Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Waxwings for the New Year

Since the arrival of Waxwings in Dublin just before the Christmas of 2016, I have been checking Ennis every time I pass through. Yesterday on my way home from work in Galway I checked a few estates around the railway station near St. Michaels Villas.  There were lots of berries still on bushes near the Grotto at St. Michaels and as I drove by a few of these small gardens I noticed one Waxwing in a low tree with a flock of Starlings.  Eventually I tracked down the rest of the small flock of five and got the following series of photos in dull, fading light.

Waxwings in Ennis © John N Murphy

Black Redstart

I managed to add three new years species to my annual Tick List today. The first was the female Snowy Owl in Connemara, not easy to get close to for a few snaps. The second was this confiding Black Redstart in Barna, close to Galway City, that has been around for some time. I finished off with a small flock of Waxwings in Ennis, that had newly arrived. Here are a few shots of the Galway bird and the last shot is of a red bellied male which was in Ennis just at the end of last year.
 First-winter male Black Redstart at Barna © John N Murphy
Adult male Black Redstart Our Lady's Hospital Ennis on 30th December 2016 © John N Murphy
Note the red belly and flecking. Not sure of what race or the origins of such an odd looking bird?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Caspian Gull

I made it down to Limerick this morning to meet Dermot Breen where we got great views of the second winter Caspian Gull on the Shannon River at O'Callaghan's Strand and slipway.  Dull conditions but the bird was fairly confiding and easily entice to the slipway by the sliced pans of bread that Dermot provided.  This is a first Limerick record and a first for the mid west of Ireland.

Caspian Gull Limerick City John N Murphy
Adult Ring-billed Gull John N Murphy

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Little Grebe

I love how confiding Little Grebes are when taking shots of them, so any chance I get to photograph them I gladly do so and could spend hours watching them feed. Here are a few shots that I took locally last Saturday.
 Little Grebe adult and immature John N Murphy

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Ring-billed Gull II

Yet another Ring-billed Gull in Cork. As I was passing through Carrigaline south of Cork City during the week for work, I noticed this 3CY bird sitting on a roof top with Black-headed Gulls.  I pulled the car over and got a few shots of this bird. I'm sure it has been in this locality for some time just like the bird at the Lough in Cork City the day before.

A third-winter Ring-billed Gull at Carrigaline, Cork John N Murphy

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ring-billed Gull The Lough

I was in Cork City today for meetings and managed to make it to the Lough at lunchtime for a quick scan of the gulls. There was this one 3CY Ring-billed Gull and a couple of colour ringed Black-headed Gulls. 
Ring-billed Gull and colour ringed Black-headed Gulls at the Lough, Cork John N Murphy

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Clare Species List What Next!

Hard to believe that a common European wader the Kentish Plover has not yet been recorded in Clare John N Murphy

Another Autumn has gone and  three new bird species were added to the Clare county list. The three new species were Royal Tern, Solitary Sandpiper and Tawny Pipit.  It does not come as a surprise that it was at Loop Head where these birds were found. Loop has been the source for almost 80% of new records for Clare over the last 25 years. For the last five years, I have been predicting the 20 species listed below to turn up. It is amazing why we have not had any of the shrikes nor the warblers on this list. It is also hard to believe that the only shrike species recorded in the county was a Great Grey in the Burren during the early 1970's. To date there have been 328 bird species recorded in county Clare. Below are the next 20 species that I predict to turn up and hopefully in my lifetime and the not so distant future.

Red-backed Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Radde's Warbler
Dusky Warbler
Blyth's Reed Warbler
Stilt Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Terek Sandpiper
Temmink's Stint
Hudsonian Whimbrel
Kentish Plover
Franklin's Gull
Ivory Gull
Olive-backed Pipit
American Coot
Blackpoll Warbler
King Eider
Night Heron