Sunday, 29 April 2012

2011 Year List

Tory Island 2011 Year List (114 species/notable subspecies)

In terms of species composition; 8 national rarities/ 18 local rarities (a bit subjective!)./ 88 common species.

7% rare/16% scarce/ 77% common

1/2/11 Ratio of Rare/Scarce/Common

1.       Mute Swan
2.       Whooper Swan
3.       Greylag Goose
4.       Barnacle Goose
5.       Mallard
6.       Shoveler
7.       Eurasian Wigeon
8.       Eurasian Teal
9.       Greater Scaup
10.   Tufted Duck
11.   Common Eider
12.   Corncrake
13.   Pheasant
14.   Black-throated Diver
15.   Great Northern Diver
16.   Fulmar
17.   Manx Shearwater
18.   Sooty Shearwater
19.   European Storm Petrel
20.   Leach’s Petrel
21.   Gannet
22.   Cormorant
23.   Shag
24.   Grey Heron
25.   Buzzard
26.   Merlin
27.   Sparrowhawk
28.   Kestrel
29.   Peregrine
30.   Common Moorhen
31.   Oystercatcher
32.   Ringed Plover
33.   European Golden Plover
34.   American Golden Plover
35.   Redshank
36.   Lapwing
37.   Purple Sandpiper
38.   Ruddy Turnstone
39.   Dunlin
40.   Curlew Sandpiper
41.   Little Stint
42.   Black tailed Godwit
43.   Eurasian Curlew
44.   Whimbrel
45.   Woodcock
46.   Common Snipe
47.   Grey Phalarope
48.   Ruff
49.   Buff-breasted Sandpiper
50.   Pectoral Sandpiper
51.   Great Skua
52.   Pomarine Skua
53.   Arctic Skua
54.   Black-headed Gull
55.   Common Gull
56.   European Herring Gull
57.   Great-black backed Gull
58.   Lesser-black backed Gull
59.   Black legged Kittiwake
60.   Glaucous Gull
61.   Iceland Gull
62.   Sandwich Tern
63.   Common Tern
64.   Arctic Tern
65.   Black Tern
66.   White-winged Black Tern
67.   Atlantic Puffin
68.   Black Guillemot
69.   Common Guillemot
70.   Razorbill
71.   Little Auk
72.   Rock/Feral Pigeon
73.   Short-eared Owl
74.   Skylark
75.   Barn Swallow
76.   Rock Pipit
77.   Meadow Pipit
78.   Pied Wagtail
79.   White Wagtail
80.   Yellow Wagtail
81.   Winter Wren
82.   Waxwing
83.   Dunnock
84.   European Robin
85.   Black Redstart
86.   Northern Wheatear
87.   Song Thrush
88.   Redwing
89.   Fieldfare
90.   Common Blackbird
91.   Garden Warbler
92.   Blackcap
93.   Sedge Warbler
94.   Common Grasshopper Warbler
95.   Willow Warbler
96.   Wood Warbler
97.   Chiffchaff
98.   Yellow-browed Warbler
99.   Red-billed Chough
100.                        Hooded Crow
101.                        Common Raven
102.                        Common Starling
103.                        Eurasian Tree Sparrow
104.                        Common Chaffinch
105.                        Common Linnet
106.                        Lesser Redpoll
107.                        Mealy Redpoll
108.                        Eurasian Siskin
109.                        Goldfinch
110.                        Common Rosefinch
111.                        Common Reed Bunting
112.                        Little Bunting
113.                        Snow Bunting
114.                        Lapland Bunting

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

News from the 16th April

I took this from Birdforum by Mike Duckham visiting from Wales...

"Tory 16.4: v quiet. Cold strong N wind. Only had 2.5 hrs due to rather wayward scheduling of the ferries, and the strengthening wind.
White Wag - 2
Many Wheatear on territories.
Teal - pr
Tuftie - 1m 2f.
Purple Sand - 2.
Rock Dove - 12.
Dead swan - couldn't get closr but looked like Mute. Was within 30m of overhead phone lines by the largest pool.
Wren - 1.
Manx Shear - 2
Puffin - 2
Snipe 1.
Greenland Whitefront - 1. Last bird before yomping back to boat."

Manx Shearwater and Greenland White-fronted Goose are new for the year

Monday, 23 April 2012

Gyr Falcon a blast from the past

While on a visit to the Natural History Museum recently I came across these impressive beasts. 2 birds shot on Tory Island a month apart. 

 Gyr Falcons; Natural History Museum, Dublin

One in November 1909 and a male on the 9th December 1909. (Kennedy, Ruttledge and Scroope, page 117).

They constituted the first and second records of the species for Tory.There are two other records one from the end of February to early March 1955 (IBR 3:12) and one, 24th April 1996 (Irish Birds 6:72) 

Thanks to Joe Hobbs and Kieran Fahy for the information.

There have been a whopping 124 records in Ireland up to and including 2010 and one each in 2011 and 2012 which have yet to be formally accepted.

They seem to appear regularly on the Western Isles particularly in spring. Possibly birds that have wintered in Britain and are heading back home?

It’s a bird that’s definitely on my wish list….

Monday, 16 April 2012

Are Wood Pigeons migratory?

Apparently not............

I was intrigued by the record of a Wood Pigeon and Collared Dove on Tory Island recently and decided to check there migratory habits in the BTO Migration Atlas.

Wood Pigeon

The BTO Migration Atlas suggests that the species is sedentary although juveniles tend to move further than adults. Although there is apparent visable migration on the east coast of England ringing recoveries would suggest that only a small number of birds actually emigrate and there are few immigrants from continental Europe.
The maps on the atlas would also suggest there are 5 recoveries of birds ringed in Britain and recovered on the island of Ireland, including one ringed on the Isle of Man and recovered in County Down.

Collared Dove

Collared Dove which originally colonised Britain and Ireland in the late 50’s and 60’s show a much greater willingness to move around than Wood Pigeon. There are about a dozen records of  Collared Doves ringed in Britain and recovered in Ireland and one ringed in  continental Europe and recovered in Ireland.
Collared Dove dispersal distance has decreased since the 1970’s, indicating the population is becoming more sedentary.

Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island lies 80 miles to the east of Tory and should in theory have similar movements of birds. According to Irishbirding Neal Warnock was there yesterday the 15th April and had the following

25 Willow Warbler
18 White Wagtail
4 Wheatear
1 Redwing
2 Sand Martin
1 Swallow
1 Golden Eagle  Adult (drifting east)

The numbers of birds are different but the species composition is very similar to Chris's total from the 14th April from Tory.. Except of course for Golden Eagle!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

News from Chris

Chris Ingram was out on Tory yesterday, the 14th April. He reported the following;

'The crossing was uneventful, a couple of Fulmars and Kittiwakes, lots of Razorbills and one Puffin. On Tory were the usual waders plus one Black-tailed Godwit, a female Kestrel, 3 Lesser Black-backs in harbour,a Collared Dove, a Wood Pigeon ( a surprising Tory tick!), 10 Redwings, a Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warblers, c.10 Wheatears and 2 White Wagtails on the beach. The Pigeon has apparently been around for a few days. No Corncrakes heard yet. As usual plenty of pipits, a couple of Wrens and a single singing Skylark. ' 

Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon, do they migrate? I must have a look at the BTO migration Atlas and see what it says about both species and their migratory behaviour....