The almost unbroken good weather in May and the first half of June was excellent for survey work. That meant the Countryside Bird Survey and the Seabird survey of the islands went without a hitch. At Sheskinmore the Lapwing look like they are having a good breeding season this year with 10-16 pairs on nests in early June.
Its great to see the photo of the whinchat on Michael Cunninghams post for June. That is a new one for the records. Other new sightings around Sheskinmore are of a stoat along the road at Summy in early June. In mid-June, while walking around the outside of the predator fence I saw swallows, sand martens and house martens. I checked Stephen Hewitt’s bird list soon after to see if he has seen house martens here before and discovered that is also a new bird record for Sheskinmore.
Last Friday, while going along Tramore to collect a broken sign at Carrickalagh, I criss-crossed the freshwater marsh along the base of the dunes, distracted by Early Marsh, Common Spotted and Common Twayblade Orchids and exploring every pond to peer into the clear water at the abundant stoneworts, I saw a beautiful Painted Lady. Saw another one this week on Inishkeel, so they have made it as far a west Donegal this year. These adults or their forebears left from North Africa and as they can’t survive the cold at any stage in their lifecycle the butterflies that are born here will make the return journey at the end of the summer.