RSPB Local Group Outing to Strathbeg – Sunday 24th March

Due to ongoing work at the Strathbeg reserve, a revised meeting point was agreed. The local medical centre was chosen as it is closed on a Sunday, unfortunately, so were the gates. However, we managed to redirect people and the drive down to the reserve car park was without any mishaps.

Nineteen members attended and we spent the first half hour in the Visitor Centre where we managed to spot a little egret which is now a regular feature at Strathbeg.

Little Egret C/o Keith Yates

After about half an hour, we walked round to the Tower Pool and Dunbar hides. It was good to hear the skylarks in fine voice. A meadow pipit and stonechat were also seen. Half the group stayed at the Tower Pool hide and the other half went to the Dunbar hide.  After about thirty minutes the groups changed places.

Although we didn’t locate anything out of the ordinary, the light was good which afforded cracking views of teal, pintail, shovelers, shelduck, wigeon and mallards. Comments were also made about how marvellous lapwings are when you see them in the sunlight with their iridescent green backs. A selection of gulls was seen with greater and lesser black-backed gulls, and a pair of the lesser black-backed gulls were observed displaying to one another.

Lesser Black Backed Gulls c/o Keith Yates

Greylag geese and pink-footed geese were also seen in the distance along with over 100 whooper swans on the field beyond the loch.

On the walk back to the Visitor Centre the small plantation and hedgerows were full of small birds, which included tree sparrows, yellowhammers, reed buntings, dunnock and a lone chiffchaff. A corn bunting was also spotted on top of one of the bushes.

Corn Bunting c/o Keith Yates

We arrived back at the Visitor Centre just as the heavens opened which was extremely lucky or just good planning, whichever you prefer. We settled down to our packed lunches and then most of the group dispersed.

Again, we were blessed with decent weather, the company was good and 57 species of birds were seen.

Thanks to all the members who turned up and I hope you enjoyed the outing. If anyone has any suggestions for future outings or if you would like to have a different format, please send an email to any of the committee.

Thanks to Rob Leslie for leading and the write up