[CT Birds] Long Beach & Hammo 6/17/2009

dennis.elphick at tiscali.co.uk dennis.elphick at tiscali.co.uk
Thu Jun 18 11:25:16 EDT 2009

Hi Folks!

Long Beach:  5 Yellow-crowned Night Herons in marsh opposite Sikorsky 
Mem Airport alongside Lordship Blvd
                      2 (possibly a pair) Brown Thrashers in rose 
scrub along beach from parking lot to Pleasure Island
                      Pair Piping Plovers with four chicks
                      1 Spotted Sandpiper giving distraction display 
as if nesting/hiding chicks near by
                      2 Least Tern only albeit figures of 100-150 or 
more a week or so ago - a result of nests being 
                         washed out on high spring tides?

Hammo:         Chris beat me to it!

Woodpeckers in Ireland

As an English birder I had always understood that woodpeckers just 
didn't make it to Ireland - I think this is stated in the first British 
Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Atlas of Breeding Birds (Sharrock 1976) - 
and had never occurred because they never made it across the stretch of 
water (St George's Channel) between the UK "mainland" and Ireland, 
although Chris reminds me that he did see a Wryneck in Ireland when on 
a British universityfield trip!

However, I beleive what were thought to be continental Great Spotted 
Woodpeckers inceasingly occured in small numbers over a number of 
years  on the south-east coast (counties of Kent/Sussex) of  England at 
Dungeness Bird Observatory/RSPB Reserve, in particular.  Dungeness, the 
largest shingle spit in the world, is 15-20 miles from any suitable 
habitat within Kent/Sussex, is pretty bleak and just 22 miles or so 
from the French coast.  However, as the habitat has changed over time, 
with willows (salix) and other species growing larger and taller on 
both the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) reserve and 
at the bird observatory, I beleive Great Spotted Woodpeckers have now 
been breeding for a number of years in what is an isolated outpost.  
I'll check when I get ack to the UK.

Dennis Ephick
Ashford CT        

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