Monday, 28 January 2013

Patch of the Day, Millise, David McCormick

I went to my patch today 11th January 2013, which is a long coastal site in Millise, Co Down, Northern Ireland. I started at a place called Drumfad Bay, an area of coastal plants (mostly sea mayweed, scurvygrass and sea radish and some other wildplants), sand beach and rocky areas. I have been here before so had an idea of what to expect. I arrived at 1:15pm and it was cloudy and a cool 6C. When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was a pied wagtail wandering around a lot of seaweed (which there are masses of here right along the coast). 

The tide was out so walked down the beach near the sea and the first thing I saw here was a Cormorant and a male Eider offshore. Next started walking up the beach north to Millisle Beach which is not that far further up the coast. As I started walking I saw 3 other Cormorant offshore flying past and 35 Oystercatcher which were the most numerous bird other than gulls, I saw a total of around 100 during the walk from Drumfad Bay to the end of Millisle Beach. I then saw 3 curlew flying over, a favorite coastal bird of mine.

As I walked along, notice my feet were starting to feel wet as tide was beginning to come in, so had to move on. Before I got to the end of Drumfad bay I saw a total of:

35 Oystercatcher
3 Curlew
3 Cormorant
8 Herring Gull
1 Eider (Male)
5 Redshank
2 Pied Wagtail
12 Black-Headed Gull
6 Rooks (4 flying south from woodland across the road and 2 feeding in among seaweed).

By this time it was 2:10pm and moved toward Millisle Beach, a long beach full of sand and seaweed and a long carpark beside it with a church and houses near the end of it. People walk their dogs here but that didn't stop me seeing any birds. At the north end of this beach is a small area of loads of seaweed piled up (small enclosed beach between a paved path and a stone wall) and it usually has pipits, starlings, redshank and the odd gull here). It was trying to rain at this time when I left Drumfad Bay, but I did manage to see a lot here with a total of:

65 Oystercatcher
53 Herring Gull
16 Rooks (mostly feeding around seaweed piles)
4 Pied Wagtail
11 Starling (most feeding on large seaweed piles at the north end of the beach)
1 Rock Pipit (usually see a few here, this was feeding on large seaweed piles at the north end of the beach)
1 Meadow Pipit (usually find quite a number here and like rock pipit, was feeding on large seaweed piles at the north end of the beach)
10 Common Gulls
10 Black-Headed Gull

And at the sea edge and at a grassy area near a community garden with swings and slides etc... for kids, there was 41 Pale-Bellied Brent which was less than I have seen here before in December. Back in December I was recording numbers around 80+, so there seems to be a drop in numbers.

I didn't expect to see anything unusual and after all the times I have been here in the past, have yet to see an unusual, scare or rare bird here, but I am not ruling the possibility of finding any in future so for now my score seems pretty low. I have a video I took of the area in November, which you can see here:

No comments:

Post a Comment