Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Whinchats mid summer

I made a trip up the middle Shannon today and came across at least six Whinchats along the river.

 Whinchats males and females on Shannon River John N Murphy

Monday, June 18, 2018

Rosy Starling

This adult Rosy Starling was at Derrymore National School at Kerry Head from 11th to 13th June. It was in the small playing pitch of to the back of the school when I photographed it with a small flock of Common Starlings and was wary, feeding mainly in close to the tall uncut grass at the edge of the hedge around the pitch.
 Rose-coloured Starling at Kerry Head John N Murphy

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Reed Warblers

As a trainee ringer, I spent summers catching Sedge Warblers at the Shannon Airport Lagoon under the supervision of my trainer Philip Brennan.  Occasionally Phil would catch the odd Reed Warbler and we would get to see it in the hand.  This was my first introduction to this species.  These birds were first caught and ringed at the Lagoon on 29th July 1979, when one juvenile was ringed with an adult the following day on 30th. These were the first North Munster records.  Juveniles were subsequently caught and ringed on the following dates: one on 8th October 1983. One on 26th September, with another on 14th October 1985. At this time it was thought that birds could possibly have been breeding in the Lagoon, but with no solid evidence.  Over the last week it has come to light that birds are breeding at the Shannon Airport Lagoon.  There have been up to five singing males and birds were observed carrying food for young.  Two nest sites locations have been confirmed with the possibility of more.  These are the first confirmed breeding records for Clare (per JNM)  Here are a few shots of birds from the lagoon.
 Reed Warblers at the Shannon Airport Lagoon with one bird carrying food for young John N Murphy
 An adult Sedge Warbler at the lagoon carrying food for young John N Murphy

Monday, June 4, 2018

Black-browed Albatross

Here are a few shots of the Black-browed Albatross from Skellig Michael on 30th May.

Adult Black-browed Albatross on Skellig John N Murphy

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Continental Cormorants

I grew up on the banks of the River Slaney in Enniscorthy, County Wexford.  As young kids in the early 1970's my brother Jim and my cousin Jim, spent most of our summers exploring the banks and tributaries of this grand river. Exploring Kingfisher nests along with Sandmartins and finding bridges where Grey Wagtails were living were some of our childhood activities. Over the winter I have been back and forth visiting my aging parents and regularly take walks along the river south of the Riverside Hotel, where I often photograph the birds and wildlife along its banks.  When we were growing up here, there were no Little Egrets in Ireland, Buzzards were rare and Continental Cormorants we new nothing about. Even Reed Warblers had not colonised the Slaney at that point.  Now Continental Cormorants seem to be an everyday occurrence.  Here are a selection of shots from a few visits during March of this year.
 Adult Cormorant showing charachteristics of Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis John N Murphy
 Immature Cormorant showing characteristics Continental Cormorant of Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis  John N Murphy
Two adult Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax Carbo John N Murphy
 Adult Grey Herons John N Murphy
Grey Heron with Little Egrets and Little Egrets John N Murphy
Adult male Grey Wagtail John N Murphy
 Long-tailed Tit John N Murphy
 Indian Goose an introduced species to the Slaney John N Murphy