Ormsary, 25th January 2014 (Cancelled Field Trip Report!)


In ignorance of, or in spite of, the cancellation on the previous evening of this field trip, six members met at Ormsary on Saturday 25 January. The hail, rain, lightning and thunder experienced on the way supported the decision to cancel and set the tone for the morning’s weather, although it was not actually raining at 10 o’clock.

After piling on the waterproofs we walked down to the shore noting the Pheasants in the field as we passed. Two Ravens flew out of the woods and disappeared downwind. We were rewarded by the sight of an Otter diving off the mouth of the burn but there did not appear to be many birds about. However, there were one or two gulls working the strong winds and a couple of Shags were diving in the bay. A distant diver was seen between waves but not identified. The rain arrived, in large drops. House Sparrow and Blue Tit were found in the hedge at the cottage; a Pied Wagtail and a few Dunlin were on the beach. A line of Oystercatchers flew low across the bay to join their fellows on a rocky islet. We set off down the road towards the fish farm before deciding, belatedly, that it might be better to shelter for a while. Shelter was some distance away, past the warm, dry byre in which were noted several of the sub-species Sensible Sparrow. Fortunately, the rain stopped before we reached the cars.

We had just set off again for the fish farm when a large raptor was spotted approaching along the coast from the south-west. The bird turned out to be a juvenile White-tailed Eagle which continued along the coast towards the north-east. The tide was well up the sandy bay beyond the fish farm so the usual complement of waders was not there but there was a large raft of Goldeneye, half a dozen Shelduck and a few Mallard. The next shower arrived while we were chatting to a local keeper and we decided to call it a day at that.

It was not yet 12 o’clock when we got back to the cars, very wet but under the brightest sky of the morning. A Great Tit and a Coal Tit were seen near the estate office to complete what is not a bad list for a cancelled field trip.

Species List: Common Shelduck, Mallard, Common Eider, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Pheasant, Diver sp., Great Cormorant, European Shag, Grey Heron, White-tailed Eagle, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Hooded Crow, Common Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blackbird, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Common Chaffinch. Otter.

Mike Harrison

For Reports of Field Trips in 2013 click on the link below:

Reports of Field Trips 2013

For Reports of Field Trips in 2011 and 2012 click on the link below:

Reports of Field Trips 2011-2012