Tag Archive: Northern Ireland

The darling buds of may

Hawthorn flowers, Glencairn Park, 19 Feb 2013

This kind of may! The hawthorn bushes begin to bud and bloom

A fresh, sunny, hazy afternoon walk in Glencairn Park yesterday left me feeling a bit more springish. A lot of trees and shrubs were putting out leaves, and some flowers, like this hawthorn. [Update: no, it’s blackthorn.] May [Update: not May], but no nuts to collect for quite a while. (Not that I generally go collecting nuts, but still…)

Daffodilism was well underway…

Woodland daffodils, Glencairn Park, 19 Feb 2013

Daffodils spring up in the woodland, catching the afternoon sun

…and moss was beginning its conquest of every nook and cranny…

Moss shoots on tree, Glencairn Park, 19 Feb 2013

Moss begins to spring from the nook of a tree

…purple, white and yellow crocuses were adding a splash of brillig…

Crocuses, Glencairn Park, 19 Feb 2013

The perfect waxy petals of crocuses start to colour Glencairn Park

…and I noticed some strange features on one of the more permanent woodland residents.

Interesting tree, Glencairn Park

A warty, weird bit of woodland woodwork

The chaffinches were singing, greenfinches were once again garnishing the auditory experience with their reassuring zhewwwwwwwwwww, their numbers evidently recovering from the “tricks” epidemic. Even a treecreeper, which doesn’t usually draw attention to itself, was singing a high-pitched, wavering trill from a yew tree while blue tits pipped and chuckled and a dog walker explained to his friend that he didn’t [expletive] owe John ten quid.

And a song thrush sung its pick-and-mix, completely unpredictable, mockingbird warble.

That, folks, is the dawning of spring in Belfast. 🙂

Treecreeper and song thrush make the year list…
2013 BIRDS: 48

Peatlands Park, Dungannon, Co. Armagh

Peatlands Park

Today my mum and dad took me to Peatlands Park for the Butterfly Conservation NI Recorders’ Day. The speakers were brilliant, the seats were gluteus-numbing, and the news was positive: conservation efforts are having measurable impacts, halting declines of several rare species, especially in the south of England. It gives us up here in Nornia some motivation to expand and expand and expand.

It was great to meet and talk to people too.

The weather was entirely non-lepidopterous: the Emperor Moths which should be around on every bog in the country were nowhere to be seen, and a walk with Ian Rippey after the meeting yielded no Holly Blues or Green Hairstreaks.

But we did see extraordinary pitcher plants…

Pitcher plants, Peatlands Park

Feed me, Seamour! FEED ME!

…a flock of mallard chicks that was completely off the cute scale…

Mallard chicks, Peatlands Park, 21 Apr 2012

Innocence incarnate.

Mallard chicks, Peatlands Park, 21 Apr 2012

Beyond cute.

…and of course the usual: several old Stigmella aurella leaf mines, which I won’t show a photo of.

Taking advantage

This is a photo of some seagulls. SEAGULLS, I SAY.

Lately I’ve noticed that the most popular post on this blog has been “The next best thing to a Long-tailed Duck“.

What a nice pattern.

I would be overjoyed to know that people are finally taking an interest in Long-tailed Ducks.

Epileptics beware.

Although there is the very slight possibility…

This is the most interesting thing I saw today.



2012 TITANORAKS: 1.8 million

White Park Bay


White Park Bay, 04 March 2012

White Park Bay, 04 March 2012

A spiffing day on the North Coast two weekends ago.