To start with, a case of what has not been seen as much this past week, as the last remaining Common Terns left the nesting islands, so we won’t be expecting them back again until the 2014 breeding season. They have done very well this year, with 368 pairs of Common Terns nesting, and 48 pairs of Arctic Terns. However, there are still around 50 who remain before beginning their long migration south.
Now on to what has been seen at the reserve last week. Wader numbers around high tide are still high, with 483 Oystercatcher, 70 Lapwing, 26 Snipe, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit and 247 Black-tailed Godwit seen. Dunlin numbers have reduced, with a maximum count of only 15, but there were also 4 Knot, 10 Curlew, 3 Redshank, 5 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 1 Little Stint and 2 Curlew Sandpipers.
Greylag Geese have been using the reserve a lot in the past week, with a top count of 88 at one point, and 7 Brent Geese also paid us a visit. Wildfowl numbers continue to remain steady, with 98 Teal, 15 Mallard, 3 Shoveler and 1 Tufted Duck being seen. A sparrowhawk and a buzzard were also both seen hunting on three separate occasions. We will be expecting an influx of wintering waders and wildfowl over the coming weeks, so we keep you updated with the latest sightings here at Belfast Harbour Reserve!
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