|Sodden Peregrine! - Rossleague, 29th January 2012|
|Spotted Redshank, Rossleague, Great Island, 29th January 2012|
After a short while the bird took flight, I returned to the car and made my way slowly along the road that runs along the north channel, checking all the time for other closer Spotted Reds but there was only to be one bird today. This Curlew was much more obliging!
|Curlew, Rossleague, Great Island, 29th January 2012|
|Marloag, Great Island, 29th January 2012|
Further along the shore I stopped again and could make out a distant Great Northern Diver and several Great Crested Grebe out in the harbour. The pine trees beside where I parked held several Coal Tits and Goldcrests and a single Chiffchaff was calling occassionally but I couldn't see it. During the autumn I think I mentioned that I was seeing Goldcrests almost every day on the headlands, the mild winter has helped them I hope and I'd like to think their numbers have crept back after the hammering they took in the really cold spells in the previous two years.
A quick check of my phone told me that a Slavonian Grebe was still present off Aghada Pier. I decided to drive over that direction in case it was in close enough for a nice picture. I parked up at the base of the pier and made my way towards the end to see if the grebe was there.
|Aghada village from the pier, 29th January 2012|
I scoped the whole area of the harbour in front of me for about 20 minutes but no grebe. Plenty of Wigeon over towards Rostellan, about 4 or 5 Black Guillemots starting to moult into their smart summer garb, several GNDs and Great Crested Grebe but that was it really. Briefly a Rock Pipit stepped up onto the pier wall and gave me the best photographic opportunity of the afternoon.
|Ripit - Aghada Pier, 29th January 2012|
I moved on towards Whitegate but the rain returned and put paid to any further birding for the day.
And on a completely different subject..............for the next 6 weeks my birding will have to compete with another passion of mine...........the 6 Nations rugby championship. With 3 Irish provinces in the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup Ireland look poised for a good championship, but France with a new coach in Philippe Saint-Andre are my favourites this year. By the time Ireland meet England in Twickers on St. Patrick's Day spring will be well on its way and the first Wheatears, Chiffers and Sand Martins will be just about to arrive. I can't wait!!!