I made the long trek early yesterday morning to Inisbofin to try and twitch Ireland's second ever Eastern Kingbird. I was picked up at 4.00am in Newmarket-on-Fergus village by an old friend Tony Mee. We made the 7.00am boat in good time and arrived on the Island with the large bunch of birders before 8.00am. The island was shrouded in mist and as we walk across the harbour I spotted a bird low down on a sheep wire fence that had I was convinced was the Kingbird. One other birder also saw this bird and agreed that it was a Kingbird, and with the panic and rush to see the bird a scope got dropped, and the bird scattered with the sound of a Swarovski HD 95 scope bouncing off the tarmac. The bird was not seen after this point but once the fog lifted around 11.00am other birds began to appear. During the early afternoon this first-winter Blackpoll Warbler appeared in a garden near the Hostel and moved rapidly around the island being hotly persued by hoards of trigger happy birders snapping off photos. The tally of birds for the day were; Eastern Kingbird, Blackpoll Warbler, Reed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, two or three Wrynecks, Common Rosefinch, four Whinchats, seven Spotted Flycatchers and one Corncrake.
Blackpoll Warbler on Inishbofin, with ticks attached to its face © John N Murphy