Birds of Lurgan Park

Birds of Lurgan Park

by Walter Culbert


Journal of Craigavon Historical Society

Vol. 5 No. 1 - 1984

Grey Herron
Lurgan Park

Systematic list of birds recorded in Lurgan Park 1957-1984.

Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer): Rare inland recorded only on one occasion.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis): Regular winter visitor also breeds in marginal areas of lake in small numbers, i.e. 4 pairs.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus): Regular in small numbers during winter, usually a few pair remain to breed in the lake reedbeds. Builds a floating nest. Cormorant (Phalacrocrax carbo): Recorded occasionally throughout the year.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea): Recorded during winter; usually single.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor): Resident Summer and Winter; one pair usually breeds.

Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus): Winter visitor Lough Neagh area from Iceland; has been recorded occasionally. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchas): Winters on lake, highest numbers recorded 200. Teal (Anas crecca): Occasionally recorded in small numbers during Winter.

Wigeon (Anas penelope): Uncommon Winter visitor.

Pintail ( Anas acuta): Scarce Winter visitor.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata): Recorded almost annually in small numbers during Winter.

Pochard (Aythya ferina): The most common wintering species occurring in flocks of 300+.

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca): Rare Winter visitor; breeds South Eastern Europe; recorded twice. Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula): Over the past number of years this species has declined as a wintering visitor, flocks of 200 have been recorded in the past.

Tufted Duck

Ring-Necked Duck (Aythya collaris): Rare North American visitor; the male bird recorded in March 1960 was the first record for Ireland. Has been recorded twice since then.

Scaup (Aythya marila): Scarce winter visitor.

Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula): Winter visitor from Scandinavia recorded occasionally; usually single.

Red-Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator): Usually associated with coastal waters; recorded once.

Smew (Mergus albellus): Rare winter visitor from Northern regions; seen on two occasions.

Merlin (Falco columbarius): Rare winter visitor recorded once.

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus): Single birds male and female seen all year round.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus): Recorded regularly; possibly breeding. Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus): Resident - average of 6 pair breed. Coot (Fulica atra): Flocks up to 60 recorded during winter. Breeds in small numbers.

Golden Plover (Pulvialis apricaria): Seen occasionally during Spring and Autumn.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus): Recorded regularly during winter.

Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos): Recorded regularly during Spring and Autumn migration.

Curlew (Numerius arquata): Recorded during migration.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago): Recorded occasionally during wintery conditions.

Black-Headed Gull (Larus ridibundus): Large numbers winter at lake and a few non-breeding birds are recorded in Summer.

Lesser Black-Backed Gull (Larus fuscus): Occasional records except from December-January each year.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides): Rare Northern gull from Scandinavia; seen on one occasion.

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus): Commonest coastal gull; recorded regular in small numbers.

Great Black-Backed Gull (Larus marinus): Seen in small numbers Winter and Summer.

Common Gull (Larus canus): Winter visitor in small numbers.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo): Breeds on Lough Neagh Islands; visits Lurgan Park occasionally in Summer to feed.

Ring-Billed Gull (Larus delawarenisis): North American visitor to lake in 1983. Puffin (Fratercula artica): Very rare inland; recorded on one occasion.

Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus): Regular visitor to park both Winter and Summer; breeds in small numbers.

Collard Dove (Streptopelia decaocta): First recorded in Winter 1963; has increased in good numbers since then.

Swift (Apus apus): Seen regular throughout Summer months; breeds in nearby streets of Lurgan.

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis): Recorded during winter.

Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis): Recorded occasionally in flocks when moving through in early Spring.

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia): Recorded during Spring and Autumn passage.

Swallow (Hirundo rustica):: Seen during Summer months in small numbers.

House Martin (Delichon urbica): Has bred at Park Attendant's dwelling since 1958.

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis): Small numbers seen on Spring and Autumn passage.

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea): One or two pairs seen regularly during Summer and Winter; possibly breeds.

Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba): Resident in small numbers; breeds.

Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus): Rare visitor from Scandinivia; recorded once since 1959.

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes): Resident throughout Winter and Summer; breeds.

Dunnock (Prunella modularis): Recorded regularly in small numbers.

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoeno-banenus): Summer migrant irregular visitor to Park.

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochill-uis): Summer migrant seen in suitable habitat breeds.

Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita): Seen and heard during summer.

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus): Recorded in small numbers during Winter and Summer. Numbers fell drastically after Winter of 1963; has since recovered.

Robin (Erithacus rubecula): Common throughout the year.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilarius): Winter visitor from Scandinavia.

Blackbird (Turdus merula): Resident; Continental birds seen during Winter. Redwing (Turdus iliacus): Winter visitor seen annually.

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos): Resident breeds in small numbers. Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus): Recorded during Summer and Winter in small numbers.

Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus): Flocks of 20 or more recorded in Winter. Coal Tit (Parus ater): Present through-out year.

Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus): Common during Winter and Summer.

Great Tit (Parus major): Seen in small numbers; breeds.

Tree Creeper (Certhia familiaris): Uncommon; sightings regular of one or two birds.

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella): Seen regularly up to ten years ago; since then has become very scarce. Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoneniclus): Recorded occasionally around marginal areas of lake.

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs): Common-est finch flocksof 150 recorded during Winter.

Greenfinch (Carduelis spinus): Recorded in small flocks during Winter.

Siskin (Carduelis spinus): Recorded feeding on Alder trees in small flocks during Winter.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis): Seen occasionally during Winter.

Linnet (Acanthis cannabina): Large flocks seen occasionally in Winter and late Spring.

Redpoll (Acanthis flammea): Flocks common during Winter feeding on Alder trees.

Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula): Recorded regular Summer and Winter.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): Most common species; recorded all year round.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris): Flocks of 200 recorded.

Jay (Garrulus glandarius): Rare; only one record to date.

Magpie (Pica pica): Small parties recorded during Winter; breeds.

Jackdaw (Carvus monedula): Seen all year round in small numbers.

Hooded Crow (Carvus carnix):: One or two pairs nest annually.

(Carvus corax): Recorded once.