A mixed bird bag!

Today was a mixed bird bag! When I got home from school, my mum told me that the peregrine falcon nest we were due to visit at the weekend had been abandoned by the adult birds. I was pretty disappointed, I had really looked forward to seeing the chicks, which were due to hatch any day. Peregrines are really majestic, I had to gulp down my sadness for the unhatched chicks. It is perhaps likely that the young male was inexperienced and the female went hungry, she flew off the nest and the eggs chilled. Thanks to http://www.nirsg.com/ for the information and for organising the event. I really hope next year is better.

However, we were pretty excited when we heard the news from Brad Robson (RSPB Fermanagh Area Manager), that a Ring-Billed Gull had appeared very near our house in Enniskillen! I hadn’t heard of that particular bird (not in any of my books), so I looked it  up online, it’s a close relative of our ‘Common Gull’ except it mostly lives in North America. It’s bill ‘ ring’ is more striking and complete and its Iris is pale yellow. My mum showed me a picture and I thought it looked beautiful. I like gulls and even though everyone calls anything that cackle’s a sea-gull, there is no such thing – they all have proper names (I won’t go into that now) and all look very different! Anyway, we set out, binoculars in hand only to find that our gull had probably gone to roost for the night. Gah, another disappointment!

Ring-billed Gull in Enniskillen by Brad Robson

I have trouble dealing with things, when they don’t go to plan, but I really tried to keep my Asperger’s anxiety in check and look for something to cheer me up. I only had to look out my window to feel happier, the birdsong was glorious. We have had lots of activity in the garden, with dunnocks, blackbirds, coal tits and bullfinches nesting in our and our neighbours trees. We can hear the chicks daily and the day before yesterday, we nearly tripped over a blackbird fledgling – it was ok in the end, it has great parents!


A bad photo of our fledgling but didn’t want to intrude!


I guess I realised that happiness can come from something that happens on your doorstep, although I really hope to see a Sparrowhawk in my garden one day!

Thanks for reading



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7 Responses

  1. Hi Dara great blog! I’m really happy to hear you’re looking at wildlife here in Fermanagh and especially that you like gulls! I hope the Ring-billed Gull stays around and you get to see it. Good birding and Good Zluck – brad

  2. Really liked the detail in your blog, Wildlife watching is a mixed bag, but that’s why it’s so great. Even if you don’t spot what you’re looking for there’s always the opportunity to study what is there in more detail. Within the last year I’ve expanded my wildlife interests from birding to include Butterflies, Moths and other insects: the only drawback is I don’t know whether to look up or down now!

  3. Hi Dara, Enjoyed reading your blog – especially the bit where you say … I am really obsessed with raptors … Well done! So am I, and have been all my life. Sorry to learn that you missed out seeing the young Peregrines – don’t worry, there’ll be other opportunities in the future for sure. And do keep a close watch on your garden, Sparrowhawks are certainly attracted to gardens, especially later in the year (autumn and winter) when small birds are concentrated at feeding stations. You live in a wonderful part of the world, with several species of birds of prey close-by so … ‘Keep your eyes on the skies’! Best wishes, Nick

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