Wednesday, September 28, 2011


On my way through Rineville Bay, Kilcredaun today I spotted seven Ruff feeding on a wet field.  They were traversing between the seaweed along the beach and the field, picking off Craneflies and hoppers.  These birds have possibly just arrived in on the southerly winds.

Monday, September 26, 2011


After a meeting today in Ennistymon, I was anxious to get to the shore to search for more North American waders.  At Cregg Beach in Lahinch there were two first-winter Mediterranean Gulls and loads of other mixed gulls feeding in large flocks all along the mid Clare coast today.  I got as far as Seafield, Quilty where on the high tide there were only seven Dunlin on the beach.  All the rest of the waders had pushed off to the islands to roost on high tide. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pectoral Sandpiper

This Pectoral Sandpiper has been feeding in a freshly turned field on the outskirts of Quilty Village for the past few days.  I managed to get as close as six feet to it as it probed in the soil for worms.  This bird will build up its fat reserves and head off to Africa.  It is one of thousands of North American waders that have been blown across the Atlantic of course as it tries migrates to the Great Amazon River in South America for the winter.

Mediterranean Gull

I had a fantastic days bird watching in west Clare yesterday 24th September 2011.  I first found a Semi-palmated Sandpiper at Seafield, in Quilty, before flushing a Buff-breasted Sandpiper off the beach at Quilty village.  Then I went on to Lough Donnell where there was a juvenile Black Tern.  Still trying to make it to Loop Head, I stopped at Doonbeg Lough where I found a Spotted Crake, only the third for Clare.  This delayed me for a couple of hours before news broke that a Pectoral Sandpiper was back in a flooded field near Quilty village.  I eventually got to Loop Head at 4.00pm after leaving the house that morning at 7.00am with the intension of birding for the day at Loop Head.  When I eventually got to Loop, two first-winter Mediterranean Gulls were in the harbour at Kilbaha, feeding with other gulls.  


I also managed to find two Whinchats while on Mizen Head last Thursday 22nd September.  One was near the lighthouse while the other was in the valley at the other side of the hill at Three Castles.

Spotted Flycatcher

While in Cork last week I visited Mizen Head on 21st & 22nd September.  There was one Hudsonian Whimbrel there which was found on the 20th, and I managed to re-find it on the Wednesday 21st.  But I could not get close enough to get any pics, the bird was very wary and alert.  This was only the third Irish record of this North American form of Whimbrel in Ireland.  Also at Mizen was one Semi-palmated Sandpiper, two Whinchats and a Spotted Flycatcher as seen below.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Black-tailed Godwit

I spent last week in Roscaberry in County Cork.  In the bay there were hundreds of wading birds and gulls.  These Black-tailed Godwits were very co-operative one evening in the low sunshine.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

American Golden Plover

On my way to Loop Head yesterday I stopped off at Seafield, Quilty mid way down the west Clare coast to search for storm blown North American waders and seabirds.  On the beach at Seafield, next to the pier there was this moulting adult American Golden Plover.  This is the second one in the county so far this year.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sabine's Gulls

More Sabine's Gulls turned up today at Liscannor Harbour and pier.  I went there to drop off another storm wrecked manx Shearwater that was found near Crusheen, North East of Ennis town and well inland.  When I got to Liscannor there were two adult Sabine's Gulls, one juvenile, dozens of Arctic Terns, one Storm Petrel and a juvenile Arctic Skua came through later in the afternoon.  These Sabine's Gulls coincided with a large passage off the Bridges of Ross, see the following for details.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sabine's Gull

Also at Doonbeg this evening were three adult Sabine's Gulls.  They spent a short time roosting on the water with a flock of Black-headed and Common Gulls before heading off out to sea and southwards on their migration to southern oceans.