2010 News

Birds on the Move

Swallow Feeding Young in Ballycastle
Migration Under Way for Some
An early morning visit to Torr Head and Murlough Bay in North East Antrim brought the discovery of a (relatively) large number of birds. At times the sky seemed filled with hirundines with big feeding parties of House Martins numbering over one hundred and at least 70 Swallows.

On the ground and fences there were many Meadow Pipits, suggesting that they dropped here in the rain of the previous night. Several Wheatear hopped along the roadside on top of stone walls stopping off on the passage south to their wintering grounds. More of the same species were found further north at Murlough Bay close to Fair Head.

Back in Ballycastle though the Swallows were still feeding young around the harbour with juvenile birds on the rocks and boats. The late Swift that I found on Thursday evening appears to have moved on.

On the rock armouring of the harbour several hundred Kittiwakes were enjoying the late morning sun, with more on the water. The lack of young birds suggest a poor breeding season this year.