to bath at the outlet of a freshwater stream.  At first, I scoped from the railway platform, but then decided to move closer to the Lough for better viewing.

This did not please the birds and they all flew off.  I positioned myself in a small hollow, which made my silhouette look smaller and waited.  Within a short space of time, the gulls and terns started returning.  To my surprise, several of the Sandwich and Common Terns were 'metal-ringed', but these were no way close enough to try and obtain numbers.

If some of these terns had been 'colour-ringed', I would have been close enough to obtain the codes.  The first 'colour-ring' that I did spot was on a Black-headed Gull.  Being orange in colour, I knew this was likely to be another of Adam's Study birds.  Although it was quite far away from me, the photos that I took, just revealed the code on the ring -   2BNL .

A short time afterwards, I spotted a 'Yellow Darvic' on a Common Tern.  I have yet to record any terns with 'colour-rings' and to my dismay, I could not obtain the code on this one.  The tern was standing on seaweed which obscured the ring.  It was not until this bird scratched it's head, that I was able to see the ring in full.

I took a couple of quick photos and by the time I had zoomed in, the birds had took off.  Looking at the pictures I had taken, nothing on the ring was legible, but seemed to have three characters.  Of interest, was the fact it was 'colour-ringed' on it's right leg and most 'colour-ringed' birds would be ringed on their left leg.

Within a short time of reporting   2BNL  to Adam, he sent me it's file.  The Black-headed Gull was ringed as a chick on the 1st July 2013 on Blue Circle Island on Larne Lough and my sighting today is a first for this gull.  The island is just two kilometres away and the gull might well be breeding on the very site it was reared on, although a second island called Swan Island is also close by.

The terns have got me 'fired-up', as I think there could be more 'colour-ringed' birds to be got.  I'll try again here in the near future, as I now know how to get fairly close to these birds. 

Black-headed Gull  -    2BNL   -  Glynn, Larne Lough  (09 Jun 2010)

Common Tern with Yellow Darvic Ring  -  Glynn, Larne Lough  (09 Jun 2016)


      Peregrine Site One - Chick Ringed       
Marc Ruddock, accompanied by Alan Ferguson, travelled up from County Down, to ring my Peregrine chick at Site One on Tuesday morning - 7th June.  Using two ropes anchored to boulders, Marc collected the young grine from the nest-ledge and brought it up to the cliff top.

I was given the pleasure of ringing and colour-ringing the young male bird, which adds to my training totals.  The colour-ringing was a new experience for me, as these ones are made of metal and are locked by the use of rivets.  Once ringed, the youngster's wing length and weight were taken and then Marc replaced it back onto it's nest-ledge, where an unhatched egg was also lying.

My thanks to Marc and Alan, for travelling up so far to do this for me.  It was just a pity that there was only the single chick.  Marc then had to travel to County Wicklow, to do some survey work, which just show's how far he had come out of his way.

My thanks especially go to the landowners, who I cannot name for site security reasons.  They allow me access at all times to survey the site to check that these birds are not being deliberately disturbed.

The photos were taken by Marc.

Peregrine Chick before Ringing  -  Site One  (07 Jun 2016)

This is Me  -  Site One  (07 Jun 2016)

Marc Ruddock (left) and Alan Ferguson (middle)  -  Site One  (07 Jun 2016)

Back on the Nest-ledge  -  Site One  (07 Jun 2016)


Monday, 6 June 2016

Peregrine - Site One...

      Latest Black-headed Gull sightings At Antrim Marina       
On Friday 3rd June, my sister Heather and I made our latest visit to record the resident Black-headed Gulls at Antrim Marina.  We arrived at 11.45am and remained to 2.45pm.  In all 10 of Adam's 'Orange Darvics' were recorded, including the first summer sighting of   2AAF  and a gull that I have not spotted anywhere in the past -   2ALH .

During the course of our visit, this new sighting appeared on three occasions.  After each visit, it would fly off in the direction of the 'Torpedo Platform', after eating bread that had been thrown to the ducks.  All the indications point to the likelihood that it has youngsters out there.

Heather and I discussed the possibility that this gull has only recently been caught and ringed by Adam.  It was so people-friendly, landing with such confidence at the feet of those feeding the ducks, that we presumed this gull has always been here.

How wrong we were, as it turns out.  After reporting my latest sightings to Adam, he emailed the file for   2ALH  and it made for interesting reading.  This BHG was ringed as a chick on the 19th June 2013 on Mew Island, which is part of the Copeland Islands in County Down.  Prior to our sighting, it was recorded on four previous occasions.

In January 2014, March 2015 and September 2015, it was spotted at Ward Park in Bangor, County Down and was then spotted in October 2015 at Ballyholme, also in County Down.  Both of these towns are within a few kilometres of the Copelands.  Although there are breeding colonies of BHGs in County Down,   2ALH  has decided to settle 38kms to the WNW at Lough Neagh.

Although the BHGs are now half way through their breeding season, I find it very surprising that this bird has only now been sighted at the Marina.  It might be a female and had been busy sitting on eggs, until now, with young to feed.

  2ALH  is now the 38th Darvic-rung Black-headed Gull that I have recorded at the Marina, since I began my visits in September 2013.  The next few weeks should prove interesting, to see how often this gull will be recorded and whether it decides to stay after the breeding season is over.  

Black-headed Gull  -    2ALH   -  Antrim Marina  (03 Jun 2016)

Black- headed Gulls Recorded on the 3rd June 2016 (Heather and Myself)
 2BRA   2ALH   2AAA   2AAH   2AAC   2AAF   2ABL   2ANS   2ADD   2AAP 

 2AAV   2AAP   2AAA   2ADD   2AAH   2ABK   2ABL   2BRA 
(2/9) (2/9) (4/9) (5/9) (5/9) (4/9) (5/9) (3/9)
(3/9) (5/9) (3/9) (2/9) (3/9) (1/9) (1/9) (1/9)
(Total Sightings / Total Visits)

The only other ring to be recorded during our visit, was that of the Mute Swan -   W34158 .


      Update on the Odd Couple       
Before visiting Antrim Marina, Heather and I stopped by the Tesco Warehouse to check up on the Mediterranean x Common Gull pair.  Not good news unfortunately, as the nest looks to have been abandoned and there was no sign of the 'Odd Couple'.  I will still check on the site, just to confirm whether they remain or at least stay together.

Scoping the rest of the rooftops, there are now lots of Lesser Black-backed Gull chicks running about.  I also heard Common Terns calling, which was unexpected.  There must be a few pairs of these nesting on the roof as well, but could not see them, as the trees are now in full leaf, blocking out my view from the road.

It also appears that work on replacing the roof has ceased for now.  Someone has obviously made the decision, to leave these birds in peace while they are nesting.  At least some common sense is being shown.  However, once work does recommence and the whole roof eventually replaced, a lot of breeding birds are going to be displaced.

I reckon 100 plus pairs of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, along with smaller numbers of Herring, Common and Black-headed Gulls are using these rooftops, also at least a few pairs of Common Terns and the odd pair of Oystercatchers.


      Peregrine - Site One       
I have paid another visit to the Peregrines at Site One and all is well.  There only appears to be a single chick though, which was slightly disappointing, as these birds normally lay 3 or 4 eggs.  I have emailed Marc Ruddock to see if he would be available to come up to ring the chick.

Female Peregrine Falcon and chick  -  Site One  (04 Jun 2016)

Zoomed in to the Chick and the Female  -  Site One  (04 Jun 2016)


      Buzzard Nests       
I have now located a number of Buzzard nests, none of which could be viewed clearly, except for the pair at Site One.  I have yet to make a second visit to this nest.  The female was sitting on eggs at the time when I found the nest and it would not be worthwhile going back to the site, until the chicks are be large enough for viewing.  A return visit to this site will be made shortly.

Another nest has now been found, where viewing will be exceptionally easy.  This nest is very unusual for Buzzards, as this one has been built at the top of a hedgerow tree on farmland grazed by dairy cattle.  Normally, Buzzards when nesting in trees, prefer at least some cover and shelter to protect and hide their nests.

After finding this nest, I chose to just scope it from a distance and eventually spotted at least two chicks moving about.  I met the farmer that owns the land.  He was aware of their presence and has allowed me permission to access his land to monitor the nest.

This will now become Buzzard - Site Two - and I'll be able to obtain better photos as the youngsters grow larger.  The two pictures that I've added below, shows the nest-site on the farmland and one of the chicks on the nest.  For the second photo, I zoomed in from the same position where I was standing for the first photo.  

Buzzard Nest-site  -  Site Two  (04 Jun 2016)

Buzzard Chick Standing on Top of The Nest  -  Site Two  (04 Jun 2016)