I was hoping for sunshine on Sunday to accompany me on my bird survey of Black Lough. The visability was not too bad at Glanton but as I parked up the mist / fog came down on the crags - this was not going to be easy or should I cancel. I decided to persevere and I am glad I did. There were at least three male whinchat in song, two pairs of stonechats, displaying snipe and a common sandpiper (I think diorientated with the fog)
The star bird of the morning were the cuckoos. One male was calling vociferiously throughout the survey. A second male was calling in the area around the Black Lough with a third male on the edge of the plantation to the west of the site. I managed to call in one of the birds, who kept flying over my head inspecting me. The mimicing also managed to attract a female. All in all four cuckoos in the Black Lough area. A further bird was heard in the Debden area.
Later in the afternoon, a quick walk around Branton Ponds produced 3 common sandpipers, 1 redshank, 1 ringed plover, 1 great crested grebe and very good views of garden warblers. The cowslips are in full-flower and well worth a look. A leech sp was also found in the area of the outfall.