Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hawfinches Return

It was 1988/89 when I first saw Hawfinch in Ireland.  That winter Gerry Butler found a flock of 92 at the Curraghchase in Limerick. At the time I was ringing lots of birds and Tom Tarpey set up nets early one winters morn and we managed to catch a couple of these chunky finches.  I subsequently had one visit my bird table when I lived in Shannon Town two years after the mass invasion of the late 80's.  Since then birds have been found on and off at the Curraghchase with possible  breeding suspected.  This year with the masses coming through Britain and western Europe, it was only a matter of time before they showed up at the Curraghchase. I'm delighted they have done so as they really are a mighty bird.  We still only have three records for Clare, but given the numbers about this year, I'm sure one or two will pop up in gardens over the winter. Here are a few long range shots of birds in the Curraghcahse from last week.
Hawfinch at the Curraghchase John N Murphy

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Still no White-billed Diver

I travelled to Finvarra Point in North Clare yesterday to try and see the adult White-billed Diver that Eric Dempsey found during the week.  Two hours at the Martelloe Tower and still no joy. This is the third time a bird has been found from this location, the same spot where myself and my buddy  Finbarr located the Pacific Diver some years back.  I have been searching for over 30 years for White-billed off the north Clare coast and memories of long winter days with an old friend Andy Smith searching for this Arctic visitor flood back to mind on every visit.  Here are a few shots of the many Great Northern's that accumulate off Finvarra Point. There were also 19 Black-throated Divers far off shore.
Great Northern Diver off Finvarra Point John N Murphy

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Twite bring in the winter

I was out and about yesterday in the misty wet rain and got as far as Clahane near Liscannor Bay.  There were over 50 Rock Pipits feeding the roadside on high tide and a small mixed flock of finches with three lovely Twite among'st them.  Here are a few shots of the birds that I took out the window of the car in the miserable conditions.
 Twite at Clahane John N Murphy