I was on Arranmore Island in Donegal last Friday and Saturday. While waiting for the boat to push off on the Saturday morning, I came upon these two Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moths feeding on scented plants in the harbour next to Bru Hostel. I first took them to be Hummingbird Hawkmoths but on further inspected they turned out to be Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth. There have been 13 previous sightings in Donegal, but non for the island. Throughout the country there have been 191 records with the majority coming from county Fermanagh, (see http://www.mothsireland.com/specieslist.htm).
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Monday, June 3, 2013
The garden at home has come alive over the last few days with spiders lacewings, beetles and the weevil below chewing through some of my veggies.
Common Weevil © John N Murphy
House Spider © John N Murphy
Lacewing © John N Murphy
Sunday, June 2, 2013
I was back in Wexford again this weekend to try and find a few more summer migrants for my list but not many were migrating through due to the Northerly wind. In south Wexford I came upon this Ringed Plover nesting on a shingle beach. The bird was very confiding as you can see from the photographs attached. I did manage to find a Hobby at Ring Marsh, which made the trip to Wexford worth it.
Ringed Plover attending its nest © John N Murphy
Saturday, May 25, 2013
After a 4.00am start to help out on the dawn chorus at Mullaghmore in the Burren for the National Bioblitz, we headed to Wexford to see a White-winged Black Tern that was found two days earlier at Lady's Island. Within 20 minutes of arriving at Lady's Island we picked up the adult summer WWBT flying around the colony with Roseate and Common Terns. We then headed to Tacumschin where we saw Garganey, Forster's Tern and found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the way out to the patches. This was my second Buff-breasted Sandpiper in a week. On Tuesday I was on the Inishkea Islands when one dropped in for a quick stay-over. Also in Wexford we had five Reed Warblers, four Bearded Reedlings and a Short-eared Owl. A great day in beautiful sunshine.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Wexford © John N Murphy
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
On my way back from working in North West Mayo, I got a generous offer that I could not refuse. John Brittain (www.seafishingireland.net), the skipper of a small fishing vessel out of Cleggan in Galway, and the finder of this stunning almost full summer plumage adult White-billed Diver, offered myself and Anthony McGeehan, a trip out to see the bird. This bird first appeared last Saturday 17th May and thankfully it stuck around to get its portrait taken. The bird was not too far off the south end of Inishbofin and three years ago a bird was seen off the Inishbofin Ferry on 13th May by Aonghus O' Donnell and Dermot Breen. Probably the same bird returning to a favourite feeding site. Thanks to all who made this trip and bird possible.
White-billed Diver, Inishbofin, © John N Murphy
Monday, May 13, 2013
We did a whistle stop tour of the middle of Ireland on Saturday 11th May, to clock up a few new year ticks. We began our day with an early morning stop at Mountshannon on Lough Derg to see the White-tailed Eagles. Then it was on to Banagher in county Offaly for Whinchat and Boora Bog for Grey Partridge. Next stop was across to Wicklow for Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite and finally ending our day at Kilcoole and the east coast where we got Little Tern, Roseate Tern, Buzzards, Marsh Harrier and lots of other common species. Not a bad day considering the weather.
Friday, May 10, 2013
I got a chance to go back to Seafield, Quilty during the week. I was searching for migrating seabirds like Skuas and petrels during a good North West blow. Unfortunately there were few birds of interest on the sea bar 15 Great Northern Divers. All in full summer coats awaiting to depart for breeding grounds in Iceland or Arctic Canada. A couple came close to the pier at Seafield allowing the shots you see below. Magnificent birds in breeding plumage.
Great Northern Diver in summer plumage at Seafield, Quilty © John N Murphy