Hazelbank 26 March 2024

Trip report by Roger Woodward and Robbie Hughes

Photographs by Michael Ingleston and Lynn Hughes

Weather:  Cold 60  ; Cloudy , a few light rain showers;  Wind: East f4; Visibility: good

HW Belfast: 11.56

Trip Leader: Kate McAllister

We met on another damp day, at Hazelbank park. There were 17 of us, including two of the youngest participants we’ve had for some time! Woodpigeon, robin, magpies and hooded crows were in the trees around us. A great tit was heard. Overhead, a flight of about 20 godwits (probably black tailed) were heading westward. On the way down to the waterside we saw more passerines: chaffinch and goldfinch, and a few jackdaws. A single red breasted merganser flew over.

Shag by Lynn Hughes

In the sea fairly close in were shag, cormorant, great crested grebe, herring gull and black headed gull. Further out were eider and a good flock of common scoters, amongst which was at least one velvet scoter. On the shoreline a single turnstone was getting a last feed before the rising tide covered the beach. A further flight of black tailed godwits headed westward.

Moving away from the sea wall a wren was calling loudly and a good number of male blackbirds were hopping around. A halt was called at this time for a warming cuppa and some nibbles. It was also a chance to escape the cool breeze and the, albeit, now light rain.

Kate now led us along the outer hedgerow among some out of kilter cherry trees towards the new garden areas. It was generally agreed that these would look great in flower later in the year but today was described, rather uncharitably as ‘a soggy mess’.

Snake’s Head Fritillary by Lynn Hughes

It was here that another pair of goldfinches were observed along with Blackbird, a Wren, Starling, and an array of Corvids. But the spot of the day came from our leader Kate who found a Treecreeper, which promptly disappeared before Brenda got a gawk. 

We then dandered back to the cars and dispersed homeward.

Thanks, Kate for leading a great trip.

Bird List (28)

  • Wood pigeon
  • Feral pigeon
  • Robin
  • Chaffinch
  • Goldfinch
  • Blue tit
  • Great tit
  • Wren
  • Blackbird
  • Jackdaw
  • Hooded Crow
  • Black headed gull
  • Herring gull
  • Great black backed gull
  • Great crested grebe
  • Cormorant
  • Shag
  • Eider
  • Red breasted merganser
  • Common scoter
  • Velvet scoter
  • Black guillemot
  • Turnstone
  • Black tailed godwit
  • Dunnock
  • Lesser Black Backed Gull
  • Starling
  • Treecreeper