Recent Sightings - 14th January 2019

Count taken at low tide this morning.

A really nice treat this morning was to get close views of Curlew from the Brent hide, both on the estuary and on our wadermarsh. At low tide curlews use their curved beaks to dig into the mud looking for deep lying worms and other invertebrates. Wintering curlews are extremely common sight on Strangford Lough, sometimes seem in very large numbers, but it was really lovely to see one on the wadermarsh this morning. They are only infrequent visitors onto our wadermarsh. This could be an indicator that it's getting better for the invertebrates in the mud, seeing a curlew forage here. Hopefully it returns to give delightfully close views in the future.

Despite being a common sight on the lough throughout the year, there are one of the most threatened birds in the British isles, as their breeding population has crashed by half in the last 20 years. In fact it's doing even worse as a breeding bird in Ireland, we lost "96 per cent since the 1980s".

To learn more about the Curlew's plight, what WWT are doing to combat their decline and to learn about our Curlew appeal, find more information through the following link:

https://www.wwt.org.uk/news/all-news/2018/10/wwt-news/wwt-news-conservation/curlews-in-crisis/

 

 

Curlew, note the long curved bill.

Estuary – visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory

Brent Goose 68, Shelduck 151, Oystercatcher 5, Redshank 25, Black-headed Gull 27, Little Egret 1, Curlew 11, Black-tailed Godwit 1

Main lake – visible from Sensory garden and Visitor centre

Mallard 232, Tufted Duck 31, Shoveler 8, Gadwall 2, Teal 33, Moorhen 3, Coot 4

Shingle bank – visible from Sensory garden, Wadermarsh and Visitor Centre

Mallard 23, Teal 22, Cormorant 2, Moorhen 3, Gadwall 5, Tufted Duck 1, Black-headed gull 14

Wadermarsh – visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide

Moorhen 12, Oystercatcher 2, Curlew 1

Freshwater Lagoon – visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg

Mallard 17, Moorhen 2, Coot 2, Tufted Duck 1

Saline Lagoon – visible from Limekiln observatory

Little Grebe 3, Little Egret 1

Limestone Lake

Mallard 5, Tufted Duck 2

Peninsula Field and Saltmarsh

Jackdaw

Brickworks

Jackdaw 2

Woodland

Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock, Wood pigeon, Jay, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Goldcrest,