Friday, 6 March 2015

A Weekend in Northern Ireland

Living in Cork has its advantages and disadvantages. You are unlikely to bump in a McGarry for example but then your unlikely to bump into one while out birding in Northern Ireland! Last weekend Majella and myself returned north, we rang Flapline when we crossed the border just to see where the Whooper Swans were!
We called at Andrews house and were surprised to find that he has moved to Larne where he has opened a barbers shop called "Beardies" I kid you not, it is located just off High Street. He also has permission to moth trap on the Maidens which is kind of weird as there are no trees out there. But he is in good humour and working on the 2013 NIBirding Bird Report but i dont really believe him, i suspect there will neever be another report.
Which kind of reminds me where is the NIBA Bird Report for 2009? and 10, 11 and 12 also! What are they doing and this kind of brings me round to where has all the money gone. We reckon they musts have £15000 by now so where is or more importantly who has it? We all suspect Numero Uno. But we dont know!
We called at Wallys Bistro but it is closed down a victim of some dodgy Prawns. Wally has moved to Portrush so that his wife can go to the Jewellry shop there everyday and Wally goes round and feeds the Ring Billed Gull lettuce and salami.
We also called with the Hadricks but there house is still boarded up, still 4 years left on their sentence for Fuel Laundering but Maghaberry is usually sunny so it isnt all bad.
We also done a bit of birding, we looked at the sea off Newcastle, a lovely view but no male Surf Scoter, Andrew is having us all on there really isnt one there. We went to Castle Espie where the view is certainly not lovely, the £6 million grant they got was not well spent and no Spoonbill. So we headed to WOW and WOW it most certainly isnt. If i have this correct it used to free to stand in rectangular observation room and look at the Duckpond through the glass. Now they are charging three pound each to stand in a rectangular room and look through the glass. Not a very good deal and not very WOW considering the smell of diesel in the air and the complete lack of birds. Now a question for the RSPB, name any tourist attraction in Northern Ireland which charges £6 per couple that doesnt have a cafe? Not one that i can think off? Majella doesnt speak very often, i forbid it but her comment on the situation is that the RSPB are now saying "If you dont give us £3 you cant see our puddle!" Leon Trotsky eat your heart out. So we went to the roadside hide and it is class! Bright orange!!! Absolute genius, reverse physcology on the birds or else Orange Paint must have been cheaper than green. Windows that you cant see through must have cheaper than ones you can see through as well and the views are not good unless you suffer from some sort of squint disease. We did find a nice Yellow Legged Gull which i am sure the people in the paying seats didnt see!
My friend Walter has suggested that the RSPB should start offering rides on the Ponys to visiting children and maybe run childrens partys complete with bouncy castles on the Tern Islands, money not conservation is now their God which is a shame but maybe with all the profits they could do some Volunteer Training and but some reserves in Northern Ireland the continued non investment in Northern Ireland is shameful. On our travels round we were listening to the best of the Shamen, Boss Drum now thats a class tune!
We did go and look for the Nobirds Crane but all we could find was a Grey Heron with a straight neck which they do often as they go and from from the breeding colony one of which is in exaactly the same spot as the Nobirds Crane, if you reported a flying Kiwi past St Johns Point they would slap it one the Blog and Flapline, we have said it before but they are class.
We finished off at Oxford Island where we couldnt find the Nobirds flock of Nobirds Siberian Chiffchaffs. We are back now in Cork and do we miss NI no we dont! We do miss taking Wally out but Wally see's everything anyway and its a long way to vist the Hadricks in Maghaberry although we do want to try and see the Great Northern Diver that keeps getting reported at Killough.NI Birding hasnt been the same ssince we left.