Monday, August 29, 2011

Cape Competition Winners

The winning shots as selected by the Cape Clear judging panel from the recently attended Cape Clear Wildlife Photographic Course Competition were as follows.

The five categories were;

1.  A Robin
2.  An Insect
3.  A Plant
4.  An Island Scenery
5.  A surprise

Richard Duff got two out of the top five with his wonderful shot a a Common Blue butterfly and a Robin.  This crowned him the overall winner.

 Common Blue Butterfly © Richard Duff
 Robin © Richard Duff
 Island Landscape © Barbara Graham
 Flowering Dandelion © Dara McGivern
Fulmar in flight © Brendan Sheilds

The following selection of shots were highly recommended for their artistic qualities.

 Common Blue Butterfly © Marie Sinnot
 O'Driscolls Castle © James Hayes
 View through the Marriage Stone © Stephanie Welton
 Crane Fly © Aoife Duff
 Sunset over Mizen © Rosemary Doyle
 Orb Spider © Annelene Barry
 Cape Harbour at Night © Barbara Graham
Sunset © Marie Sinnot
Peacock Butterfly © James Hayes

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cape Clear August 2011

I'm just back after a week of glorious sunshine on the tropical Island of Cape Clear in south west Cork, where I was giving a Birdwatch Ireland Photographic Course on Wildlife. I would like to thank the 14 participants who attended the course for making the week so enjoyable and interesting.  Also a special thanks to Steve and Mary at the Observatory for putting up with us all for the week and to the residents of the island for their hospitality.  All the participants got great photographs of a wide variety of wildlife and we ran a competition to see who came up with the best shots.  Hopefully once Steve has decided on the best pics taken during the course, the photographers will give me permission to post them on my blog so you all can see the results.  In the meantime here are a few of my own.

 Sooty Shearwater
 Green-veined White Butterfly
 Ichnemon Insect
 Fulmar in flight
 Orb Spider
 Common Lizard
 Field Grasshopper
 Speckled Wood Butterfly
 The Vapourer Moth Caterpillar
Adult Gannet flying

Friday, August 12, 2011


I made a detour on my way back from Kerry during the week to take a look at Ballylongford Bay in County Kerry.  There were eight Little Egrets roosting on the high tide in the village along with one Common Sandpiper and this Kingfisher.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Freshwater Crayfish

I have been doing some Otter Survey work on rivers throughout Limerick and Tipperary over the last two weeks.  Yesterday while surveying a small tributary of the Mulkear River, I came across loads of freshly half eaten Caryfish on rocks and on banks along the riverside.  These have obviously been eaten by Mink and Otters and when I checked under a few small boulders in the river, I found many live Freshwater Crayfish like this one below.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mediterranean Gull

I took a quick look at Tarbert Bay in County Kerry yesterday after doing some survey work at the nearby Kerry/Limerick border.  There was this juvenile Mediterranean Gull, two Common Sandpipers, one Little Egret, 140 Curlew, one Whimbrel, 120 Redshank, eight juvenile Shelducks and ten Great Crested Grebes. The bay looks really great for a North American vagrant wader.  Hopefully one will turn up there before the end of the Autumn.


Last week while heading off early one morning to do a bit of survey, I came across this fox hunting in a nearby field that had just been freshly cut for hay.  He was very aware of my in my jeep on the roadside as I snapped off a few shots, but hunger and the chase of this mouse in the field were priority on his mind and he did not depart until he caught his breakfast.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

American Golden Plover

After a quiet morning seawatching at the Bridges of Ross and Loop Head on Friday 5th August 2011, myself and a few friends decided to go in search of vagrant waders along the west coast of Clare on our way home.  We got to Doonbeg Bay where I quickly picked up on a summer plumaged Plover.  At first and from distant views we all thought that it was more like a Pacific Golden Plover due to its warm overall colouration and shorter looking primary projection.  But later once we were able to get close enough for the photos below to be taken it started to resemble an AGP as is now the case.  This is the first Autumn record of one in Ireland this year and it is amazing that over the summer we have had three PGP's in the country and not the usual scattering of AGP's as of yet.  There is still lots of time for North American waders to flood the country.