2010 News

De Ja Vu Larks

Skylark, Coleraine
One Year On
It is hard to believe that it has been a year since I set up this website and put on my first news articles. Last Christmas I reported on the hard winter conditions in Ballycastle and surprising birds in and around the town, including a photograph of a Skylark in the snow on the seafront.

Well this year it's been an even harder early winter and here is a photograph of a Skylark in the snow. This time this one was with more than 600 of it's friends in a field on the outskirts of Coleraine. Also in the field were a few Snow Buntings, more than 40 Tree Sparrow, 15 or so Yellowhammers, 30+ Reed Bunting, lots of Chaffinch and a Brambling. These small birds together with dozens of Rooks and Wood Pigeons packed into a small field was an impressive sight.

Interestingly man of the small birds were right on the edge (and in some case in the middle of) the main road to Portrush. At least one Skylark was seen to get hit by a car during my brief visit. It appears that the birds are eating grit put out in an attempt to improve road conditions. These seed eating birds will eat grit to aid their digestion, though the effects of the salt in the mix may be more worrying for their health.

One can only imagine the impact that this weather is having on these small birds, at least this flock appear to have found a good food source to keep them going.

Finally a big thank you to all that have taken the time to visit this site over the past year, and especially to those who have taken the time to email me their kind words.