This first-winter Northern Gull Larus argenteus argentatus was at Thomand Weir in Limerick today along with the second-winter Caspian Gull, the first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, two first-winter Iceland Gulls, one adult and one first-winter ring-billed Gulls and a variety of other gulls.
Northern Herring Gull Larus argenteus argentatus with adult Great Black-backed and first-winter Herring
There has been some discussion in Ireland over the last few weeks as to how numerous Icelandic Redwings are in Ireland. Recent findings of the Icelandic race spp. coburni in Wexford by Killian Mullarney (info at irishbirding.com), has sparked off interest in Redwing Thurdus iliacus flocks around the country. For many years I was of the belief that the majority of birds that arrived along the west coast of Ireland in autumn were of Icelandic origins, and that east coast birds were probably more likely to be of Scandinavian stocks. But ringing data and satellite tracking has shown that many Icelandic Redwings overshoot Ireland in autumn and hit France and Iberia, never stopping in Ireland or Britain. But surely a small proportion visit this country in autumn and winter? Here are a few shots that I had to hand of Redwings taken over the last ten years. One or two look Icelandic to me due to overall dark appearance in head and body plumage. I have seen birds in breeding plumage in Iceland but breeding plumage differs from winter plumage. Any comments? I will try and dig out more shots of Redwing in the coming days and post them for your perusal, especially ground feeding birds. As always I have sent these shots off to some friends for their expert opinions and analysis.
The mild storm free winter has allowed the 300 or more Barnacle Geese that traditionally over-winter in Clare, to feed on offshore islands thus far this winter, and has not forced them to graze on the mainland so far this season. Last week on a trip around west Clare we came across the flock on open fields near Doonbeg which was a delight to see and hear.